A webinar series and interactive grower outreach for pesticide resistance management in greenhouses


2013 to 2015


Through an interactive webinar series and accompanying online materials, this project is reaching growers and extension educators with resistance management IPM techniques. To ensure the relevance and usefulness of the information, we have worked with NY growers to evaluate their understanding of pesticide resistance and to develop IPM based plans for resistance management to train other growers in New York State, EPA Region 2 and beyond in IPM methods for pesticide resistance management. The anticipated outcomes include a reduction in pesticide exposure and the reduction in potential release of pesticides to the environment through a reduction in pesticide use.


New York State has approximately 23.8 million square feet of greenhouse space for the production of floricultural crops with over 800 producers (USDA Floriculture Crops Summary 2008). Because pests can thrive on crops in the greenhouse environment and consumer demand high quality plants, the total number of insecticide applications to a single crop can be high. The regular use of pesticides in the greenhouse environment can lead to pesticide resistance problems. The difficulty controlling pesticide resistant pests can lead to overuse of pesticides, as well as a reduction in yields and crop quality through poor pest management. While some information on reducing pesticide resistance is available for growers, it can be confusing and difficult to put in practice.


Cornell University’s greenhouse faculty combined their expertise with findings from our initial surveys with growers to develop and deliver a series of webinars on pesticide resistance management. These webinars are accessible by individual growers or may be promoted and viewed in Cooperative Extension offices as a greenhouse group activity. In the monitored group setting, participants will have the ability to earn pesticide re-certification credits for their participation. Webinars began in December of 2013 and will continued through February of 2014.

Webinars have been advertised through the Cooperative Extension system and NYS Flower Industries in New York, through our greenhouse contacts in the northeast region, and through trade journals to reach growers throughout the US.

Topics for the Webinar Series:
1. Pesticide Resistance Basics and Examples of Insecticide and Fungicide Resistance in Greenhouse Crops
2. Pesticide Mode of Action Classes and Pesticide Rotation Strategies for Insect and Disease Management
3. Cultural and Sanitation Techniques to Reduce Pest Problems
4. Insect and Disease Monitoring Techniques to Determine Pest Populations
5. Using Biological Control: Biological Control Basics, Transitioning to Biocontrol
6. Using Biological Control: Strategies and Examples for Specific Greenhouse Pests


The webinar broadcasts began in December 2013 and finished in February of 2014. All six of the webinars are archived and available to be viewed through links at the project website.

We didn’t originally plan on offering state pesticide re-certification credits to those who attended these webinars but during the planning of the programs we realized this might be a good incentive for greenhouse growers to participate in this project. So we applied for and received approval to offer NYS DEC pesticide re-certification certificates to those attending a webinar at a meeting site. We offered the opportunity to host the webinars to all the extension offices in NY. A good, geographically diverse, group of six extension offices offered these programs to growers in their region. This included, Albany, Chautauqua, Monroe, Niagara, St. Lawrence and Tioga counties. In addition, the program was offered to employees at Cornell’s Ag Exp. station in Geneva and to growers on Long Island through the Regional office of the DEC at Stony Brook. Approximately 40 growers attended through these group programs for each session.

Evaluation of these programs is just beginning but we have already received 22 evaluation surveys and the results are encouraging. 100% of attendees responded “Yes” to these two questions:

• Did the webinar(s) you attended help you better understand greenhouse pest control issues?

• Do you feel you have a better understanding of pesticide resistance and strategies used to reduce resistance pressure?

94% of attendees indicated that they picked up something at the program that will be used in their work.

During March more extensive evaluations will be conducted with a greater number of webinar participants.

Resources will be added to the project website during the coming months. Originally we planned to add this content with each webinar, however time constraints and scheduling issues prevented that. We also will be looking into doing some “fine-tuning” editing of the archived webinars. We will be notifying past webinar attendees and other greenhouse growers through commodity groups email lists and NE IPM when this website is fully updated.

Over the coming months we will be going back to the growers we initially surveyed to determine the impact this program may have had on their pest control strategies and pesticide use.

Submitted by: 

  • Lamb, Elizabeth M

Researchers involved: 

  • Eshenaur, Brian C
  • Daughtrey, Margery L
  • McGrath, Margaret T
  • Sanderson, John P
  • Lamb, Elizabeth M
  • Gilrein, Daniel O

Organizations involved: 

  • Cornell Coopertive Extension of Suffolk County

International focus: 

  • United States of America
  • Canada

United States focus: 

  • New York