Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Next up: Boxwood Blight - Invasive Species Impact Everyone

               The rapid expansion of the number of invasive species causing harm to existing ecosystem services and resources should be cause for some modicum of attention even if not alarm. The gardening industry is mostly dismissive of the impact of invasive species unles and until they affect ornamental horticulture, at which time there is a focus on the organisum causing the problem not the problem as a while. Soit is that fast on the heels )legs) of the marmorated stink bug[1] comes a new disease that attacks one of the mainstays of the garden landscape, the boxwood, or as some call it, the box.
               The new disease is referred to now as box blight,  Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum (synonym: Cylindrocladium buxicola). The disease has only been observed on leaves and shoots of Buxus spp. in nature. As with most exotic, alien,, novel,  introduced species,  full host range of this species is not fully known. And to make things more interesting, there appears to be no published evidence of resistance to this fungus in the many commercially available  boxwood species. The invasive species attacks both the non native, English boxwood, (Buxus semperviens ‘Suffruticosa’ ), as well as the non-native American box, Buxus sempervienand Korean box, Buxus microphylla var. koreana.  Controlled laboratory test show that the fungus can attack other species in the boxwood family such as Sarcococca and Pachysandra. [2]
               According to the Maryland Home and Garden Center,
               "Box Blight or Boxwood Blight has been causing defoliation of boxwoods throughout Europe since the late 1990’s. In October, 2011, the disease was found in North Carolina and Connecticut in both nursery, and landscape plantings. The disease was also found in a Virginia nursery. Since this first US report the disease has been identified in a number of northeastern states and also in Oregon, and British Columbia. The first Maryland case of Boxwood Blight was confirmed on plants from a landscaper’s nursery in December, 2011. The first symptoms begin as leaf spots followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy."
               "The key symptoms that differentiate Boxwood Blight from other boxwood diseases, such as Volutella Blight and Macrophoma Leaf Spot, are numerous narrow black cankers (black streaks) that develop on the green stems.  The pathogen does not attack the roots, so larger plants may produce new leaves during the growing season, but may lose ornamental value as defoliation becomes severe. Repeated defoliation and dieback from stem cankers has killed small rooted cuttings in nursery propagation. The causal fungus can remain in alive in fallen leaves which can then serve as the source of infection for subsequent years."[3]
               The continuing introduction, establishment and spread of species that have not developed interactions and relationships with indigenous species is causing major shifts in the expected services and resources of our ecosystems. We depended on these ecosystems to clean the water, control its movement, supply refugia for diversity, supply our food, feed, fiber, forage, flower, fish and forest needs as well as to create an landscape hospital to our human psychological desires. And most of us see not problem in the slow fire of ecological destruction and resource disturbance because it is happening at a rate of change that is slower than our current news cycle. By the time we see an invasive species problem; by the time it reaches out and directly impacts us individually, the cost of recovery is beyond our reach and we are in adaptation mode at best. 

[1] Thompson, John Peter. Stink bug species invades our space. September 18, 2010. [accessed March 28, 2012]
[2] USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST and NCSU-Department of Plant Pathology, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center (MHCREC). The ‘box blight’ pathogen: Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum = Cylindrocladium buxicola (Teleo. Calonectria pseudonaviculata). [accessed March 28, 2012]
[3] Maryland Home and Garden Information Center. Box Blight.  [accessed March 28, 2012]

Monday, March 19, 2012

USDA APHIS, Solitary Bees & Invasive Species

                 When it comes to defending the United States from invasion, the Department of Defense gets all the glory, and most of the money. When it comes to making sure that our food supply is defended from harmful, non indigenous invasive species, USDA APHIS, supported by the systematics research of USDA ARS BARC, through the front line efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists, get no attention and little funding.[1] For the most part, we do not notice when they are successful because their success means nothing happened, and nothing happening does not make news. USDA APHIS works 24/7 to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.  In its never ending vigilance it watches over the production of food, fuel, feed, fiber, forage, flowers, forests and even fish.

