Integrated pest management resources at MSU
As the 2013 season approaches, get up-to-date on the latest resources and tools to help you make in-season pest management decisions.
There are many valuable integrated pest management (IPM) resources and tools available to producers through Michigan State University. As production systems become more heavily reliant on real-time information and address evolving issues such as invasive pests, pesticide resistance and challenging environmental conditions, Michigan State University Extension is here to assist producers in maintaining an IPM program that supports economic and environmental sustainability.
When it comes to keeping up with the latest developments that affect agriculture, MSU Extension is an excellent resource. MSU Extension News for Agriculture offers the expertise of MSU scientists and educators through online articles addressing pest management and provides scouting reports for many cropping systems. You can sign up to receive customized digests via email that address topics or cropping systems of interest to you. To access these resources, visit msue.msu.edu and click the Agriculture tab at the top of the page.
Keeping up with the latest weather developments is a critical component of every IPM program. The Enviro-weather program at MSU is a sustainable, weather-based information system that helps users make pest, production and natural resource management decisions in Michigan. Enviro-weather’s website offers general weather information such as rainfall, temperature, degree day accumulations, wind direction and wind speed. Additionally, the Enviro-weather website houses dozens of pest and disease models to help growers more accurately gauge pest pressure, development and optimal treatment timings throughout the season.
Lastly, Enviro-weather offers irrigation scheduling tools and evapotranspiration data. The tools and models on the website use data collected by 70 weather stations located around Michigan. Growers can select the weather station closest to their farm to localize the information, increasing its relevance for individuals around the state.
MSU offers a number of additional online resources including the IPM website, which is devoted to the dissemination of information regarding sustainable pest management practices. Found at ipm.msu.edu, this page is your link to dozens of crop-specific IPM resources including pest identification and up-to-date invasive pest information.
The MSU Extension website can connect you to a number of resources including MSU Extension’s Find an Expert, which can quickly connect you with an MSU Extension expert who covers your location. Additionally, the eXtension Ask An Expert service allows you to send a question to Extension experts from universities around the country. These resources can be found at the bottom of the MSU Extension homepage under “Consult the Experts,” or on the left-hand side on every category and article page.
Lastly, learn about using native plants to attract beneficial insects and pollinators as well as gain other ecosystem services to improve production at MSU’s Native Plants and Ecosystem Services website. This website can be accessed at nativeplants.msu.edu.
MSU has produced a number of print resources related to IPM, including pocket-sized flip guides for identifying pest and beneficial insects, crop management guides, weed identification resources and much more. You can access these publications and more online at the MSU Extension Bookstore; type IPM in the search box for a complete list of IPM-related materials. Some of these materials are available for free when you download and print them yourselves.
Diagnostics and nutrient testing
Need help diagnosing a problem? MSU offers help in identifying pests through MSU Diagnostic Services. The diagnostics laboratory specializes in diagnosing plant problems caused by nematodes, insects, mites, ticks, fungi, bacteria and viruses. To access more information, visit pestid.msu.edu.
Finally, the cornerstone of responsible and sustainable management and nutrient management starts with soil and tissue nutrient testing. The MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory offers a variety of analytical services on samples of soil, greenhouse growth media, composts, plant tissue or water and can be accessed via the web at www.psm.msu.edu/SPNL/.