BF 224: Tree Fruit Scouting

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Orchards

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Implement IPM Scouting for Healthy and Economically Viable Orchards

Effective pest management is essential for orchard health and production of a successful crop. Throughout the season, routine monitoring and scouting are required to identify pest activity and intervene if needed, whether with organic or conventional methods. Managing pests must be conducted efficiently to be economically viable.

This course trains tree fruit growers, orchard employees, and other industry professionals on the biology, identification, and monitoring of major economically significant orchard pests, using an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Content will include fundamentals of IPM in orchards, and descriptions of major insects, diseases, wildlife, and weed management, with a focus on apples. Get equipped to scout for pests, determine action thresholds, and begin to identify management solutions!

Once a year, when this course is offered live, DEC Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits will be available for attending the live weekly webinars in this course (1 credit per webinar, categories 10, 1A, 22). Credits will be offered for each webinar individually so that students may receive credits for the specific webinars they were able to attend. More information is available after registering. For questions or additional information, please contact: [email protected].

Target Audience

Intermediate: This course is a good fit for farmers with a few years of experience or beginning orchardists/other orchard professionals interested in honing their knowledge of insect, disease, weed, and wildlife pests in orchards. This course will help students learn how to use an IPM approach to monitor pest activity and begin to make management decisions. Basic knowledge of farming is expected, as farm business management will not be covered in this course. To get the most out of this course, students will ideally have some prior experience with managing tree fruit.

Foundational Knowledge: While not required, we recommend taking BF 223: Introduction to Tree Fruit Production prior to this course. Individuals looking for general farm business management and marketing can find that content covered in other courses, including BF 101: Starting at Square One and BF 202: Writing a Business Plan.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will know:

  • The basic principles of Integrated Pest Management and how strategies and tactics are implemented in an orchard setting, primarily in apples.
  • The major economically significant insect, disease, weed, and wildlife pests of orchards (primarily apples), the biology of these pests, and how to identify them.
  • The methods used to monitor major orchard pests, critical times during the season when pests are active and require management, and the appropriate thresholds used to implement a management tactic.
  • How to use the pest forecasting models on NEWA website to predict pest activity and thresholds for making management decisions.
    ***This course will focus on orchard scouting and monitoring. We will only just begin to cover management tactics (i.e. pesticide efficacy). We will review resources and how to use them to determine tactics that are most effective and make educated decisions on selecting effective management tools.


The bulk of the course happens on your own time with discussions, readings and review quizzes (not graded!) posted in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, live webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss a webinar, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

Webinar Schedule

Live instruction for 2024 has concluded. You are welcome to enroll now to complete this course on a self-paced schedule and join our next live session in Winter 2025. All webinars are recorded and posted in your online classroom to watch anytime. Once enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely and may return to participate in future live offerings of the course as well. Please join us!

I liked that I would be able to review at my own pace and if I missed the lecture I can review it at another time.

— Renee K., Student

Your Instructor

Anna Wallis and Hannah Tolz
Anna Wallis and Hannah Tolz

Anna Wallis is the Fruit IPM Coordinator for the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, where she develops research-based, sustainable IPM strategies and increases farmer and producer engagement through extension and outreach. She has spent over a decade serving fruit growers in extension roles in the Northeast. She holds master’s degree in Plant Science from the University of Maryland, and a doctorate in Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology from Cornell University, where she worked with Professor Kerik Cox on research and extension efforts focused on investigating fire blight and identifying sustainable management solutions.

Hannah Tolz is a Research Technician and Field Assistant for New York State Integrated Pest Management and The Hudson Valley Research Laboratory at Cornell University. She recently earned her bachelor's degree from Cornell University, having majored in Plant Sciences and minored in both Fungal Biology and Entomology. Her studies focused on the ecology of natural landscapes found in upstate NY and she spent much of her time working at the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium cataloguing and researching historic specimens. Presently, she maintains insect colonies, monitors local pests affecting agriculture and livestock in the Hudson Valley, conducts bio-assays, and creates graphics for educational materials.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course officially starts on the date given above, when the instructor gets involved and begins hosting live weekly webinars. If you are registering after the webinars have concluded for the year, you will have immediate access to all the course materials, and will be able to participate in the next year's webinars if you choose to.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

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