An Introduction to the Solitary Bees  

               Even as the service is under extreme funding pressure it continues to produce results in defense of the ecosystems of the United States. For example, some of the native species of mason bees, Osmia, in North America that are used in pollination (many of them are also reproduced from wild stocks) are in the same genus or subgenus as Europe's red mason bee. The potentially invasive species Osmia rufa, red mason bee, is a vector for many parasites which can be transferred between our native and the European exotic  species.  For that reason any interception and identification is of particular importance for American agriculture and natural ecosystems.
               Several weeks ago in Norfolk, Virginia, the red mason bee was intercepted in household goods from Europe coming into the U.S.  From the point of view of the particular species this interception is significant because it belongs to the same genus (and subgenera) of mason bees present in the US many of which (50-100 species) are native and as in the case of O. lignaria broadly used for pollination of orchards in the country. The species intercepted has never been intercepted in the US according to PestID even though it is one of the most common native mason bees in Europe (particularly the U.K.).[2]
               This interception was submitted as urgent to the Port Identifier in Baltimore, Dr. Jim Young on February 3rd of 2012 without any tentative identification or remarks from CBP.  Dr. Young then dissected the puparium and found “soon to emerge” adult bees which he then tentatively identified as Osmia rufa L.  Even more remarkable is the fact that Dr. Young was correct in his identification of the species (there are hundreds of species worldwide): his identification was confirmed by the acting National Specialist for the group. The work of APHIS PPQ highlights the importance of the identifiers and the need to fund their work so that they can continue to  keep potentially devastating pests from entering our country and our agriculture. 

[1] U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Port of Norfolk CBP Intercepts First in the Nation Pest. February 15, 2012. [accessed March 19, 2012]
[2] Red mason bee has also been introduced in northern Africa and some parts of the Middle East.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The stink bug is apparently here to stay

The stink bug is apparently here to stay, along with hundreds other species introduced either intentionally or accidently to the homes, landscapes and ecosystems of North America. And just to make things more complicated for those of us who do not spend every waking hour thinking about invasive species, there are two non-native, alien, exotic stink bug species heading toward s each other along the east coast of the United States.[1]  (Stink bug species invades our space - September 2010)

Summary of Agency Activities in USDA Concerning
 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) - Halyomorpha halys[2]

APHIS Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
APHIS is supportive of Agricultural Research Services (ARS) development and evaluation of the most current science available on BMSB to provide management tools.  APHIS can provide assistance in transferring biological control technology to state partners once tools are available. 

APHIS appointed a national program coordinator to stay abreast of research and state-level activities concerning BMSB.  APHIS re-evaluating the risk the pest poses based on new scientific findings.  This could be completed this calendar year. 

ARS Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
ARS has taken the lead in developing a coordinated research plan to strengthen the Agency’s capacities in BMSB studies.  In recent weeks, ARS developed a BMSB Action Plan in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University, University of Maryland, and the University of Vermont.  The Action Plan will build on ARS’ existing biological control research in Newark, Delaware, efforts to develop pheromone attractants in Beltsville, Maryland, and studies on the biology and behavior of the insect in Kearneysville, West Virginia, as well as the research capabilities of each university partner.  Over the short-term, research will focus on devising a strategy for pesticide use to address the immediate need, while medium- and long-term efforts will seek to better understand the insect’s basic biology and behavior, host range, geographic distribution, and natural enemies to support development of effective integrated pest management strategies, including biological control agents. 

RMA Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
The Risk Management Agency has not received requests for loss assistance relative to the BMSB.  However, they expect there may be justifiable claims in the future.

FS Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
The Forest Service has not received any indication thus far of damage to forestry holdings due to BMSB. 

ORACBA Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
The Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis has not been asked to perform any assessments on the impact of BMSB.  They are aware of the situation and ready to assist any analysis deemed appropriate.

NASS Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
The National Agricultural Statistics Service has reported the economic effect of BMSB on apples and peaches in the West Virginia.  It has been named the predominate pest in 2010.  They have reported that 25% or more loss in peach orchards.  It has also been reported a serious pest in Maryland.  Reports and data are just coming in.

