by Margaret Haining Cowles
Comstock Michigan Fruit, represented at the award ceremony by Tom Facer, Vice President of Agriculture, is a food company that processes many fruit and vegetable crops grown in New York. Nearly five years ago they evaluated IPM methods for processing sweet corn and adopted these methods for their operation, setting a standard for other companies and industries. As they applied IPM practices, they reduced pesticide use in processing sweet corn by 50 to 60 per cent. They have also enhanced the independent IPM crop consulting industry by hiring consultants to use IPM methods for them. This has resulted in increased employment for small businesses. Also, they have recently embarked on a new project in cooperation with Cornell and Wegman's Food Markets that involves encouraging the use of IPM for all processing vegetable crops.