In the National News
STERILE INSECT TECHNIQUE USED FOR LBAM ERADICATION PROGRAM IN CA
The light brown apple moth (LBAM) was discovered in California in early 2007, and since that point, CA officials have invested in the development of alternatives to improve eradication efforts. That work seems to be moving along faster than expected. CA Dept. of Food and Ag. is fast-tracking an approach known as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), in which large quantities of sterile insects are released so that the wild population cannot reproduce.
SIT has been successfully used for more than 30 years worldwide against a variety of insects—most famously the medfly. It was originally thought to take 5 to 7 years to adapt SIT to LBAM, but work has progressed more rapidly than expected. CDFA now plans to begin limited releases of the sterile moths in 2009, with a full-scale program up and running in 2011.
KIDS REDISCOVER LADY BEETLES
A new program initiated by Cornell University, called The Lost Ladybug Project, is asking children to start looking for lady beetles. Its goals are three-fold: to determine species density and number, to introduce children to the natural world, and to develop one of the largest citizen-science databases. Scientists predict that the 10,000+ children involved may generate up to 250,000 sightings.
Some species of lady beetles have become so rare that they have not been seen for years. Recently, a youngster in New York “found” the rare 9-spotted lady beetle that had not been seen in 16 years. The project’s Web site will include educational materials as well as instructions for collecting, photographing, and submitting information.
PINE OIL REPELS TICKS AND MOSQUITOES
Agriculture Research Service scientists have found that a compound, isolongifolenone, in pine oil repels mosquito biting and two kinds of ticks as well as or better than the commonly used insect repellent DEET. In the past, it has been expensive to develop plant-based oil products and difficult to produce large quantities. To remedy this, the ARS scientists have also developed an inexpensive production method from pine oil feedstock. Partners are now being sought to bring this technology to commercial production.
PEST MANAGEMENT POLICES TO PROTECT CHILDREN
Several communities’ school IPM programs have adopted pest management policies that prohibit the use of certain pesticides on town-owned property. A few of those communites include New Paltz, NY, Rockport and Camden, ME, Voorhees, NJ, and Greenwich, CT. In addition, an organic turf management program has been implemented for the grounds of all federal buildings in the National Capital Region.
Useful Web Sites and Publications
• www.stewardshipcommunity.com: a new site to promote proper and effective use of agricultural pesticides through community dialogue.
• beginningfarmers.cce.cornell.edu/: provides support for beginning and diversifying farmers. It is designed for citizens of New York, but some information is applicable to new farmers in Utah.
• www.ipminstitute.org: the Web site of the IPM Institute, a non-profit group that recognizes goods and service providers who practice IPM. There is information about certification, labeling, and links to regional IPM centers.
• The National Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service and Cooperative Extension in New York has published Raspberry and Blackberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada. Much of the insect, disease, watering, and training systems discussed also applies to Utah. To purchase, go to the NRAES Web site.
• Watering Systems for Lawn and Gardens: A How-to Guide, by R. Dodge Woodson discusses all types of irrigation systems and step-by-step installation instructions in 144 pages.
• NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) and Oregon State University have published a new brochure entitled “Farming for Pest Management: Habitat for Beneficial Insects.” It illustrates how farmers can attract and retain helpful predators and parasites, including those elligible for support by the Farm Bill program. To see the brochure, click here.
• “Plants for Pollinators in Oregon” is a 26-page, online guide that provides information about establishing, maintaining and enhancing habitat and food resources for native pollinators in buffers, windbreaks, alley cropping, field borders, range plantings, and other practices. It is written by NRCS and USDA staff, and the pdf document can be downloaded here.