Small farm insect pest management workshop held Aug. 13, 2017

Join us in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to find out what’s “bugging” your crops and what you can do about them using informed decisions and sustainable approaches.

Sweep net sampling can offer valuable crop pest information to growers and is one of many scouting techniques that will be discussed and demonstrated at this event. Photo by Adam Ingrao, MSU.
Sweep net sampling can offer valuable crop pest information to growers and is one of many scouting techniques that will be discussed and demonstrated at this event. Photo by Adam Ingrao, MSU.

Beginning a career in agriculture can be a hard road to travel with a steep learning curve that encompasses everything from land and capital access, to learning how to produce and market your crops. Often, beginning farmers can navigate these challenges only to be stifled by crop pest problems that were never anticipated, but can lead to dramatic losses in crop yield, quality and marketability. Unaddressed, pest problems can greatly limit the success of a small beginning farmer and even result in complete loss of investment and exit from farming.

Michigan State University Extension and its partners have teamed up to aid small beginning farmers in their pest management efforts by offering Small Farm Pest Management: Informed Decisions and Sustainable Approaches, a unique, one-day workshop Aug. 13, 2017, at the Tilian Farm Development Center, 4400 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

The workshop will focus on using integrated pest management (IPM) as an ecologically-based approach to pest management that focuses on long-term pest control through a combination of control strategies that are informed by field scouting and data collection. Participants can expect demonstrations of scouting techniques and data collection templates specifically tailored for small farmers.

Participants will also learn novel pest management approaches including using attract-and-kill technologies, trapping, lures to manipulate pests, and using cover crops to support natural enemies of crop pests.

The afternoon portion of the workshop will include information on Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) programs and MSU Extension support services for small beginning farmers. The day will end with a free IPM raffle including items donated from Arbico Organics, Park Seeds, Ferry-Morse Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange and Michigan Food and Farming Systems.

All participants will receive phase 1 credit for MAEAP verification.

The event is free, but registration is required. Register online via the Small Farm Pest Management Registration Form, or by contacting Adam Ingrao at or 951-237-5311. Please include your name, phone number, email address and number of people attending.

Workshop agenda



8 – 8:30 a.m.


8:30 – 9 a.m.


9 – 9:40 a.m.

Using scouting to make informed pest management decisions — Adam Ingrao and Jason Matlock, MSU

9:40 – 10 a.m.


10 – 11 a.m.

Scouting 101 (field component—hands-on) — Adam Ingrao, MSU

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Using lures to manipulate insects on farms — Adam Ingrao, MSU

12 – 1 p.m.


1 – 1:15 p.m.

MAEAP Verification — Jen Silveri, MIFFS

1:15 – 2 p.m.

Attract and kill (case study for Japanese beetle management) — Amanda Buchanan, MSU

2 – 2:45 p.m.

Supporting natural enemies through cover crops — Margie Lund, MSU

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

NRCS programs to support habitat diversification and cover cropping — Solomon Andrews, NRCS

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.

MIFFS services and programs — Jen Silveri, MIFFS

3:30 – 4 p.m.

MSU Extension support services for small farmers — Dean Baas, MSUExtension

4 p.m.

Wrap up and raffle — seeds, IPM equipment, 5 Michigan Family Farms Conference tickets

Partners with MSU Extension for this event include the Veterans in Agriculture Network, Michigan Food and Farming Systems, MSU Vegetable Entomology Lab, MSU Organic Pest Management Lab, USDA-NRCS, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, North Central Region (NCR) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program and MAEAP.

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture award number(s) 2014-70006-22498, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DGE1424871, and NCR SARE award number GNC16-225.

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