OTTUMWA, Iowa – A vegetable Integrated Pest Management Workshop is scheduled for April 9 at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Wapello County office.
The workshop is designed to help growers, local foods coordinators, extension staff, county horticulturists and industry representatives. Participants will learn about managing common insects, diseases and nutritional issues in high tunnel vegetable production systems.
“We are still planning to offer the workshop on April 9, but we are monitoring the changing situation regarding COVID-19 and related guidelines. If there would be a need to postpone or cancel the workshop, we will notify those who have registered,” said Ajay Nair, associate professor and extension vegetable production specialist.
Topics include insect, disease and nutrition management, beneficial insects, and sensor-based technologies to manage high tunnels. Workshop presenters include Nair, Donald Lewis, professor and extension entomologist at Iowa State, and Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
Hannan will showcase new and innovative Wi-Fi-enabled sensors and apps used to efficiently monitor the crop environment.
Participants will also have the opportunity to visit a local high tunnel vegetable grower (Molly Larking) and engage in hands-on activities such as scouting, installing a soil moisture sensor and more. The workshop is supported by a professional development grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s North Central Sustainable Research and Education program.
“This workshop will provide in-depth information on key vegetable pests, diseases and their management techniques,” said Nair. “Nutrient management and deficiency symptoms will also be discussed.”
The workshop will run from 9 to 2:30 p.m. The agenda includes a welcome at 9 a.m., information on common insect challenges at 9:15 a.m., including spider mites, aphids, flea beetles, hornworm, whitefly; and pollinators for cucumber (honey bees vs. bumble bees). Mid-morning there will be a talk on common disease and nutrient challenges, using technology to manage high tunnels, and a round-robin discussion leading into lunch.
At 1:15 p.m., participants will leave for the Molly Larking high tunnels, where they will see realistic examples and interact with peers.
Registration must be completed by April 3. There is no cost to attend and lunch and refreshments will be provided.
Register on the ISU Extension and Outreach Sustainable Vegetable Production website, by scrolling down to the registration form.
Original photo: Tomatoes in high tunnel.