Farm Progress

Registration for three courses presented in English ends Nov. 30; Spanish ends Dec. 31.

November 16, 2017

3 Min Read
GREENHOUSE RESOURCE: The MSU series serves as a 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.Jupiterimages/istock/thinkstock

Greenhouse businesses are looking to the spring production season of 2018. Sign up now 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.

The award-winning series serves as a 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.

The noncredit courses in the series are prerecorded and registrants have three months to complete the course: Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 for English courses, and January to March for the Spanish biocontrol course. 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.

There are three scholarships for each of the four courses for those interested but do not currently have the financial means to take it. The cost of the course will be reduced to $39.99 for scholarship winners. Interested greenhouse growers should see the registration websites for more details. Registration for all three English courses ends Nov. 30. Registration for the new Spanish Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers ends Dec. 31.

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, 166 people have taken this course from 20 countries, including 28 U.S. states and 14 counties in Michigan. These participants represented 37.3 million square feet of greenhouse production. In the most recent session, which ended in August, 92% of course participants said they would recommend the course to another individual. As a result of the course, 67% of people intended to make a crop production change.

Biological control for greenhouse growers
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 159 people have taken the Biological Control of Greenhouse Growers course from 12 countries, including 24 U.S. states and 13 counties in Michigan. These participants represent 59.2 million square feet of greenhouse production area throughout the U.S. and the world. In the most recent session, which ended in August, 72% of respondents intended to make a change in their pest management practices as a result of the course.

Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers will be available in Spanish for the winter 2018 session. Visit the Spanish website. The content of the Spanish version of this course will be available to students from January to March.

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.

In the summer session of this course, 19 people took Floriculture Root Zone Management from four countries, nine U.S. states and three Michigan counties. These participants represented 2.4 million square feet of greenhouse production. All of the survey respondents said they would recommend this course to someone else, and 90% reported they would make a crop production change within the next three months.

Source: MSUE

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