California

Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in California, or benefitting California agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.

Embracing Functional Agricultural Biodiversity to Tap into Nature's Services

Bringing natural diversity to a farm can help boost production and benefit the bottom line. The concept is called functional agricultural biodiversity, and a work group in Oregon is helping Pacific Northwest farmers and conservationists know what plants to incorporate, insects to encourage and habitat to install to maximize their natural benefits.



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.



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.



Center Funding Helps Develop a Better Way to Control Prionus Beetles

Hops growers in the Northwest - as well as a sweet cherry, apple and other fruit growers around the nation - now have a new mating disruption tool to combat the Prionus beetle and its root-boring larvae, thanks to research funded in part by the Western IPM Center.



Croptime Project Expands Pest-Modeling Website to Include Vegetable-Development Models

Pest managers are familiar with the concept of using degree days to predict pest outbreaks. Insects, like many other organisms, develop according to the temperature around them and degree days are a way to measure accumulated temperature.

Plants – at least in part – also develop based on temperature, so a team in Oregon is adapting a degree-day modeling system built for pest management to make a tool for vegetable growers to better plan their planting and harvesting dates.



Gold Spotted Oak Borer Threatens Oak Woodlands and Ecosystems across Southern California

From San Diego County to Los Angeles County, oak trees are dying rapidly, killed by a tiny beetle called the gold spotted oak borer. In areas where the invasive pest has become established, it’s killing 80 to 90 percent of the mature oaks – a dieback that’s fundamentally changing the landscape and the ecosystem the oaks support.



Small Farms IPM Group Finds Invaders, Opportunities and Challenges

Bringing IPM information to small-scale farmers is a significant challenge, but one that has many potential benefits - including expanded opportunities to spot invasive pests and diseases.



VIDEO: Soil Solarization in the Pacific Northwest

VIDEO: Trapping the heat of the sun to kill pathogens and weeds in the ground works in hot climates - but new plastics and research show it can also be effective in cooler areas like the Pacific Northwest. For organic vegetable growers, it could be a game-changer for weed control.



Tribal Work Group

The Western Region Tribal Work Group brought together representatives of several tribes and federal agencies to combat invasive species on tribal lands.



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.



Soil Solarization in the Pacific Northwest

Organic vegetable growers may finally have an economical way to manage weeds other than slow and costly hand weeding. That solution is soil solarization – trapping the sun’s energy under a layer of plastic to heat the soil enough to kill pathogens and weeds. It’s a technique proven effective in hotter climates, but new plastics and research are showing it can also work in the cooler Pacific Northwest.



Tribal Bed Bed Workshop Dispels Myths

There is a lot of fear about bed bugs, and a stigma surrounding them that can keep some people from seeking help with a bed bug infestation.

But bed bugs have been hanging around humans for a long time and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That was one of the key messages at a bed bug workshop last month for tribal communities in California, Nevada and Arizona.



Decoding Chemical Communications to Control Insects

University of California, Riverside chemical ecologist Jocelyn Millar identifies the chemical signals insects use to communicate, then synthesizes versions of them to help monitor, trap or disrupt their activities. 

Lygus bug is just one of dozens of species Millar and his team are working on. The common thread is that they all communicate chemically, and decoding those chemical signals can create new ways to control those species where they are pests.



Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work

Safflower, a low-value oil seed crop, is the key to an incredibly successful soil health and areawide integrated pest management program in California — and a great illustration of how IPM works. 



VIDEO: Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work

In Kings County, California, safflower is an important rotational crop that improves the soil health and makes farming more productive. It's also the key to an areawide IPM program that manages pests and reduces pesticide sprays.



VIDEO: Functional Agricultural Biodiversity

Farmers embracing functional agricultural biodiversity incorporate habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife on their farms - and benefit from the ecosystem service that habitat provides.



VIDEO: Where to Get Good Gardening Advice

In this video, Ariel Agenbroad from University of Idaho offers great tips for home gardeners about where to get good pest-management advice.



VIDEO: Urban Farm Pest Pressures and Solutions

Learn about the pest pressures faced by urban farmers -- and how integrated pest management provides economical solutions -- with Ariel Agenbroad, Local Food & Farms Advisor with University of Idaho Extension.



VIDEO: Gold Spotted Oak Borer, or GSOB, in Irvine Regional Park

Weir Canyon in the Irvine Regional Park is the only known infestation of gold spotted oak borer in Orange County - and land managers are working hard to protect the park and keep the destructive beetle from spreading.



VIDEO: Gold Spotted Oak Borer, or GSOB, in Southern California

The gold spotted oak borer is a tiny beetle causing huge damage in Southern California. It infests the region's towering oak species - coast live oak and canyon live oak - and can kill a centuries-old tree in just a year or two.

This video follows the beetle from San Diego to Los Angeles counties to see what damage it's doing and what many fear may come next.