Continuing Education Courses
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BASF is pleased to sponsor this course on ant control, which is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. More than 800,000 acres in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys are under almond cultivation. Almonds are the largest U.S. specialty export crop and the top agricultural export of the state of California. Protecting this highly valuable crop is a high priority each year. This course focuses on ant management and broadleaf weed control in California almonds. The two subjects are combined because they work together when it comes to protecting newly harvested almonds from ant damage. Ants feed on ground cover and in order to control ants, a grower and/or his PCA must create an environment where ants can be drawn to ant bait.
Biopesticides are increasingly being recommended as components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in the production of non-organic high-value specialty crops like fruit, nut, vegetable, vine, ornamental and turf. There are about 430 registered biopesticide active ingredients used in a wide array of agricultural pest management products. Biopesticides are derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. Biopesticides are considered an effective pest control option for organic crop production. However, they increasingly are being recommended and used as components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in the production of non-organic high-value specialty crops such as fruit, nut, vegetable, vine, ornamental, and turf. This online CE course covers the principles for using the 430+ registered biopesticide active ingredients used in a wide array of agricultural pest management products. It is sponsored by Marrone Bio Innovations and includes a Safety Review at the conclusion of the course material.
California is the nation's Number One agricultural state as well as its most populous state. Water quality and its availability are critical to the state's future. Surface and ground water are subjected to contamination from both urban and agricultural sources. Pesticides, even if used legally according to approved labels, can contaminate water. Pesticides have been found in groundwater in a wide variety of soils at many depths at many geographic locations within the state. Contaminated groundwater poses a risk to human and livestock health as well as the environment. California's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working jointly with growers, pest control advisers and chemical manufacturers to stop further contamination and to limit current contamination. This course, sponsored by Western Farm Press, will focus on the key issues and regulations concerning protecting groundwater supplies in addition to developed surface water.
The 2,000-member Weed Science Society of America's (WSSA) Herbicide Resistance Action Committee has developed this five-module education course, hosted by Penton Media. Due to extensive herbicide use, populations of weeds with resistance to one or more herbicides continue to increase within the USA. To combat the further selection of herbicide-resistant weeds, the entire agricultural community must make an effort to understand herbicide resistance, learn to identify it early, and implement management tactics to delay and mitigate the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds. Proactive management practices that are designed to prevent or slow the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds have significant advantages compared with waiting until herbicide resistance is present in the field and implementing reactive management strategies. These training lessons were developed by a team of weed scientists in an effort to provide to you, the agronomist, consultant, retailer or distributor, and interested grower, the most current information on herbicide resistance in weeds.
California almonds are susceptible to many diseases, which can reduce crop yield and quality in both current and subsequent years. They also can weaken and, occasionally, kill trees. Almond diseases are caused by a wide variety of microorganisms including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. They also can result from certain environmental stresses or genetic disorders. Some occur only at particular times of the year; others remain in the tree and exhibit yearlong symptoms. Disease infections may be more or less severe depending on age of the tree, variety, and environmental conditions such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, soil type, and soil moisture content. In order to fully understand the impact of disease organisms and environmental conditions on almond trees, it's important to understand the tree's seasonal cycle, growth processes, and crop development. The purpose of this course is to provide an update on current diseases that occur in California almonds--everything from branch and root diseases to vascular disorders--and the latest disease management practices that can protect valuable orchards and crops. This course is sponsored by BASF and the Almond Board of California.
Grape Powdery Mildew is the number one disease in California vineyards. More dollars are spent on powdery mildew control and, yet, this disease still accounts for more crop losses than any other grape pest. This course, sponsored by Western Farm Press, explores the different fungicide classes; treatment options for powdery mildew in California; resistance management, and regional differences in disease development. It also includes a detailed approach to using the UC Powdery Mildew Risk Assessment Index (RAI) to predict infections. Seasonal patterns of disease development differ from region to region (as well as year to year), and cost-effective management strategies must be based on local conditions that favor or inhibit pathogen reproduction. Season-long control depends on reducing early-season inoculum and subsequent infections with well-timed fungicide applications. Spray timing and frequency (and coverage) is everything; these vary depending on local weather, temperature, varietal susceptibility, vine growth stage and material choice.
This course is sponsored by Western Farm Press. There are an estimated 150,000 named species in the insect group called Lepidoptera. Outnumbered only by the beetles, Lepidoptera represent the second-most diverse order of insect pests, and virtually every cultivated plant is attacked by at least one type. They are ready to defoliate and weaken plants or mine plant tissues, leaving holes and frass behind and rendering crops unmarketable. Their scientific name comes from the Greek Lepidos, for “scale,” and Pteron, for “wing”--literally “scale wing,”--because the wings of adult butterflies and moths are covered with microscopic scales. This course will specifically highlight six lepidopterous pests: the beet armyworm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, tomato fruitworm, tomato pinworm and western yellowstriped armyworm. The course will also cover managing Lepidopterous pests in a wide array of crops and includes an additional section on Pesticide Safety.
