January 2003, Issue No. 201

A monthly report on environmental and pesticide related issues

In This Issue

Upcoming Conferences/Announcements

Secret Life of the Currant Stem Girdler: Another Opportunity to Use Sex Pheromones in Red Currants?
Reacting to GM Foods: Consumer Responses Surveyed in Asia and Europe

Open Forum: In an attempt to promote free and open discussion of issues, Agrichemical and Environmental News encourages letters and articles with differing views. To discuss submission of an article, please contact Dr. Allan Felsot at (509) 372-7365 or afelsot@tricity.wsu.edu; Dr. Catherine Daniels at (509) 372-7495 or cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu; Dr. Doug Walsh at (509) 786-2226 or dwalsh@tricity.wsu.edu; Dr. Vincent Hebert at (509) 372-7393 or vhebert@tricity.wsu.edu; or AENews editor Sally O'Neal Coates at (509) 372-7378 or scoates@tricity.wsu.edu. EDITORIAL POLICY, GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION.

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IPM in Seattle Public Schools

An Implementation Success Story

Theresa Salmon, Special Projects Administrator, Seattle Public Schools


Editor's Note: Pest control in our public schools presents a dilemma. As a society, we want to provide a safe place for our children to learn. Traditional pest control has often relied on chemicals, some of which are perceived as harmful. At the same time, harmful pests don’t belong in school buildings or on school grounds. Protecting our children from stinging insects, thorny weeds, and potentially harmful fungal and bacterial pathogens without exposing those children to toxins is a challenge for school administrators, teachers, parents, and legislators nationwide.

A new law took effect in Washington State July 1, 2002, requiring K-12 public schools to conform to certain regulations with respect to pest control. This new law, while colloquially referred to as the “IPM in Schools” law, does not actually require the practice of IPM (Washington’s statutory definition of IPM appears in the Revised Code of Washington as RCW 17.15.010). Rather, it is a law of communication and accountability. Key mandates of the new law include annual explanation of pest control policies to parents/guardians/employees, notice prior to actual applications, posting at the time of application, and maintenance of application records.

The new law is now a part of Chapter 17.21 of the Revised Code of Washington [RCW]. A reader-friendly Compliance Guide explaining the law and how to implement it is available through the Washington State Department of Agriculture on the Internet at http://www.wa.gov/agr/PestFert/Pesticides/docs/ComplGuidePub075.pdf .

Seattle Public Schools has been utilizing IPM practices for many years, seeking safe, effective, and economical means to control pests on school property. This article tells the story of their emerging pest management policy with respect to the new laws of communication and accountability.


Seattle Public Schools is a large and complex school district. Physically, the district comprises over one hundred separate properties to meet the needs of forty-six thousand students. Beyond our primary mission of educating students, we also meet certain needs of parents, guardians, and other community members. Among those many needs is the maintenance of a safe and clean environment for learning. Our integrated pest management (IPM) program addresses that need.

For the past three years, Seattle Public Schools has operated a successful IPM program. One of the reasons our program is successful is the involvement of our parent-teacher associations (PTA’s), employees and community members. By working with and listening to parents, employees and the community, we have built a program of responsible stewardship, effective pest management, and two-way communication that addresses both the traditional meaning of IPM (safe and effective pest control) and the new Washington State “IPM in Schools” law (communication with the community and regulators).

What is “IPM in Schools?”

“IPM in Schools” is a new expression describing what, for many school districts, is an old set of procedures. Many school districts have been practicing integrated management of pests for years, but they don’t always have a formal, written policy that codifies their procedures. Nor do they have a consistent, routine means of informing the public. The new law seeks to change the latter part of this equation.

At Seattle Public Schools, the overall pest management policy, including notification and accountability, is set by facility operations with school board approval. Within that policy, our grounds staff has the flexibility to make pest control decisions, using their experience and knowledge of IPM principles. Because we have always worked in close partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in developing this policy, we had the notification and accountability practices in place when the new law went into effect last July.

