Pest management in the orchard industry is evolving rapidly, becoming information intensive, biologically based and systems oriented. In order to meet the pest-management needs of the tree fruit industry, WVC's Agriculture Department offers a short-term, intensive integrated pest management (IPM) technician certificate program. This practical, hands-on, industry-oriented program of study is designed to prepare students as pest management scouts and assistants for apple, pear and cherry IPM projects.
In a classroom and field-based setting, students will learn to identify weeds, diseases, insect and mite pests and their natural enemies as well as learn about the life histories of these organisms. They will learn how orchards are scouted, and how this information is used to make pest-management decisions. Students in this program will also learn how to collect, tabulate and communicate pest-management information. The program stresses data collection, record keeping and the communication of monitoring information with IPM consultants, field people and orchardists.
The IPM technician program is an 18-credit certificate class that delivers 290 hours of training spread over the spring and summer quarters, coinciding with the highest levels of tree fruit pest activity. The spring quarter consists of four-hour, late-afternoon classroom lectures; five-hour, field-based labs; and four and half hours of supervised and individualized practicum implementing an IPM program in an adopted orchard every week. Summer quarter consists of six-hour, late-afternoon classroom lectures. The field-based labs and practicum stay the same as spring quarter. Classes are scheduled to detract as little time as possible from work time.
Suggested Course of Study:Certificate of Completion Offered at Wenatchee campus
Spring and Summer Quarter Class Topics (100 hours of classroom instruction)
Integrated Pest Management
Definition of IPM
Growing-degree day models
Pheromones for monitoring and mating disruption
Sampling strategies and placement of traps for insect monitoring
Field scouting, data collection and summary
Classification (insects and their relationship to other animals)
Insect and mite identification
Biology of insect and mite pests
Biology of natural enemies (predators and parasitoids)
Population dynamics and life cycles of pests and natural enemies