Scope: Vegetable Crops: KY IPM Implementation Program 2021-2024

Grants and Contracts Details


Kentucky Extension IPM Implementation Program: 2021-2024 Revised Scope of Work by Working Group A. Coordination: Maintaining Internal and External Linkages: UK-IPM depends upon many scientific disciplines for expertise and is linked to several allied programs through shared philosophy and expertise. Among the programs with which IPM shares direct programmatic exchange are: Minor Crops Pest Management (IR-4), Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS), Office of the State Entomologist, Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP), and the Southern Pest Diagnostic Network (SPDN). The state liaison for each of these programs serves on the UK- IPM Steering committee, and in every case also supports the educational efforts of one or more of the working groups. In addition members of various IPM working groups also collaborate with multi-state working groups. Examples include: Mid-West Fruit Workers, SE Vegetable Extension Workers, Southern Nursery IPM (SNIPM) Working Group, North Central Field Crops Entomologists, SERA 003, S-1039 Soybean Research, Cucurbit Downy Mildew ipmPIPE, Soybean Rust ipmPIPE and ZeaMap. Insect Trapping: Seven pheromone baited lepidopteran pest traps are maintained at two locations, one in Princeton (western region) and in Lexington (Central region). Weekly capture data combined with insect degree day calculators based on the state-wide Mesonet system housed on the COA Ag-Weather website are used to monitor, and predict when important life- stage events may appear. In addition we submit data to SRIPM Center (Lucas et al. 2008). This network has been able to detect abnormally high armyworm and fall armyworm moth activity in time to allow practioners time to scout fields and mitigate crop loss. As an example, an early warning in the Kentucky Pest News newsletter concerning the fall armyworm outbreak in 2012 (based on moth flights 5x above a 7-year average) saved producers an estimated $1,681,000 of crop loss based on an electronic survey. B. Agricultural Training School (KATS): Edwin Ritchey (UK Soil Sciences, Princeton) The funding request supports an extension associate to coordinate multiple in-depth, hands-on, field trainings to educate agricultural practitioners on IPM approaches for best management options for production of grain, oilseed crops, and forages. The KATS format is to provide in- depth, hands-on training on specific management operations during critical growth stages. Specialized hands-on workshops are delivered just prior to significant stages of a crop cycle so that the attendees can provide that knowledge to their clientele at the time needed. For example, providing a soil fertility training prior to planting or providing a planter clinic in early March. These trainings are focused towards agricultural extension agents, growers, and agri-business personnel to enhance understanding of IPM practices and other best management practices. Small groups allow us to work with individuals to assure they receive appropriate and individualized training on the particular topics and fosters an atmosphere of in-depth discussion leading to an environment that facilitates interaction. We strive to educate both the next generation of educators and current practitioners by training the trainers. Participants receive continuing education unit (CEU) credits for Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) and pesticide applicator training (PAT) credits as appropriate, and typically range from 3- 6 CCA and 1-4 PAT CEUs. We focused on outdoor trainings during the past and will continue to offer this format but started offering shorter intense indoor training sessions prior to COVID-19 restrictions. We plan to continue to offer multiple formats as driven by clientele needs. A recent $15 million dollar grant allowed a major renovation and the formation of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence to modernized current facilities to include the addition of a large indoor meeting room capable of seating ~240 and multiple “smart classrooms” seating 25-30 people that facilitate distance learning to county extension offices and other off-site locations. We use these classrooms to hold the training when the learning objective would benefit from a classroom type setting such as PowerPoint presentations, microscope usage, or computer needs. The full-time staff position’s primary purpose is to organize, implement, and advertise the field school trainings, this enables development into a sustainable program with regional impact for grain crop production. The KATS coordinator also maintains and updates the KATS webpage. Due to COVID-19, more time has been dedicated to virtual education than in the past. Measured Outcomes/Evaluation and Stakeholder Input: Programs will be evaluated by surveys following programs. We estimate that ~50 to 75% of participants complete and return survey results. For the 2018-2021 period, we received 126 completed surveys that reported 1,472,195 acres managed and the training was valued at $21,755,185 by attendees. We have generated 47 videos to date with 19,647 documented views since 2018. Stakeholder comments are a vital part of addressing potential topic areas for individual training programs. The internal UK advisory team typically meets monthly to discuss upcoming KATS trainings and needs. An Advisory Committee was formed that consists of ~40 members representing UK, Industry, Commodity Boards, and Government entities to provide input on direction and operations. We met once prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to meet once able. Since KATS trainings are independent of each other, repeat attendees for different training is a good indicator of success. Approximately 33% of the attendees were repeat participants. There have been approximately 11,000 views of the KATS webpage since 2018. C. Grain Crops IPM Working Group: Travis Legleiter (UK Weed Science, Princeton), Carl Bradley (UK Plant Pathology, Princeton), Kiersten Wise (UK Plant Pathology, Princeton), Raul Villanueva (UK Entomology, Princeton) The IPM Agronomic crops extension programs at the University of Kentucky is entering a new era, with the hiring of four new faculty since 2015, with extension and research programs focused on agronomic pest management. Agronomic crops are a major part of Kentucky’s agriculture base with approximately 4 million acres of corn, soybean, and wheat planted annually in the state of Kentucky. These three agronomic crops represent approximately one third of Kentucky’s agriculture production value at 