Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Montana, or benefitting Montana agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.
- Montana in Photos: Defending the Last Best Place
The state that calls itself "The Last Best Place" has a lot to protect from pests: vast fields of wheat and barley driving its agriculture sector, miles of mountains, forests and rangeland forming an outdoor paradise, and clear rivers and lakes at the upper end of the North American watershed. Here's a look.
- IPM in Montana
Montana is known as "The Last Best Place." An outdoor paradise, and home to wheat, barley and pulse crop production, Montana actively promotes integrated pest management to protect its agriculture and natural areas.
- Dropping the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Could Impact the West
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed lifting the domestic quarantine designed to slow the spread of emerald ash borer, an action that could speed the destructive insect’s introduction into Western states that have so far kept it at bay.
- Feral Swine Wreak Havoc
As pests go, wild pigs are huge – and hugely effective.
- What's Plaguing that Peony?
Proper identification of a disease is the critical first step for growers to apply the correct treatment. In peonies, proper disease identification was a problem. If a plant was diseased, growers assumed that their plants were sick with Botrytis gray mold. The reality was more complex.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hill-Climbing Cows May Bring Big Benefits to Western Rangeland and Ranchers
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, and researchers are looking into whether naturally hill-climbing cows can provide production and environmental benefits in the rugged West.
- VIDEO: Biocontrol on Montana's National Bison Range
Biocontrol helps the National Bison Range in Montana manage invasive weeds. Here's how they do it - and you can too.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flowering Rush
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.
- VIDEO: Teaching IPM through the Diagnostic Lab at Montana State
Every sample that comes to the Schutter Diagnostic Lab at Montana State University is an opportunity to teach someone else about integrated pest management.
- 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: Planting Flower Strips for Native Bees
- Montana State University researchers discuss flower strips of nine native plants that provide habitat for native bees and an additional income source for farmers who can collect and sell the flower seeds.
- Eco-Label Programs Promote IPM, but Aren't Perfect
Eco-label programs have clear benefits and promote more sustainable pest-management and growing practices. They also provide certain benefits for growers but have downsides as well. Significant differences between the programs can make judging eco labels challenging for consumers, and with dozens of similar yet competing certification programs and standards, chaos is likely for the foreseeable future.