Tick Academy has moved to June

The third annual Tick Academy will be held in June instead of September. Join in person in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 24 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Register now to attend.

Highlights of the full day workshop include

  • A field demonstration of tick collection and tick control methods, by Scott Larson (PhD)
  • How to set up a tick surveillance program, Jon Oliver (PhD)
  • A Tick-borne diseases presentation, Jon Oliver (PhD)
  • Tick identification using a microscope, Scott Larson (PhD)

The Tick Academy is organized by the Public Tick IPM Working Group, and the complete agenda is available on the Working Group’s website.

The early registration discount ends June 10.  All participants will receive a certificate of completion. If interested in CEUs, please contact Leah McSherry.

Tick Academy 2022 dates
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Webinar: Michigan State University IPM Program Highlights

Erin Lizotte, IPM coordinator and senior IPM educator from Michigan State University, will share, “Michigan State University IPM Program Highlights,” at the next Pests and Progress Webinar on Wednesday, May 18, at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Erin Lizotte, IPM Coordinator and Senior IPM Educator from Michigan State University
Erin Lizotte, IPM Coordinator and Senior IPM Educator from Michigan State University

Michigan agriculture is exceptionally diverse with more than 300 commodities contributing an estimated $104 billion dollars to the state’s economy annually. The agri-food system accounts for an estimated 805,000 jobs, representing more than 20% of the state’s workforce. Michigan farms and their economic outputs are at risk from rapidly evolving pest challenges, including invasive pests, climate change, consumer perceptions, pesticide resistance, and regulatory challenges. The objectives of the Michigan State University Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) project address the CPPM focus areas of plant protection tools and tactics and use of IPM for sustainable communities. The goals of this effort are to increase agriculture and community stakeholder awareness, knowledge and adoption of IPM practices and tools through traditional and novel outreach efforts.

Please register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

Ladybug pupa.
Ladybug pupa.

The April Pests and Progress Webinar featured Dr. Janet Knodel from North Dakota State University. Knodel shared, “EIP Highlights for North Dakota,” and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

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Webinar: EIP Highlights for North Dakota

Janet Knodel, professor and Extension entomologist from North Dakota State University, will share, “EIP Highlights for North Dakota,” on Wednesday, April 20, at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Janet Knodel, professor and Extension entomologist from North Dakota State University.
Dr. Janet Knodel, professor and Extension entomologist from North Dakota State University.

Dr. Knodel will present details about several North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) activities. The Crop Survey Program trains field scouts to watch for pest damage and provides advice on IPM approaches when pests are found.

Several online features allow stakeholders to stay informed, including the NDSU Extension IPM website, the Crop and Pest Report website, the NDSU Extension Crop and Pest Report newsletter and Facebook pages and the NDSU Extension Pest Management App. Extension meetings and field days are also held regularly.


NDSU Extension efforts to support pollinators include fact sheets, an Extension Master Gardener Program, and numerous pollinator trainings along with an annual field day.  The NDSU IPM program also supports two secondary priorities: the North Dakota State University Plant Diagnostic Lab and IPM education for Pesticide Applicators.

Please register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The March Pests and Progress webinar featured Jim Jasinski from Ohio State University. Jasinski shared, “From Bees to Beans, a Five Part Review of the OSU IPM Program,” and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

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Webinar: From Bees to Beans, a Five Part Review of the OSU IPM Program

Jim Jasinski, professor and IPM program coordinator from Ohio State University, will share, “From Bees to Beans, a Five Part Review of the OSU IPM Program,” on Wednesday, March 16 at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Jim Jasinski, professor and IPM program coordinator
Jim Jasinski, professor and IPM program coordinator at Ohio State University.

Jasinski will describe the key projects and accomplishments of the Ohio IPM Program, including details about specialty crops, agronomic crops, bed bug IPM, pollinator health and support of the Pest Diagnostic Clinic.

The Ohio State University IPM Program serves diverse stakeholders, including growers, underserved audiences, commodity associations, residents, small businesses, government officials and nongovernmental organizations. To meet the diverse needs of these groups, a variety of tools and outreach strategies are used and will be described in this session.

Please register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The February Pests and Progress webinar featured Anthony Hanson from University of Minnesota. Hanson shared, “Region-wide Surveys and Pest Forecasting for Advancing Minnesota IPM,” and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

hio State University Extension publication describing recent IPM program successes.