IPM Centers Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

NIFA Involvement with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
The Multistate Research Project S1039, entitled Biology, Impact, and Management of Soybean Insect Pests in Soybean Production Systems has recognized the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) as a serious and escalating pest of soybeans for several years.  Projects such as S1039 coordinate and collaborate activities to achieve a clearer understanding of BMSB biology and potential management strategies that are economical and effective.
The journal, American Entomologist, published by the Entomological Society of America, printed an article entitled Invasive Species: Real Threats to the Homeland in the Spring 2009 issue (Volume 55, Number 1, Pages 14-25).  This article comprises a collection of the proceedings of a Section E (Regulatory and Extension Entomology) symposium, co-organized by Monte P. Johnson (NIFA) and George C. Hamilton (Rutgers).  Included in that article was a presentation by Dr. Hamilton concerning the spread of this exotic pest and the serious nature of BMSB infestation.
NIFA has recently funded a one-year, $90,000 research project entitled Biology, Distribution and Pest Status of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in Agronomic, Fruit and Vegetable Crops, and Urban Areas.  The Principal Investigators are G. C. Hamilton, K. Hoelmer, T. Lesky, M. Brown, A. Herbert, G. P. Dively, and B. Parker.  The objectives for this project include: 1. Investigate the biology of BMSB on and the susceptibility of potential agronomic host plants (includes vegetables and fruits); 2. Determine the current/projected distribution and pest status of BMSB on agronomic, fruit and vegetable hosts; 3. Management strategies for BMSB.
Additional NIFA supported projects that devote a component to the brown marmorated stink bug:
START: 01 JUL 2008 TERM: 30 JUN 2013 FY: 2009
Monitor for new invasive soybean pests (soybean aphid and brown marmorated stink bug) as well as infrequent soybean pests; corn earworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, and cotton aphid.

START: 01 MAR 2008 TERM: 30 SEP 2012 FY: 2009
INVESTIGATOR: Ragsdale, D. W.; Hutchison, W. D.; MacRae, I. V.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Soybean is the largest oilseed crop grown in North America. More than 75 million acres are planted each year. Historically, the most severe insect problems have occurred in the southern US where native and exotic species of subtropical origin pose major production constraints. For the 65 million acres of soybean produced in the North Central States, soybean insect pests have been minor until 2000 when soybean aphid was discovered to be established in 10 Midwestern states. These aphids have not been reported prior to 2000 and since then have spread to 22 states and 3 Canadian Provinces and have cause more than $1 billion in crop losses and additional management costs. Work undertaken in this multistate project will focus on a wide range of pests from newly established exotic pests like soybean aphid and brown marmorated stink bug to native insects whose range and damage has recently expanded. The overarching goal of the project is to develop management tactics that are effective and provide long term solutions to pest problems without increasing the use of insecticide in a crop where traditionally insecticides and miticides use was extremely rare.

START: 01 OCT 2005 TERM: 30 SEP 2008 FY: 2008

START: 01 MAR 2008 TERM: 30 SEP 2012 FY: 2009
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Soybean is a key crop in the U.S. which supplies 35% of the world's production. In 2006, more acres of soybean were harvested in the U.S. (74.6 million) than acres of any other crop, including corn (70.6 million). Soybean is produced in 31 states and 3 provinces in the eastern, central, and southern U.S and Canada, from Quebec to Florida, and Delaware to Nebraska. Given this large acreage and wide distribution, it is not surprising that soybean continues to suffer from insect pests that impact plant growth, grain quality, and yield. The populations of soil pests such as slugs, grubs, and millipedes, and foliar and pod feeders such as bean leaf beetle and stink bugs, are increasing in many regions. The distribution of other insects, such as Dectes stem borer and pyrethroid-resistant Lepidoptera (such as corn earworm), appears to be growing. Producers are encountering insect problems that they have never seen or managed like the newly discovered brown marmorated stink bug.

