Register for the online Abiotic Disorders of Greenhouse Crops Course
The course will guide you through the diagnostic process to learn what cultural, environmental, or nutritional factors can cause plant symptoms in greenhouse crops.
Registration for summer session of the Abiotic Disorders of Greenhouse Crops Course in Michigan State University Extension’s College of Knowledge is now open. The College of Knowledge Online Series was the 2017 National Award-Winning Commercial Horticulture Program from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Growers or other interested professionals can participate in the summer sessions of this award-winning program by signing up until Jan. 4, 2022.
Michigan State University Extension partnered with University of Kentucky Extension to prepare this course on abiotic or physiological disorders. Abiotic plant problems are those that are caused by non-living things, such as cultural or environmental conditions. This course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers interested in learning how insect pests, disease, nutrition, and the greenhouse environment and cultural practices affects plant growth thereby inducing or contributing to the onset of abiotic disorders of greenhouse crops. This course will guide you through the diagnostic process to learn what abiotic factors can cause plant problems causing top growth symptoms (on either foliage, stem or flower buds) or root symptoms. The cost to take the course is $129.
Previously, this course was offered twice a year but now will only be offered once a year in the winter from December to February. The pre-recorded course is instructed with Michigan State University’s online course learning management system, Desire-2-Learn by Heidi Lindberg, greenhouse and nursery extension educator with MSU Extension. W. Garrett Owen, former outreach specialist with MSU and current assistant extension professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Kentucky, developed the content. Participants enrolled in this self-paced course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning of the topics. Self-assessment quizzes will engage students with the material throughout the course after watching the video for the unit. The course also provides links to additional resources on pertinent abiotic disorders of greenhouse crop topics.
The first unit of the course covers an introduction to physiological disorders of greenhouse crops. In units two and three, abiotic disorders that cause plant symptoms on the foliage, buds or roots are discussed. The fourth unit covers methods of substrate and leaf tissue testing in order to help diagnose plant physiological disorders. Unit 5 discusses symptoms that affect plant development and flower initiation including light intensity, photoperiod, ethylene and other environmental factors. The last unit covers plant symptoms caused by chemical phytotoxicity and herbicide damage, which can be confused with physiological disorders in crops.
Available scholarships and incentives
For the winter 2022 session, there are three scholarships available for those interested in the course but do not have the financial means to take it. Greenhouse growers interested in the scholarship will be able to apply for it upon registering by writing a short paragraph about why you should be awarded this scholarship and how you plan to use the information in your business or professional endeavors. The applicants and winners will be kept confidential. The cost of the course will be reduced to $39.99 for scholarship winners.
Complete the course and be entered to win a $75 gift card (U.S. residents only). Once students have paid for the course, completed the pre-test, final exam and the post-course evaluation, they will be eligible to be in entered into a drawing for a $75 gift card.
Growers can register for the other three courses using the links below: