Online now at Western Farm Press’ Web site (www.westernfarmpress.com) is a new 3-hour continuing education course on one of the most important topics today in production agriculture, managing weeds to reduce herbicide resistance.

The course, sponsored by Monsanto, covers resistance management in both row crops as well as the key tree and vine crops in the West.

It is accredited for 3 hours for all California Department of Pesticide Regulation licensees (AA, PA, QC, QL /AP/JP); all Arizona Department of Agriculture licensees and Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) in California and Arizona.

As effective as herbicides have become and with the advent of herbicide tolerant crops, relying too heavily on just one or two herbicides may ultimately lead to the development of herbicide resistance in weed populations. The importance of integrated weed management has never been greater. This approach relies on a combination of weed-control measures: cultural controls, whenever possible and use of a variety of herbicides when weed populations threaten to cause economically significant damage.

Weed resistance management (WRM) involves sound integrated weed management and product stewardship practices, which help reduce both environmental impacts and development of herbicide-resistant weed populations.

“Weed resistance management is key to the proper stewardship of our products, and online tools such as this CE course can prove invaluable in getting the message out to the field,” says Kent Croon, Monsanto’s regional technology development manager for the western U.S. “Western Farm Press has produced a series of quality online courses, and we were proud to sponsor this one specific to California and Arizona row crops and the TNV market.”

“In our market research, we’ve found that farmers cite crop advisors as one of their primary sources of information for weed management,” says Croon. “This course will provide crop advisors and consultants with the most relevant and timely recommendations so they can better assist their clients with weed management decisions.”

The course was developed by the Western Farm Press staff using primarily the resources of University of California and its weed management specialists, Ron Vargas, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor and county director, Madera and Merced counties; and Tom Lanini and Joe DiTomaso, both Cooperative Extension weed specialists with the University of California, Davis.

“The weed resistance management course is a very important new element in the agricultural education online platform we call Farm Press University,” says Farm Press Publisher Greg Frey. “It is the eighth course we have developed under the Farm Press University banner, but the first dealing with weed management.

“Monsanto has made a strong commitment to product stewardship not only for its herbicide products, but other herbicides in sponsoring this course. The three-hour CEU covers the use of not only all the major classes of herbicides, but mechanical and cultural controls as well,” added Frey.

The new Farm Press CEU, which is also available on www.farmpressuniversity.com, follows the same format as the other Farm Press-developed CEUs. There are series of text followed by blocks of questions. A licensee must answer all questions correctly to complete the course. If the licensee selects an incorrect answer, he or she is automatically taken back to the text area of the course where the correct answer is found.

There is an option of printing out a text copy of the course to review before taking it online. The course must be completed online.

When a licensee completes the course, he or she e-mails a completion notice to Western Farm Press, which notifies the appropriate accrediting agency that the licensee has completed the course. There also is a verification of attendance page for the licensee to print out for his or her records.

“It is a very convenient, simple and easy process,” said Frey. “That is why there have been more than 4,000 course completions since Farm Press began offering online CEUs about two years ago.”

This demand is bolstered by a recent survey of California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) which indicated 80 percent of CAPCA’s members wanted to see more online CEUs.

“While online CEUs will never replace university and company-sponsored conferences and seminars, online courses are certainly growing in demand because of the time and cost constraints everyone is under right now,” said Frey.

“There is a big convenience factor with earning online hours 24/7. It can be done when it is convenient for the PCA without cutting into his or her important daily contact with growers,” said Frey.

California and Arizona pest control advisers, private applicators and qualified and aerial applicators and CCAs can now earn as many as 14 credit hours online at www.westernfarmpress.com

The weed resistance management course is only the second Farm Press course DPR and ADA have accredited for 3 hours.

e-mail:hcline@farmpress.com