Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Grant Application Deadline is Nearly Here

The hours are ticking down until Western IPM Center grant proposals are due, so if you've been putting off the final submission of your application documents, don't put it off much longer!

The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Filing ahead ensures there are no last-minute hangups, power outages, misplaced flash drives, corrupt files, server crashes or the like.

And just think, once the application is in, there are still a few days left to do that last-minute Christmas shopping...

Good luck to everyone who is applying, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

While the Issue of Protecting Bees Goes to Court, Learn How You Can Protect Bees and Other Pollinators

It's been a busy week couple of weeks for bees.

On December 1, a two-year European Union moratorium on neonicotinoids went into effect, then last week a coalition of beekeeping groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, which is highly toxic to honeybees. 

Sulfoxaflor, marketed by Dow Chemical under the brand names Closer and Transform, is a neonicotinoid but it belongs to a different subclass than the widely used imadicloprid. The suit claims the pesticide poses a threat to not just honeybees but other pollinators, and that the EPA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in registering the insecticide. The suit was filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the opening brief here(In Europe, meanwhile, Syngenta and Bayer are suing to overturn the EU neonicotinoid ban.) 

While the fate of these chemicals gets played out in court, the Pacific Northwest Extension just updated its excellent publication, "How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides." Download it it here

The 36-page publication includes sections on the causes of bee poisoning, signs and symptoms of bee poisoning, ways growers and applicators can protect bees and ways beekeepers can protect bees, among several others.

The heart of the document is a full-color table that rates common active ingredients based on their toxicity to bees. (There is also a table of trade names listing the active ingredients in each.)

The publication was written by Louisa Hooven and Ramesh Sagili at Oregon State University, and Erik Johnsen at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The Pacific Northwest Extension is a cooperative effort between Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Alaska Recruits Citizen Scientists to Watch Out for Invasive Species

To expand the number of eyes watching out for exotic and invasive pests, the Alaska IPM Program is recruiting “Citizen Scientists” to be on the lookout for unusual insects, plants and disease organisms throughout the state.

“Citizen scientists, or perceptive people, have made some of the most significant pest detections in recent decades, including the Asian Longhorn Beetle and other invasive species,” said Gino Graziano, an invasive species instructor with the program. “Our goal is to educate individuals who enjoy observing the natural world and are curious about learning more about what they see.”

The more citizen scientists looking for insect, plant and disease organisms throughout our state, Graziano said, the better informed officials will be on issues that may impact the environment, natural resources and the state’s food supply.

To make reporting easy, the Alaska IPM Program set up a pest identification and reporting portal on the web, allowing folks to easily upload their digital photos of unusual insects and plants.

“The information submitted is sent to a statewide team who promptly respond with information regarding the sample,” Graziano said. “As needed, information can be sent to local or state land resource managers who quickly respond to potential problems.”

So far in 2013, citizen scientists have uploaded 30 submissions to the site, and although none were new species in the state, several were high-priority weeds, Graziano said. 

The Alaska IPM Citizen Monitoring Portal can be found at www.uaf.edu/ces/ipm/cmp/

Monday, November 25, 2013

Screening out grapevine virus spares Napa-Sonoma more than $60 million a year

Grapevine leafroll disease causes the plant's leaves to redden
and roll under at the edges. (Kate Binzen Fuller/UC Davis)
Providing disease-free grapevines and rootstock to California’s North Coast wine region is more than a good idea — it saves the industry more than $60 million annually, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis.
The findings were reported in a working paper released by the Center for Wine Economics at UC Davis’ Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The complete paper is available online.
“This analysis places a dollar value on the efforts to prevent the spread of just a single disease in a single grape-growing region,” said Kate Binzen Fuller, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis. “The overall benefits of such testing and certification are, in fact, dramatically higher.”
Even if growers have to pay a premium for certified, virus-free vines, the study shows that the benefits are between six and 10 times the cost.