How it Works

There are essentially three “notification” components to the new law:

  1. Annual explanation of the district’s pest control policy and procedures.
  2. Notification at least 48 hours in advance of any actual application.
  3. Posted notices at the main entrances of a building at the time of application.

At Seattle Public Schools, our grounds department provides each school property with sufficient copies of an explanatory letter and a “desire to be notified” form at the start of the school year for distribution to the parents and employees. We found it works better if we supply each school with all the copies they need, as opposed to giving them a master form and expecting their secretarial staff to make and distribute copies.

To fulfill the second notification requirement, the new state law suggests either a “blanket notification” system (wherein all parents and employees are notified each time pesticides are applied) or a “registry system” (wherein parents and employees wishing to be notified register annually, expressing their desire to be notified). Within Seattle Public Schools, this is a site-based choice; each school chooses the method they prefer. All schools will send out a “desire to be notified” (registry) form along with the district’s annual explanatory letter. Based on the level of interest expressed by the parents, the school decides whether they should send out a blanket notification or notify only those who are interested in knowing when pesticides are applied. The returned forms constitute the registry list. In addition to parents and school employees, any community member interested in being on the registry list for that site may apply at any school property.

When we started doing notifications, we gave the schools 48 hours’ notice prior to spraying or other applications. In practice, this did not give the schools adequate time to notify the people on their registry in advance. We now give the schools as much as 96 hours’ notification when possible prior to applying a pesticide. Each school notifies interested parties and the school’s custodian or gardener posts a “48-hour” notification at every main door. Again, remember that school secretaries and staff are very busy! We took a lot of feedback from them on the additional work that was created by implementation of the notification system. The work can’t be avoided; our advice is to be very nice and supportive to these individuals. Listen to their suggestions for making the best of the situation. For example, following the secretaries’ suggestions, we modified our parent letter to address the most common concerns (e.g., explaining that spray areas are typically near buildings and fence lines as opposed to the open areas where students play). This decreased the paperwork and phone traffic to the schools.

Public Information and Involvement

Public perception is beginning to change in regard to pesticide use and schools. The more information we can distribute, the better the lines of communication, and the more likely our public image will be positive.

Seattle Public Schools is fortunate in that we have a relatively active parent and community base. One of the ways in which parents can become active is participation in the physical landscapes at schools. Programs such as spring and fall clean-ups enhance communication through hands-on involvement. Our elementary PTAs have an average of 60% participation in grounds projects.

Seattle Public Schools spends 15% more on mulch than we used to, as a direct result of PTA and community work parties that gather and participate in landscape modification. Using mulch as a cultural means of weed suppression, we have reduced our use of chemical herbicides.

Besides parents, businesses and private parties also volunteer at the schools. Graduate students from the University of Washington horticulture program have participated in cooperative projects for grounds improvements at two of our high schools.

Education of Staff

While the new legislation does not require licensing of applicators (unless they are applying restricted use pesticides or using certain specific types of application equipment), we encourage both licensing and continuing education. Some of our gardeners have held pesticide applicator licenses for years and all of our gardeners attend the state-endorsed annual pesticide training offered through Washington State University (http://pep.wsu.edu). The gardeners who obtain and retain a pesticide applicator license receive an incentive stipend of $0.50 an hour.

Seattle Public Schools has a centralized grounds department that maintains 101 individual properties comprising approximately 500 acres. Despite staff education and dedication, if we are to ensure compliance, it is ultimately the administration’s responsibility to review and reinforce the mandates regarding posting and notification. Through meetings, printed materials and one-on-one communication, we help gardeners and custodial personnel understand that several, even hundreds of people are expecting to be informed about each and every pesticide application at their school, and that these notifications must by law occur on time. We find that routine reminders help to ensure that notifications are given in a timely manner.

Practical Observations

Positive personal interaction with the gardeners and other school personnel is the pivotal element in determining the success or failure of implementing the new law. The communication must flow both ways, from the administration to the personnel and vice versa.

