Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Arizona, or benefitting Arizona 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.
Can an Economic Model Show Growers the Importance of Reducing the Weed Seed Bank?
How important is it to keep weed seeds out of vegetable fields?
Mexico State University's Brian Schutte recently looked at that very question. Funded by the Western IPM Center, Schutte studied one particular weed, tall morning glory, in Southwest chile pepper fields, and developed an economic model growers can use to see for themselves how managing the weed seed bank can help their operations.
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.
Grazing Guidelines for Noxious Weed Control
Researchers, ranchers, and land managers know that livestock grazing can be a valuable and selective noxious-weed management tool, and this guide summarizes all the effective techniques.
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.”
New Guide Helps Land Managers Control Medusahead
As an ecosystem-transformer species, medusahead is among the worst weeds. Not only does it compete for resources with more desirable species, but it changes ecosystem function to favor its own survival at the expense of the entire ecosystem.
Boosting Invasive Species Cooperation Using Zebra Chip as a Model
When an invasive species is first detected in an area, the initial response is critical. Like with a cancer, the correct early detection and response can make a big difference in controlling the spread and severity of the outbreak.
Protecting Kids from Pests and Pesticides by Promoting IPM in Schools
Both pests and pesticides in schools can pose a health risk to children, so promoting IPM practices in schools is doubly important. That's why the Western IPM Center has been helping Western researchers develop regional resources and promote school IPM.
Using IPM Techniques to Battle Bed Bugs in Public Housing
Public housing presents unique pest-management challenges, including rapid turnover of residents, language and cultural barriers and even second-hand clothing and furniture. And those pest problems – especially when bedbugs are involved – can lead residents to resort to some pretty drastic and harmful pest control strategies.
Spray Reductions in Cotton
For the past 15 years, researchers have been tracking pesticide use on cotton fields in the Southwest, and the reductions they've documented have been nothing short of remarkable.
Progress against Onion Pests
A recent update to the Pest Management Strategic Plan for dry bulb storage onions shows progress against thrips and Iris yellow spot virus, but still challenges to overcome.
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.