Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Utah, or benefitting Utah agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.
- 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.”
- Feral Swine Wreak Havoc
As pests go, wild pigs are huge – and hugely effective.
- Death From Above: Encouraging Natural Predators
Native predators like kestrels and barn owls can play a valuable role in controlling pests not only on farms, but also in parks, golf courses and large yards and gardens. While they rarely eliminate a pest problem, they can reduce the need for pesticide use and other pest-control measures.
- 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.
- Protecting Kids from Pests and Pesticides by Promoting IPM in Schools
Both pests and pesticides in schools can pose a health risk to children, so promoting IPM practices in schools is doubly important. That's why the Western IPM Center has been helping Western researchers develop regional resources and promote school IPM.
- 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.
- Center Funding Helps Develop a Better Way to Control Prionus Beetles
Hop 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.
- IPM in Utah
Utah is one of the most urbanized states in the nation, with 90 percent of the population living on just 1.1 percent of the land. It’s also the second driest state, has alkaline soils and the risk of drought is high every year. These factors drive Utah's cropping systems - and drive the way IPM programs are developed and delivered.
- 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.
- Utah in Photos: Managing Pests in a Unique State
Utah is one of the most urbanized states in the nation, with 90 percent of the population living on just 1.1 percent of the land. It’s also the second driest state, averaging less than 10 inches of rainfall a year, and has alkaline soils with low organic matter. It’s a challenging environment to farm in. Keeping invasive pests out of Utah - and minimizing the damage they cause once they arrive - is a major focus.
- 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.