Utah Pests News Spring 2007


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In the National News

Water Quality Tests

Water quality was measured by USGS in streams across the country and results showed that over 90% of streams and about 50% of shallow wells near agricultural and urban areas contained pesticide residue. From Gilliom, et. al. 2006, “The quality of our nation’s streams and ground water”, 1992-2001.

Pesticides Update

EPA continues phase-out of harmful pesticides. Lindane, “recognized internationally as one of the most toxic, persistent, bio-accumulative pesticides ever registered,” according to Jim Gulliford, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, has finally been banned after over 10 years of review. It is still approved, however, by the FDA as a medicinal treatment for lice and scabies.

EPA is also phasing out the carbamate, carbofuran, over a 4-year period

Organic Farming Degree

The organic food industry is expected to generate sales of $32 billion by the year 2009. WSU now offers a B.S. in organic farming.

New EPA Program

EPA’s “Greenscapes” is a new program designed to promote healthy landscapes through water conservation, pesticide reduction, recycling, and “green landscaping.”

Living Mulches-Another IPM Strategy

A newly reported study* confirms the long-suspected hypothesis that living mulch increases populations of predatory insects by improving habitat. The researchers found that the predatory insects in the legume mulch trial killed over 50% more of the European corn borer pupae as compared to the non-mulched plots. Other research has shown that living mulches can reduce the need for fertilizer, suppress weeds, and limit erosion.

*J.R. Prasifka,et al “Effects of Living Mulches on Predator Abundance and Sentinel Prey in a Corn-Soybean-Forage Rotation,”, Environmental Entomology. 35:5.

New Name, New Web Site, New Logo 

Many positive changes have occurred over the last several months that were designed to allow us to better serve you and the community.  The Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab and the IPM group are now collectively called the “Utah Pests” group.

Our web site, utahpests.usu.edu, is packed with information about insects, plant pathogens, and IPM.  A searchable photo gallery includes Utah’s common insect and diseases, primarily on tree fruits.  We are constantly adding to our fact sheet offerings (see list on page 1) and on-line publications.  Slide shows in a variety of topics are available to view, as well as IPM tree fruit research reports.

Thank you to Andrea Bell at the USU Fact Center for designing our new logo, shown on the front of this newsletter.  The logo includes a fire blight “shepherds’ crook” and a beetle on a Utah map background.

Useful Web Sites and Publications

Web Sites

http://pnwpest.org/pnw/insects: PNW Insect Management Handbook

http://plant-disease.ippc.orst.edu/: PNW Disease Management Handbook

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/: a treasure-trove of IPM information

http://pep.wsu.edu/hortsense/: home gardener fact sheets for managing plant problems using IPM

 Publications Available

• “Canada Sprayer Guide” (www.canadasprayerguide.com) includes material on sprayer technology, application techniques, and related research.

• The online book on “Building Soils for Better Crops”, by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) can be found at: http://www.sare.org/publications/bsbc/index.htm

• An educational DVD, “Growing your Business the Natural Way” is available for lawn-care professionals for $5 from The Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program, at 516-883-0887, or http://ghlp.org/prof_ed.html. They also offer DVDs for homeowners and school districts.

• Cornell has recently published two spiral-bound IPM sources: “Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management”, and “Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Vegetables.” Contact Cornell at 607-255-2080, or www.cce.cornell.edu/store.