Many Small Hammers

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Practices and Resources for Northwest Growers

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To be profitable while reducing synthetic pesticides, sustainable agriculture requires a comprehensive awareness of alternative farming methods. The concept of using “many small hammers” to effectively address pest management problems – rather than the “big hammer” of a pesticide – is an approach grounded in a view of the farm as a living, diverse and dynamic system. 

This report provides an overview of several of these “small hammers” for growers who wish to consider implementing alternative methods for pest management. Some of the methods may be useful on a portion of the farm, for instance where growers are challenged to adhere to no-spray buffers for endangered species or aquatic protection reasons. Others may be useful across the board as general practices to put in place in order to minimize the reliance on synthetic pesticides.

In addition to alternative methods, this report provides a brief overview of different federal financial incentive programs available to help pay for the cost of farming with alternative methods.

Financial support for the development of this publication was provided by Spirit Mountain Community Fund and Northwest Fund for the Environment.