Two IPM experts to speak at the Mid-Florida Specialty Crops Conference

By Lana Nasser, Friday Oct 15, 2015

As we come closer to the Mid-Florida Specialty Crop Conference, which takes place on November 6 in Apopka, Florida, we are excited to have such great line of speakers sharing expertise and knowledge with us. In this feature we would like to highlight speakers who will be presenting on the topic of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Ronald Valentin
Dr. Osborne
Dr. Osborne

Dr. Lance Osborne is a Professor of Entomology at the University of Florida/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center. His work focuses on biological management of pests for vegetable and foliage crops. Joining him will be Ronald Valentin, the Technical Lead for Bioline Syngenta. Valentin is an internationally recognized expert on biological control and IPM.

These two experts will provide beginning and advance IPM sessions throughout the conference. This will allow participants to have options to attend these sessions either in the morning or in the afternoon. “We hope to provide practical solutions as well as potential new developments. We hope that they realize that there are no magic bullets. You just can’t depend on one tactic to control the many pests that enter a crop. You need to use all the tools at your disposal!” Dr. Osborne said.

Papaya banker plants used to manage whitefly in tomatoes
Papaya banker plants used to manage whitefly in tomatoes

The sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including scouting techniques, pest ID, the use of banker plants, beneficial insects and resources and networking for IPM. “Without scouting, no matter what methods you use to manage a pest, you are wasting your time. You need to get a proper ID before you can decide on how best to manage a pest. Some don’t need to be managed, some are not pests, some are much more difficult and require special techniques. Some may get you quarantined,” Osborne said.

One of Osborne’s main objectives for conference attendees to walk away with is to know where to get help. “They should understand that it isn’t rocket science but you must pay attention to details. You need to know where to get reliable help and how to filter out snake oil,” Osborne said.

The Mid-Florida Specialty Crops Conference in Apopka, Florida will take place on November 6, 2015. Check out the Conference Program and Register online at Early Bird registration is $30 if you register on or before October 25. Registration is $40 after this date. Your registration includes refreshments, lunch, and educational materials. For more information about the conference, contact Jose Perez at 352-294-1692 or



Posted: October 15, 2015

Category: Agriculture, Crops, Events, Pests & Disease

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