Viral threat to grapevines

Viruses and related disease-causing microbes pose a serious threat to agriculture because there are no effective controls available to growers, other than destroying infected plants. In the case of grapevines, viruses typically spread over long distances through the movement of infected plants or the use of infected cuttings and rootstock for propagating new plants.
To prevent the introduction and spread of such viruses in grapevines, several clean-plant centers have been established throughout the United States, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide a large inventory of virus-screened plants to agricultural nurseries and growers.
The researchers found that the average annual benefit to a grower from replacing diseased vines in a vineyard was 39 cents per vine or $512 per acre, if noncertified vines or rootstocks were used in both the initial and replacement plantings. The benefit for replanting diseased vines climbed to 55 cents per vine or $727 per acre if certified plant material was used to both plant and replant the vineyard.
Overall, the researchers estimate that, for just grapevine leafroll-3 virus, the vine certification program yields a benefit of between 30 cents and 47 cents per vine, or between $401 and $616 per acre. If all growers in the region were to use certified planting stock, this would translate to a benefit of between $40.4 and $61.8 million per year for the North Coast region. This benefit translates to between 4.8 percent and 7.4 percent of the wine grape revenue for that region.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pick a Coast to Continue Your IPM Career

Whether you prefer the Left Coast or the Right Coast, there are open IPM jobs worth looking into.

First, at Cornell University, the Northeastern IPM Center is looking for a new director. Like the Western IPM Center, the Northeastern Center is one of four regional centers funded by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to promote advances in IPM science and promote its adoption in ag, community and land-management settings. The Northeastern Center is very active in urban IPM. The selection process begins in early January. Check out the position announcement.

In California, the UC Extension Service is looking for an IPM advisor to work with county Extension advisors and promote IPM practices throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley. Stationed in Butte, the IPM advisor would cover Butte, Colusa, Yuba-Sutter, Glenn and Tehama counties. The application period closes Dec. 15. See the position announcement.
Good luck!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Western IPM Center Website is Back Up

The Western IPM Center website at www.wripmc.org is finally back up and up-to-date. You'll find our new address at the bottom, our new phone numbers on the home page and a new job posting for the Northeastern IPM Center director's position on the News and Announcements page.

Our RFA is also posted and available from the homepage. Thanks for your patience during our move.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Latest Update on the Website Blackout

The Western IPM Center website was only supposed to be down for a few days while the UC Agriculture and Natural Resource servers were physically relocated to the new building we now all share on Second Street in Davis.

But if you've tried to access wripmc.org over the past 10 days or so, you know that didn't quite go to plan.

The problem, as it's been explained to us, is AT&T's broadband connection to the building isn't connecting, and we don't know if it's a building wiring issue, an AT&T issue or what. The latest update we received was that they were still working on it and hoped to have it fixed by Tuesday. We really hope that's the case and the next post we have to write tells folks know the blackout is over and we're back in business.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

There's a Reason No One Likes Moving

Natural light we have. Internet access, not so much...
Our website was supposed to be back up yesterday. It's still down Wednesday afternoon, for which we apologize.

When we were told our office would be moving off of the UC Davis campus into a newly remodeled building, we had no idea that the computer server that hosts the site would be affected. As we moved into the new building yesterday (along with pesticide education programs, county advisors, 4-H folks and others) we were all trying to share a small number of Wi-Fi access points, which went just about as well as you'd expect.

Hopefully the computer folks get the servers up soon and we're back in business. In the meantime,  if you need to download the 2014 Center Grants RFA, please log into the proposal management website to access it. And if you want to visit us in the new digs, stop by the UC ANR Building at 2801 Second Street in Davis. Just be sure to check your email before you get there...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stating the Obvious

We know it's stating the obvious, but the Western IPM Center website is still down this morning. We thought it would be. Our server should be relocated and the site should be back up tomorrow - Tuesday. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Western IPM Center Website May be Down this Weekend - and our Phone Numbers Change!

Friday will be the last day the Western IPM Center is located on the UC Davis campus. Over the weekend, we're moving into the new UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Building about two miles away.

We learned today that during the move, our website may be down. If it is and you need to download the 2014 Center Grants RFA, please log into the proposal management website to access it. We'll post updates about the status of our website as we get them here on the IPM West blog.

