Sustainably Managing Pests, Diseases for Vegetable Production
CHARLESTON, South Carolina – Vegetable producers looking for organic methods to effectively manage diseases, insect pests and weeds got a comprehensive introduction to various production and cultural methods during a two-day course presented by Clemson University last month.
The course, “Ecologically Based Pest Management for Sustainable/Organic Vegetable Production,” emphasized non-chemical approaches for certified organic crop production, and holistic, integrated and systems approaches to pest management. Methods discussed ranged from cover crops to composting, to crop rotation to grafting.
The course, part of a series of Organic Pest Management trainings held throughout 2010 and 2011, was supported by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program grant.
Researchers from Clemson University, University of Georgia and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming provided classroom instruction at the Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, S.C., and farmer Pete Ambrose gave in-field demonstrations of cultural pest management practices at Ambrose Family Farm on Wadmalaw Island.
View more photos of the event.
Clemson University will hold its next training course, “Plant Disease Management for Sustainable and Organic Vegetable Production,” on July 28 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Bush River Farm and Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.
This one-day course will focus on sustainable/organic management of key diseases of vegetable crops in the Southern region. Participants will learn about techniques for monitoring plants for disease symptoms and identification of vegetable diseases. In addition, they will have an opportunity to take samples in the field and, with direction, will run through identification procedures using a hand lens and/or microscope (participants will receive a hand lens to take home).
Participants will also learn about specific cultural practices to prevent disease problems, and there will be ample time for questions and discussion about disease management problems and solutions. Participants will also tour the Parson Produce operation at Bush River Farm in Clinton, and will learn about the farm’s disease management program from farmer Daniel Parson.
Photo credit: Nikki Seibert, Lowcountry Local First
Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America's Southern region.