The nursery pest management program includes research and scouting components. The research side includes work in support of an EPA label for a pheromone disruption program. It was once again in response to a need identified by a Cumberland County nursery. It started with a trapping program to identify need and followed with various mating disruption techniques.
A second research project entails trapping exotic bark beetles. These are beetles that are not native to the United States.
A third program area is the IR-4 program of pesticide assessment for nursery crops. As mentioned earlier, Tom Freiberger conducts research at the Cream Ridge research station. Jim Johnson has been involved in identifying industry needs and setting national IR-4 priorities since 1998.
Nursery integrated pest management (IPM) is the final aspect of the pest management program. The most effective and environmentally conscious method of pest control is to monitor and identify pest problems and then employ the most appropriate effective management techniques. That being said, the government requires nurseries to be certified pest free to ship plant material. With that caveat, an ongoing research program was developed to identify effective methods of monitoring and controlling pest populations.
Nurserymen support Steve Rettke, our Cooperative Extension nursery IPM scout. Presently, he scouts eight nurseries and approximately 400 acres of nursery stock for pests. The information is quickly conveyed to growers who then take appropriate action.
Twilight meetings and classroom sessions also provide educational platforms to present research information, regulatory updates and safety information. Normally, three twilight meetings are held each year from June through September. The fall “South Jersey Nursery Meeting” is also a forum in which pest control research information is presented.