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ALARC HIGHLIGHTS - What's New at the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center


ALARC Highlights Archive





U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center hosts a seminar series each year from September through May.  This provides a way to keep our staff, other researchers and our stakeholders abreast of the latest research developments on a wide range of topics. All interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend the seminar presentations.

Questions or suggestions for future topics may be directed to the Center Director (

Seminars are held in the US ALARC conference room, 21881 N. Cardon Lane, Maricopa. For directions to the facility please download this map.


Recent Unit News


Pink Bollworm eradication. ALARC and other ARS scien-tists made substantive contributions the elimination of the pink bollworm from much of the U.S. and Mexico. A detailed history of this crucial effort is given. From National Public Radio, ARS, and Imperial Valley Press [Link] [Link] [Link] 

Integrated Pest Management in AZ Cotton. Overviews are given of an ALARC scientist’s research efforts that have been integral to driving the adoption and improvement of integrated pest management practices in cotton. From Pinal Central and Cotton Farming [Link] [Link] 


ALARC recognized for research accomplishments. ALARC scientists are working on a number of fronts to help agriculture to be more productive and economical. Highlighted is the Center’s recent work on biological control of fungi that produce aflatoxin, a potent human and animal toxin that infests many desert crops, and the development of alternative crops that reduce water use and provide growers with options. From the Maricopa Monitor [Link]

Secretary Perdue visits Arizona. As part of the 5th Annual Arizona Agribusiness Roundtable, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue sat down with Arizona Department of Agriculture Mark Killian to discuss trade and other agricultural issues affecting Arizona. From Western Farm Press [Link]

Farm Science Day 2020. After the Federal Government shutdown in 2018/2019 scuttled Farm Science Day 2019, ALARC was anxious to host their annual outreach event in 2020. The late February 2020 date was postponed due to rain and the COVID-19 pandemic eventually forced us to cancel our rain-date in mid March. We look forward to a big comeback in 2021! The event focuses on educating the local community about agriculture and the science behind it in family friendly environment. From the Maricopa Monitor [Link] [Link]



Pink Bollworm Eradicated from the USA and Northern Mexico. After a 16 year multi-institutional program in the southwestern USA and the three northern states of Mexico, the pink bollworm was declared officially eradicated in October of 2018. ALARC and one of its founding predecessors, the Western Cotton Research Lab in Phoenix, was instrumental in developing many of the technologies that made the program possible. [link] [link]

Benefits of Some Genetically Engineered Seeds Extend Beyond Pest Control. Genetically engineered crops that produce the insecticidal proteins of a common bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis, Bt) may enable biological control to function better because of the reduction in broader-spectrum insecticides once needed to control major pest insects now controlled by the plant. [link]

Project Puente Student Interns. ALARC once again hosted a number of high school and college undergraduate that  spent 8 weeks with a mentor scientist and completed their own research projects. Internships were capped with students presenting their poster at a special event. [Link] Dr. Crystal McKenna presented a TEDx talk at Central Arizona College that explores the changing faces of scientists and talks about Project Puente as a vehicle to increase diversity in STEM fields [link

Tools for Entomological Research. Two ALARC scientists along with several other USDA-ARS scientists have published a special issue in the journal Annals of the Entomological Society of America focused on innovative tools for studying insect behavior and biological control.  [link]


ALARC Environmental Management System (EMS) Policy Statement

Click [here] to read the location's EMS policy statement as a PDF


ARS News Articles

Synergy Between Biotech and Classical Control Tactics Rid U.S. of Invasive Pest
Dec 21, 2020
USDA's Agricultural Research Service Announces Scientist of the Year and Other Awards
Jun 15, 2011
Predicting the Environmental Effects of Transgenic Bt Crop Lines
Nov 12, 2009