By Tuesday, we hope to be back in business at our new location. The address is:
Western IPM Center
UC ANR Building
2801 Second Street
Davis, CA 95618-7774

Here are our new phone numbers:
Kassim Al-Khatib:  (530) 750-1249
Jim Farrar:           (530) 750-1271
Carla Thomas:       (530) 750-1270
Steve Elliott:         (530) 750-1269

Sorry for the inconvenience, and please bear with us during the transition!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Learn IPM Impact Assessment with New Online Resources

Are you planning new IPM research, or applying for a Western IPM Center grant, and want to know how to assess the impact of your project?

The Western IPM Center’s IPM Adoption and Impacts Assessment Work Group, a collection of natural and social scientists from across the country, has created online resources showing IPM researchers how to conduct basic impact assessments.

Two webinars are being held to introduce researchers to those assessment tools: November 6 at 1 p.m. Pacific and December 3 at 1 p.m. Pacific. The training will be conducted by Dr. Al Founier, University of Arizona. (Please RSVP for the webinars by emailing Carla Thomas to specify which date you plan to attend.)

The webinar address is http://uc-d.adobeconnect.com/rfaevaluation/

    “The aim is to provide a toolkit that will allow people who don’t have training in impact assessment methods to do basic impact assessments,” said Neil McRoberts, a plant pathologist at UC Davis who coordinates the group. “We recognize that impacts can be measured in lots of different ways – economic impacts, changes in social networks, or changes in environmental effects – and that different approaches will be relevant in different contexts. So the aim is to provide people with the means to do a range of different types, at an introductory level.”

    The online resources include an introduction to impact assessment, and modules on surveys, economic analysis, social network analysis, focus groups and observation data. Chapters within each module include when a measurement or method is appropriate, what to collect, how to collect it, how to analyze it and how to report it.

    “I think the core techniques we’re suggesting people use are likely to remain valid for a long time,” said McRoberts, who stressed that the modules are careful to warn users when they’ll need to call in economists or social scientists.

    “We’re taking pains to define the limitations of what’s on offer so that people don’t over-reach,” he said.

    One goal is to get researchers thinking about impact assessment at the beginning of their projects so they can include assessment plans in their initial proposals. Another benefit is that IPM researchers will become more proficient in basic social science methods.

    “We’re hoping that the modules will be recognized by funders as a viable proxy for having actual economists or social scientists do simple impact assessments,” McRoberts said. “That would help reduce something of a bottleneck that has been developing in impact assessment.”

    Instead of social scientists teaching the basics over and over, it frees up time to collaborate with IPM researchers with more sophisticated datasets.

    “We support project directors to better plan their project assessment,” said Center Director Jim Farrar. “This effort leverages social science talent from all regions.”

    Access the assessment training here. Download the Center RFA at www.wripmc.org

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Grant Applications Available & the Fall Newsletter is Out

    The Western IPM Center's 2014 Competitive Grants program is open and the RFA is posted.

    (Download the RFA.)

    Around $200,000 will be available in four grant categories: project initiation grants, work group grants, outreach and implementation grants, and pest management planning documents. Funding details and restrictions are in the RFA.

    The deadline is 5 p.m. pacific Standard Time on December 18. Good luck!

    Also available on the Western IPM Center website today is the fall issue of our regional newsletter, The Western Front. This issue spotlights urban and community IPM programs in the West, and features updates on several other Center-sponsored efforts, including the IPM assessment work group and the invasive species signature program. Download the newsletter.  

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Check out these new IPM Videos by the University of California

    Do you know what's in that household pesticide you just picked up? 
    The UC IPM program, with funding assistance from the Western IPM Center, recently posted several new IPM-related video on YouTube.

    The videos include two on mosquitoes, one about aphids, three focused on bedbugs, and one titled "What's in the Pesticide?" that encourages people to read pesticide labels and understand the proper usage of whatever household pesticide they might have.

    The videos are each a couple of minutes long. Check them out at the UC IPM YouTube page.

