Continuing Education Courses
FOR AGENCY TESTING ONLY -- Effective Management of Botrytis in Grape Vineyards and Pesticide Safety Review
For Agency Review and Approval ONLY.
The Course will be available for credit soon.
Please come back to this Course after Feb. 23rd. Thank you!
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.
The course was developed by Informa/Farm Progress and will provide an overview of the top disease and pest threats to citrus orchards in California, Florida, and Texas.
Organic/Sustainable Agriculture Production and Benefits of Humic Substances:
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.
As of January 2018, there were approximately 2.63 million managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. Over 500,000 make their home permanently in California, while another 1.5 million hives are moved into the state annually to augment the pollination demands of California’s almond crop alone. This means slightly fewer than 79 percent of the managed hives in the U.S. are used to pollinate a single California crop.
In 2019 there are about 1.16 million planted acres of almond orchards in California, with mature trees on bearing acreages capable of producing more than 2.27 billion pounds of almonds annually. Growers usually rent two colonies of honey bees per bearing acre.
“Honey bees are essential to almond production,” said Bob Curtis, pollination consultant and retired director of Agricultural Affairs for the Almond Board of California. “Every almond we eat exists because a honey bee pollinated an almond blossom so it’s in farmers’ best interest to keep them safe. Our livelihood depends on it.”
As important as managed honey bees are to almonds and the more than 100 other crops they pollinate, pesticides and insecticides used to protect crops against pests are also important. Farmers and crop protection specialists recognize that and work diligently to ensure that pollinators and pesticides can co-exist in balance.
This course will examine the stressors on the honey bee population such as Colony Collapse Disorder, nutrition, pesticides, parasites and pathogens as well as rules and legislation to protect honey bees.
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 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 is presented in a single video that will take 45 minutes to watch. Please be prepared to watch the video in its entirety in one sitting.
- Introduction of Iodine
- Properties of Iodine
- Iodine in Fertilizer
- Sources of Iodine
- Iodine Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants and Animals Overview
- Fundamental Science Behind Iodine as a Plant Nutrient
- Effect of Iodine on Phenotype
- Modulation of Gene Expression
- Iodination of Plant Proteins
- Overview of Plant Science Research on Iodine as a Plant Nutrient
- How to Properly Apply Iodine in Fertigation
- Crop Response to Iodine Additions from a Global Perspective
- Iodine Research in North America
- Regulatory Update
Western Farm Press 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.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) on September 16, 2014.
As the name implies, the legislation created a framework for sustainable groundwater management, defined as: Management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results. This course was updated for 2019 to reflect current regulations.
Utilizing Potassium Nitrate as a Specialty Plant Nutritional Product that Protects Against Disease Organisms and Plant Stresses/Principles of IPM 
Potassium nitrate is used in agriculture, industry, solar energy plants, food and pharma. In agriculture, the main uses of potassium nitrate are related to the supply of plant nutrients via fertigation, foliar and field applications. Potassium nitrate has also proven to be a valuable tool in crop pest and stress management and has shown positive effects on the control of plant pests and diseases when applied or as an additive to crop protection agrochemicals, thus allowing the grower to practice more effective and judicious use of pesticides. When used correctly, potassium nitrate can be a valuable and economic source in any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy, not only for its effective and environmentally sensitive aspects, but for its effects on overall plant health, thus creating a stronger, more resistant plant. This is demonstrated in this course by a number of examples of pest management with potassium and nitrate sources. This course also has a section on the role of nutrients in IPM and is sponsored by SQM.
In 1996, California voters approved the use of cannabis for medical use, with the requirement that patients must have a licensed physician’s recommendation. Then in November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, allowing adult use of cannabis under some specific use and quantity conditions. In June 2017, the California legislature passed the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law. Each of these legal actions provided information on specific legal restrictions and requirements. MAUCRSA created one regulatory system for both medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.
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.
Navel orangeworm (NOW), Amyelois transitella, first appeared in California in the early half of the 20th century and rapidly increased. Currently, navel orangeworm is the primary pest of almonds, pistachios and walnuts, and also present in citrus, stone fruit, pome, date, and fig crops, impacting the dynamics of the pest in California as hosts for the pest. This course discusses the threat of navel orangeworm in nut crops, as well as best management practices for treatment.
This course is accredited for the following licensing categories: PCAs, Qualified Applicators, Private Applicators, Aerial Applicators, and County Permit Holders.
This course will provide an overview of several areas that are key to pesticide safety and application. We will cover subjects such as types of licenses, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), labeling and label interpretations, application equipment and techniques, first aid and decontamination procedures, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and techniques. It is critical that the fundamentals are taught and reviewed regularly by all applicators and advisers.
Western Farm Press 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.
This online Continuing Education course, sponsored by Suterra, the global leader in environmentally sustainable pest control, discusses the identification of vine mealybug (VMB), how it damages grapes and grapevines, monitoring and treatment options, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and Pesticide Safety.
Vine mealybug (VMB, Planococcus ficus) is a serious insect pest of grapes and has three characteristics that make it particularly damaging:
- it easily moves from vineyard to vineyard
- it is difficult to control with insecticides
- it is implicated in the spread of viruses that cause grapevine leafroll disease
Information provided herein does not constitute a recommendation. Always consult with your PCA to determine the best pest management practices and timings for your operation. Adhere to state and local regulations and the current pesticide label and check with your organic certifier.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or Reactive Organic Gases (ROGs) are natural and man-made gases that can combine with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and react with sunlight to form ground-level ozone, one component of smog.
Ozone can damage lung tissue in humans and animals, cause respiratory illnesses, compromise immune systems, and harm crops. Ground-level ozone is harmful to both human health and vegetation when present in high concentrations. VOCs play a part in the formation of ground-level ozone.
California must reduce every source of VOCs to help solve its air pollution issues.
This course will familiarize applicators with California's regulations regarding pesticide use and was last updated with 2019 information.
GM alfalfa has been back on the market for about six 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 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.
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.
The purpose of this course is to give the reader an overview of key practices that can help avoid or delay selecting for herbicide-resistant weeds and pesticide-resistant pests while managing weeds and pests in the field, particularly for cotton growers.
Weeds are defined as any plants that “interfere with the growing of crops or ornamental plants; endanger livestock; affect the health of people; interfere with the safety or use of roads, utilities, and waterways; or are visual or physical nuisances." Weeds can pose fire hazards and exacerbate allergies. They can clog canals, harbor insect pests, and poison people and animals.