IPM Voice Newsletter November 2014
Pollinators, Pest Management and Public Policy
Pollinator health is a hot topic on Capitol Hill. "Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2013" would require EPA restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides on bee-attractive plants. A House Agriculture subcommittee is reviewing the bill now. Also in the House subcommittee, bill H.R. 5447 pushes for expedited approval of pesticides "for the management of parasitic pests that adversely impact the health of managed pollinator bees, and for other purposes." The Natural Resources Defense Council sees the bill as unnecessary, and recommends expedited review for only those products meeting current reduced-risk criteria set by EPA.
At the end of September, Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) organized a letter to the EPA with 58 congressional signatories urging the agency to undertake further research on neonicotinoids and enforce tighter restrictions on pesticides including neonicotinoid use on crops.
On November 12, the Northeastern IPM Center hosted "Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Pollinators: What is the appropriate role for IPM on the issue of pollinators?" The webinar featured a panel of representatives from USDA Agricultural Research Service, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Jennifer Sass of the NRDC, presented IPM as a cost-effective solution to pollinator health issues because of its flexibility to match the varying conditions of each grower, comparing IPM practitioners to "Star Trek pioneers of agriculture". EPA's Tom Moriarty suggested that IPM Centers are "natural sources" for disseminating information on pest management techniques that promote pollinator health. A recording is available.
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) has also indicated interest in weighing in, recently proposing pollinator health as a topic for one of their Science Policy Position Statements.
3-D Printing: Decoy Bugs and Insect Traps
3-D printing is a new frontier in technological design, with scientists working to create printers that can build objects from a host of different materials based on computer-generated blueprints. The price of this technology has recently plummeted, making it more accessible for creating projects from guns to edible cookies.
In entomology and IPM research, scientists have begun to use the technology to print decoy bugs and insect traps. Scientists from Penn State recently released a report on their study, which used supercharged decoy female emerald ash borers to attract and stun males. The scientists made two different kinds of decoys, one cast from the body of a dead female and the other 3-D printed in female form. The study concluded that the male emerald ash borers were sensitive to light reflected from textures on the deceased female body cast which were more successful in luring in the male pests than the flat printed counterparts.
In Florida, scientists at the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services designed 3-D printed traps to replace sticky traps used to collect psyllid specimens for studies on the citrus greening disease. The 3-D printed traps mimic tree branches and contain a preservative, keeping the trapped specimens intact for genetic study. They are also experimenting with LED lights to lure the insects. Read about their process in an article from Modern Farmer.
Fruit Fly Aroma Attractors Identified by Agricultural Research Service Study
The invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) poses a serious threat to soft-fruit crops like cherries and berries on farms across the country. The New York State IPM Program's Annual Report cautioned, "These growers sorely need nonpesticidal IPM practices - right now. For with over 44,000 acres of fruit at risk from SWD in New York, farmers could be forced to ramp up insecticide applications - a lot."
A new lure for SWD was developed this year by entomologist Peter Landolt and colleagues from USDA's Agricultural Research Service and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The lure contains four chemical compounds found in wine and vinegar: acetoin, methionol, acetic acid and ethanol. The lure, commercially available through Trécé, Inc. as PHERO-CON SWD, can be used by practitioners to gather better information about populations of SWD before they take action. Read more in Agricultural Research Magazine.
Voice Board Hears from Frameworks Institute
This month, Voice directors convened in Washington DC to plan next steps for your organization. Advocacy to the public and policymakers to increase awareness and appreciation of IPM has been an ongoing agenda. In Washington, Susan Bales and Drew Volmert from the Frameworks Institute spoke to the board about methods they have developed to overcome low levels of science literacy among the general public. The group takes a science-based approach to identify preconceptions about complex issues, and replace those with accurate alternatives that help individuals make more effective decisions. The board is pursuing additional conversations with communications professionals to identify a group who can best assist us in achieving our mission.
It's That Time of Year!
Renew your IPM Voice membership for 2015 (or become a new member) by visiting https://ipmvoice.org/join.htm.
Upcoming IPM-Related Meetings and Conferences
December 3-5, 2014. NPMA/PLANET Lawn Care Summit. Tampa, FL
January 7-9, 2015. Global Bed Bug Summit. Denver, CO
January 12-14, 2015. Purdue Pest Management Conference 2015. West Lafayette, IN
January 14-16, 2015. IPM Innovation in Europe conference. Poznań, Poland
January 21-24, 2015. National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants Annual Meeting. Reno, NV
February 26-28, 2015. MOSES Organic Farming Conference. La Crosse, WI
March 23-26, 2015. Eighth International IPM Symposium. Salt Lake City, UT
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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