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Excellent New Onion Production Bulletin Available

    Kudos to the Onion ipmPIPE Project and Colorado State University for the publication of Onion Health Management and Production, a 104 page, full-color bulletin written by a national team of 20 onion experts.

    The bulletin provides highlights on common production practices and integrated pest management strategies in use by progressive onion growers and the industry throughout the U.S. Included in the bulletin are:
    • Onion growth stages
    • Pest and disease diagnostic aids
    • Plant damage scales
    • Pest and disease occurrence charts
    • Other field-oriented tips
    Free copies are available by contacting Editor Howard F. Schwartz at Colorado State University. This is the second major onion publication authored by Howard recently. Earlier this year, he was the lead author on an updated Pest Management Strategic Plan for dry bulb storage onions developed with Western IPM Center funding.

    The new bulletin was developed as part of a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture project and the Colorado Integrated Pest Management Program.

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Work for the Western IPM Center

    The Western IPM Center is recruiting for an associate director to administer the Center budget and manage and coordinate our competitive grants program.

    The associate director also facilitates the work of the funded projects, support the director in identifying Western IPM needs and developing and delivering competitive and non-competitive programs to fulfill those needs. They collaborate with state, regional and national groups with similar interests; participate in national Center and USDA planning; and assist the director in preparing reports for USDA and US EPA.

    The position is located in Davis, California. See the full position description and apply here. 

    The application period closes Oct. 15.

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    WSU Plans Two School IPM Training Workshops this Fall

    For schools and school districts in Washington, Washington State University will offer two one-day workshops this fall to help schools understand integrated pest management, and develop custom IPM programs for their schools. 

    The workshops will be hosted by Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, WA (although the exact location hasn't yet been set.)  Here's the lineup:

    Tuesday, October 15
    Integrated Pest Management in Schools: Why It's a Good Idea and How It Works
    • Learn how IPM can work for you and what role pesticides play in an IPM program.
    • Learn IPM techniques for indoor and outdoor pest management.
    • Get tools to implement an IPM approach in schools.
    • Learn about the IPM STAR Certification process.

    Tuesday, November 19
    Design and Customize an IPM Program for Your School
    • Learn about the rules for pesticide use on school grounds and get your questions answered.
    • Approach common problems from an IPM perspective and take home resources to help you educate teachers and staff.
    • Assess your current IPM program, participate in working sessions to create an action plan and prioritize tasks, and plan the next steps in your IPM journey.

    The same workshops will also be held in Bellevue on October 17 and November 21. Register online at www.schoolipm.wsu.eduFor additional information, email urban.ipm@wsu.edu or call 253-445-4517.

    Thursday, August 29, 2013

    Pest Prevention by Design - A New Resource for Builders and Architects

    The Western IPM Center promotes integrated pest management practices not only in agriculture, but also for managing pests in natural lands as well as homes, schools and communities. One principle of IPM is prevention - keeping pests from taking hold to begin with. Now there's a new reference devoted to pest prevention in buildings.

    The San Francisco Department of the Environment, working with builders, designers and IPM experts from around the country, recently published building design guidelines for builders and architects to keep pests out of structures. The 89-page document shows proven designs and materials that keep pests out, from foundations to eaves. It's a must-have reference for new construction and renovation, and it can be accessed and downloaded for free.

    Visit SF Environment here, or download the guide directly here.

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    EPA Adds Label Warnings on Neonicotinoids to Protect Bees

    In an effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. 

    “Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts.” 

    The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. The announcement affects products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The EPA will work with pesticide manufacturers to change labels so that they will meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) safety standard.

    In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA released a report on honey bee health, showing that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure. 

    The agency continues to work with beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, pesticide and seed companies, and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift dust and advance best management practices. The EPA recently released new enforcement guidance to federal, state and tribal enforcement officials to enhance investigations of beekill incidents. 

    Read more on the EPA’s label changes and pollinator protection efforts here.

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Visit Missoula County through its Extension Newsletter - Healthy Acres

    The summer edition of Healthy Acres, the Missoula County Extension newsletter, is now out and chock full of good information (and outstanding photos, like the one to the left.)

