Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Nevada, or benefitting Nevada agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.
- Aphids, Irrigation Ditches and Satellites: Biocontrol Research in Nevada
Alfalfa-eating aphids are only about an eighth of an inch long. But the tiny sap-sucking insects are a serious pest for growers, capable of stunting or even killing alfalfa plants. In the field they’re difficult to see from even a few feet away, so the last thing you might think of using for research into biological control of aphids are satellites orbiting 300 miles above Earth. Yet that’s exactly what researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are indeed using – and they’re seeing things from space you just can’t see from the ground.
- Research Tests if Warm-Weather Weevils Can Boost Biocontrol of Puncturevine
Call it puncturevine, goatheads, devil’s thorn or whatever creative collection of expletives you mutter after sitting, kneeling or stepping barefoot onto it, Tribulus terrestris is one unpleasant plant. But with funding from the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, a researcher in New Mexico is measuring the cold-hardiness of weevils from different climactic zones to see if biocontrol efforts in cool northern climes could be boosted by importing warm-weather weevils from southern deserts.
- Group Educates Health Care Providers about Pesticide-Related Illnesses
Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative-Medical produces educational materials and resources on pesticides, specifically targeting health care providers so they can recognize, treat and report pesticide-related illnesses.
- Electric Weed Control Shows Promise
Start with a heaping helping of weeds in an orchard owned by an electrical engineer, then add in a weed scientist and a dash of Western IPM Center funding. What you get is electric weed control – a promising (dare we say shocking?) new way to control weeds in certain landscapes.
- IPM Experience is Helping Schools Plan for Reopening Amid COVID Concerns
As students return to classrooms in the fall of 2020, coronavirus is very much on people’s minds. In the West, having an IPM program in place seems to be helping schools plan for reopening.
- Tribal Bed Bug 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.
- Feral Swine Wreak Havoc
As pests go, wild pigs are huge – and hugely effective.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nevada in Photos: Fighting Invasives on Land and Lake
Nevada's state flag has the words "Battle Born" above a silver star and crossed sagebrush sprays, celebrating its creation during the American Civil War. Battle born is also a pretty good description of the efforts of many people working for state, federal and local agencies to keep invasive weeds in check in Nevada's challenging landscapes. Here's a look.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.