IPM Voice Newsletter                                                                                                              August 2014

Constraints to IPM Adoption over Time and Space

Despite its successes and overwhelming support in the scientific community, IPM suffers from low adoption in both developed and developing countries.  To identify current obstacles, participants at IPM in Developing Countries, a 2011 workshop held in Ecuador, designed, implemented and recently published results of a survey of colleagues. In phase one, the survey generated 413 open-ended responses, including 51 unique barriers.  The most frequent responses were insufficient training and technical support to farmers, followed by lack of favorable government policies and support, with 53 and 39 occurrences respectively.  The next most frequent were low farmer education and literacy levels (22), difficulty vs. conventional management with pesticides (18), influence of the pesticide industry (16) and shortage of IPM funding, especially long-term funding (16).

These 51 obstacles were then ranked by 163 IPM professionals and practitioners from 96 countries.  Eighty percent of participants were from developing countries. Dr. Soroush Parsa, lead study author and researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, reports:  "Variability in how people rank the importance of these obstacles can be explained by the region of practice."  Participants in the developing world ranked the single most important obstacle as the necessity of collective, community-wide cooperation in order to enact IPM practices.  Dr. Parsa elaborated that, from the perspective of the developing world, "many IPM tactics may be susceptible to a collective-action dilemma."  In contrast, respondents from the developed world ranked community wide cooperation 28th out of 51 obstacles, placing a lack of well-qualified IPM extensionists and IPM experts in the top spot.


This survey echoes findings from the 1992 US EPA-sponsored National IPM Forum held in Arlington, Va.  Forum participants from government, academia and industry, and crop producers at four subsequent regional stakeholder workshops identified major constraints including a lack of national commitment (Forum participants) and lack of economic incentives (producers). The two groups agreed on four other constraints:  insufficient funding for IPM implementation, infrastructure and applied research; burdensome EPA regulations; pre-existing agricultural policies uninformed by IPM; and a lack of federal, state and private sector coordination.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's University Housing Achieves Green Shield Certification

University Housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has achieved Green Shield Certification for its IPM program. It is the second university program in the nation to achieve the certification, earned after a rigorous on-site evaluation by the IPM Institute of North America, Inc.


The Housing Program includes 3.6 million square feet of residence halls and apartments on campus and is home to a resident population of 11,000, including many graduate students and their children.  IPM coordinator Diane Kiddoo's pest management team takes great pride in balancing effective pest management with health and environmental concerns. "Safety is huge," Kiddoo says. "We make an effort to find low toxicity products that work."  When pesticides are used, it's as a last resort using methods that reduce potential for exposure. Ensuring that entryways have effective door sweeps is a primary strategy to reduce pest complaints.


Kiddoo's expertise and years of experience have paid off for the campus in sharp reductions in pest complaints and in pesticide use.  "This is a real success story, where pests have become hard to find," according to Dr. Susan Ratcliffe, University of Illinois entomologist.


The Green Shield Certification is just the latest addition to the University's sustainability plan, including two LEED Silver buildings, a Gold Status award from the Schools of Illinois Public Cooperative for its green cleaning practice, and Green Shield Certification for the University's Spurlock Museum.

Upcoming IPM-Related Meetings and Conferences

September 17, 2014.  School IPM Coordinator Regional TrainingHouston, TX

October 8, 2014.  C-IPM Workshop.  Berlin, Germany

November 10-12, 2014Sustainable Agriculture Conference.  Greenville, SC 

November 16-19, 2014. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Portland, OR 

January 14-16, 2014.  IPM Innovation in Europe conference.  Poznań, Poland 

March 23-26, 2015. Eighth International IPM Symposium. Salt Lake City, UT

IPM Voice is an independent, non-profit organization advocating for integrated pest management (IPM) that is genuinely progressive and seeks continuous improvement of environmental, social and economic conditions through application of accepted scientific principles.  IPM Voice was formed in 2010 by more than 35 professionals working to expand the benefits IPM has provided to agriculture and communities for more than 40 years.

IPM Voice, Inc. / 1020 Regent Street  Madison, Wisconsin 53715 / 608-232-1410 / www.ipmvoice.org