    With stories about bio-control field days and invasive species control (of Yellowflag iris), Healthy Acres is good reading for an IPM audience. And with recipes for salsa and summer vegetables, you don't even need to be an IPM practitioner to appreciate it as well. Read it here.

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Western IPM Center Speaks for Growers during Pesticide Reviews

    When the Environmental Protection Agency reviews a pesticide for reregistration, having accurate, up-to-date information on how it’s actually used by growers across different cropping systems can be critical to keeping a chemical in growers’ toolboxes.

    Gathering that information is exactly what the Western Integrated Pest Management Center does, although next to no one knows it.

    “People know the Western IPM Center funds new IPM research and promotes the adoption of IPM practices in agricultural and urban settings,” said Center Director Jim Farrar. “Few people know we employee three comment coordinators throughout the West to respond to these kinds of requests for information from federal and state agencies.”

    Each comment coordinator maintains an active network of growers, commodity organizations, Extension advisors, pesticide applicators and state IPM coordinators who can provide on-the-ground information about how a pesticide is used, applied and rotated.

    “We archive all of the replies to information requests our comment coordinators have written on our website,” Farrar said. “There are more than 300 dating back to a 2002 comment on methyl parathion and going up to a May 29 comment on fenbutatin oxide.”

    See them all under “Info Request Replies” at www.wripmc.org.

    David Epstein, an entomologist at the USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy, said the comments from the Western IPM Center and other regional centers become the growers’ voice in Washington, D.C.

    “What we do here is represent growers at the federal level where policy and regulation collide,” he said. “We need data to be able to argue for them. If we don’t have data, then the agency charged with regulating a product may assume far greater usage and use patterns than actually exists in the field.”

    Knowing how and where a product is used – and that there are regional differences in how the same crop may be grown in different parts of the country – can help the regulatory agency get a more accurate picture of the actual risk a specific product poses.

    “Understanding the differences between the label allowances and actual use can help identify potential ways of mitigating risk as a chemical undergoes review,” Epstein said. “If a product is labeled for aerial application in a crop but the product is only ever applied with ground rigs, for example, that can have a significant impact on the risk evaluation because of the reduced drift potential.” 

    With that kind of specific information, Epstein and his colleagues at of the Office of Pest Management Policy can argue against new restrictions on the product, or go to the company that registered it and suggest they update the label by removing crops or application methods that aren’t being used. Some companies do, he said, and some don’t. 

    “The information we get from the regional centers helps educate the process, and without information on how the chemical is actually used and applied, we don’t have much to argue with,” Epstein said. 

    Continuing to provide that information is a priority for the Western IPM Center.

    “Like most federally funded operations, we’ve had to cut our budget,” Farrar said. “In making those cuts, we protected the comment coordination roles because it is so important to agriculture in the West.”

    To provide even better information to Washington, Farrar would like to recruit more growers and commodity organizations in the comment network, where they would occasionally be contacted by the Center’s comment coordinators.

    “By becoming a resource for the Center, you help all growers,” Farrar said. “It’s likely you’ll only be contacted once or twice a year, and your small investment of time can have a big impact on pest management regulations.”

    If you are interested in joining the comment coordination network, email Jim Farrar at jjfarrar@ucdavis.edu with your name, location and a brief description of your crop or pest experience.

    The Western Integrated Pest Management Center promotes IPM practices to solve pest problems in agriculture, urban areas and natural lands throughout the West. We encourage a science-based approach to pest management using pest biology, environmental information and all available technology to reduce pest damage to acceptable levels by the most economical means, while reducing the risk to people, property and the environment. The Western Integrated Pest Management Center is one of four regional centers funded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to promote IPM practices, and serves 13 Western states and Pacific island territories.

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Have Unwelcome Guests in your House? Stop Pests in Housing Has Great Pest Control Information

    Stop Pests in Housing is a program by our sister IPM Center in the Northeast.

    Its website provides good information on how to stop common household pests, like the bald-faced hornet lurking here, using integrated pest management strategies. IPM practices focus on preventative measures and pest control methods that are safer for humans and the environment than many conventional pesticides. From bats to bedbugs, spiders to stinging pests, and fleas to flies, check out these Pest Solutions.

