Integrated Crop Management (ICM)
Deﬁnition of Integrated Crop Management
Integrated crop management (ICM) is a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture. It considers the situation across the whole farm, including socioeconomic and environmental factors to deliver the most suitable and safe approach for long-term benefit.
ICM is a pragmatic approach to the crop production which include IPM, soil, social and environmental management. ICM is a method of farming that balances the requirements of a running profitable business with responsibility and sensitivity to the environment. It includes practices that avoid waste, enhance Energy Efficiency and minimize pollutions.
Principles of Integrated Crop Management
- Production of healthy and profitable crops.
- Regular field visit/observation.
- Production of environmentally friendly crops.
- To help farmers to take a decision.
Components of Integrated Crop Management
Management for Field Crops
1. Quantify nutrient source: soil reserve, manure, crop residue.
2. Soil test: pH, lime requirement, phosphorous, potassium (calcium and magnesium optional).
3. Manure analysis: nitrogen (ammonium N, total N), phosphorus, potassium.
4. Calibration manure and fertilizer spreaders: tons, 1000’s gallons, lbs. per acre.
5. Fertilization plan:
- Manure application rate, supplemental fertilizer.
- Utilize excess manure on alternative crops (hay crops).
- Avoid applying large amounts of manure on fields with excessive P soil tests.
- Do not over apply nitrogen from manure or fertilizer.
6. Nitrogen soil test: side or topdressing supplemental nitrogen fertilizer.
7. Cover crop:
To reduce soil loss and nitrate leaching; Optimal cover when planted by September 15, little value after September 30.
Consider a legume based cover crop on vegetable farms and on distant fields on dairy farms where manure is not spread.
8. Planting plan: to ensure early harvest of corn to allow early cover crop planting on most erosion prone (fields.
9. Minimum tillage: to reduce nutrient loss through soil erosion.