Michigan State launches ‘College of Knowledge’ online courses

Register for the last four self-paced course sessions in Extension of Michigan State Universityit is College of Knowledge Online greenhouse series: Abiotic disorders of greenhouse crops, Greenhouse and horticultural lighting, Biological control for greenhouse growers and Floriculture Root Zone Management.

The courses are an excellent resource for greenhouse growers new to the industry or those wishing to learn more about other areas of greenhouse crop production or pest management. All courses except Abiotic Disorders of Greenhouse Crops are available in English and Spanish.

These non-credit courses in the series are pre-recorded and enrollees have three months to complete the courses: from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2020. Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to assess their learning on the topics. Registrants can also take optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course. Each course costs $129 and three scholarships per course are available for those in financial need.

Registration for all courses closes December 11, 2020.

The Abiotic disorders of greenhouse crops The course is intended for growers of greenhouse plants and ornamental plants who wish to know which factors induce or contribute to the appearance of abiotic disorders in greenhouse crops. The course covers an introduction to the diagnosis, differentiation of biotic and abiotic plant problems and plant symptoms resulting from the following nutritional, environmental or cultural factors: pH, EC, light intensity, photoperiod, ethylene, chemical phytotoxicity and damage caused by herbicides. This course will walk you through the diagnostic process to learn which abiotic factors can cause plant problems causing top growth symptoms or root symptoms. Michigan State University Extension partnered with Dr. Garrett Owen (former greenhouse outreach specialist at MSU) and current assistant professor of extension in the University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture to develop the course.

MSU Extension has partnered with Raymond Cloyd of Kansas State University Extension to offer an online course in biological pest control. It is intended for growers interested in learning more about the challenges and opportunities associated with a biological pest control program. Course content covers introductory materials to more advanced concepts such as the use of banking plants.

The Floriculture Root Zone Management Course is intended for novice horticulturists. It covers fundamental concepts on irrigation water, media and their effects on plant nutrition. The course covers water sources, water quality, water treatment, irrigation methodology, and substrate components. The final unit of the course covers the essentials for plant nutrition, how to select a fertilizer, and how to monitor crop nutrition in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse and horticulture lighting course is intended for growers of greenhouse and ornamental plants and others interested in learning about the fundamental concepts of how plants respond to the quality, quantity and duration of light. It provides introductory to moderately difficult content based on experiences done at MSU. Course units cover photoperiod, photoperiod lighting, light quality, quantity and duration, and factors to consider when replacing or installing new lamps.

Register for all courses by clicking here.

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