1.8 billion dollars in 2019. Weeds, diseases, and insects pose significant threats to Kentucky’s agronomic crops and production value. Diseases have reduced yield in these crops an average of 2 to 7.5% per crop since 2012, and prophylactic applications of fungicides have led to fungicide resistance in several pathogens. Troublesome weed species such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp have rapidly spread across the state with new herbicide resistance events developing in the amaranth species, and other species such as horseweed and Italian ryegrass. In wheat, transmission of viruses by aphids is a persistent problem, and several caterpillar species have developed resistance on single trait GMO-corn. Bean leaf beetles and stink bugs may reduce yields and affect soybean quality. UK has had a traditionally strong agronomic IPM program, however, we are now poised to turn this into a premier program with innovative faculty engaged in addressing IPM issues. The goal of the agronomic crop IPM team at UK is to provide information on IPM to agribusiness personnel, influence IPM decision-making, and address the challenges to IPM adoption in KY agronomic crops. Kentucky is facing not only significant pest challenges, but we face new challenges in delivering IPM information to stakeholders during a global pandemic and digital era. We propose developing new pest management programs to address these issues and engaging stakeholders in new and diverse formats, including using evolving digital communication advances. Our programs will provide research-based information on optimizing pest management through judicious use of pesticides, incorporating non-pesticide forms of pest management, preventing off-target movement of pesticides, and ultimately encourage stakeholders to think critically about the long- term maintenance of pest management tools available today. Objectives: ? Survey KY stakeholders to understand IPM implementation and barriers to adoption in agronomic crops. ? Develop new IPM field and classroom trainings for Kentucky farmers and improve existing programs. ? Inform stakeholders about timely pest management issues through development of outputs specifically created for social media and online platforms. ? Develop new IPM decision making tools, including infographics, short videos and efficacy guides. Revise and update existing tools and publications. ? Monitor pests and pest resistance in Kentucky agronomic crops. Understanding IPM Implementation and Barriers to Adoption: A hurdle for UK IPM agronomic specialists is the lack of recent information on use and understanding of IPM by Kentucky farmers and stakeholders. One of our first tasks in YR1 will be to conduct a survey to learn about current pest management practices in corn, soybean, and wheat. We will partner with commodity groups, County Extension Agents and use online survey tools to maximize our response rate. Survey responses will also provide information about the barriers that prevent implementation of IPM. Survey results will inform program development and serve as a baseline for tracking program impact. Field and Classroom Trainings: Develop new IPM extension trainings for Kentucky and Mid- South agronomic crop farmers, and improve existing programs. Trainings will include in-person classroom and field-based programs, but also use new platforms to enhance our outreach through virtual options that have impact beyond state borders. Programs will address identified needs from our YR1 IPM survey. We will continue to develop and expand the 5-part UK Crop Protection Webinar Series that was introduced in the winter of 2020 and hosted through the SRIPM Center. We will expand the UK Pest Management Field Day, began in July of 2019 to showcase field- based IPM research projects. In YR2, we will create a multi-disciplinary and multi-state winter Agronomic Crop Protection meeting at the newly renovated UKREC Seimer Milling Conference Center. This facility allows for the program to be an in-person event, but also live streamed to remote audiences to increase impact beyond local attendees and across state borders. We also continue to support annual meetings and field days that are the foundation of agronomic extension including the Corn, Soybean, and Tobacco Field Day, Wheat Field Day, and Winter Wheat Meeting. Inform and Engage Stakeholders Online and through Social Media: We will increase our online presence through creation of an Agronomic IPM Twitter account and YouTube channel. This will complement and increase the visibility of our current individual program social media accounts, including the successful Weed Management Twitter video campaign in integrated weed management. Expanding these to other disciplines and developing new content for social media improves our ability to engage stakeholders and disseminate IPM information. Social media platforms will be used to advertise agronomic crop IPM meetings, webinars, and field days. Decision Making Tools: We will develop a diverse set of multi-disciplinary outputs showcasing research-based information on IPM in agronomic crops, including infographics, short videos and efficacy guides. New content development will begin in year 1, incorporate economic parameters to aid in determining the cost/benefit of IPM, and be multidisciplinary, improving utility to farmers. We will revise and update existing tools and publications in YR2/3 based on research and stakeholder feedback. Pest Monitoring Efforts: We will implement pest monitoring and assessment surveys in agronomic crops in YR1/2/3. Surveys will monitor for key, emerging or secondary pests and improve agriculture biosecurity. Insect surveys will use both scouting and trapping methods. Corn and soybean diseases will be monitored annually, focusing on seasonal disease threats, including southern rust of corn, soybean rust, and diseases that are in bordering states, but not yet reported in KY, such as tar spot of corn and taproot decline of soybean. We will survey soybean viruses that are present to understand which soybean viruses commonly occur in Kentucky. Soybean virus symptoms may mimic growth regulator herbicide damage, making it important to document the type and frequency of soybean viruses that occur in KY. We will coordinate our disease monitoring efforts and report findings using the Corn and Soybean ipmPIPE monitoring networks. We will also track herbicide-resistant weed species such as the Amaranthus species, Italian ryegrass, and
Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/24


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture


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