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UK - Commercial Production of Ornamental Plants

Pilot Nursery Scouting Program Creates Demand for Nursery Scouts

Issue: Prior to 2005, no nurseries were known in Kentucky to scout on a regular and systematic basis.  This led to reactive rather than proactive pest management for many insect pests and eliminated low toxicity pesticides from the arsenal, due to ineffective control of larger lifestages of insects.  This also allowed for larger pest populations and for wider spread of pests within a nursery, both increasing insecticide use.

What Has Been Done: A pilot nursery scouting program was developed and tested with four sponsoring nurseries.  Growers were visited three times per month from April to July.  Each visit followed a plan of pests and potential host plants to scout as well as traps to monitor.  Each scouting session was followed by a verbal report when possible, and a written report emailed or faxed to the nursery office.

Impact: Growers in the pilot nursery scouting program all reported that the program was extremely beneficial.  The sponsoring nurseries estimated that program saved them an average of $2837 in reduced/refined pesticide applications and associate labor.  Nursery growers responded that they, along with their employees, had an increased ability to scout as well as an increase in their knowledge on invasive plants.  Most telling of the value the nurseries now place on regular scouting is that one sponsoring nursery created a nursery scout position and is actively recruiting for this position. 

For more information on this project contact:

Ms. A. Fulcher

Extension Associate for Nursery Crops

 N318 Agriculture Science North

 University of Kentucky

 Lexington, KY 40546-0312


Kentucky IPM

Original document: 1 October 2005

Last updated: 29 March 2006

Scoutcat logo courtesy of C. Ware, copyright 2000

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