    In our region, the Western IPM Center also provides a number of "Urban IPM" programs aimed at controlling mice in school and pests in public housing. Look for an overview of these programs in our upcoming newsletter.

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Desert Monsoons Mean Insects Are on the Move

    Red velvet mite
    The latest edition of Arizona's "Pest Press" has a feature story on monsoon season in Arizona, when the desert's limiting factor, water, becomes abundant. 

    That brings a lot of activity to the insect world, as it is a time for reproduction and dissemination. Desert-goes may encounter some amazing beetles, such as Palo Verde Root Borer beetles and fig beetles; see the winged, reproductive forms of ants and termites swarm or congregate for mating following rains; notice red velvet mites making their annual return; see and hear a lot of cricket activity indoors and outside; and observe male tarantulas are on the move.

    Read the full story in Pest Press.

    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    Pesticides as Smog: New Regulations Coming in California to Reduce VOC Emissions from Pesticides

    Beginning November 1, new regulations take effect in California to reduce smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions from pesticide applications.

    The restrictions will apply to nonfumigant, high-VOC products containing abamectin, chlorpyrifos, gibberellins, or oxyfluorfen used in the San Joaquin Valley ozone nonattainment area. The regulations do not apply to low-VOC products for any active ingredients.

    The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has information online to help people prepare. One is a web-based tool for calculating VOC emissions. Try it here.

    Fact sheets and all the rules and regulations concerning VOC-emitting pesticides can be downloaded here.

    Thursday, July 18, 2013

    Insects au Gratin?

    The latest issue of Utah Pests News is out, and includes several stories you might expect - managing summer fire blight, trap cropping to manage grasshoppers, and arthropod traps for home, garden and agriculture.

    Then it has the story you might not expect - gastronomic insects. 

    Citing the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, the article notes that, "in the future, insects could be essential to feeding the world’s population. Insects are nutritious, can generate jobs, and their production is safer for the environment than other protein sources such as beef."

    Check it out here.

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    Hot off the Press: IPM Field Guide for Northwest Vineyards

    Grape growers throughout the Pacific Northwest now have access to a great new integrated pest management field guide that was just published by the Pacific Northwest Extension.

    The full-color, 132-page guide was funded by a Western IPM Center grant.

    The guide introduces IPM practices and covers all aspects of vineyard pest management in an easy-to-read, spiral-bound book format. Sections are color-coded to enable quick flipping to the desired topic, and the paper is a coated stock that will stand up to several seasons in the door pocket of a pickup.

    Filled with photos, the guide highlights the following:
    • Resistance management and buffers
    • Viticulture practices and IPM
    • Insect and mite management
    • Beneficial arthropods
    • Disease managements
    • Nematode management
    • Weed management
    • Abiotic stresses and disorders, and vertebrate damage

    The Pacific Northwest Extension is a cooperative venture  between Washington State University, Oregon State University and the University of Idaho. In addition to Western IPM Center funding, the Washington Wine Industry Foundation also provided support for printing and distributing the guide.

    Copies will be available at various WSU Viticulture extension events throughout the year, or can be ordered through these links: Washington State, Oregon State, University of Idaho

    Thursday, July 11, 2013

    Subscribe for Western IPM Center News and Updates

    A lot of information comes through the Western IPM Center - new RFA and grant announcements, meeting updates, pest alerts, updates about the cool stuff we've got going on on, and more.

    We post it all on our website at www.wripmc.org, but are now beginning to also send out regular updates for interested readers. Updates go out as news comes in, but rarely more often than weekly. And, to make it even more reader-friendly, we've broken down our subscription list into categories, so folks can chose to get just the information that's useful to them.

    We'd love to add you to the list. Subscribe here, and stay in touch with the latest IPM news and developments in the West. Thanks!

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Learn IPM Practices for Mouse Control with these Videos

    With funding assistance from the Western IPM Center, the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides produced three video about mouse control, focusing on sanitation, trapping and exclusion. The videos are about five to eight minutes long.

