Integrated Pest Management Excellence will be recognized in 2018 at International IPM Conference

The best of the best in integrated pest management will receive awards and recognition at the 9th International IPM Symposium, March 19-22, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. Ten professional and 2 student winners were selected out of 27 professional and 9 student nominations. Four types of awards will be presented next year: Lifetime Achievement, IPM Practitioner, International IPM Awards for Excellence, International IPM Awards for Recognition and, new next year, Graduate Student awards.

Drs. Frank Zalom and Peter Goodell from the University of California will each receive the Lifetime Achievement award.

Pete Goddell

Pete Goodell

Goodell started his IPM career in 1981 as an Area IPM Specialist during a time when farmers sprayed their fields based on a calendar date. Determined to reduce the use of broad-spectrum pesticides being used while still increasing yields, Goodell worked with growers, other IPM experts and organizations like the Natural Resource Conservation Service to promote the use of scouting for pests and the reliance on thresholds and degree-day models to determine when to treat.

Frank Zalom

Frank Zalom

Frank Zalom, extension entomologist at the University of California at Davis, also has an impressive record of furthering IPM. Zalom began in 1980 as the IPM Coordinator in California. Although he was responsible for advancing IPM in the state, Zalom championed the idea of promoting IPM on a regional and even national level. For 16 years he co-chaired the American Public Land-grant University National IPM Committee, leading to the development of the Regional IPM Centers. Zalom believes that the science and implementation of IPM will reduce the impact of pests and pest management on agriculture and the environment.

One of Zalom’s most successful projects was IPM implementation in almonds. Because of his research on naval armyworm, damage from the pest went from 8.8 percent in 1978 to less than 1.5 percent in 1990, with a 40 percent reduction in insecticides.

Goddell and Zalom will both speak at the Symposium closing session.

Dawn Gouge

Dawn Gouge

Dawn Gouge from the University of Arizona and El Aini Rachid from the National Institute of Agronomic Research in Morocco will receive the IPM Practitioner award. Gouge is nationally known for her expertise and involvement in school IPM. Despite the fact that school IPM in Arizona is voluntary, she worked with more than 50 school districts to implement IPM programs. In 2015, surveys done by a school IPM working group showed that Arizona schools using IPM had 75 percent fewer pest incidents with 71 percent fewer pesticides used. Gouge was also one of the leaders behind the development of the IPM Institute’s IPM STAR program and led the collaboration for Stop School Pests and the national school pest management strategic plan.

Rachid El Aini

Rachid El Aini

El Aini Rachid has been instrumental in helping Moroccan farmers implement IPM in the field as well as in greenhouses. Rachid’s organization, the National Institute of Agronomic Research, is in the Souss-Massa region in Morocco, which supplies 90 percent of the fruits and vegetables exported from Morocco. Rachid provided beneficial insects and training on implementing IPM. Since then, use of biological control in tomato and pepper has increased significantly. Rachid also helped growers control tomato leaf miner, reducing pesticide applications by 60 percent to control the pest in pepper, and from 42 applications on tomato to only 14.

Six teams will be recognized in the IPM Team category, receiving either the International IPM Award for Excellence or the International IPM award for Recognition.

Three teams will receive International IPM Awards for Excellence. The first, the Megacopta Working Group, is based in the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department. The group led a multi-state and multi-institutional collaboration to address the invasion of the kudzu bug. The group conducted research into the biology of the insect, enabling them to establish a damage threshold for crops, define action thresholds and assess biological control agents. Members of the group also established IPM practices for the pest, developed trade protocols and created a forecasting map for growers to better time insecticide applications.

Because of the group’s work on international trade protocols, Georgia officials were able to continue trade with Central America after Honduran and Guatemalan authorities denied shipments of goods from Georgia because of kudzu bugs.

Soybean entomology

Kelley Tilmon

The North Central Soybean Entomology Research and Extension Team won the second Award for Excellence. This 12-state group has engaged in insect IPM for over 15 years and uses a combination of applied and basic research with extension. The group began as a response to soybean aphid damage in the North Central region and then included additional pests to its charge. The group’s main accomplishment is characterizing biotypes of soybean aphid, identifying new sources of resistance to breed new plants, developing thresholds and scouting methods, and identifying two parasitoids that provide some natural control.

Oscar Ortiz, Director

The third group to receive the Team award is the IPM of Late Blight and FFS Activity Program piloted by the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru. The Center, or CIP by its Spanish acronym, is a global partnership of various organizations in several countries to achieve sustainable solutions to world hunger. In the early 2000s, the CIP worked with governments and grower organizations in six countries to pilot an IPM team to address potato late blight. The CIP developed a “farmer field school” to train potato growers to use IPM to manage the disease. The project, which combined research and farmer training, resulted in a decrease in pesticide use, an increase in knowledge about IPM for late blight, and a 32 percent increase in potato productivity and income.

Lucia Varela shows farm workers how to identify European grapevine moth eggs during a field day

The other three groups will receive International IPM Awards for Recognition. The first group, the European Grapevine Moth Team, achieved the eradication of European grapevine moth only 6 years after its discovery in 2009. Team members helped growers in infested counties to monitor the pest and apply control measures on a timely basis. The team’s research and extension efforts helped growers avoid losses to the pest every year until it was finally eradicated in 2016.

Prisme Consortium

Prisme Consortium

The PRISME Consortium in Canada won the second award for recognition. PRISME is a partnership between growers and agricultural professionals that combines research, development, monitoring and servicing to ensure good agricultural practices for vegetable growers. The award recognized a program the Consortium conducted to help onion growers combat onion maggot and onion blight disease while reducing both pesticide use and crop loss. PRISME launched two programs for onion growers: one using sterile insects for onion maggot and another using spore trapping for onion blight disease. The sterile insect program was so successful that releases have decreased by 90 percent in the last 5 years to only precision treatments. Spore trapping has reduced fungicide use in onions by 35 percent in the last 5 years.

Faith Oi

Faith Oi, PMU Director

The third award went to Pest Management University (PMU) in Florida. Pest Management University started in 2007 as a cooperative effort between the industry, the University of Florida and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to provide training for pest control operators. Although Florida law does not require pest control operators to use IPM practices, pest control companies have paid PMU to train their staff in IPM. PMU’s clients have ranged from the pest control industry and school district personnel to a supermarket chain and county housing authority. One school district that sent staff to PMU went from having 299 work orders for ants in a year to 65, saving $255,000 in pest control costs.

Annie Rich

Annie Rich

For the first time, two graduate student awards will be presented at the IPM Symposium. Annie Rich from the University of Georgia will receive the Masters student award, and Zachary DeVries from North Carolina State University will receive the Ph.D. award. Rich is studying the effectiveness of a new injectable drug on North American malaria mosquito and biting midge, vector of bluetongue virus. DeVries is studying cockroach and bed bug management in low-income homes, including do-it-yourself foggers and baiting techniques.

Zach DeVries

Zach DeVries

Winners are invited to give a presentation at the Symposium as well as submit an article to the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. Check the IPM Symposium website at periodically in the next few months to find out the session schedule and when award winners will be presenting.

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