The Western IPM Center funded 12 projects in 2015, including projects on invasive species in urban (emerald ash borer and stink bugs), agricultural (spotted wing drosophila and stink bugs), and natural area (sudden oak death) settings. The Center funded workgroups focused on soil health and the development and delivery of predictive models for pathogens and disease using weather information, climate information, and propagule loads.
The Center published four reports in 2015: Adoption and Impacts of Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture in the Western United States, Impacts of the Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program in the Western United States, Retrospective of the Regional IPM Grants Program, and Integrated Pest Management Improvements in Hops from 2008 to 2015. The report, Adoption and Impacts of Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture in the Western U.S., has been developed into two manuscripts that have been submitted for publication through the Journal of Integrated Pest Management.
The Center partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Interregional Project #4 (IR-4) to include IPM fit as a consideration in the project prioritization process. IR-4 supplies pest management tools for specialty crops and minor uses. Initial results from surveys indicate that participants believed the process of considering how chemical controls will fit into an overall IPM program was a useful exercise.
The Environmental Protection Agency relies on the Center to provide high quality regional information to inform regulatory decisions. The Center provided information on several high visibility issues including pollinator protection and several insecticide decisions.
The Center hosted the coconut rhinoceros beetle symposium in March. More than 30 participants from the U.S. west coast, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and New Zealand attended the symposium. Participants discussed current monitoring and control options to contain the spread of this significant threat to palm trees across the Pacific.
The Center sponsored the 8th International IPM Symposium in Salt Lake City Utah in March and is currently involved with developing the next symposium in 2018.
Jim Farrar stepped down as director in October. The position vacancy was announced at the beginning of November. Matt Baur is currently serving as interim director.