I am the IPM Vegetable Specialist responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive agriculture and natural resources extension education (70%) and applied research program (30%) in vegetable crops. I develop sustainable production systems for Maryland’s commercial vegetable industry by supporting the commercial vegetable industry (including organic). To accomplish this support I examine and develop new pest and nutrient management programs for growers by working with the industry through education and research to promote sustainable production practices that minimize environmental impacts. I examine the use of reduced risk pesticides in vegetable production systems, which target pests, but leave natural enemies relatively unharmed. Most vegetable crops can be grown in Maryland with just a few judicious and well timed insecticide applications. I work with large and small-farm operations, county-based extension educators, governmental and non-governmental organizations to develop economically viable and environmentally responsible commercial vegetable operations. Presently I am developing new guidelines for thrips, stink bugs, mites, aphids and corn earworm management in vegetables in the field and in high tunnels. I am also working on developing protocols for reducing nitrogen applications to vegetables by using unique cover crops such as forage-radish and by monitoring nitrate levels in the petiole sap of vegetables. By using sap readings the amount of nitrogen needed by the plant can be added at the correct time increasing yields while at the same time reducing unnecessary nitrogen applications. This includes working on recommendations for operations that use manure for fertility as nitrate readings have been inaccurate to use for nitrogen application recommendations in these systems.