IPM Voice Newsletter December 2014
C-IPM European Research Network Aims to Improve IPM in Europe
Coordinated Integrated Pest Management in Europe (C-IPM) is a European Research Network or ERA-NET dealing specifically with IPM research needs. ERA-NETs are formal collaborations between research and government institutions to address fragmentation of research efforts in the European Union (EU). C-IPM was created to help coordinate research around the EU Directive 2009/128/EC that mandated the use of IPM on all farms in member states by 2014.
C-IPM is made up of 32 institutions in 21 European countries and has seven work packages: develop a Strategic Research Agenda on IPM in Europe; map and analyze existing research based on future needs; document and evaluate minor use problems and possible IPM solutions; analyze IPM-related infrastructures and capacities; develop and fund joint transnational calls; facilitate communication; and manage C-IPM.
From November 26 to 28, 48 representatives from 20 European countries convened in Portugal for the inaugural annual meeting of C-IPM to work towards a communal research agenda. Speakers from the Julius Kühn Institute in Germany, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and Aarhus University in Denmark presented the results of three different surveys assessing existing and planned IPM policies, the quality of existing IPM-related infrastructure in European countries and minor uses that require more research. The minor uses survey identified IPM for fruits and vegetables and weeds as high priorities for research. Most of the 21 member countries reported use of demonstration farms, web-based tools and training programs to support IPM or reduction of pesticide risks and use, but only seven countries host long-term IPM field experiments. C-IPM organizers will apply this information to draft a Strategic Research Agenda and transnational research calls. Moving forward, C-IPM has organized a series of workshops and conferences.
Philadelphia City Council Creates Bed Bug Task Force for the New Year
On December 3, the Philadelphia City Council made headlines when they held a special hearing to collect testimony from pest management experts, public health officials and citizens about the unprecedented 2014 outbreak of bed bugs in their city. A report from a University of Pennsylvania team earlier this year confirmed that bed bug cases were increasing and widespread throughout the city. The problem is particularly severe in Philadelphia due to the city's characteristic row houses, allowing easy transfer of the pest from one dwelling to another.
A theme that appeared throughout the day was the anxiety caused by bed bug infestation. One Philadelphia resident testified, "It's really, really important that people understand the severity of the situation and that people talk about the emotional trauma." She said her husband tells her that she pounds the mattress and yells in her sleep. First District Councilman Mark Squilla, who suffered from bed bugs in his home, reported that a speck of dust on a mattress still scares him.
The City Council voted to establish a bed bug task force that will convene for the first time early in the new year. Its work will establish best practices for the city, possibly modeled after bedbug policies in New York City and Chicago. They hope to establish a citywide plan to contain outbreaks and clarify which responsibilities fall to tenants and property owners in education around and treatment of bedbug problems. Read more news coverage of the hearing here.
Alkaloids from Poisonous Frogs Fight Fire Ants, Mosquitoes
Recent research findings from a collaboration led by Robert Vander Meer of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) show that certain alkaloids found in the skin of poisonous South and Central American frogs are effective at stunning and killing fire ants.
Fire ants are an invasive South American species that have caused damage to crops and harm to wildlife, pets, livestock and even humans since their introduction to the US. Poisonous frogs defend themselves from attack by predators - including ants - by sequestering alkaloids that they ingest when they eat ants, mites, millipedes and other arthropods. Vander Meer and his team tested twenty alkaloids from frogs that live in areas where fire ants are native. Their results showed that several of the alkaloids were very effective at incapacitating fire ants while others were not. Interestingly, the effective alkaloids came from from mites in the frogs' diet.
Another member of the research team, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Paul Weldon, previously published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on another derivative from the skin of poisonous frogs - pumiliotoxin 251D - which was found to kill mosquitoes on contact. Unfortunately, this compound is toxic to mammals as well. Scientists believe that additional research may reveal other alkaloids found in frog skin that have a similar effect on mosquitoes with less danger to humans and other mammals. Read more about both studies here.
IPM-Related Presentations at the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum
On February 19 and 20 the USDA Office of the Chief Economist will host the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia. The Theme is Smart Agriculture for the 21st Century: A Discussion on Innovation, Biotechnology and Big Data. IPM-related topics include a break-out session on pollinator health including "Diseases & Pesticides Affecting Bee Health" and "Bees on the Farm" on February 20th and another breakout session later that same day around antimicrobial resistance. The bioeconomy or economic activity derived from scientific and research activity focused on biotechnology is the theme for yet another breakout session on February 20th.
It's That Time of Year!
This year we've added a new individual membership category for a donation of only $40! Renew your IPM Voice membership for 2015 (or become a new member) and check out our new donation options by visiting http://www.ipmvoice.org/join.htm.
Upcoming IPM-Related Meetings and Conferences
January 7-9, 2015. Global Bed Bug Summit. Denver, CO
January 7-9, 2015. 69th Texas A&M University Urban Pest Management Conference and Workshop. Bryan, TX
January 12-14, 2015. Purdue Pest Management Conference 2015. West Lafayette, IN
January 14-16, 2015. IPM Innovation in Europe conference. Poznan, Poland
January 21-24, 2015. National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants Annual Meeting. Reno, NV
February 19-20, 2015. Agricultural Outlook Forum: Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century.
February 26-28, 2015. MOSES Organic Farming Conference. La Crosse, WI
March 23-26, 2015. Eighth International IPM Symposium. Salt Lake City, UT
April 19-21, 2015. PestWorld East. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
August 24-27, 2015. The XVII International Plant Protection Congress. Berlin, Germany
October 19-22, 2015. ESBCP 2-15, the Fourth Regional Conference of Applied Biological Control of Pests. Cairo, Egypt
IPM Voice is an independent, non-profit organization advocating for integrated pest management (IPM) that is genuinely progressive and seeks continuous improvement of environmental, social and economic conditions through application of accepted scientific principles. IPM Voice was formed in 2010 by more than 35 professionals working to expand the benefits IPM has provided to agriculture and communities for more than 40 years.
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