Are you looking to brush up on your knowledge on greenhouse topics such as greenhouse lighting, biological control, or fertility? Do you have an employee that could benefit? It is your last chance to register for the winter sessions of three self-paced courses in Michigan State University Extension’s Online College of Knowledge greenhouse series: Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting, Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers and Floriculture Root Zone Management. This award-winning series serves as an excellent resource for greenhouse growers new to the industry or those who want to learn more about other areas of greenhouse crop production or pest management.
by Heidi Lindberg
These non-credit courses in the series are pre-recorded and registrants have three months to complete the courses: Dec. 1, 2018, to Feb. 28, 2019. Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning on the topics. Registrants also can complete the optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course. Each course is $129. Registration for all courses ends Dec. 7, 2018.
Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting
The Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting Course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested in learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content based on experiments performed at MSU and Purdue University. The units in the course cover photoperiod, photoperiodic lighting, light quality, quantity and duration, and factors that should be considered when replacing or installing new lamps.
To date, a total of 208 people have taken this course from 24 countries, including 32 U.S. states and 14 counties of Michigan. These participants represented 40.7 million square feet of greenhouse production. The majority (71%) of survey respondents are going to make a crop production change as a result of the course. The topics that were reportedly most helpful were the sections on ‘high-intensity lighting’ and ‘how to estimate daily light integral in your greenhouse.’ All course participants said they would recommend the course to another individual.
Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers (English and Spanish)
MSU Extension partnered with Raymond Cloyd from Kansas State University Extension to offer an online course on biological control pest management. It is intended for greenhouse growers and others interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities associated with a biological control pest management program. The content of the course covers introductory materials to more advanced concepts such as utilizing banker plants.
A total of 222 people have taken the Biological Control of Greenhouse Growers course from 13 countries, including 31 U.S. states and 15 counties of Michigan. These participants represent 95 million square feet of greenhouse production area throughout the U.S. and the world. In the most recent session, which ended August 2018, all survey respondents intended to make a change in their pest management practices as a result of the course.
Floriculture Root Zone Management
The Floriculture Root Zone Management course is for beginning-level floriculture growers. It covers the fundamental concepts about irrigation water, media and their effects on plant nutrition. The course covers water sources, water quality, water treatment, irrigation methodology and substrate components. The final unit of the course covers the essential elements for plant nutrition, how to select a fertilizer and how to monitor nutrition of greenhouse crops.
Seventy-four people have taken the Root Zone Management course from 7 countries and 23 U.S. states. These participants represent 16.4 million square feet of greenhouse production area throughout the U.S. and the world. In the most recent session, which ended August 2018, all survey respondents intended to make a change in their pest management practices as a result of the course. The areas of the course that participants reported were the most helpful to them were the sections on ‘physical and chemical properties of media/substrate’ and ‘how to choose a fertilizer.’
To date, a total 514 participants from 37 states and 30 countries have taken the online courses.
Register for all of the courses at: https://www.canr.msu.edu/online-college-of-knowledge/