Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Alaska, or benefitting Alaska agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.
Conventional wisdom says cows don’t go up steep slopes. They don’t climb hills and don’t travel very far from water.
But some cows never got that memo.
Eco-Label Programs Promote IPM, but Aren't Perfect
There are dozens of eco labels and sustainable agriculture certification programs in the United States, all designed to differentiate products in the marketplace and assure consumers that this apple, potato or bottle of wine was produced in an environmentally responsible manner.
And eco-label programs do have clear benefits and promote more sustainable pest-management and growing practices. They also provide certain benefits for growers.
However, there are downsides for growers as well, and significant differences between the programs can make judging eco labels challenging for consumers. And with dozens of similar yet competing certification programs and standards, certification chaos is likely for the foreseeable future.
School IPM Protects Kids from Pests and Pesticides
Both pests and pesticides are potentially harmful for kids and adults in schools. Common schools pests like the German cockroach or mice can carry disease and cause allergic responses. And children can be more at risk for harm from sprayed pesticides because of their behavior – playing on the floor or in grassy fields, for instance – and because of their developing physiology.
Toolkit for Assessing IPM Outcomes and Impacts
The Western IPM Center’s IPM Adoption and Impacts Assessment Work Group, a collection of natural and social scientists from across the country, created online resources showing IPM researchers how to conduct basic impact assessments.
IPM Adoption is Widespread in the West
Many integrated pest management practices are so widely adopted in Western agriculture they have become conventional pest management. That is one of the key findings of a new report by the Western Integrated Pest Management Center titled “Adoption and Impacts of Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture in the Western United States.”
Water Quality Protection
To protect water sources from pollution by pesticides, one of the first Western IPM Center signature projects created training materials for proper pesticide application for agriculture, professional landscapers and homeowners. In a little more than one year, the slides were downloaded 106 times in 20 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and used to train more than 1,400 people.
Citizen Scientists in Alaska Watch for Invasive Species
To expand the number of eyes watching out for exotic and invasive pests, the Alaska IPM Program recruites “Citizen Scientists” to be on the lookout for unusual insects, plants and disease organisms throughout the state.