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. No farm is too small or too large to benefit from our services.

Why choose us?

It is always a difficult choice to outsource work on the farm that seemingly could otherwise be done inhouse. You want full confidence that you can trust the information and that your crop is in good hands. Pest management is becoming ever more complex and expensive, and our team is highly focused on helping farmers succeed and bring a high-quality crop to harvest. We focus on identifying what pest management strategies are the best fit for your operation, and where the knowledge gaps are. Then our team works together with you through the implementation process. Successful adoption of an IPM program requires a good deal of knowledge about the biology of pests, how to identify them and how to manage using the newer pesticide chemistries that have entered the marketplace. This information is always changing and by working with us, you can have confidence that you’re receiving the most up to date information on what we are seeing across the region in terms of pest activity, new products and strategies to help you succeed.

SCGS offers a wide range of products and services that can be tailored to fit your orchard’s goals:

  • Pest management recommendations and solutions including effective pesticide selection, use of biological controls and mating disruption tools.
  • Pest management planning including written instructions, training on pest monitoring, use of thresholds and a personalized spray program
  • Scouting and monitoring supplies
  • Maintenance of monitoring traps to include weekly trap checking, replacing lures and liners as needed
  • Digitization of pesticide- application records for pesticide reporting, food-safety certifications and other third-party audit programs
  • Pre-harvest damage assessments
  • Collection of soil, tissue and fruit samples for laboratory diagnosis and analysis
  • Sprayer calibration and spray-coverage assessment for effective and cost-effective spraying
  • Recommendations and guidance on pruning and trellis training trees
  • Subscription to AppleTalk, a weekly Tuesday conference call with corresponding notes including important pest information for the week


To Learn More, Please Contact

Peter Werts

Senior Project Manager: Sustainable Food Group

Marnie McMullin

Project Manager I: Specialty Crops

Josie Dillon

Specialist I: Specialty Crops