Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Idaho, or benefitting Idaho 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.
Idaho Researchers Embrace Collaboration
Anyone who complains about university research being too theoretical or Ivory Tower hasn't visited the University of Idaho Aberdeen Research and Extension Center.
There, multi-disciplinary teams regularly work together on complex investigations into pests of the state's important crops like potatoes, wheat and barley.
IPM Training Program Targets Young Ag Professionals in the Pacific Northwest
To manage pests, growers have to be able to identify them. They have to be able to recognize enemies – insects, weeds and diseases that will cause them economic harm – and realize that not all bugs or blotches on their plants are enemies. Some are allies – beneficial insects that prey on damaging pest – and others are Swiss, neutral third parties that neither help nor harm the growers’ crops.
Identification of pests and beneficials is one of the first principles of integrated pest management, and the core of a train-the-trainers program that’s been successfully improving the skills of young ag professionals in rural Oregon, Washington and Idaho since 2009.
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.”
Flowering rush is an aquatic plant that escaped from cultivation as an ornamental and has spread to thousands of acres stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Wisconsin. The Flowering Rush Subgroup of the Western IPM Center's Invasive Species Signature Project is looking for an effective biocontrol.
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.
Montana Develops Weed Seedling Guide for the Northern Great Plains
Rapid and accurate identification of weeds at the seedling stage can save producers and land managers time and money but most weed identification guides only provide information about the mature stage of the plants. Not this one.
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.
Center-Funded Website Helps Vets Treat Animals for Fleas, Ticks and Other Pests
Whether it's cattle with face flies or a dog with ticks, vets throughout the West can now easily find the available treatment options in their state thanks to a new website built with Western IPM Center funding.
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.
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.
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.