Current Projects


These projects were funded by the Western IPM Center's 2019 grants. 

For more details about a project, or to find one not listed here, use the search function on the IPM Projects Interagency Database

Project Initiation

Aerobiology and IPM of Bacterial Blight in Carrot Seed Crops

Jeremiah Dung, Oregon State University

Starting the season with pest-free seed is a cornerstone of IPM in annual crop production systems. Central Oregon produces approximately 60% of the hybrid carrot seed used for carrot production in the United States and 40% of the hybrid carrot seed planted globally. The pathogen Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae commonly infects carrot seed and is a major concern to carrot growers in several states.

This project will develop a forecasting model for bacterial blight affecting hybrid carrot seed production in Oregon. The project team will study how airborne bacterial blight propogules vary through the season and correlate dispersal events to weather patterns. The weather-based forecasting model can then predict periods of high disease risk and improve management through better timing of bactericide applications and modified cultural practices. 

Integrated Pest Management Strategies for Phragmites-Invaded Wetlands in the Western United States

Karin Kettenring, Utah State University

One of the biggest threats to wetlands in the Western U.S. is the invasive grass Phragmites australis. This plant – which is a noxious weed in many Western states and is on the Western Governors’ Association invasive species list – is extremely tall, dense, and aggressive and has taken over vast areas of wetlands. While herbicides are effective at killing Phragmites, native plants slowly or never return following Phragmites control.

The broad goal of this research is to restore native plant-dominated wetlands in the Western United States following invasive Phragmites control. Our objectives are to determine the most effective seeding techniques to maximize seedling survival, develop a systems model that predicts seedling survival across a range of abiotic conditions, and disseminate the research findings broadly throughout the West. 

Sex in the Orchard: Determining Mating Success of Sterile Codling Moth with Molecular Markers

William Cooper, USDA-Agricultural Research Service Washington State

Despite decades of research progress in pheromone mating disruption, the codling moth is still the highest research priority of Washington pome fruit growers and there is interest in supplementing mating disruption programs with the release of sterile codling moths.

This project will develop a molecular technique to determine mating success of wild females with wild vs. sterile males using molecular characterization of the spermatophore to help understand the compatibility of these two techniques before large-scale implementation of sterile insect release.


Work Groups

Agroecosystem Impacts and Integrated Management of Kochia in North America

Todd Gaines, Colorado State University

Kochia, commonly called tumbleweed, has colonized virtually all arid and semi-arid ecosystems in North America. In fall- or spring-sown annual crops, uncontrolled kochia can cause 50 to 75% yield reductions. This working group creates and industry, government and university collaboration to build IPM programs for kochia control that include all management tools and herbicide stewardship.

The group will produce a coordinated plan for the management of kochia, including research and extension efforts. It will also collect baseline data on current costs and impacts of kochia and continue to build collaborations and facilitate the communication of research findings.

Pacific Islands Pesticide Safety Education Work Group

Zhiqiang Cheng, University of Hawaii

Pesticide applicator training supports traditional agriculture and the needs of regulatory agencies. Recent changes to Worker Protection Standard and federal pesticide applicator certification and training rules, as well as changes to pesticide product use patterns, increased educational requirements, concerns regarding pollinators and pesticide misuse issues have created significant educational needs in Hawaii and the American-affiliated Pacific islands including Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia.

This work group will identify the needs and priorities for educational materials for applicators in Hawaii and the American-affiliated Pacific Islands. The working group will outline EPA’s Pacific Island pesticide training objectives, the availability of on-line training and the future sustainability of pesticide safety training programs in Hawaii and the American-affiliated Pacific Islands.

Rodent Management Work Group

Niamh Quinn, University of California

Rodents are among the most economically significant pests in the world, causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage to agricultural crops and structures, as well as being vectors of disease that can cause death in humans. Best management practices for rodents are long overdue. Integrated pest management was created primarily for the management of invertebrates, and practices inherent to traditional IPM  have to be adapted and altered to be effective for vertebrate pest management.

This work group will collaborate on modifying current rodent control practices for agricultural and urban sites with the goals of improving the effectiveness of rodent management and reducing rodenticide exposure to non-target species. Subgroups will focus on rodent management in agriculture, in urban areas, rodenticide exposure in wildlife, regulatory affairs and education of professional pest managers. 

Critical Research and Extension Needs for Alfalfa Weevil and Forage Insect Pests in the Western Region

Kevin W Wanner, Montana State University

Alfalfa and alfalfa mixes account for more than half of all forage crop production in the United States. Alfalfa weevil management has remained static for several decades, but now producers and agriculturalists have observed increasing damage and poor control in the West. There is widespread agreement among extension specialists that this pest has increased in importance and research-based management recommendations need to be updated. 

The objective of this work group is to provide a framework for collaborative research and extension to maximize science-based management recommendations relevant to production systems and local climate conditions across the Western Region.


Outreach and Implementation

Training on Developing an Invasive Plant Management Plan

Jutta Burger, California Invasive Plant Council

The California Invasive Plant Council and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently produced a “Guide to Developing an Invasive Plant Management Plan” to support organizations trying to strengthen their land stewardship activities and develop IPM programs.

This outreach project will develop and deliver hands-on training based on the guide. The training will occur at the 2019 California Invasive Plant Council Symposium in October in Riverside, California, with the expectation of reaching 40 land managers from diverse organizations. Participants will receive all supporting training material and will be surveyed before and after the training to measure their gain in knowledge and understanding of the key elements to invasive plant management planning.


Planning Documents

Pest Management Strategic Plan for Processing Tomato in California

Amber Vinchesi, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Processing tomatoes are a high-value vegetable crop used to make tomato paste, diced tomatoes and whole-peel tomatoes. California contributes 35% of the global production and over 95% of the national processing tomato production.

This project with develop an initial Pest Management Strategic Plan for processing tomatoes to document baseline information on current pest management practices and identify processing tomato pest management research, regulatory and extension needs and priorities.

Pest Management Strategic Plan for Rice in California

Tunyalee Martin, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

California is ranked as a top rice producing state with over half a million acres in production with a value around $650 million. It differs from other U.S. rice-producing states due to climate, regulations and proximity to urban areas.

This pest management strategic plan, a first for  California rice production, will identify rice pest management research, regulatory, and extension needs and priorities, record information on current pest management practices. It will serve as a baseline in the future to document changes in practices over time, as a catalyst for change, and as a way to evaluate extension products and tools.