Continuing Education Courses
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.
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 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.
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.
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.