Extension

University of Wisconsin-Extension

University of Wisconsin-Extension is the outreach arm of the University of Wisconsin System. UW-Extension provides statewide access to university resources and research so the people of Wisconsin can learn, grow and succeed at all stages of life. UW-Extension carries out the tradition of The Wisconsin Idea - extending the boundaries of the university to the boundaries of the state - through its four divisions of continuing education, the cooperative extension service, entrepreneurship and economic development, and broadcast and media innovations. 

The Cooperative Extension Service is a unique partnership of counties, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin working together to help people put knowledge to work. This partnership brings education to people where they live, through Extension offices, in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties. It supports educational programs for farmers, businesses, communities, families and young people.

UW-Extension uses education to help people understand and solve problems. Educational programs developed and conducted by county-based educators reflect local concerns. They apply knowledge from the University of Wisconsin, other universities and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Extension Specialist Faculty in the UW-Madison Department of Entomology

Extension specialists on campuses of the University of Wisconsin System teach, conduct original applied research and interpret research of other scholars in response to local and state needs. These specialists provide statewide educational leadership in their disciplines and serve as a resource people to extension offices, state agencies, the legislature, professional associations, business and industry and other state and national groups. The department has 4 extension specialist faculty specializing in turf and ornamentals, vegetable crop, and fruit crop entomology, respectively, and one extension entomologist insect diagnostic lab director with urban and structural pest control expertise.

Extension Entomology Programs and Resources 

  • Cooperative Extension County Offices
    Have a question you'd like answered? Use this site to find a county agent near you.
  • Cooperative Extension - The Learning Store
    Search our online bookstore for insect pest management publications and more.
  • Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin
    Learn more about Emerald Ash Borer and Wisconsin's response to this invasive landscape pest.
  • Farm and Industry Short Course
    Learn more about this unique program offering agricultural education and professional certification.
    A 'Farm Insects' course is offered each year taught by a UW Entomology extension entomologist.
  • Fruit Crop Entomology
    Development of effective, economical and environmentally sound insect pest management strategies and developing strategies to conserve and enhance pollination services for fruit crops in Wisconsin.
  • Insect Diagnostic Lab
    What's bugging you? Household, garden, forest, ornamental, structural, or livestock insect questions? Just curious about the fascinating world of insects?
  • Insect ID
    Use photographs and information on this website to help you identify hundreds of species from a wide range of settings, indoors and out!
  • Midwest Biological Control News Archives
    Biological Control News is no longer being published. All back issues are available on this website.
  • Turfgrass and Ornamental Entomology
    Extension programming serves the needs of the “green industry” by providing research-based training and information to stakeholders including turfgrass, woody ornamentals, Christmas trees, and greenhouses.
  • Vegetable Crop Entomology
    Development, implementation, and delivery of a research-based, extension program to support integrated pest management of insect and mite pests affecting fresh-market and processing vegetable production in Wisconsin.
  • Spotted Wing Drosophila in Wisconsin
    This site provides an overview of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) biology, impacts, and management in the state. Additional content and Extension materials are added as they become available.
  • Wisconsin Crop Manager Newsletter
    Learn about agricultural insect issues around the state from our Extension Entomologists.
  • The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program
    Master gardeners are trained volunteers who work with Extension staff to help people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.

Accomplishments

The following exemplify significant programs, outcomes and impacts of work by Extension specialist faculty at the
UW-Madison Entomology Department

Reduced-Risk Healthy Grown™ Potato Program
This integrated research and extension program involving multi-disciplinary participants from the UW-Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Vegetable Team incorporates research-based information to develop, implement, and update long-term, economical, and sustainable pest management systems for the Wisconsin Healthy Grown™ Potato Program. Methods for indexing and evaluating pesticide mammalian toxicity, as well as ecological and wildlife impact, were developed. New research from entomology, plant pathology, and zoology were combined, and full-scale agricultural tests implemented. Today, the first product of that effort is in stores throughout the nation – Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown potatoes. Protected Harvest, an independent oversight organization, has been established to certify farmers' strict adherence to reduced-pesticide, sustainable agriculture standards.

Economic Threshold and Integrated Pest Management Program for Soybean Aphid
UW-Madison Entomology research and extension conducted jointly with the University of Minnesota and other states funded by the North Central Soybean Research Program resulted in an economic threshold for soybean aphid insecticide application timing and soybean yield protection. Economists estimate a $1.3 billion net benefit to U.S. consumers and soybean growers over 15 years (2003-2017) from this multi-state research/extension project. Subsequent work in the department has focused on host plant resistance to soybean aphid, soybean seed treatments, and biological control.  

Response to Invasive Landscape Pests
Major invasive pests such as gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, and emerald ash borer are changing the appearance of Wisconsin urban and suburban landscapes. This program works closely with federal and state regulatory agencies to create and implement policies relating to invasive species. A coordinated research and extension program provides homeowners and landscape managers with up-to-date tools and practices to deal with these new pests.

Comprehensive Insecticide Resistance Management Programs for Vegetable Insect Pests 
Prescriptive programs have been developed to provide practical guidance in implementing appropriate insecticide resistance management programs for vegetable insects, focusing on Colorado potato beetle.  These programs have allowed pest management practitioners to 1) reduce the total number of insecticide applications, 2) limit the onset or development of insecticide resistance, and 3) embrace novel or refined management tactics.

Documentation and IPM Strategy for the Rotation Resistant Variant of Western Corn Rootworm
An on-farm monitoring network was established with county agents and farmers across 11 southeastern Wisconsin counties on over 30 farms. IPM strategies to cope with the resistant variant have been demonstrated for implementation by UW Extension county agents and farmers in Wisconsin. This program will be of continuing importance if the variant increases its range within the state, and as a model for entomology researchers to incorporate farmer perceptions, awareness and knowledge into IPM strategies for newly emerging pest issues.

Management of Pests of Turfgrass
This integrated research and extension program has developed new, lower risk management practices for pests of turfgrass that has decreased both environmental exposure to pesticides and management costs. For example, golf course personnel have been taught that management of black cutworm on greens can be conducted with cultural methods such as appropriate mowing practices, thereby reducing insecticide use.

Development of a Research-Based Extension Program for IPM in Organic Field and Forage Crops 
This integrated research and extension program established an organic pest management long-term experiment on 30 acres  located at the University of Wisconsin Arlington Agricultural Research Station. Entomologists and soil scientists are studying interactions between organic farmer soil fertility practices, crop plant nutrition, and insect pest and beneficial insect response in corn, soybean and alfalfa. This project is unique in that, different from the organic-conventional binary, it compares two organic fertility systems widely adopted by U.S. organic farmers in a grain and forage crop rotation. Experienced organic farmers are consulted in shaping the research direction so they can use results in whole farm planning. 

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