Personalities do come into play. Some school principals want weed-free grounds at any cost, even if the gardeners have to spray night and day. Other principals do not want any pesticides used whatsoever. (Of course, they still don’t want to see weeds.) The gardeners, as landscape and pest control experts, are in a position to help the administrators evaluate available resources and reasonable alternatives for everyone within the spectrum.

Gardeners apply herbicides only after an agreement with the schools has been achieved. The gardeners then notify the school (so the school can in turn notify the registry list) and post the notification four days prior to spraying. The difficulty with four-day notices is that the weather may make unpredicted changes and rescheduling (therefore re-notification) may be required. This problem (in fact, the entire issue of pre-application notification) can be legally avoided if we spray when school is not in session.


The fourth component of the new law (after the three “notification components”) is the “recordkeeping component.” The school district supplies green Environmental Stewardship notebooks to each school property. These notebooks contain important information on conservation programs (e.g. water, electricity) as well as provide a place for records storage for all these programs, including IPM.

Each green notebook provides sections for copies of the pesticide application records, material safety data sheets (MSDS), and copies of the labels of products applied. These records are to be filed in that notebook at the time of each pesticide notification and application. At least, that’s the plan. After several years of practice, we recommend that school secretaries spot-check and verify that the gardeners have left copies of the records, especially when an outside (non-district gardener) pesticide applicator have been involved. As a means of public accountability, the Environmental Stewardship notebooks are maintained at each school’s office. They are available upon request.

Tales from the Field

“Flagging” (marking the perimeter of an application area with brightly-colored little banners) is a process we have used for several years. It is not required by the new law, but it does serve as a visual indicator of the area to which pesticides have been applied. However, one time we received a frantic phone call from a parent and neighbor wanting to know what pesticide was applied to the sports field at their school during practice sessions. When we looked into it, we found that the irrigation person had flagged the irrigation heads with pesticide flags and had left them on the field for several days. This created quite a stir at the school. Now we try to ensure that “pesticide flags” are used appropriately.

In another instance, we received a call from the Superintendent’s office that a neighbor was beside himself with worry concerning the chemicals we were applying on our school grounds. We called the neighbor and let him know that the gardener had applied Roundup Pro along the fence lines about five weeks ago. The neighbor responded by saying, “Shoot…if THAT’s all it was…I use Roundup at my place. I just figured that it must have been something awfully toxic since you had to leave the flags up for FIVE WEEKS.” Lesson learned? Flags and postings should be removed promptly.

As with most departments in state institutions, our secretarial and gardening departments are understaffed and overworked. It is our job as administrators to remind them of existing procedures periodically, to fully explain new regulations, and to listen to their perspectives. Providing them with information and supplies helps facilitate their, and our, success.

Theresa Salmon is Special Projects Manager with Seattle Public Schools. She can be reached at tsalmon@seattleschools.org or (206) 252-0700.

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Secret Life of the Currant Stem Girdler

Another Opportunity to Use Sex Pheromones in Red Currants?

Dr. David James, Entomologist, WSU


Regular readers of Agrichemical and Environmental News will know of our successful research on mating disruption using a synthetic pheromone to control currant borers in the red currant fields of Prosser, Washington ("Pheromones Researched for Red Currant Pest Control: Softer Strategy May Replace Insecticides," Issue No. 171, July 2000; "Confusing (and Controlling) Currant Borers: Pheromones Show Success in Prosser Red Currant Fields," Issue No. 192, April 2002). This month, I report on yet another sex pheromone research story in red currants, which, if successful, might entirely remove the need to use insecticides to protect this high value crop!

