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Guides help with managing weeds, insects and plant diseases
June 17, 2010
Do definitive answers on how to manage insects, weeds and plant diseases really exist? Three research-based guides, available through Oregon State University Extension and updated every year, are as reliable as they come for managing weeds, insects and plant diseases. Home gardeners also find the information useful.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – What are the best ways to manage insects, weeds and plant diseases? Three research-based guides, available through Oregon State University Extension and updated every year, can provide you with reliable answers.
The manuals provide extensive information on pest biology and chemical and non-chemical control methods and are useful to Pacific Northwest farmers and growers as well as consultants and home gardeners.
The handbook is revised and reissued annually, with more than 50 contributors reviewing management practices for crops in the Pacific Northwest. Chemical and non-chemical control recommendations are included. The web version of the manual includes links to pest photographs, fact sheets and pesticide labels.
An annual review is necessary as the legal uses of many pesticides change frequently, according to editor Craig Hollingsworth, a University of Massachusetts researcher who is one of several scientists who keep track of the legalities.
"Changes include delisting of crops or sites from the label, new formulations requiring different application rates, restrictions on pre-harvest applications, reapplication intervals or reentry periods or other circumstances," he said. Many pesticides are restricted for use only by licensed commercial growers. The handbook includes separate chemical recommendations for commercial and home use.
This handbook is a quick and ready reference of weed control practices in the Pacific Northwest.
"Chemical regulation of plant growth is complex and requires considerable knowledge," said Leonard Coop of the Integrated Plant Protection Center at OSU. "Therefore a large portion of the handbook is devoted to registered uses of herbicides, crop desiccants and plant-growth regulators."
Most of the registered uses are based on research at OSU's Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension Service and from neighboring states, where circumstances are similar.
The handbook was originally planned as a manual for county Extension agents. People needing similar information pertaining to only a few crops, sites or situations can find bulletins, fact sheets or chapters from the handbook at their local county Extension office.
This handbook is a reference for the important plant diseases in the Pacific Northwest. It is Extension plant pathology’s primary method of delivering information to stakeholders, who include agricultural consultants, field scouts, ODA personnel, field and nursery people, Master Gardeners and chemical industry representatives.
If you grow organically or conventionally, you will find the guide useful. Cultural, biological and chemical recommendations are summarized for each plant disease. Crop diversification, evolving biological systems and new cultural and changing chemical control recommendations have required continued enhancement of the handbook, which has been in print since 1954 and on the Web since 1996.
The 2010 handbooks are now available in print and may be purchased from bookstores, or online at the Extension online catalog site, or call OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications at 800-561-6719.