IPM Voice Newsletter                               October 2016
In This Issue: Federal IPM Appropriations Status Update; New Study Analyzes Global Invasive Species Risk and Response Capacity; Researchers Create Interactive Pest-Mapping IT Tool for IPM Decision-Making; Beneficial Virus Commercialized as Biopesticide for Cotton Bollworm
Federal IPM Appropriations Status Update
In lieu of agreement on a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 federal appropriations budget, Congress has granted a Continuing Resolution through December 7th for federal agencies to spend at FY2016 levels. The United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) still expects the Request For Applications (RFA) for the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) program to be released in mid-January, although this date is subject to change contingent on FY2017 budget requirements and decisions. This year's RFA will solicit proposals for two program areas: Applied Research and Development, which is included in the RFA annually, and Extension Implementation, which is included once every three years.
Stay tuned for further updates on the Continuing Resolution, the FY2017 budget and the upcoming RFAs.
New Study Analyzes Global Invasive Species Risk and Response Capacity

A new country-by-country invasive species risk analysis and forecast predicts that one-sixth of the world's landmass is highly vulnerable to invasive alien species, particularly in developing countries. This first-of-its-kind study has been completed by a team of researchers from Purdue, the University of Exeter and the University of Massachusetts, examining spatial data for current invasive species threats and gauging abilities of nations to prepare proactively and respond reactively.
Developing countries are most at-risk from invasive species. Historically, developed countries have had the highest numbers of invasive species, but also greater financial resources and stronger management efforts. Developing nations have weaker preventative measures and fewer financial resources to respond to new threats, often with fragile economies and food systems that are more easily afflicted by new invasives. People in developing nations are also often more vulnerable to food shortages and poverty. Political instability and regional climate change may also impact efforts to combat invasive species in these nations. At-risk countries including Peru, Thailand, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Chad, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea are also hotspots of biological diversity that may be threatened by proliferation of exotic organisms.
Globalization and rapid expansion of international trade and travel have facilitated the spread of invasive species. Invasives stow away in or contaminate shipments, are carried by passenger air travel or are imported as exotic plants or pets and escape into the wild. Once introduced, an invasive species can quickly spread and establish itself, wreaking havoc on the native ecosystem. The ability of native species to compete is stressed as ecological disturbances including agriculture, wildfires and climate change further affect biodiversity and habitat.
Jeffrey Dukes, study co-author and professor of forestry, natural resources and biological sciences at Purdue, suggests inexpensive measures that can be taken now to prevent the spread of invasives, "Coordinating efforts and sharing data with neighboring countries are simple, cost-efficient ways for nations to better prepare themselves to deal with invasive species." As explored in an earlier Voice article, governments can also adopt stricter policies to ban the sale and import of exotic pets and plants and better enforce existing laws. On an individual level, travelers can clean shoes of soil, inspect bags and packages to avoid the transport of seeds and insects, and can be honest with customs officers about whether they have been traveling in natural vs. urban areas.
Read more at Phys.org or read the full study in Nature. 
Researchers Create Interactive Pest-Mapping IT Tool for IPM Decision-Making

Developers at Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences have created an interactive pest-mapping tool for U.S. growers. PestWatch is an open-source geospatial information system (GIS) pest database developed by Dr. Shelby Fleischer. It allows users to enter and view location-specific pest collection data for pests including Mexican rice borer, European corn borer, fall armyworm, corn earworm and western bean cutworm. Growers are encouraged to set pheromone traps, submit trap-catch counts and monitor data changes in real time. The current mapping data is primarily localized in the Northeastern US with a few outliers, but is set to expand with increased use by growers.
The PestWatch tool has existed in various forms since 1999, but the visual mapping aspect is new in 2016. Dr. Fleischer developed the tool in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Informatics (CEI), a collective of researchers and programmers focused on helping scientists model, organize, manage and share data more effectively. Dr. Fleischer has noted the advances in information technology (IT) that make a tool like PestWatch possible. "Information technologies are making it much easier to collect and communicate these data trends. Before, there was no real way to compile all this data in an easy-to-communicate format, so now the integration of boots on the ground, monitoring and IT modeling is allowing us to sync data collection and communication together."
The lead IT developer for PestWatch, Steve Crawford, hopes the tool will be used for IPM decision-making by growers. "For many farmers, due to lack of information, they'll apply pesticides every other week regardless of whether or not they have to. By using an IPM tool like PestWatch, they can make more informed decisions and potentially save themselves thousands of dollars while also helping the environment."
Read more about the development of PestWatch at Penn State University or visit the PestWatch homepage.
Beneficial Virus Commercialized as Biopesticide for Cotton Bollworm

Dr. Leila Matindoost of the University of Queensland has recently identified a way to increase the production of naturally occurring beneficial viruses for biopesticide use. This family of arthropod viruses, known as baculoviruses, has been used for some time to control agricultural and forest pests, but technical obstacles to in vitro production have prevented commercial production.
Baculoviruses have a limited host range: they do not affect humans or non-arthropod wildlife. Dr. Matindoost's baculovirus biopesticide targets cotton bollworm, a major pest of cotton, tomato, corn, eggplant, alfalfa, tobacco, chickpea and other crops worldwide, accounting for an estimated thirty percent of world insecticide use.
Up until now, baculoviruses have been isolated and harvested primarily from Lepidoptera, with around 500 known host species. Other insect orders are also known to be hosts, including Neuroptera, Trichoptera, Crustacea, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera. Dr. Matindoost was able to increase scale of production via a large bioreactor. Her patented biopesticide is expected to be available for sale within five years.
Read more at Phys.org.
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Renew your IPM Voice membership for 2016 (or become a new member) and check out our  donation options by visiting ipmvoice.org/join.

Upcoming IPM-Related Meetings and Conferences
November 2-5, 2016. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium. Yosemite, CA

March 19-22, 2018.
Ninth International IPM Symposium. Baltimore, MD
IPM Voice is an independent non-profit organization that seeks to make IPM intelligible and valuable to the world including to the public, the grower community and lawmakers.  Our core purpose is to strengthen IPM communities by adding effective communication to the IPM toolbox.  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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