Georgia On My Mind – DPM Edition
Our “Economically Important Agriculture Pests: Identification and Management” class traveled to Georgia for the opportunity to see the pests and damages that we learned in class. Our DPM/PhD student, Cory Penca, co-taught the course with Dr. Amanda Hodges in this newly installed Summer C course. The course provided DPM students with knowledge on the economically important arthropod pests important to Florida agriculture. This class also prepared the student for sight identification and first-hand scouting/surveying of pests in the field.
On July 13th, we ventured to Byron, GA and met with Dr. Ted Cottrell, a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS. We had the opportunity to get an in-depth overview of the Georgia’s peach production and its battle with pests such as San Jose scale, lesser peachtree borer, and plum curculio.
Later, the students met with Dr. Tom Beckman and Dr. David Shapiro. Dr. Beckman, USDA peach breeder explained the processes and issues relating to development of new peach varieties. Dr. Shapiro, USDA entomologist/nematologist, gave the students a break-down on the current applications of entomopathogenic nematode and fungi in peach and pecan.
On July 14th, the students visited University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Tifton, GA. Huge thanks to Dr. David Riley, MPPM coordinator and Professor of Entomology for arranging talks and tours for the DPM students.
We started the day off with a fascinating talk on peanut breeding with UGA student, Stephanie Button, where we also toured some of her peanut research plots. Next, the students had a chance to rate turf grasses with Dr. Brain Schwartz!
The DPM students also had a chance to interact with MPPPM (Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management) students at lunch. We ended the day with a tractor demonstration and learning the importance of field research while teaching the students how to calibrate spray equipment.
Special thanks to all the scientists at USDA-ARS and University of Georgia professors and students for welcoming us and sharing your knowledge and specialty. We truly appreciate your time!