Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Washington, or benefitting Washington 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.
Croptime Project Expands Pest-Modeling Website to Include Vegetable-Development Models
Pest managers are familiar with the concept of using degree days to predict pest outbreaks. Insects, like many other organisms, develop according to the temperature around them and degree days are a way to measure accumulated temperature.
Plants – at least in part – also develop based on temperature, so a team in Oregon is adapting a degree-day modeling system built for pest management to make a tool for vegetable growers to better plan their planting and harvesting dates.
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.
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.
Washington State's Carrie Foss Promotes Education and IPM
Whether it’s working with a school facilities manager one-on-one, or leading a recertification class for 180 pesticide applicators, there are few things Carrie Foss likes more than teaching people about integrated pest management.
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.
IPM Curriculum for Elementary Students Creates InPESTigators
How do you get teachers interested in integrated pest management? Turn IPM into a science curriculum they can use in their classrooms.
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.
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.
Using IPM Techniques to Battle Bed Bugs in Public Housing
Public housing presents unique pest-management challenges, including rapid turnover of residents, language and cultural barriers and even second-hand clothing and furniture. And those pest problems – especially when bedbugs are involved – can lead residents to resort to some pretty drastic and harmful pest control strategies.
Educating an Urban Public and Land Managers about Invasive Weeds
Having a clear, consistent message and speaking with one voice is helpful when it comes to educating the public about invasive species. Here's how the area around Portland, Oregon did it.
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.
Pest Management Strategic Plan Leads to Quick Action for Northwest Pears
Controlling pear psylla while also preserving pollinators and other beneficial insects emerged as the key pest-management challenges for growers in Washington and Oregon - and directly led to a "Psylla Summit" to address the challenge.
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.