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Pest Management from an Ecological Framework

This Pest Management from an Ecological Framework webinar will focus on ecological management of agricultural pests (insects and slugs); and, it will emphasize the importance of pairing soil health practices with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to ensure that gains in soil health are not degraded by unnecessary pesticide use.

No-till, cover crops, and diverse rotations are well known practices that can improve soil health. While they improve soil quality, these practices can simultaneously help build robust populations of soil invertebrates, including predatory species that can be allies in pest control. Unfortunately, many farmers trying to improve soil health appear to be inadvertently handicapping their farming systems by overusing pesticides, particularly insecticides and fungicides. Fortunately, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) provides an established economic framework for deploying pesticides as necessary. Our research suggests that incorporating IPM alongside other soil health practices maximizes the potential for farm fields to better withstand pest invasion while diminishing the potential for pesticides to degrade benefits provided by soil health practices.

The presenter is John Tooker, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist, Penn State, University Park, PA.

This webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS Soil Health Division. Contact Holli Kuykendall, Ph.D., National Technology Specialist, for more information about this webinar.