Some things you can always count on during the growing season, and one of those is pest problems, says Missy Bauer, Associate Field Agronomist for Farm Journal. She encourages growers to eliminate the guesswork about insect pressure by assigning someone on the farm the role of pest boss. Here are some brief tips she offers to help you and the pest boss during this growing season.
- Give clear direction.
- Make sure the pest boss understands the assignment and expectations. Know what to anticipate when. Some pests show up nearly every year, and the pest boss should anticipate them in advance. Being proactive and not reactive to pests will keep your crop healthy and intact.
- Make sure the pest boss understands and tracks insect heat units and insect development cycles.
- Give the pest boss a hand lens, a pocket-sized scouting manual and camera to take to the field to help identify any pests that are present.
- Consider giving the pest boss authority to pull the trigger for treatment applications and to communicate with landowners or farm managers who might need to be involved.
- Provide the pest boss with good resources--Web sites, names and phone numbers of key university and county extension resources and literature can help him accomplish the job.
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