The Crop

Red currant production in Washington is centered in the Prosser area of Benton County where 78 acres are currently in commercial production. On this acreage, two growers produce about 300 tons of red currants annually. With an average value of around $2,600/acre these currants are worth about $203,000 each year. There are also some small acreages of currant production in western Washington. The Ribes industry (Ribes spp. include red currants, black currants, and gooseberries) in North America is small, but it has great potential for growth given the relatively high value of the crops, the low number of inputs required when compared to many other small fruits, and the considerable health benefits of the fruit (high vitamin C and potassium content). A Ribes renaissance appears to be underway with new acreage being brought into production in recent years in California, British Columbia, and parts of the eastern United States. The climate and soils of eastern Washington make it a prime region for future expansion of the currant industry.

The Pests

Two insect pests, the currant cane borer (CB) (Synanthedon tipuliformis) and currant stem girdler (CSG) (Janus integer) affect currant and gooseberry production and cause significant economic damage if left uncontrolled.

CB is a moth and CSG is a sawfly, but both have larvae that bore into canes, stunting plant growth and reducing fruit yield by up to 50%. In addition, CSG females injure new shoots during egg-laying by severing them 4-to-6 inches from the tips. Until recently, both pests were controlled by two to three applications of a broad-spectrum insecticide targeted at flying adults during May and June. Recent research by WSU has resulted in the development of an effective pheromone-based mating disruption strategy for CB, removing the need for insecticides to control this pest in Washington. However, insecticides are still required to control CSG. Accurate timing of insecticides for CSG is difficult to achieve because the pest is usually inconspicuous. Girdled shoots are often the first indication that adult sawflies have emerged.

The Pheromone

While moths like CB are well known for their use of pheromones in mating, very few sawflies have been studied for pheromones. In fact only one sawfly species in the family to which CSG belongs has been shown to use a sex pheromone.

A chance observation in 2000 piqued my interest. I saw CSG males apparently attracted to a cage containing CSG females. The following winter I split open some red currant canes, collected a number of CSG pupae and sent them off to my colleagues in Illinois (Allard Cosse, Robert Bartelt and Richard Petrovski, USDA, Peoria) who are specialists in sawfly pheromones. They reared out male and female CSG and analyzed volatile emissions as well as whole-body extracts.They showed that female CSG produce a novel compound that excites or stimulates the antennae of male CSG, indicating that this material might be a sex pheromone used by females to attract males for mating. The Illinois team then developed a synthesis for the compound, allowing preparation of a synthetic version. The only way to be sure whether this compound was indeed a sex pheromone was to conduct field tests to see if we could attract male CSG to the synthetic material in the field.

The Field Test

In April 2002, I conducted a field test with the possible CSG pheromone and obtained good results indicating that the compound does function as a sex pheromone. Sticky traps baited with the compound at rates of 1, 3, 5 and10 mg captured increasing numbers of male CSG (Figure 1). Greatest numbers of CSG were captured in 10 mg traps with up to 60 individuals captured daily. No CSG were caught in unbaited traps.


Mean number of male currant stem girdlers captured 13-20 May 2002 in sticky traps baited with different rates of pheromone. Bars with different letters are significantly different (P = 0.0026)

The Possibilities

These results are very promising, suggesting that we may be able to utilize the sex pheromone of CSG in managing this pest of red currants. Further field tests are planned to confirm this year’s results and to identify optimal rates and formulation of the pheromone.

It seems likely that at the very least we now have a pheromone to assist in monitoring the emergence and abundance of CSG, which will greatly enhance the precision of targeting insecticide applications. There may also be possibilities for controlling CSG using the pheromone in mass-trapping or mating disruption.The possibility of growing red currants with reduced or no pesticide inputs would provide yet another boost to this growing industry.

David James is an Entomologist with WSU's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. He can be reached at (509) 786-9280 or djames@tricity.wsu.edu.


I wish to thank Dennis Pleasant and Ken Lewis for allowing me to use their red currant fields to conduct pheromone experiments. I also thank Robert Bartelt, Allard Cosse, Richard Petrovski and Bruce Zilkowski of USDA, Illinois for their identification and synthesis of CSG pheromone, and to the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration for partial funding of the research.


