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  • 1 UF Miami-Dade County Extension, 18710 SW 288th Street, Homestead, FL 33030-2309

When Master Gardeners first begin a training class, their preconceived notions about concepts such as IPM, pests and pest management are usually very similar to those of the general gardening public. Master Gardeners interact extensively with home owners and are often either the first or the only person from an Extension office with whom an individual speaks. We designated part of their initial training to a module aimed at getting them to understand basic concepts about IPM, pests and pest management. Slides were used to review the different types of pests/pesticides and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles that apply to a) insects and related organisms, b) diseases and c) weeds. These were accompanied by very simple guidelines for each pest group, stressing that pesticides should not automatically be the home owner's first choice. The pesticide label reading portion of this module started with basic information about pesticide labels themselves. From there, Master Gardener trainees were led through an exercise where they had to find specific information on various labels: Sevin, RoundUp, Daconil 2787, Brush-B-Gon, Phyton 27, Dipel, and Amdro. For fruit and vegetable use, they had to find preharvest intervals and any restrictions on planting. For all products, they looked for rates, timing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—if listed, and noted label variations. Pre-training scores averaged 60% while post-training scores were 90% or higher.

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