MREC Hosted: IPM Scouting Class

A recent UF/IFAS IPM Scouting Class focused on foliage, landscape and vegetable production helped its attendees to understand how integrated pest management (IPM), identifying potential pests and the benefits of scouting all could improve overall plant health and production.

UF/IFAS Extension Agent Liz Felter talks with the group about the Plant Clinic for businesses, homeowners and how to bring in soil and plant samples.

Scouting is the routine monitoring of a crop to identify a problematic pest, disease or production issue before it becomes too damaging to a plant or whole crop.  This can be simply walking through a field or greenhouse and scanning plants to be sure they are growing healthy without discoloration, the presence of pests or disease and the growing areas are clean.

The focus on IPM and scouting for this course introduces the idea of using the IPM approach of mixing cultural, chemical and biological control methods with the act of scouting to prevent problems with early detection and accurately diagnose problems with plant and soil submissions from the UF/IFAS Plant Clinic. Suggestions such as record keeping and mapping of pests and disease on a simple table could help for future reference and tracking of recurring pests.

Dr. Chris Marble talks to the IPM Scouting class about weed control.

The group met for three classes in total, one day a week for three weeks, from 8 am to 4 pm. The morning class portion was in a classroom and indoor laboratory and the afternoon was outdoors at a local greenhouse or nursery to practice the scouting techniques and pest identification skills learned earlier that day.

The full class of 25 attendees were local greenhouse and nursery workers curious about how to identify pest issues and the proper management techniques for soil, bugs, weeds and greenhouse sanitation.

Mid-Florida Research and Education Center researchers Dr. Chris Marble, Dr. Lance Osborne, Dr. Shad Ali and Dr. J. Chen spoke about soil health, diseases, weed management and ornamental bug identification.

UF/IFAS Extension Agents Liz Felter, Grantly Ricketts and Hannah Wooten led and organized the three-day class.

To see the class schedule follow this link and keep an eye out for the next IPM Scouting class!

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