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Reacting to GM Foods

Consumer Responses Surveyed in Asia and Europe

Drs. Jill J. McCluskey and Thomas I. Wahl, Agricultural Economists, WSU

The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops to world markets has created a new division between the crop trading countries. The United States and Canada have great economic interest in exporting their transgenic crops, however, lack of public acceptance of genetically modified food products in the European Union (EU) and Japan has resulted in reduced demand for GM food products.

Many European and Japanese consumers believe GM foods pose a threat to human health. They fear short- and long-term consequences for their own health and the health of their offspring. But consumer attitudes and behavior toward genetically modified food products are complex and differ across cultures. Consumer response is not well documented among the populations of many potential trading partners.

A better understanding of consumer attitudes is essential for designing market strategies. Over the past eighteen months, we conducted consumer surveys and investigated factors affecting consumer acceptance of GM food in Japan, Norway, and China. We sought demographic, attitude, and knowledge data, plus attempted to gauge the effect GM products would have on product pricing. Would consumers wary of GM foods be willing to purchase them at a discount? How great a discount would be required? Are GM foods considered superior by some population groups or cultures? Would they be willing to pay a premium for GM products?

Our Surveys

In August 2001, we conducted 400 in-person interviews in Japanese at the Seikatsu Club Consumer Cooperative (Seikyou), a grocery store-like setting in Matsumoto City, Japan. Matsumoto is an agricultural area where about 13% of the population come from farm households compared to 2% in all of Japan. Consumer cooperatives usually focus on a marketing strategy of offering "safe foods;" they target members who are more willing to purchase safe foods. The Seikyou has significant market power in the Japanese marketplace.

In January 2002, we conducted 400 in-person interviews in Norwegian at the RIMI Liertoppen grocery store in the Oslo region of Norway. This region is the most populated part of Norway and one of the centers of Norwegian economic activity. The RIMI chain of grocery stores has chosen a low-price/limited-selection niche in the market and has in this way gained significant power in the Norwegian marketplace.

In August 2002, we performed 599 in-person interviews in Chinese in Beijing, China. The survey was conducted at four separate locations including a supermarket, two outdoor markets, and one shopping area. These locations were chosen to represent a cross section of the Chinese population.

The surveys solicited respondents' demographic information, their attitudes about the environment and food safety, and their knowledge and perceptions about biotechnology. Further, respondents were asked if they were willing to pay the same price for a particular GM food as a corresponding non-GM product. In Japan, we asked about GM noodles and GM tofu; in Norway, we asked about GM bread, and GM salmon; and in China, we asked about GM rice and GM soy oil.


Our results for Japan showed that variables representing food safety and environmental attitudes, self-reported knowledge about biotechnology, self-reported risk perceptions toward GM-foods, income, and education all significantly increased the discount that would be required for consumers to choose GM foods. Our results indicate that Seikyou members, on average, want a 60% discount on GM noodles compared to non-GM noodles. For GM tofu, a 64% discount compared to non-GM tofu is necessary.

With the Norwegian data, increasing self-reported risk perceptions toward GM-foods and preferences for domestically produced food both significantly increase the discount required for Norwegian consumers to choose GM foods. Our results indicate that, on average, the Norwegian consumers in our sample want a 49.5% discount on GM bread compared to conventional bread. For GM salmon, a 55.6% discount compared to non-GM salmon is necessary. The reason for the higher mean required discount for salmon may be that many people are more sensitive to genetic modification associated with animals than with plants.

Interestingly, our results for China present a very different picture. A prevailing positive opinion regarding biotechnology significantly increases consumer confidence in GM foods. In fact, Chinese consumers surveyed were willing to pay a premium for GM foods. Our results indicate that Chinese consumers, on average, were willing to pay 38.0% more for GM rice over non-GM rice. (Age significantly decreased the consumers' willingness to pay a premium.) They were willing to pay a 16.3% premium for GM soybean oil over non-GM soybean oil. This is not surprising given that 23% of the survey respondents were very positive about the use of biotechnology in foods and 40% of the respondents were somewhat positive about the use of biotechnology in foods. It makes sense that consumers in China, who exhibit a low perception of risk associated with GM foods (82% felt these products present little or no risk), would be willing to pay a premium for GM products.

