Both traditional and organic farmers can learn how to recognize and control pests, weeds and diseases during a May 17 field day.

Experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service; the Mississippi Agricultural, Forestry and Experiment Station; and several partner organizations will be on hand at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm in Goodman to help producers learn to scout their crops and chose the best integrated pest, weed and disease management program.

Participants can get assistance with the following farm certification programs: theUSDA’s Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices, USDA’s National Organic Program, and Certified Naturally Grown.

Those who wish to certify their farms in these programs will receive detailed information and assistance with certification processes, forms and models. Individuals interested in certification must indicate their interest when they preregister for the event.

Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices are voluntary audit programs designed to reduce the risk of food contamination on the farm.National Organic Program farmers who label their produce as organic must comply with NOP standards. Certified Naturally Grown is a non-profit organization through which small-scale, direct-market farmers and beekeepers who use natural methods can certify their products.

The field day begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Growers of all experience levels are welcome. Attendance is free, but preregistration is required for all. Lunch and materials will be provided.

This field day is the fifth in a series of monthly events scheduled for 2013. Sessions are scheduled for the third Friday of every month, January through November. The last field day is scheduled for Dec. 13. More than 40 topics will be addressed, ranging from financial management to crop selection. All field days will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To register for the field day or for more information, contact Keith Benson at (601) 988-4999 or keithmdp@yahoo.com. The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm is located at 1184 Coleman Road off of Highway 51 between Goodman and Durant.

MSU’s Extension Service, Alcorn State University’s Extension Program and Tougaloo College’s LEADS Program are producing the series with funds from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and a USDA Specialty Crop Grant.