Ohio State University Extension publication describing recent IPM program successes.

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Webinar: Region-wide Surveys and Pest Forecasting for Advancing Minnesota IPM

Dr. Anthony Hanson, IPM Extension Educator & IPM Co-coordinator from University of Minnesota, will share, “Region-wide Surveys and Pest Forecasting for Advancing Minnesota IPM,” on Wednesday, February 16 at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Dr. Anthony Hanson, IPM Extension Educator & IPM Co-coordinator
Dr. Anthony Hanson, IPM Extension Educator & IPM Co-coordinator

Efficient pest management revolves around understanding what’s actually developing in individual fields. What pests are present? Is it the right time of year to look? Is the pest population high enough to justify treatment? While scouting your fields can help you make insect management decisions, region-wide surveys and pest forecasts can help you stay aware of increasing pest threats in order to determine when focused scouting is needed.

Grasshopper on soybeans
Grasshopper pest on soybeans

Join Hanson’s webinar to learn about tools that will help you know when to scout. These tools from the University of Minnesota Extension include the spring and summer western MN IPM survey for small grains and soybeans, the fall European corn borer survey, and degree-day maps for forecasting pest development and critical scouting time.

Please register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The January Pests and Progress webinar featured Frannie Miller from Kansas State University. Miller shared details from Kansas State University Extension, and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

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Webinar: Navigating the Waters of IPM Educational Program

Frannie Miller, Pesticide Safety and IPM Coordinator from Kansas State University, will share, “Navigating the Waters of IPM Educational Programming,” on Wednesday, January 19 at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Frannie Miller
Frannie Miller, Pesticide Safety and IPM Coordinator from Kansas State University

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Extension efforts as Kansas State University includes traditional hands-on training along with demonstrations of digital resources that can help guide IPM decision making. Extension efforts at Kansas State focus on four topics: agronomic crops, pesticide applicator, communities and pollinator health.

Please register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The December Pests and Progress webinar featured Jed Colquhoun from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Colquhoun shared details from the Wisconsin IPM program, and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

Kansas State Garden Hour banner
Kansas State Garden Hour banner
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Webinar: Adapting the Wisconsin IPM Program to the New Normal

Jed Colquhoun, Professor and IPM Program Director from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will present, “Adapting the Wisconsin IPM Program to the New Normal in Outreach Delivery: Successes, Challenges and a Balanced Way Forward.” This Pests and Progress webinar will be held on Wednesday, December 15 at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT).

Jed Colquhoun
Jed Colquhoun, University of Wisconsin-Madison

During the past 1.5 years during COVID-19, efforts to continue IPM programming online have led to opportunities to deliver efficient, timely and impactful outreach to diverse and broad audiences. This modernized delivery lined up well with the improved statewide rural broadband Internet access in Wisconsin, allowing the next generation of farmers greater access to learning opportunities.

Moving forward, the Wisconsin-Madison IPM team will combine traditional outreach methods, which are still valuable, with interactive and engaging online programming. In this presentation Colquhoun will share recent successes, challenges and ideas for IPM extension in the “new normal” of outreach programming.

You must register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The November Pests and Progress webinar featured Diane Plewa from the University of Illinois. Ms. Plewa shared details from the Illinois IPM program, and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

Farmer group after in-person Extension training
In-person extension outreach opportunities will resume in Wisconsin alongside virtual learning opportunities.
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Webinar: Illinois IPM Program Highlights and Future Directions

Diane Plewa, Plant Clinic Director and State IPM Coordinator, will share updates from the University of Illinois IPM program on Wednesday, November 17 during the next Pests and Progress webinar.

Diane Plewa, University of Illinois Plant Clinic Director and State IPM Coordinator 
Diane Plewa, University of Illinois Plant Clinic Director and State IPM Coordinator 

The IPM Program at the University of Illinois conducts surveys, demonstrations, and education focused on invasive species, pest management, and pollinator protection in Illinois. Surveys include the University of Illinois Extension Survey, the the Natural History Survey and the Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey. Results are used to direct outreach efforts, and the Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey is distributed annually to monitor the presence and numbers of invasive pests in agronomic and specialty crops. Educational materials about these pests are created and shared, including identification aids and management recommendations. Field crop scouting schools focused on pest identification and damage and threshold evaluations were postponed due to the pandemic but are planned for the future, along with new and updated agronomic pest factsheets. 

