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Pest management field school offered online

Pest management field school offered online

Tim Boerner with net in alfalfa field

Tim Boerner "sweep-nets" an alfalfa field for a crop-scouting client. He's checking for populations of both beneficial insects and insect pests to determine if they've reached an economic-treatment threshold. It's a basic integrated-pest-management strategy, he says.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension will kick off its 13th annual Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Field School Aug. 1. The virtual course, which will be available through Aug. 31, will cover multiple strategies for reducing input costs while maximizing yields for crops grown in South Dakota.

“Traditionally, the field school has been in one of three locations: the Northeast Research Farm, the Volga Research Farm or the Southeast Research Farm, and for a day-and-a-half; limiting who can attend,” said SDSU Extension IPM Coordinator Philip Rozeboom. “Moving the field school to a virtual platform for one month allows anyone from South Dakota, and around the world, to learn from our Extension professionals about IPM.”

The course will be broken into modules that will cover the management of weeds, diseases and insects. In addition, modules focusing on the utilization of cover crops, tillage and planting practices will also enhance the understanding of the alternative options available to growers and how they can enhance a production system, Rozeboom said.

The weed, insect and disease modules will also include information about pesticide resistance and the importance of preventing the development of resistant pest populations.

“At the end of this course participants will have an increased understanding of pest management that is not focused solely on the use of pesticides,” Rozeboom said. “Many of the modules will be the same as previous years, but, in general, will cover the management of weeds, diseases and insects, cover crops and residue management, and soil health management. No module will focus on any specific condition within South Dakota since the course is a month long, but current conditions will be mentioned.”

The course, and downloadable IPM and Extension publications, will be offered on Training House. Registration will open closer to August on the SDSU Extension Events page (

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