Friday, January 30, 2009

Meetings to address insect control on greenhouse & nursery crops

Now that it is starting to warm up, crop producers need to be thinking about how to properly manage insect pests on their crops. I have designed an integrated pest management course to help ornamental crop producers better manage insect and mite pests. The three hour course will be offered in Canton, Fort Worth, Houston, Jacksonville and McKinney (see dates below).

The meetings will cover:

  • An overview of the insecticides and miticides on the market today.
  • The biology of the major insect and mite pests to provide effective control.
  • Developing management programs that will decrease the likelihood of pests developing tolerance to key insecticides.

Producers attending will gain a better understanding of how to successfully use the insecticides and miticides on the market today, and how they fit into an integrated pest management program.

Those attending will be eligible to earn three continuing education units, one in the integrated pest management and two in the general category, toward renewal of the their Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicators license.

Texas certified nursery and certified landscape professionals will receive three continuing education units toward recertification.

Preregistration is $25 per person and can be done online with a check, credit or debit card at At-the-door registration will be $35, checks and cash only.

The trainings will be held at these locations and times:

Maps and other information are available at the East Texas Nursery and Greenhouse IPM Program website.

For more information: Contact Scott Ludwig at 903-834-6191 or

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pest Management Conference

If you are a floriculture producer you should consider attending the Society of American Florist's Pest Management Conference. This should be one of the best conference yet. Oh yea, did I mention I am biased since I am a conference co-chair along with Cristi Palmer (IR-4) and Jim Bethke (Univeristy of California Cooperative Extension).

Growers who attend the 25th Anniversary Pest Management Conference, Feb. 19-21 in San Jose, Calif. will unearth a wealth of valuable information including innovative cropprotection techniques to battle pests and diseases. More than 25 new sessions make this year's conference a can't miss. The conference is being presented by SAF in partnership with Greenhouse Grower Magazine.

Top experts in the field will share the latest research in education sessions and zero in on the latest pest and disease control techniques. Topics on the agenda include implementing sustainable and integrated pest management, increasing the effectiveness of insecticides and fungicides, dealing with treatment-resistant problems, halting invasive and emerging pests, finding better ways to diagnose diseases and training a multilingual workforce to identify and treat problems.

Tabletop exhibits give attendees a chance to check out the newest pest control products and equipment. There's also an optional field trip to local growing operations set for Thursday, Feb. 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees can get an up close and personal look at integrated pest management growing operations in the San Jose area. Headstart Nursery, growers specializing in vegetable transplants, ornamental plugs and Cal Color Growers, which produces bedding and plant liners are just two stops on the enlightening excursion.

This year, SAF is partnering with Greenhouse Grower magazine to produce the association's annual conference. The synergy "just makes sense," says Bob West, group publisher for MeisterMedia Worldwide, which publishes Greenhouse Grower, Today's Garden Center and Ornamental Outlook magazines. "This is a very content-rich conference, and our publications reach the entire floriculture industry," he says. "Any time you bring together two groups with the expertise of SAF and Greenhouse Grower, it can only have a positive effect for the industry."

Head to for full program details and online registration. For more information, contact Laura Weaver, (800) 336-4743,

Topic covered will include:
Ways to Increase Chemical Efficacy: New Techniques and Strategies
Speaker: John Erwin, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Manipulating Crop Fertilization to Enhance Pest Management
Speaker: Carlos Bogran, Ph.D., Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Re-circulating Water Without Sacrificing Crop Health
Speaker: Chuan Hong, Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Predators, Parasites and Bankers
Speaker: Lance Osborne, Ph.D., University of Florida

Neonicotinoid Insecticides: History, Properties & Pest Management Strategies
Speaker: Frank Byrne, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Efficacy of the Neonicotinoids As Related To Uptake
Speaker: Ron Oetting, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Best Use of Neonicotinoids for Pest Management
Speaker: James Bethke, University of California, Riverside

Strategies for Resistance Management: Thrips and Others
Speaker: Scott Ludwig, Ph.D., Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Strategies for Resistance Management: Downy Mildew and Others
Speaker: Mary Hausbeck, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Foliar Pathogen Management
Speaker: David Norman, Ph.D., University of Florida

What You Can't See,Can Hurt You!
Speaker: Mary Hausbeck, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Management Tricks for Reducing Weeds
Speaker: Cheryl Wilen, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

A History of Success: University Research Transforms Grower Practices and Profits
Speaker: Ron Oetting, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Strengthening Workforce Education When Language is a Barrier
Speakers: Carlos Bogron, Ph.D., Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Jan Hall, Paul Ecke Ranch

Invasive Pests & Pathogens: What Can We Do?
Speaker: Lin Schmale, Society of American Florists

Invasive Organisms: I've Found One, What Do I Do Now?
Speaker: Helene Wright, USDA-APHIS

Managing Invasive Pathogens: A case study with Sudden Oak Death
Speaker: Steve Tjosvold, University of California Cooperative Extension

Managing Invasive Insects
Speaker: Lance Osborne, Ph.D., University of Florida

And Just What Is Causing This Problem?
Speaker: Ann Chase, Ph.D., Chase Research Gardens

Managing the Unmanageable
Speaker: David Norman, Ph.D., University of Florida

Dealing With Viruses
Speaker: Debra Matthews, Ph.D., University of California

Rhodococcus Infections in Ornamental Plants
Speaker: Marilyn Miller, Oregon State University

So That's What That Was...and Other Surprise Diseases
Speaker: Colleen Warfield, Ph.D., University of California Cooperative Extension

New & Emerging Pests: Are Area Wide Pest Management Programs the Answer?
Speaker: Mike Parrella, Ph.D., University of California

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Floriculture survey deadline approaching

Dr. Charlie Hall posted the following information on his "Making Cents" Blog.

Floriculture producers in the following states who generate $10,000 or more in gross annual sales are urged to complete the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual Floriculture Production Survey by mid-January. Surveys were mailed on Dec. 8, 2008.

The states included in the annual survey include California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

The survey provides the only detailed information about the production and sales of cut flowers, flowering, bedding and foliage plants, and cultivated florist greens. Without grower input, the government is left without the necessary data to gauge these crops' contribution to the nation's economy. In 2007, the combined wholesale value for the 15 states surveyed was $4.1 billion.

Growers can use the information as a benchmark to identify state and national trends. Government policymakers use the data at the state and national levels to appropriate resources. Reliable data is also crucial to obtaining research funding, government support and ensuring the industry receives its fair share of limited funding. Ten major floriculture organizations have endorsed this effort and their presidents have signed the letter accompanying the survey.

If you have received one of the surveys, please take the time to complete it if you have not already done so. Producers who fail to return a completed questionnaire by Jan. 20 will be contacted by telephone or in person to complete the survey.