Almonds are California's number one agricultural export and the number one U.S. horticultural export. The first record of an almond orchard in California dates back to 1843. They were grown in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley. By the mid-1920s, one of these seedlings, the Nonpareil variety, had become established as the industry standard in the marketplace and in the orchard. Once proven, the almond industry grew steadily, and by the mid-1950s there were approximately 100,000 acres of orchard trees under cultivation. A period of rapid growth followed in the 1960s, '70s and early '80s and, now, there are approximately 750,000 bearing acres of almonds in the state. Non-bearing acreage totals 825,000 acres. Recent annual crops are estimated at almost two billion pounds. This course is sponsored by Western Farm Press and its purpose is to provide a review of some insects and mites that impact California almonds as well as some practical information on ways to mitigate orchard damage.
This online course covers the management of spray drift to minimize problems. Spray Drift Management (SDM) has been a critical element for Western agriculture for decades. Keeping crop protection chemicals on the crop for which they are intended has been a cornerstone of Western farming not only to protect neighboring crops, but to avoid wasting money by allowing products to drift off the intended target. Spray drift management has taken on greater significance as cities encroach upon rural areas. Every year, increasingly more houses and other types of developments are springing up in prime growing areas, oftentimes alongside fields, orchards or vineyards. This leads to increased concerns about the use of agricultural chemicals and the ways they are applied. This course will review many aspects of spray drift – from practical, hands-on ways to minimize drift, to the regulatory issues surrounding it.
This course discusses mite control in major crops and is sponsored by BASF. Mites are small arthropods in the class Arachnida and the subclass Acari. Although they are related to insects, mites are in the arachnid class and are closely related to spiders and ticks. They are common pests in agriculture, landscapes, and gardens. Mite species are estimated to number nearly 50,000. They live in diverse habitats; in soil, water or plant matter. They eat living and dead plant material as well as fungi, lichens, and even carrion. Some are parasites on animals and others feed on mold. This course will focus on the mites that threaten nut trees, pome fruit, grape, strawberry, tomato, and citrus crops.
This course focuses on sustainable organic farming practices and cultural and biological pest management without the use of synthetic chemicals. This course will provide a general overview of the most common pests in organic/sustainable agricultural systems and current methods of controlling insect pests, weeds and diseases in a range of organic crops grown in the United States. Organic/sustainable agriculture is expanding rapidly in the US with an average annual increase of 12% during the last 15 years. In the early years, organic production was limited and typically meant small farms and roadside stands. Now, however, the growing demand for organic produce is attracting conventional producers and retailers. Organic product sales now exceed $32 billion in the US.
DuPont Crop Protection is pleased to sponsor The ABCs of MRLs CEU course. American agriculture exports 20 to 30 percent of its production annually. With many crops, like the specialty crops grown in California, the percentage of exports can be much higher. Like almonds, for example - more than 70 percent of this important California crop is exported annually. Although the pesticide registration process in the U.S. establishes acceptable pesticide residue levels for products used in the U.S., many foreign governments are increasing oversight and testing of imported food items for possible pesticide residues. When recommending and applying pest management products for crops, licensed Pest Control Advisers (PCAs), Certified Crop Advisers, consultants, applicators and farmers in the U.S. must be sure products applied are in compliance with Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) established by the governments of foreign customers. Failure to meet MRLs could be the loss of shipments and customers at considerable expense.
Beginning November 1, 2013, regulations by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to cut smog-producing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from pesticides went into effect. California is becoming the first state in the nation to invoke regulations to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in agriculture by restricting the use of certain nonfumigant pesticide products during the growing season in the San Joaquin Valley. VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds - are gases that react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ground-level ozone – the primary component of “smog." VOCs are regulated as “ozone precursors" under the U.S. Clean Air Act and similar state laws. This CE course explains how the regulations will work and providers its readers with the information needed to be in compliance with the new regulations.
GM alfalfa has been back on the market for about four years, after a detour through the courts that began not long after it was first introduced in 2005 as the fifth glyphosate-resistant crop to be commercialized.
In production agriculture, weeds or “misplaced plants” have a tendency to tolerate suboptimal conditions much better than most crops. However, they grow more and produce more seed under optimal conditions than they do under suboptimal. For example a nine-foot tall horseweed growing in a vineyard produces 800,000 seeds while a foot tall horseweed growing on a dry, hard road shoulder produces only about 1,000 seeds. Weeds are unwanted plants that compete with crops for nutrients, light and water, and can be detrimental to crop yields. Integrated weed management (IWM) programs and orchard cultural practices have been developed for specific orchard and vineyard crops. This accredited CEU, sponsored by BASF, provides information on economically and environmentally sound IWM practices. This course will provide an overview of important weed control and management practices as well as some insight into managing for herbicide-resistant weeds.
Monsanto is pleased to sponsor the Weed Resistance Management in Agronomic Row Crops, and Trees, Nuts, and Vines. The purpose of this training is to give you an overview of important management practices that can help avoid or delay the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. We will begin with a brief review of common weed types and herbicides, followed by factors that can influence the evolution of resistance in weeds, and methods for potentially delaying its occurrence in agronomic row crops and permanent crops. While weed resistance management guidelines may be introduced and discussed under a specific annual or perennial crop heading, many of the WRM techniques have cross-crop applicability. When using pesticides for resistance management, always check the label for specific registered uses and the Herbicide Group Number for Mode of Action (MOA), as well as contact your local University Extension Advisor, PCA, and/or manufacture representative.