Chinese consumer attitudes concerning biotechnology may reflect the Chinese government's traditionally strong support of such technologies. Thus far, the controversy taking place in Europe and Japan is not evident in China, but new regulations regarding labeling and safety testing will likely lead to increased public awareness of the application of biotechnology to agricultural products (see “Labeling of GM Foods” box following this article).


The Japanese and Norwegian cultures both place a great deal of value on tradition. This worldview extends to the food they eat and feed their children. Therefore, it not surprising that most Japanese and Norwegian consumers want to avoid GM foods. Based on the consumer responses in our studies, we would not recommend marketing GM foods to Japan and Europe. The vast majority of our Chinese respondents have positive attitudes toward the use of biotechnology in agriculture and, in general, towards science. The marketing outlook for GM foods in China is optimistic. Younger people are more willing to purchase the GM food products with product-enhancing attributes, which indicates that the Chinese market may be even more open to GM foods in the future. Additionally, government investment into biotechnology remains strong, as China works to fulfill its self-sufficiency food policies.

Jill McCluskey is with the Department of Agricultural Economics at Washington State University. Thomas Wahl is the Director of WSU’s IMPACT center, International Marketing Program for Agricultural Commodities and Trade. They gratefully acknowledge project researchers Kynda Curtis, Kristine Grimsrud, Quan Li, and Hiromi Ouchi. Dr. McCluskey can be reached at (509) 335-2835 or mccluskey@wsu.edu.


Mandatory labeling of GM foods has obvious implications for trade. The European Union (EU) has imposed mandatory labeling for some foods that contain GM ingredients. In October 1999, the EU gave preliminary approval to a law that requires labels on all foods containing more than one percent GM ingredients. In Japan, authorities have ordered mandatory labeling for 29 categories of food if they contain any GM ingredients. Since June 2001, China has required that all GM products entering China for research, production, or processing have safety certificates from the agricultural ministry to ensure that they are safe for human consumption, animals, and the environment. Since March 2002, labeling has been required in China for listed transgenic biological products. The United States has argued that there is no health-related or scientific reason to reject GM commodities and food products and has challenged EU's mandatory GM labeling as a non-tariff trade barrier.

The Codex committees of World Trade Organization (WTO) are working on harmonizing international standards and resolving trade disputes associated with food labeling to promote fair trade of foods while protecting consumer health. Since different countries have different attitudes toward GM food products, the Codex frameworks allow each country to develop its own standards. The challenge of Codex is to set international standards for GM food labeling that both promote fair trade and allow for consumer choice. An important issue in GM labeling policy is scientific versus consumer sovereignty. Although the scientific consensus may be that GM foods are completely safe for consumption aside from potential allergens, it may be the case that a majority of the population in a given country prefers to avoid GM foods.

Mandatory labeling forces U.S. producers to segregate crops to claim food products are "GM-free." This would be difficult and costly. For example, many grain elevators not physically equipped to segregate crops. U.S. producers may lose market share because consumers can reject their GM crops.

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Announcements & Upcoming Conferences

Items in this section often appear in the words of the sponsoring organization or original news release. AENews editorial staff is not responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Mosquito Control Workshops

The Washington Departments of Agriculture, Ecology, and Health are offering workshops statewide in January to introduce local government and private pest control operators to mosquito control. The training is focused toward those interested in getting started in mosquito abatement in response to West Nile Virus arriving in Washington.