    While originally developed to assist schools in Oregon, the techniques explained in the videos can be used by anyone with a mouse infestation - or anyone who wants to prevent one. The link below will take you to the exclusion video, and the links to the other two video are also on the page.


    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Help IR-4 Understand How Certain Pesticides for Minor Crops Fit into an IPM Program

    To support specialty crops and specialty crop growers, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture sponsors the IR-4 Program, which helps get needed pesticides licensed when there isn't a large enough market to attract a major manufacturer.

    Like the regional IPM Centers, IR-4 also has regions, and the Western Region is setting priorities now and gathering comments on how well the different chemicals fit into an integrated pest management approach. For instance, is a certain product less harmful to beneficial insects? Does it help in resistance management? Can its application timing be adjusted to avoid times when bees or other beneficials are active?

    There are a couple of ways to add your input. First, visit the priority-setting page on the Western Region IR-4 website. On that page, you’ll see links about IPM fit for the region’s top priorities, and in the yellow box, other links to all the chemicals proposed for consideration, both regionally and nationally. If you have comments about the IPM compatibility of a product, or want to make a case that a specific product should be a high priority, contact the Western Region IR-4 Coordinator Rebecca Sisco by email or phone at 530.752.7634.

    If you work with a Western IPM Center Comment Coordinator, you can also provide feedback directly to them. 

    Our Comment Coordinators are:
    Cathy Tarutani - Hawaii and the Pacific Basin Territories
    Al Fournier - Arizona, Nevada, desert regions of California, and New Mexico
    Jane Thomas - California and the Pacific Northwest including Alaska and Montana 

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    If You Haven't Seen Arizona's Regular Vegetable IPM Update, Check it Out Here

    Getting useful pest information out to growers when they need it is critical to helping them adopt good pest management practices. And that's exactly what the University of Arizona's Vegetable IPM Update does. 

    The Update is a year round, bi-weekly advisory that provides timely, practical and science-based pest management information about high-value produce, melon and other vegetable crops. 

    Each update contains a short piece on insect, weed and disease management, written in an informal and direct style, often with links to audio and video files, extension publications or reports. 

    More than 450 users get the Update on their smartphones or email, and the information is also re-distributed by the Western Farm Press, Western Agri-Radio Network and other media outlets, reaching tens of thousands of subscribers all told. 

    The updates are developed by the Vegetable Crops Team  of John Palumbo, Mike Matheron, Barry Tickes and Kurt Nolte, who are located in Yuma, one of the world’s most productive regions for leafy vegetables, brassicas, and melon crops, and are coordinated by Assistant in Extension Marco Peña. They've produced more than 80 updates since the program started in 2010, and more than 90 video or audio files from past updates are archived online. Check 'em out!

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Know an IPM Innovator? Nominate Them for Recognition

    The parks department in our town won an Innovator Award in 2008.
    Know a farmer, school, company, city,  housing authority or any other public or private entity in California who is embracing integrated pest management? Are you one yourself? If so, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation wants to hear about you.

    Every year, the department presents several IPM Innovator awards, and the deadline to be considered for a 2013 award is July 1. Here's what the department says:

    "IPM Innovators typically rely on pest management systems based on sound scientific principles of IPM, including a preference  for using beneficial organisms and cultural practices for pest control when feasible. Pest problems are addressed as part of the overall situation, rather than pest by pest or at only one time of the year. 

    IPM Innovators often conduct research to find new ways for managing pests. This may include a range of activities from contracted research with academic institutions to on-site trials of participant-identified techniques."

    Learn more, and access the online nomination form, here: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/ipminov/innovatr.htm

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Landscape Trade Press Promotes Western IPM Center's Water Quality Training Material

    Trade publications for professional landscapers are helping spread the work about the free training material the Western IPM Center created to help protect water sources from pesticide contamination.

    In the past week, both Landscape Management and Green Industry Pros, two of the top trade publications in the industry, have published stories about the training material and links to the slide sets.

