News and Reviews

600 Attend IPM Conference

Over six hundred people attended the Second National Integrated Pest Management Symposium\Workshop which was held in Las Vegas in April. The conference was sponsored by the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) Pest Management Strategies Subcommittee and the Extension Service IPM Task Force.

Biological control was a much-discussed strategy during the conference. Indeed, a pre-conference survey indicated that the biological control workshop had the highest level of interest of all 22 proposed workshops. The workshop topic "Biological Control in IPM" was organized by Dr. Peter Dunn of Purdue University. Three invited speakers addressed various issues impacting the adoption of biological control in IPM programs. Dan Mahr of the University of Wisconsin gave a talk entitled "Biological Control and Extension IPM: Are We Ready for Each Other?" He concluded that although much research is still necessary in biological control, there already is a research base of over 100 years that includes thousands of articles in the technical literature, and that much of this information can be summarized and adopted into Extension IPM educational programs. Regional and national coordination of Extension specialists with biological control backgrounds could facilitate new programs.

Harold Browning of the University of Florida spoke in his capacity as Panel Manager for the Biological Control Grant Program within the National Research Initiative. He indicated that there are increased levels of funding for biological control research ranging from very basic studies to field implementation research. Michael Oraze of the USDA/APHIS National Biological Control Institute reviewed the status of the program that regulates many biological control activities. These regulations are currently being rewritten and will appear in the Federal Register for comments before they will be implemented. Following the three formal presentations, a free-ranging discussion was moderated by Dr. Dunn. A poster session of 14 posters accompanied the biological control workshop.

Biological control was also a prominent subject in many of the other workshops as well as in the plenary session. For example, Dr. Catherine Adams of the Campbell Soup Company presented a plenary talk entitled "The Role of IPM in a Safe, Healthy, Plentiful Food Supply". She discussed one of their IPM programs on tomatoes in Sinaloa, Mexico. The pest complex is dominated by tomato pinworm, tomato fruitworm, beet armyworm, and yellowstriped armyworm. Traditionally, this pest complex required up to 40 insecticide applications per season. An IPM program was implemented based on biological control (specifically, the use of Bacillus thuringiensis and Trichogramma) and mating disruption. This program resulted in a reduction of chemical insecticides from 22,000 pounds in 1986-87 to zero pounds in 1992-93 at a savings of $76/acre. In 1991-92, IPM fields had 66% less damage from tomato pinworm and 10% less damage from tomato fruitworm as compared with non-IPM fields.


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