The one-day sessions run from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and are planned for the following cities and dates:

Longview 7-Jan County Conference Center, 1942 First Avenue (SE of the Hall of Justice)
Tacoma 9-Jan Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Auditorium, 3629 South D Street
Mt Vernon 10-Jan Skagit County PUD Aqua Room, 1415 Freeway Drive
Spokane 14-Jan Spokane County Agricultural Education Bldg, 222 N. Havana
Wenatchee 16-Jan Chelan County Auditorium, 400 Douglas Street
Yakima 17-Jan Ecology Central Regional Office, 15 W. Yakima Avenue
Walla Walla 22-Jan City/County Health Bldg, 310 W. Poplar (5th & Poplar)

Topics will cover the history of mosquito-borne disease in the state, West Nile virus, mosquito vectors and habitat, surveillance, licenses, permits, control materials and their uses, monitoring requirements and record keeping.

Who should attend? Local government managers and pest control operators new to or interested in mosquito control requirements and methods or those who are considering starting mosquito control activities and programs.

For registration or additional information contact Kathleen Emmett, Department of Ecology, (360) 407-6478, email kemm461@ecy.wa.gov; Tom Gibbs, Department of Health, (360) 236-3060, email tom.gibbs@doh.wa.gov; or Wendy Sue Wheeler, Department of Agriculture (360) 902-1972, email WSWheeler@agr.wa.gov.

Living on the Land CD Teaches Stewardship for Small Acreage “Lifestylers”

With funding from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program, land management professionals from eight western states teamed together to create a curriculum aimed at the small acreage "lifestyler": the property owner who has purchased a small acreage property not as a source of annual income, but as a way of life.

The resulting product, “Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages,” is available on CD and contains five modules covering goal setting and property inventory, soils, water, and plants and animals. Each module, targeted at the professional educator rather than the property owners themselves, includes worksheets and a slide presentation. Since it was released in October 2001, 700 CDs have been distributed to 31 U.S. states and Australia. The program recently received the American Society of Agronomy's Education Materials Award for Audio-Visual Materials and was a finalist for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents 2002 Communication Award for a Learning Module.

Kevin Laughlin of University of Idaho Extension identifies the program's experiential model as a key to its success. "We found that by focusing on people who make a commitment up front, we were able to have a greater impact," says Laughlin. "Not only were program participants more likely to use what they learned, but their neighbors are also learning." Laughlin notes that despite a registration fee of $225 (to cover forage, water, and soil testing) thirteen people signed up for the second class before it was even publicized. The classes are already making a difference. In the first class, three out of seventeen water tests uncovered high nitrate levels, all of which were then addressed by the property owners.

To order a free “Living on the Land” CD, contact Project Coordinator Susan Donaldson, University of Nevada, (775) 784-4848, donaldsons@unce.unr.edu, or visit http://animalrangeextension.montana.edu/LoL/home.htm.

Sixth Direct Seed Conference in Pasco

Jan. 8 - 10, 2003

Direct seeding (planting and fertilizing directly into the previous crop's stubble in one or two passes without prior tillage) can provide a "win-win" opportunity for agriculture, the public, and the environment. In addition to effective control of cropland soil erosion by wind and water, it offers the potential for reduced production costs and improved profitability for the grower, improved water storage that can result in a higher potential yields, improved soil quality and productivity, and reduced potential of global warming through sequestration of atmospheric carbon in soil with minimal soil disturbance. Many of our global grain market competitors, such as Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina now have 40 to 80% of their cropland under direct seeding. Although the Pacific Northwest is behind their lead, a number of Inland Northwest counties already have over 30% of their cropland under direct seeding. We are beginning a major retooling of agriculture in this region and worldwide with the transition to direct seeding systems and the potential for more intensive cropping.

The Sixth Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference and Trade Show will be held January 8-10, 2003, at the WestCoast Hotel in Pasco. The show offers Northwest growers and everyone involved in agriculture an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and experiences to improve the success of direct seed systems in this region. Check out the Website (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/directseed) for all the details, including program agenda, speaker photos and profiles, poster exhibition form, sponsorship and trade show prospectus, pre-registration (with the low $50 fee; $60 at the door), hotel room reservation (starting at an amazing $48 Conference rate), and much more.


