The Wayne County Extension office will again be offering an integrated pest management (IPM) scouting program during the 2017 growing season from the end of April through August. The scouting program is offered for the agronomic crops of alfalfa, corn and soybeans, and for commercial horticulture production including both fruit and vegetable crops. For fruit crops scouting is offered in tree fruit (apples, peaches, plums) and small fruit (grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries). Vegetable production scouting includes both field and high tunnel grown vegetables.
The IPM crop scouting program involves trained pest management scouts walking grower fields once a week and looking for problem weeds, insects and diseases. These scouts provide a written report on crop growth stage along with any potential pest problems. If a pest is at an economic threshold level recommendations are provided to treat the pest.
Scouting can advise growers of possible yield reduction situations in fields with enough lead time to allow growers to take action and correct the situation. IPM scouting can also help growers to avoid unnecessary spray applications when pest levels do not warrant an application. Another benefit of the IPM scouting program is the support network of OSU Extension specialists available to help with diagnosis and treatment recommendations based upon samples that scouts collect from grower fields.
The IPM scouting program is primarily self-funded. There is a fee to enroll in the program that includes a base fee per farm plus a per acreage charge. In 2017 the base fee is $200 for Wayne County farms and the acreage fees are $6.50/acre for corn and soybeans, $6.00/acre for alfalfa and $45/acre for small fruit and vegetable crops. There are discounts for large acreages of any single crop. More information about the scouting program, program fees and enrollment forms is posted on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/agwayne. Enrollment in the program is being accepted and growers are encouraged to enroll by mid-February. Contact Chris Smedley at the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 for more information.