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Scientist Rick Bennett examines leafy spurge roots: Link to photo information


Two New Integrated Pest Management Projects Underway

By Kathryn Barry Stelljes
September 3, 1997

Rangeland weeds and stored-grain bugs are targets of two new five-year areawide integrated pest management (IPM) research projects of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. IPM aims at finding ways to control pests with less reliance on pesticides--for example, by monitoring pest levels to see if pesticide is needed or by substituting a pest’s own natural enemies.

The new IPM projects--the third and fourth led by ARS since 1995--will target lesser grain borers and other pests found in grain elevators, and a rangeland weed called leafy spurge.

Leafy spurge infests about 5 million acres in at least 29 states. IPM controls will be developed and demonstrated at sites in Montana, North and South Dakota and Wyoming. Leafy spurge costs these states $144 million annually. New control methods will lower costs and reduce reliance on herbicides. The project is being led by ARS along with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, other federal and state agencies and universities in the four states.

Stored-grain insects annually account for multi-million dollar losses. ARS, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University researchers will team up on a project aimed at reducing reliance on insecticides. They will improve insect monitoring and develop alternatives to fumigation, such as cooling storage facilities.

ARS has two other five-year areawide IPM partnership projects in progress. To reduce codling moths in Pacific Northwest orchards, one project uses an ARS-developed synthetic version of the female moth’s chemical sex attractant. Male moths can’t find real females. The other project, against corn rootworms in the Midwest, uses an ARS-developed bait laced with a feeding stimulant and a tiny dose of insecticide--95 to 98 percent less than is applied in conventional spray.

Scientific contacts: (Leafy spurge) Paul C. Quimby, ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney, Mont., phone (406) 482-2020, fax 482-5038,; (Stored grain) David W. Hagstrum, ARS U.S. Grain Marketing Research Center, Manhattan, Kan., phone (785) 776-2718, fax 776-2792,