CONTRACT/GRANT/AGREEMENT NO: 2010-41534-21339 PROPOSAL NO: 2010-01555
START: 01 AUG 2010 TERM: 31 JUL 2011 GRANT YR: 2010
GRANT AMT: $209,253
INVESTIGATOR: Herbert, D. A.; Bush, E.; Youngman, R.; Pfeifffer, D.; Nita, M.; Derr, J.; Weaver, M.; Miller, D.; Askew, S.
Tidewater Agri Research & Extension Ctr
OBJECTIVES: IPM IN AGRONOMIC CROPS: To conduct a state-wide survey of soybean fields for presence and severity of soybean aphid and brown marmorated stink bug posting weekly advisories and evaluating grower response; to intensely scout for the presence of Palmer amaranth in cotton and to evaluate the effects of above- and below-ground components of different crop residues for aiding in management; to evaluate and adapt a degree-day program to predict the most effective timing for managing the hunting billbug in orchardgrass; to evaluate a fall soil sampling method for detecting white grub in field corn.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

Photographs: Gary Bernon, USDA-APHIS; Deepak Matadha, Rutgers University; and Karen Bernhard, Pennsylvania State University.

[1] The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) - Halyomorpha halys and the Bean Plataspid, Kudzu Bug, Globular Stink Bug or Lablab Bug - Megacopta cribraria
[2] USDA Office of Pest Management Policy     [accessed March 18, 2012]                             October 13, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                   

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Call for Support for full funding in 2013 for the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC)

We have never more needed the research capabilities of ARS than now, just as we now are faced with reductions in program budgets - some wrapped in the guise of a novel idea that research for the common good can all be privatized. We need more funding for food, fuel, feed, fiber, forage, forest, and flowers - not less. There are more people in the world to feed - not less. there is howsoever less arable land - farm land is not an infinite resource. There have been no new basic food crops domesticated in the last ten thousand years, but there are quickly changing cultivation conditions that are impacting the ones we have.

The letter below is written on behalf of USDA BARC. I ask for your support for the programs of the US National Agricultural Library, Please write your state representatives and senators in Congress and mention that you want ARS and NAL fully funded - no more short cuts on long term food production and safety  research, Almost a dozen facilities have been closed, and perhaps as many as ten more on the way to closing. Perhaps we could close a military base somewhere ion the world and fund all of USDA ARS and maybe its regulatory sister agency APHIS to boot.

I continue to work with other volunteers as an advocate for the people and programs of USDA-ARS BARC and for the National Agricultural Library, Below is an open letter to Congress prepared by the Friends of Agricultural Research - Beltsville (FARB) who lend constant support and guidance to my work with the National Agricultural Research Alliance _ Beltsville NARA-B.

James D.  Anderson, Ph.D., President, Friends of Agricultural Research – Beltsville, Inc.
Fiscal Year 2013 testimony prepared for U. S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development,
Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

March 13, 2012

Mister Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to present our statement supporting funding for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and especially for its flagship research facility, the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), in Beltsville Maryland. We strongly recommend full fiscal-year 2013 funding support for research programs at Beltsville.
We begin our recommendations, Mr. Chairman, by drawing attention to Agriculture Secretary’s Tom Vilsack’s February 13, 2013, remarks on the proposed FY 2013 budget: "USDA has supported farmers, ranchers and growers so that last year they enjoyed record farm income. …To help sustain record farm income, we will invest in research and development to improve agricultural productivity. [And continue] support for in-house research and the land grant universities. We'll continue our efforts to combat destructive pests and disease that threaten crops and livestock.
Following a Department-wide review of operations, we created a Blueprint for Stronger Service to make USDA work better and more efficiently for the American people. We found savings in areas like technology, travel, supplies and facilities. We've been able to avoid the interruptions in service that come with furloughs and employee layoffs. “
The Blue Print for a Stronger Service holds out substantive agency-wide impacts for the Agricultural Research Service as a whole as well as for Beltsville in particular.  The agency is streamlining its business operations, consolidating activities such as human resources and procurement into three “business service centers.”  In FY11, ARS cut its travel costs by approximately 28 percent from the past year, and the ARS printing fund has been cut by more than half.  While continuing to serve the research needs of American agriculture and the nation, ARS is committed to “doing more with less.”

