Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in New Mexico, or benefitting New Mexico agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.
- Testing "Electric Mulch" for Weed Control
"Electric mulch" uses small solar panels to charge stainless steel screens with a low-power electric current to prevent weed growth in vineyards, orchards or other high-value crops like blueberries. In early tests in New Mexico, it's working.
- Planting Cover Crops in Vineyards for IPM and Soil-Health Benefits
Reasons to like wine Number 462: It can be good for New Mexico’s native bees and other pollinators. Even though grapevines are largely self pollinating and don’t need insects like bees or butterflies to produce fruit, vineyards themselves can provide habitat for native pollinators and other insect species, benefitting both the grower and the environment.
- 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.
- Looking for Answers as Kochia Rolls Across the West
Kochia is a tumbling weed plaguing growers and ranchers from Central Canada to West Texas.
“It’s salt tolerant, heat tolerant, cold tolerant,” said Kent Davis, a crop consultant with Crop Quest in Colorado. “I want to kill the damn stuff, there’s no question about it, but you have to admire it at the same time.”
- IPM in New Mexico
Like many states, some of the biggest IPM challenges facing New Mexico are being caused by newly arrived invasive pests, including the Bagrada bug and spotted wing Drosophila. Here's a look at the current state of IPM in New Mexico, and some of the IPM research going on there.
- Feral Swine Wreak Havoc
As pests go, wild pigs are huge – and hugely effective.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Progress against Onion Pests
An 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- New Mexico in Photos: Loving the Land of Enchantment
In New Mexico, the chile pepper is king. Hay is grown on 40 times the acreage and pecans rack up nearly 4.5 times the farm sales, but you don’t see either of those crops on the “Welcome to New Mexico” signs as you drive into the state. You see red and green chile peppers.
Chile isn’t a crop, it’s culture. Like Florida citrus and Idaho potatoes, New Mexico’s identity is tied to a crop.
- 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.