Efforts related to pollinator protection compared bee numbers and species diversity across nature preserves and former farmland to get a better idea of what species are present in Illinois and in what numbers, and to determine if conservation habitats support similar bee populations as native ecosystems. A youth pollinator education program was also developed from this project with a dedicated website in progress.

Bee on mint flower.
Bee on mint flower.

The IPM program also supports the University of Illinois Plant Clinic, which processes samples from across Illinois and the United States, identifying pests and pathogens and providing research-based management recommendations for these issues. Plant Clinic personnel also provide education about plant health management for invasive and endemic pests and pathogens to the general public, agronomic producers, and green industry professionals. The IPM program uses newsletters, social media, field days, presentations, and workshops to broadcast information about effective, economical, and environmentally-friendly pest management.

This Pests and Progress webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 17 at 1:30 pm ET (12:30 pm CT). You must register to receive the link to this free online presentation.

The October Pests and Progress webinar featured Lee Miller and Xi Xiong, both from the University of Missouri. Dr. Miller shared updates from the Missouri IPM program, and Dr. Xiong shared research updates related to billbug pests, from basic biology to a new management strategy. The recordings are available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

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Funding Opportunity: AFRI Critical Agricultural Research and Extension Program

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE) program is designed to address urgent challenges affecting the nation’s food system by promoting partnerships among researchers, extension experts and practitioners in food and ag enterprises. Ideally, efforts in an AFRI CARE grant will lead to practices or solutions that can be used in the field.

The AFRI CARE program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The 2022 AFRI CARE available funding is increasing to $7 million, which is $2 million higher than last year.

The AFRI CARE grant funds integrated (research + extension) projects that meet any of the six Farm Bill priorities:

  • Plant health and production and plant products;
  • Animal health and production and animal products;
  • Food safety, nutrition, and health;
  • Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment;
  • Agriculture systems and technology; or
  • Agriculture economics and rural communities.

Projects may request up to $300,000, which can be spread over 1 to 3 years. The next submission deadline is September 15, 2022. More details are available on the NIFA website and in the AFRI RFA.

The AFRI CARE funding opportunity was established in 2013.

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Pests and Progress Webinar Duo in October

The October Pests and Progress webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 13 at 1:30 pm ET, 12:30 pm CT. This webinar will feature two speakers from the University of Missouri. Be sure to register to receive the link.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller

Lee Miller, Associate Professor & IPM Coordinator, will share, “Missouri IPM Highlights.” Missouri’s central location makes it vulnerable to pests from all directions. MU Extension works to develop and share pest management resources, especially related to weeds, diseases and insects in agriculture. Miller will also talk about research related to drift issues from synthetic auxin and research about the use of impregnated netting for insect control. Details about MU Extension’s outreach efforts will also be discussed, from social media to publications and the Scouting Schools program.

MU Extension and outreach field demonstration.
Xi Xiong
Xi Xiong

Xi Xiong, Associate Professor, will share, “Developing a Novel Mechanical Strategy for Control of Billbug.” As a variety of billbug species spread throughout the United States, damage to turf is increasing, and novel species interactions have created complicated pest complexes. Without a dependable decision-making tool, there has been a heavy reliance on prophylactic and often misguided insecticide applications. These applications result in poor control of billbug populations as well as increased risk of environmental safety to humans, natural enemies, and beneficial species like pollinators, as well as an elevated economic burden for professional turfgrass managers.

Xiong will provide updates from collaboration of turf specialists and entomologists from three states, who are all working to develop innovative and sustainable approaches for the management of billbug in the urban environment using a mechanical tactic.

Bluegrass billbug and hunting billbug

Their work has three objectives:

1. Develop a Degree-Day model that predicts the biofix of billbug adults;

2. Validate and utilize a genetic tool that allow identification of billbug larvae; and

3. Develop innovative and sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) tactics by using a turf sweeper, which was initially designed for synthetic turf surfaces.  

The September Pests and Progress webinar featured Cliff Sadof from Purdue University. Sadof described updates and highlights of Indiana EIP Project, and the recording is available on the North Central IPM Center YouTube Channel.

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