    Since mid-May, the training modules have been downloaded by folks in Montana, Hawaii, New York, Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Washington D.C., California, Idaho, Wisconsin and Oregon.

    Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word. The three slide sets, focused at professional landscapers, ag users or home gardeners, can be downloaded at www.wripmc.org. Look under the Useful Resources heading.

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    New USDA Grant Available to Develop IPM Decision Support Systems

    From USDA: The purpose of the program is to support development of expert systems that help guide, demonstrate and multiply impacts of USDA supported IPM programs. The goals of these IPM programs are: 1) Improve cost benefit analyses when adopting IPM practices, 2) Reduce potential human health risks from pests and related management strategies, and 3) Minimize adverse environmental effects from pests and related management strategies. Both the efficiency and effectiveness of these individual programs have historically been increased by the expert systems made available to the participants. The decision support systems created and maintained by the successful applicant will help these programs maintain and communicate IPM research, education, and extension priorities; allow a diverse group of stakeholders to obtain access to selected program outputs; compile LOGIC model based program reports; and synthesize program outcomes and impacts. projects should substantially contribute to the long-term improvement and sustainability of the IPM portfolio.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Center Funding Helps Develop a Better Way to Control Prionus Beetles in Hops

    Hops growers in the Northwest – as well as sweet cheery, apple and other fruit growers around the nation – may soon have a new tool to combat Prionus beetles thanks to research funded in part by the Western Integrated Pest Management Center.

    The research identified a sex pheromone produced by female Prionus californicus beetles and developed a synthesized version to be used in a commercial mating-disruption product that will be in large-scale trials as soon as next year. Pacific Biological Control is developing the commercial product.

    “Every year, the Western IPM Center supports new pest-management research in the West, and this is exactly the kind of impact we’re looking to make,” said Jim Farrar, the director of the Center. “There really was no good way to manage this pest, and now it looks like we’re close to an effective solution.”

    Adult Prionus beetles.
    The adult Prionus californicus beetle is a fierce-looking longhorn beetle about two-inches long. The adult beetle doesn’t eat or drink and has a short three-to-four-week lifespan devoted to finding other beetles to mate with. The damage is done by the larvae.

    “The larvae are root-feeders,” said Jim Barbour at the University of Idaho who co-led the Center-funded research team with Jocelyn Millar of the University of California, and Lawrence Hanks of the University of Illinois. “They grow to about three inches long, and one or two of them really make a mess of hop roots and the roots of some fruit trees. In fact, one old name for the beetle was the Giant Apple Root-Borer.”

    Once a hop yard is infected, the only effective control strategy has been pulling up the plants and leaving the field fallow for two or three years. Fumigation with various organophosphates is sometimes used, but its effectiveness is questionable.

    “In Idaho, they are the most serious hop pest,” Barbour said. “They are also a problem in Washington as well, which is the largest hop-producing state with about 25,000 acres in production.”

    The team determined the female Prionus beetle produces a sex pheromone, then identified and synthesized the compound.

    The larvae do the damage in hops and orchards
    “Since then, it’s been shown to attract a number of Prionus beetles, not just Prionus californicus,” Barbour said. “It works with at least eight different species in North America and one in Europe.”

    The team tested its compound in both mass-trapping strategies and mating-disruption approaches. In the former, the bait scent is placed in traps that beetles fall into and can’t escape and they die in the traps. In the latter, enough of the scent is released to saturate an area so the beetles can’t follow it back to a female and they die naturally without having mated.

    “Mating disruption is easier in some respects because you don’t have traps to manage,” Barbour said. “It takes more work up front to show that the beetles are not finding each other to mate.”

    The team’s tests showed both approaches can work, but have focused on mating disruption.

    Barbour’s current research team is working with Pacific Biological Control and Western Region IR-4 to get the compound labeled by the EPA as a mating disruption agent for use in hops and sweet cherries. Since both are small-acreage crops, expanding the approved use to other crops like apples and pecans could help make the product more economically viable.
    “We hope that by 2014 we’ll have large-scale trials going with it,” Barbour said. “This certainly will be welcome news in hop yards and to the hop commissions in various states.”