From: UF/IFAS News
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Agent Euguene “Gene” McAvoy was inducted into the Syngenta Resistance Fighter Leadership Program on Feb. 11 for his extensive work in protecting Florida crops from pesticides.
McAvoy’s expertise is in pesticide resistance management and he is being recognized by Syngenta Resistance Fighter Leadership Program, which was formed to honor those who help growers manage resistance. As a new inductee, McAvoy will have the opportunity to expand his resistance knowledge to others outside of UF/IFAS Extension. Being inducted into Syngenta Resistance Fighter Leadership Program is a validation McAvoy said.
“It makes me feel good to be recognized by my peers.” McAvoy said. “It calls attention to the clientele, the growers that I work with, that I am doing something beneficial for them.”
As a longtime advocated for agriculture, McAvoy is responsible for developing and implementing educational programs for vegetable producers in five counties in southwest Florida. His recognition is a result of his many contribution to crop production and protection. McAvoy has helped Florida growers lower their use of pesticides by practicing Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
“Throughout my career working in vegetable crops in South Florida, I’ve seen diseases, insects and weeds develop resistance to traditional management programs,” McAvoy said. “It is important to incorporate integrated pest management and other methods to complement chemical programs, and becoming a member of this program is a good way to get the word out there.”
McAvoy helped promote grower cultivation of refugia for beneficial insects after observing western flower thrips population’s resistance to certain insecticides. He also reduced the application of broad spectrum insecticides which decimated beneficial insects.