Farm Talk

March 11, 2014

Invasive species conference set March 25, OKC


CNHI

Parsons, KS — We have all had unwanted and even uninvited guests overstay their welcome in our homes. That anxious feeling of wanting those people to leave without knowing how to ask is all too familiar.

It is a similar feeling many property owners in Oklahoma are experiencing with invasive species of insects, plants and animals. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is hosting the Oklahoma Invasive Species Conference March 25 to discuss this issue.

“The mission of this conference is to educate the people of Oklahoma about invasive species that threaten the economic and ecological health of our state,” said Karen Hickman, natural resource ecology and management professor at Oklahoma State University. “A study from about 10 years ago found the U.S. is spending about $138 billion annually in lost production and cost for control.”

The event will be at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 2101 S. Meridian Ave., in Oklahoma City from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The $35 early registration includes continental breakfast, refreshments and lunch. Registration after March 10 is $50.

The conference offers sessions on the biology and management of non-native insect pests, the plant protection and quarantine approach, invasive aquatics in Oklahoma, an introduction to the bagrada bug, a cole crop pest from Africa, and the status of kudzu in Oklahoma.

“Kudzu is a threat to our forested areas, as well as our roadsides and tourist areas,” Hickman said. “It grows rapidly (up to 18 inches per day) and can very readily take over trees.”

After a poster session and lunch, attendees will learn about innovative solutions for feral hog control, insect monitoring and management, the status and future of fire ants and emerald ash borer in North America.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion for any additional questions. To register for the conference, visit orange hub.okstate.edu.