Ph.D., Entomology, 1990, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
M.S., Entomology, 1987, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.S., Agronomy and Integrated Pest Management, 1984, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The objective of the tobacco extension program in Virginia is to provide growers educational programs addressing the profitable production of quality tobacco. Quality is ultimately determined by the purchaser of the tobacco and encompasses physical and chemical characteristics of the cured leaf as well as pesticides residues and non-tobacco related foreign material (NTRM) associated with the tobacco. Thus communication is necessary between the industry and our extension personnel to stay current on issues that may potentially impact growers.
Educational programs are centered on providing the necessary training to local extension agents to allow them to directly meet the needs of the growers. Additional programs are coordinated with the agents to meets specific needs of growers and may include: production meetings, field day and tours, and on-farm tests where replicated research trials are conducted with cooperating growers in local communities. The specific topics of my extension program closely follow my research interests as the goal is to provide growers with research based information to address their needs for tobacco production information.
Tobacco is a high value crop with numerous production related problems that can impact the yield and quality, thus impacting profitability. A major component of our tobacco extension program is troubleshooting of production problems that may occur in the transplant greenhouse or field. Prompt identification of the causes of production problems can lead to more timely remedial action or avoidance of unnecessary expense.