We strongly endorse the remarks of Secretary Vilsack and the purposes and goals of the Blue Print for a Stronger Service.  Overall, ARS will close 12 of its research programs at 10 locations in 2012, none of them at Beltsville--a recognition of the outstanding research conducted at Beltsville.  

Beltsville -- the nation’s premier agricultural research center -- has spearheaded technical advances in American agriculture for over 100 years. Beltsville celebrated 100 years of research leadership and technical advances in 2010.  The long list of landmark research achievements over that time is truly remarkable. Still at the threshold of its second century, Beltsville stands unequalled in scientific capability, breadth of agricultural research portfolio, and concentration of scientific expertise. Under the leadership of Director Dr. Joseph Spence and with its powerful scientific capability, the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center is distinctively, indispensably prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Toward that end, the scientists of Beltsville have developed a new, bold vision for the future. Titled Innovation and Integration: Agricultural Research for a Growing World, this visionary document stems from the realization that broader, multidisciplinary approaches will be needed to address new, perhaps unforeseeable agricultural challenges of the future. New approaches will be needed to reach beyond the confines of traditional research approaches tied to narrow issues or specific commodities. Traditionally, for instance, plant scientists may have worked in some combination with animal scientists or with human nutritionists. Only rarely, however, have scientists combined efforts across many disciplines to solve problems.  Given its broad research portfolio and its many disciplines, Beltsville is perfectly situated for broad, multidisciplinary approaches to flourish. Thus, in every way, Beltsville remains and will continue to be a national Center of Excellence for the highest agricultural research priorities.

We are aware of the financial constraints facing our country. We are aware, too, of urgent demands for funding among compelling national priorities. Securing ample, safe, and nutritious food -- food security -- has always been the most compelling of human priorities. That is true today, and it will be no less so in the years ahead. Commentators such as Robert Samuelson speculate that as much as oil, scarce food could shape global politics for decades to come. In summation, Mr. Chairman, we strongly support adequate funding for Beltsville. We would respectively suggest that adequate funding for the Agriculture Department’s flagship research center is central to maintaining national and world food security.

Priorities in the President’s FY-2013 Budget Request—

Now, Mr. Chairman, we turn to key research areas highlighted in the President’s proposed budget. We strongly recommend this proposed funding. Our recommendation is consistent with the remarks of Secretary Vilsack.

We were pleased to see that the FY2013 budget includes increases for environmental stewardship; crop breeding and protection; animal breeding and protection; food safety; and human nutrition.  Obviously, these are areas of great concern to all Americans, and they are certainly among the highest priorities for agricultural research today.  All of these research areas are strengths of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and they will benefit well from the unique facilities and scientific expertise at the Center.  We encourage you to seriously consider funding the proposed budget and to ensure that Beltsville receives the funding that it needs to address these critical research needs.

Although funds are not requested for major facilities projects in the FY2013 budget, we would like to bring to your attention the urgent need for renovation of Building 307 on the Beltsville campus.  The Center has aggressively moved to consolidate space and reduce costs and has been very successful at doing so.  However, these plans require the renovation of a building -- Building 307 -- that was vacated some years ago in anticipation of a complete renovation.  In the past, Congress approved partial funding for this renovation, and those monies were retained pending appropriation of the full amount required for the renovation.  Unfortunately, those funds now have been lost to ARS.  Consequently, renovation of this vacant, highly useful building is on indefinite hold.  While we realize that funding is extremely tight, we confirm that Beltsville urgently needs a renovated Building 307 for adequate, high quality lab space.  Moreover, a renovated Building 307 would not only yield substantial energy savings, but also would allow Beltsville to move forward with other long-delayed relocation and consolidation plans.

In summation, we would highlight these spheres of excellence:

Animal Breeding and Protection: Beltsville conducts extensive research on animal production and animal health. The research center is the foundation of genetic improvement in dairy cow production. Beltsville is examining ways to prevent resistance to drugs for animal parasite prevention and control.

