ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 25, 2016) – The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden and affiliate of the University of North Carolina system, in conjunction with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, will host its sixth annual Integrated Pest Management (IPM) symposium on September 22, 2016, inside the Arboretum’s Education Center in Asheville. The IPM symposium is a continuing education and professional development resource for members of the green industry and master gardeners who want to learn more about developing an integrated pest management program that incorporates the use of beneficial insects and bio-controls to manage pest issues in greenhouses, nurseries, landscapes and on farm crops. Participants who attend the full-day conference will also have the opportunity to receive pesticide credits and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Due to upcoming government regulations and an increased demand and interest, the 2016 IPM symposium will present information on management techniques that protect pollinators while offering alternatives to harmful pesticides. Additionally, this year’s speaking panels will feature many local growers who will discuss their IPM practices and offer guidance to attendees to help them develop or improve their integrated pest management programs. The symposium will also welcome researcher and University of Kentucky professor Dr. Dan Potter along with University of Maryland extension specialist Dr. Stanton Gill as keynote speakers. Dr. Potter has specialized in pests and beneficial insects for more than 40 years, and Dr. Gill has authored and been featured in dozens of books and publications focused on insects, disease and bio-controls.
“At the Arboretum, we have been using beneficial insects in our production greenhouse and bonsai exhibition garden for several years,” explained George Briggs, executive director of The North Carolina Arboretum. “As we continue to see more interest from the industry around pollinators, we hope that this year’s IPM program will provide attendees with better resources and materials to manage their horticultural and agricultural needs safely, innovatively and sustainably.”
“Through proper Integrated Pest Management practices, horticulture professionals are able to utilize gentler methods to manage pests in their production systems and landscapes, and ultimately become better stewards of our natural resources,” explained Cliff Ruth, Extension Area Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. “The IPM symposium is a perfect opportunity to educate both western North Carolina professionals and others from around the Southeast, and learn from some of the industry’s well-known speakers. We are honored to work with the Arboretum on this premier capstone program.”
In addition to the emphasis on protecting pollinators at the IPM symposium, the Arboretum’s 2016 Seasonal Landscape Exhibits program is focused on plantings and nesting sites for pollinators. Recently, the Arboretum was named as the nation’s seventh Bee Campus USA in honor of its ongoing educational and horticulture work around pollinators. In addition, the Arboretum’s newly renovated Quilt Garden is designed using its “Butterfly” pattern, which supports and calls attention to the life cycle and biology behind butterflies, including the famous monarch butterfly. On September 17, 2016, the Arboretum will host its second annual Monarch Butterfly Day, which will include hands-on demonstrations, family-friendly activities and educational programs focused on monarch butterflies and other pollinators
“We continue to make strides to help conserve our pollinator populations and manage our horticulture programs in a sustainable manner,” continued Briggs. “This year’s IPM symposium is a great way to carry on our pollinator conversation and provide our colleagues and trade professionals with techniques and insights that they can take back with them to their greenhouse, nursery, farm or landscape organization.”
IPM attendees must register in advance online at www.ncarboretum.org or by calling 828-665-2492. The symposium’s special early-bird discount ends September 1, 2016. For a full list of speakers and lectures or to register, please visit http://www.ncarboretum.org/event/horticulture-industry-ipm-symposium/.
The IPM symposium is supported in part by the following Arboretum symposium sponsors: Biobest USA, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, Medea’s REAL Food Café , Koppert Biological Systems, Banner Greenhouses., K2 Irritation Services, Inc. and Southeastern Native Plant Nursery.