Author Archives: aymanazag

The Even More Relevant IPM

It’s not everyday you hear a debate about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on public radio. On February 3, 2015, NPR’s Diane Rehm invited a panel to her show to discuss pesticides and resistance management. The discussion initiated with reviewing the book “Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons”. The panelists each had distinct approaches to managing pest resistance. While bringing different points of view about the issues of pest management, there were voices supporting the integrated approach, a.k.a. IPM.

This show illustrated how an approach we deal with, as a small AG community in AZ or elsewhere in the country, can be a subject of national debate. These also are just the kind of issues that we regularly discuss at our Extension grower meetings. We take advantage of these opportunities to come, not just for credits, not just for the good food, but for the good discussion and debate that we are all involved in. While such national debate can raise awareness of the subjects of pest management, IPM and resistance management, it can also be subject to distortion and emotional feelings rather than scientific facts.

The synopsis below is a snapshot of a rather wide discussion occurred during the show, which you can access by Clicking Here.

Diane Rehm Show Airs Program on IPM Solutions to Pesticide Resistance

On February 3, the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio (NPR) addressed the issue of growing pesticide resistance and options to combat it. Guests in this installment in the show’s Environmental Outlook series included Aaron Hobbs, president of Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE); Les Glasgow, herbicide technical product lead for Syngenta; Erik Olson, director of health programs for the Natural Resource Defense Council; and Andy Dyer, professor of biology at the University of South Carolina and author of “Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons.”

The panel as a whole supported the need for integrated and sustainable approaches to reining in the rapid development of pesticide and herbicide resistance. Dyer noted that pesticides are important tools, but that they must be used in a targeted, precise manner to maximize effectiveness. Glasgow agreed that a diversity of tactics in pest control is the key to sustainable effectiveness of each tactic. Hobbs drove the point home that IPM is the appropriate approach to tackling pest problems, describing the process as “looking at all the tools in your toolbox . . . to bring to solving the problem at hand. Sometimes that’s going to be a pesticide; sometimes it’s going to be another solution.” Both Glasgow and Hobbs highlighted the importance of education and training about effective use of pest control products. To listen to the recording, visit the Diane Rehm Show Website.

Fungal Infection in Alfalfa Aphids





Over the last few weeks we received reports of sluggish mummified aphids in many alfalfa fields across central Arizona. After visiting and collecting samples it appears the aphids are infected with fungal disease that can eventually kill aphids in these fields. This phenomenon is not usual in the desert. Fungi depend on high moisture to grow and propagate. The last rains we received created a favorable conditions for the growing of this fungus and allowed its infection to alfalfa aphids. We are monitoring this phenomenon, which we believe can give some relieve from the alfalfa aphid problem we are dealing with the last few years. Click Here for photos of aphids infected with this fungus. Watch for similar aphids in your field, and if you have similar situation, please let us know.

Cooperative Extension Centennial Celebration

On Saturday, October 4, from 4:00-7:00pm, the State Office, Maricopa and Pinal County Cooperative Extension, Maricopa Agricultural Center and the Maricopa County Farm Bureau will be hosting the final of four Celebrating the Past, Envisioning the Future Centennial Event at the Phoenix Zoo – Neely Center (455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix). The program will include a reception, a BBQ dinner and some entertainment from our local 4-H youth. Special guests will be Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, UA President as our keynote speaker and Sean McLaughlin, CBS news anchor in Phoenix as emcee (and former 4-Her from Iowa). The evening will conclude with presentations to our Centennial Honorees.Registration ($25) is required. Everyone must register online. Questions regarding registration can be directed to Amber Jones (602.827.8210). Registrations cannot be accepted after September 19, 2014.

Additional information is available at the Centennial Events website which includes the agenda, a Phoenix Zoo map, and a registration link.
Please join us in Phoenix as we celebrate our Centennial!