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.
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.
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.
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.