Crop Breeding and Protection: Beltsville scientists have an extensive record of ongoing research relating to protecting crops from pests and emerging pathogens. Beltsville has distinctive expertise for identifying pathogens, nematodes, and insects that destroy crops or make crops ineligible for export. Beltsville houses the Germplasm Resource Information Network, the U.S. coordinating body to identify and catalog plant germplasm.
Child and Human Nutrition: The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive federal human nutrition research center; unique activities include the What We Eat in America survey, which is the government’s nutrition monitoring program, and the National Nutrient Databank, which is the gold standard reference of food nutrient content that is used throughout the world. These two activities are the basis for food labels, nutrition education programs, food assistance programs including SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, school feeding programs, and government nutrition education programs.
Global Climate Change: Beltsville became actively engaged in climate change research long before climate change became a topic of intense media interest. Beltsville scientists are at the forefront of climate change research -- understanding how climate change affects crop production and the effects of climate change on growth and spread of invasive and detrimental plants (such as weeds.) A central aim is finding ways to mitigate negative effects of climate change on crops. Beltsville houses unequalled facilities for replicating past climates or climates that may exist in the future.
Plant, Animal, and Microbial Collections: Beltsville houses matchless national biological collections that are indispensable to the well-being of American agriculture. In addition to the actual collections, Beltsville scientists are internationally recognized for their expertise and ability to quickly and properly identify insect pests, fungal pathogens, bacterial threats, and nematodes. This expertise is crucial to preventing loss of crops and animals, ensuring that invasive threats to American agriculture are identified before they can enter the country, thus helping to protect homeland security, and ensuring that American exports are free of pests and pathogens that could prohibit exports. Also, Beltsville houses the National Animal Parasite collection and has the expertise to identify parasites that are of importance to agricultural animals.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes our statement. Thank you for consideration and support for the educational, research, and outreach missions of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.


James D. Anderson,
President, Friends of Agricultural Research-Beltsville

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Invasive Insect and Disease Species Training March 21, 2012 Westminster, MD

Invasive Insect and Disease Species Training
  March 21, 2012
Location: Carroll Community College, Westminster, MD

8:00 – 8:30      Registration/Pre-Training Exam

8:30 – 9:00      Introduction and Explanation of the National Plant Diagnostic Network Certification Process for First Detector Certification
Speakers: Stanton Gill and David Clement, University of Maryland Extension

9:00 – 9:30      What is New With the New Invasive Species of Boxwood Blight?
Speakers: Karen Rane and David Clement, Extension pathologist, University of Maryland Extension

9:30 – 10:00    What is Happening With Japanese Cedar Longhorned Borer in Leyland Cypress and Chamaecyparis?
Speaker: Stanton Gill, University of Maryland Extension

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 12:00  Emerald Ash Borer: Research into the many choices for using chemical applications to obtain the best control.  David Smitley has tested over 100 products for control of the emerald ash borer in Michigan.
Speaker: David Smitley, Entomologist, Michigan State University

12:00 – 12:45 Lunch

12: 45 – 1:15   Monitoring for Thousand Cankers Disease: What we want you to look for in 2012
Speaker: Robert Tatman, Maryland Department of Agriculture

1:15 – 2:00      Asian Longhorned Borer Update
Michael Smith, USDA APHIS, Delaware

2:00 – 2:15      Trap Update on Emerald Ash Borer in Maryland
Speaker: Dick Bean, Entomologist, Maryland Department of Agriculture

2:15 – 3:15      Hands-on lab: Looking at insect and disease samples under dissecting microscopes
Group instructors: Karen Rane, David Clement, Stanton Gill, Mary Kay Malinoski, University of Maryland Extension
3:15 – 3:45- Invasive Weed Update
Speaker: Chuck Schuster,  Extension Educator, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
3:45 – 4:15      Live demonstration by demonstration different methods for preventive applications such as micro injection
Speakers: Bob Stanley of Treekeepers is organizing this section with arborist industry representatives.