Stephen Biles

Stephen Biles

The South Texas Farm and Ranch Show will host a virtual course in integrated pest management strategies for agriculture.

Stephen Biles, the IPM extension agent for Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties, will be the second of three speakers, and he will be the moderator as well.

Biles will discuss pest management strategies for pastures, cotton, corn, sorghum and soybeans. The course will cover monitoring for insect abundance and what to do when they are found.

“When we talk about pastures, armyworms are an important pest there, so we will spend time talking about how we scout a pasture to see if we have them, how many we have and then some discussion of what to do when we get an economic population, which means the damage caused by the pest is greater than the cost of the control measure,” Biles said.

Biles said integrated pest management strategies, or IPM, is important because it’s the ideal pest management strategy and encompasses scouring for pests as well as environmental impacts as well as costs of pest management.

“It’s about controlling pests for a profitable level for the grower,” Biles said. “Largely what we will discuss is monitoring for pests and control measures. The goal of IPM is to manage crops, so the growers can maintain a profit without adversely impacting the environment, and most people are doing that. It’s a readily adopted strategy.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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