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Soil Sense

90 EpisodesProduced by NDSU ExtensionWebsite

Welcome to the Soil Sense Podcast, where we believe that building healthier soils is not just a prescription, but rather a pursuit. This journey requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and extension. You’re going to hear… read more


Integrated Pest Management and Soil Health

An important part of building healthier soils is focusing on the biology living in those soils. This of course includes the microbes in the soil, but also the plants, animals, and insects that they interact with. In this episode specifically, we'll talk about how to bring an integrated approach to insect pest management and even some insects that are particularly beneficial to soil health. Joining us is Dr. Travis Prochaska, an entomologist and a crop protection specialist for NDSU extension located at the North central research extension center in Minot, North Dakota.  His day-to-day focuses on answering insect related questions and plant disease questions for both farmers and homeowners. He shares with us the integrated pest management approach to managing insects which is becoming increasingly important as resistance is building to some of our chemical controls.

“So (integrated pest management) is the toolbox that we have at our disposal that we can use to counteract the harmful effects of insects in the field.” - Dr. Travis Prochaska

These tools include the most common involving chemical inputs but also incorporate cultural practices, genetic selection for resistance and biological controls.  Planting times, variety selection and using beneficial insects all fall under this integrated approach.

There are some insects that are able to not only combat harmful insects but can provide benefits to soil health. Dr. Prochaska highlights the importance of not only scouting for harmful insects but also beneficial insect species to know how best to manage your operation. Beneficial insects such as dung beetles when used within grazing operations can facilitate decomposition of manure into nutrients back into the soil. Using insecticides without taking into account chemical resistance, beneficial insects and the ramifications of the persistence of those chemicals in the environment could be doing producers a greater disservice than benefit.

This Week on Soil Sense:

  • Meet Dr. Travis Prochaska, an entomologist and a crop protection specialist for NDSU extension located at the North central research extension center in Minot, North Dakota
  • Discover what is meant by an integrated pest management approach and the many factors that need to be taken into account
  • Learn about the many tools in the tool box of integrated pest management and the pros and cons to each

Email Dr. Prochaska to participate in the virtual workshop series coming up discussing insect control and management.

Connect with Soil Sense:

Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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