Southern Nursery IPM Working Group

U.S. nursery production value exceeds $5.1B annually and creates tens of thousands of jobs (USDA, 2012). Nursery crops are a particularly important source of agricultural income in the seven state Southeastern region (FL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, and VA) covered by this working group, which is comprised of Extension professionals and research scientists. Nursery producers in this region are only 24-48 hours away from half the population of the United States and collectively produce 24% of the value in nursery crops in the United States (USDA, 2012). For the last ten years, nursery crops production has been promoted as a viable alternative to row crops, particularly tobacco, across much of this region, due to commodity similarities for high labor demand, compatibility of some required equipment inputs, amenability to land not suitable to conventional row crops, and high profit potential (Ingram 2010, NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission 2007).  

Therefore, greater and consistent cooperation among research and Extension professionals is essential to leverage program objectives, research capital, and personnel resources. To fully realize the efforts of collaborators, and to disseminate developed content while preventing redundancy, efforts must include the development of a lasting repository of information, particularly on economically important ornamental plant genera. The Southern Nursery Integrated Pest Management (SNIPM) working group comprises a group of extension professionals from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia representing Entomology, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology are collaborating on  multi-state nursery crops projects. 

SNIPM members have successfully competed for funding, conducted stakeholder needs assessment meetings to develop research- and Extension-based priorities, surveyed over 200 nursery producers on pest management practices and attitudes affecting adoption of IPM, developed and published a multi-state Pest Management Strategic Plan and Crop Profile that is being updated currently (Adkins et al. 2011a&b; Southern Region IPM Center, 2015).

This working group has also published two books titled IPM for Select Deciduous Trees in Southeastern US Nursery Production (eds. Fulcher and White, 2012) and IPM for Shrubs in Southeastern US Nursery Production, Vol. 1 (eds. White and Klingeman, 2014) as well as developed two mobile apps for IPM in commercial nurseries (IPMPro) and residential landscapes (IPMLite). Last, this group has published and presented many scholarly works, including eight peer-reviewed manuscripts, five abstracts, two conference proceedings article, three regional publications, four university research reports and ten regional and/or national presentations. For a complete SNIPM working group CV, see http://wiki.bugwood.org/SNIPM.