The ceaseless challenge posed by pest, disease, and weed pressure in our vegetable fields can be disheartening at best. As we patiently tend to our crops through the summer months, it’s important to take a moment to observe and learn about what we’re up against. In today’s world of instant access and boundless information, there’s no need to go it alone. Below we have listed some of the finest resources on the web for researching insect and animal pests, disease prevention and control, and weed identification.
PESTS: Lions, and tigers, and bugs…oh my!
- The University of Vermont’s Extension Program has a lengthy list of on-line resources for pest identification and management. http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/pestlinks.html
- Cornell University offers an extensive list of Integrated Pest Management resources for commercial growers and home gardeners alike. http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/nysipm/vegetables/default.asp
- The University of California IPM Program has an amazing array of information on the many different types of pests that can affect our crops, including life cycle information and deterrent information. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/veggies.html
- The National Center for Appropriate Technology has a great series of pest management fact sheets. Some of them are free, others you have to pay to download – though it’s worth noting that they are willing to accommodate farmers who aren’t able to afford their fees. https://attra.ncat.org/pest.html
- The National Gardening Association has an easy-to-use on line identification tool of both insect and animal pests. http://www.garden.org/pestlibrary/
DISEASE: Did you ever want to be a doctor when you grew up?
- Cornell University is behind the popular online Vegetable MD site, a virtual extension agent with a focus on plant pathology and vegetable disease. http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/
- With an excellent format and broad range of topics, Cornell’s Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management might be the best available. http://web.pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/resourceguide/index.php
- Published by the Vegetable Research and Information Center at UC Davis, this article offers an excellent overview of basic plant disease management. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/7252.pdf
WEEDS: Identification tools for the 21st century.
- Perhaps the most detailed information can be found on UC Davis’s site, which also offers a well-organizes photo gallery. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/weeds_intro.html
- Check out Virginia Tech’s Weed Identification Guide: http://www.ppws.vt.edu/weedindex.htm
- University of Minnesota’s weed identification tool is incredibly intuitive for those of us who function best with visual prompts. http://www.extension.umn.edu/gardeninfo/weedid/index.html
- Rutger’s weed identification platform allows users to browse by common names, Latin names, or by thumbnail photo. http://njaes.rutgers.edu/weeds/
Hopefully these resources will aid you in the removal of unwanted visitors (of all shapes and types) in your growing area!