Services & Certifications

Specialty Crop Grower Services

The IPM Institute of North America’s Specialty Crops Grower Services (SCGS) team provides technical assistance and consulting services to apple and stone fruit producers in the upper Midwest interested in using the latest Integrated Pest Management strategies to sustainably manage crop pests.

Since 2009, the SCGS team has been collaborating with experts in the industry to provide trusted and practical guidance for growing apples and stone fruit East of the Rockies.

Everyone from beginner farmers to farmers with the most established orchards in the region can participate and benefit from our program and services.



The Northeast Eco Apple Project, funded by EPA, Region 1 Strategic Agriculture Initiative and an anonymous foundation, qualifies participating growers using a set of mandatory standards for ecological production in the Northeast.

Grower adherence to these practices is verified by an on-site, independent third-party inspection prior to harvest.

The standards were drafted by the IPM Institute with input from a working group including area growers and consultants, and scientists from Cornell University, Penn State University and the University of Massachusetts.


Sustainability Standard

The Sustainability Standard meaningfully addresses a broad range of areas related to sustainable agriculture. For growers, it provides a meaningful tool to measure, communicate and improve the adoption of sustainability best practices.

For buyers, The Sustainability Standard provides assurance that suppliers are adopting best practices related to sustainable agriculture, and allows for tracking performance across the supply chain in order to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.



AppleTalk is a 17-session weekly call that supports sustainable and organic apple producers throughout the growing season with regionally unique information needed to tackle tough pest management and production issues one week at a time. The sessions run from green tip to the last sprays applied before harvest.

The call discussions emphasize the role of using orchard ecology and pest biology to inform insect and disease management. The program also addresses fruit thinning, tree nutrition, pesticide selection and application timing of low-risk conventional and organic-approved pesticides.


Pest Defense Workshops

If you would like to offer the Pest Defense training at your school district, In-Service Days or at an education conference please contact us. We work with a network of trainers across the country who are able to offer any of the Pest Defense training courses at your location.


Pesticide Risk Tool

The Pesticide Risk Tool is a user-friendly, innovative online tool that ranks pesticide products for impacts on birds, earthworms, small mammals, aquatic ecosystems, worker/bystander health, consumer health and pollinators. This tool applies best available science to permit producers, advisors and regulatory professionals to compare different pest management scenarios for any commodity and select options with the fewest potential environmental and health hazards.


Green Shield Certified

Green Shield Certified is an independent, non-profit certification program that promotes practitioners of effective, prevention-based pest control while minimizing the need to use pesticides.

Because our approach addresses the underlying cause of pest problems, it is more effective than conventional spray-intensive services. Green Shield Certification is available to pest management providers, facilities and landscapers where our standards are attained.


TruEarth Certified

This protocol has been developed to achieve measurable reductions in the use of high-toxicity pesticides.

With permission from Red Tomato, this protocol builds upon the Red Tomato Eco Apple Protocol, and collaborative partnerships with farmers, scientists and other agricultural professionals.

Through our work we hope to contribute to a bountiful supply of quality, local foods with minimal pesticide residues, and to improve our soil and water resources, wildlife biodiversity, farm worker safety, farm stability and farmland preservation in the North Central USA.


Partnership for Ag Resource Management

Our goal at the Partnership for Ag Resource Management (PARM) is to improve management of our key soil, nutrient and crop-protection resources by keeping them on our cropland and out of our streams, rivers and lakes. Our objectives are to identify and promote market-based solutions that improve farm economics and our natural resources.

In both the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins, we are working with ag retailers, farmers, watershed organizations, Extension, state agencies, non-operator landowners and scientists.


IPM Walkthroughs

Facilities seeking guidance on creating, updating or reviewing IPM practices to prevent and solve pest problems using low-risk solutions can schedule an IPM walkthrough. The IPM Institute’s Green Shield Certified will develop a detailed report on the extent of the current pest problem(s) and IPM strategies that may be used to address the issue(s). Contact Green Shield Certified to schedule your IPM walkthrough