Success Stories

Integrated pest management works. Here are stories about some of the projects, publications and programs that show IPM effectively manages pests while reducing risks to people and the environment.

Powdery Mildew Control in Oregon Hops: The (Pint) Glass is Half Full

When the fungal disease powdery mildew first appeared in hop yards in Oregon in the late 1990s, it was devastating from both a production and integrated pest management standpoint. The good news is that in the 20 years since that initial outbreak, researchers and growers have learned a lot about the disease and how to manage it. Just in the past few years, in part through research funded by the Western IPM Center, fungicide applications in Oregon hops have dropped about 40 percent.



Soil Solarization in the Pacific Northwest

Organic vegetable growers may finally have an economical way to manage weeds other than slow and costly hand weeding. That solution is soil solarization – trapping the sun’s energy under a layer of plastic to heat the soil enough to kill pathogens and weeds. It’s a technique proven effective in hotter climates, but new plastics and research are showing it can also work in the cooler Pacific Northwest.



VIDEO: Soil Solarization in the Pacific Northwest

VIDEO: Trapping the heat of the sun to kill pathogens and weeds in the ground works in hot climates - but new plastics and research show it can also be effective in cooler areas like the Pacific Northwest. For organic vegetable growers, it could be a game-changer for weed control.



VIDEO: Powdery Mildew in Oregon Hops

 

VIDEO: Hops growers in Oregon have been battling powdery mildew for nearly 20 years.

But new research into the fungal disease has already cut fungicide application by 40 percent, and shows the potential of a coordinated, areawide approach in essentially eliminating it.



To Protect their Bees, Alfalfa Seed Growers Embrace IPM

A lot of growers take steps to protect beneficial insects as part of their integrated pest management programs, but how many have speed limits?

Alfalfa seed growers in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley do.



Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work

Safflower, a low-value oil seed crop, is the key to an incredibly successful soil health and areawide integrated pest management program in California — and a great illustration of how IPM works. 



VIDEO: Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work

In Kings County, California, safflower is an important rotational crop that improves the soil health and makes farming more productive. It's also the key to an areawide IPM program that manages pests and reduces pesticide sprays.



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.

 


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.”



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.



Spray Reductions in Cotton

For the past 15 years, researchers have been tracking pesticide use on cotton fields in the Southwest, and the reductions they've documented have been nothing short of remarkable.



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.