Connecticut IPM Report, 2021

NEERA meeting: April 23, 2021

Mary Concklin, IPM Program Coordinator

The Connecticut IPM Program 2020 Annual Report, IPM factsheets, and other information are available on the UConn IPM website (


  • The Connecticut IPM Program is funded in part by USDA (NIFA CPPM EIP, NIFA BFRDP, RMA, SCBG, SARE, FRTEP, AFRI ELI, APHIS), the Northeast IPM Center (NEIPMC), CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), CT Department of Agriculture, and the University of Connecticut.

Team Members

  • University of Connecticut (UConn): The IPM Program team includes Mary Concklin (IPM Program Coordinator), Abby Beissinger (resigned August 2020), Shuresh Ghimire, Miriah Kelly (resigned August 2020), Ana Legrand, Leanne Pundt and Victoria Wallace in the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, and the Department of Extension.
  • Partners/Collaborators: State and Federal agricultural and environmental/non-governmental agencies and organizations; State, New England, and Northeastern fruit, greenhouse, grounds keepers, nursery, turf, landscape, and vegetable associations; industry suppliers/dealers; regional universities; educators; schools and municipalities; individual growers, farmers, and producers; Master Gardeners; and the general public.


  • Integrated Pest Management applies multiple tactics in a variety of settings through the selection of appropriate tools and the education of agricultural industry members and Connecticut citizens to provide sustainable, science-based approaches for the management of plant pests (insects, mites, diseases, wildlife, and weeds, including invasive plants). The UConn IPM Program incorporates all possible pest management strategies through knowledgeable decision-making, utilizing the most efficient landscape and on-farm resources, and integrating cultural and biological controls. Program objectives include maintaining the economic viability of agricultural and green industry businesses, enhancing and conserving environmental quality and natural resources, educating participants on the effective use of biological control agents, and educating pesticide users about the safe use and handling of pesticide products.


  • COVID-19 impacted many outreach programs usually conducted face-to-face. However, our team members quickly adapted and offered many programs virtually, while others have been postponed until 2021 and 2022. IPM Program team members conducted fewer on-site educational trainings for fruit and vegetable producers, garden center owners, greenhouse growers, nursery producers and retailers, and turf and landscape professionals than in previous years. Virtual meetings became the norm. Growers and green industry professionals received information on the current status of and recommendations for important plant pests and training via pest messages, email alerts, webinars, newsletters, articles in national trade journals, management guides, websites, conferences, exhibits, and short courses.
  • Evaluations: A formal IPM Collective Impact Assessment was conducted by IPM team member and evaluation specialist, Dr. M. Kelly. IPM programs were individually evaluated by the following methods: pre- and/or post program surveys and evaluations, testimonials, and unsolicited comments.

Connecticut IPM Program Outcomes

  • There were 114,737 sessions created by 99,725 users of the IPM website ( during 2020, representing 145,137 page views.
  • Vegetable integrated pest management education was delivered to over 600 vegetable growers and stakeholders every week from May to September 2020 through 19 weekly vegetable pest alerts focusing on pests, pest management and decision making, and safe pesticide use.
  • In spring of 2020, our Vegetable Extension Program launched an online Vegetable Production Certificate course for the first time with an objective to effectively deliver information to beginner vegetable producers, especially when in-person interactions are limited. The course had seven online modules, each module with a self-paced video, supplemental materials, and a short quiz. In the post- course evaluation survey (total number of course participants = 23), respondents indicated on average 34% increase in their knowledge from the course.
  • Over 400 invasive plant activities occurred in over 50 Connecticut towns, reaching over 8,700 Connecticut citizens in 2020, including agency and municipal staff. A minimum of 13,406 hours of intensive invasive plant training sessions and management activities was provided, as well as technical educational outreach.
  • School and municipal grounds managers, nursery managers, and landscape professionals from 169 CT towns received 10 emails with information, educational materials, and best management practices, and a survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their management practices was completed.
  • CT Invasive Plant Working Group biennial symposium, Realistic Solutions to Managing Invasive Plants, was delivered to 386 people, including grounds managers, landscape professionals, town conservation commission members, educators, master gardeners, arborists, and government officials.
  • 482 fruit growers and industry members received 104 fruit messages covering pest information, management strategies, cultural practices, meetings and educational programming updates.
  • UConn’s 2020 Annual Cut Flower Growers Workshop was attended by 113 experienced & beginning growers, as well as those interested in pursuing this crop. 98% of attendees indicated this was an excellent workshop.
  • UConn’s 2020 Vegetable & Small Fruit Conference was attended by 264 growers and industry members, featured 9 topics and speakers. 90% indicated they learned something that would help their business.
  • UConn’s Bedding Plant Workshops were held just prior to the statewide shutdown at 2 locations in CT and attended by 61 growers. 100% rated the conference as useful to very useful, 97% were very or moderately likely to adopt a new practice as a result of attending these programs.
  • 507 samples were processed in the Plant Diagnostic Lab in 2020.