The conference program features 28 speakers, including 6 growers from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, and New Zealand. Highlights include the great debate on high- versus low-disturbance direct seed openers, stacked rotation and other pest management strategies, transition economics, crop marketing strategies for direct seeders, residue management options, new weed control strategies, managing for increased soil carbon and productivity, and grower experiences across the region. Activities and accomplishments of Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association (PNDSA) will also be highlighted. At least 10 drill company representatives will present new innovations in direct seed drills and openers for seed and fertilizer placement, residue management and hillside stability. Pesticide applicator and CCA credits will be available for the program.

Over 800 Northwest growers and ag support personnel are expected to attend this conference. It is being organized as a service to growers by two groups: the PNW STEEP program and the grower-driven PNDSA. STEEP (Solutions to Environmental and Economic Problems) is a cooperative research and educational program on conservation tillage systems through the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and USDA Agricultural Research Service. The conference is being co-sponsored by a number of ag support companies and groups, and developed in cooperation with a dozen PNW grower organizations and ag support groups and agencies.

A special pre-conference feature is the PNW STEEP 2002 Research Review that will be held January 7-8 at the conference hotel. The Review looks at conservation tillage systems research projects underway through the STEEP program in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and attendance is free of charge to conference participants.

Safety and Health to be Addressed at Pesticide Issues Conference

February 26, 2003

This year's Pacific Northwest Pesticide Issues Conference focuses on the issue of Agricultural Safety and Health. The conference will be held at the Yakima Doubletree Hotel on February 26, 2003, and offers recertification credit for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Conference goals are to meet the education and information needs of people involved in farming, forestry, greenhouse, and nursery health and safety, with a strong emphasis on pesticide issues, and to facilitate neteworking and information exchange among participants. Attendees will likely represent grower associations, individual growers, forestry concerns, agrichemical dealers, crop consultants, chemical companies, state and federal regulatory agencies, and university research and extension programs.

The conference is co-sponsored by WSU Cooperative Extension, U of W Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, U of W School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. Conference organizer Carol Ramsay can be reached at (509) 335-9222 or ramsay@wsu.edu. More information, including the latest on the conference agenda, can be found at

Fourth National Integrated Pest Management Symposium/Workshop

Indianapolis, Indiana • April 8-10, 2003

The Fourth National IPM Symposium/Workshop is an exciting opportunity to learn about the latest developments in agricultural and urban IPM and to share your IPM experiences with others. The symposium includes over 60 breakout sessions (workshop, debate and presentation formats) encompassing almost all aspects of IPM, as well as plenary speakers talking about their experiences in building alliances. In addition, several IPM-related organizations are convening their meetings before or after the Symposium making this a full week of IPM in Indianapolis.

Examples of sessions at the Symposium include:

  • Building Alliances Between IPM Practitioners and Consumers
  • Connecting with the Media/Press
  • Biorational Insecticides - Selectivity and Importance in IPM Programs
  • Federal Agencies and IPM: Improving Communication and Coordination
  • School IPM
  • New Tools for Agricultural Professionals - WeedSOFT: A New Approach in Integrated Weed Management
  • IPM for Teachers & School Students: K-12 Curricula
  • Barriers to the Adoption of Biocontrol Agents and Biological Pesticides
  • Integrated Crop Management of Greenhouse and Floricultural Crops
  • IPM and Urban Wildlife Pest Situations
  • Application and Prioritization of IPM Projects in Natural Areas
  • Images of Sustainable Agriculture: Landscapes, Pest Management and Biotechnology
  • The Future of Global IPM
  • Landscapes and Weeds
  • IPM in Organic Systems

For more information, visit http://www.conted.uiuc.edu/ipm

Pesticide Applicator Training

Carrie Foss and Carol Ramsay have updated the Web site for the 2002-2003 Pesticide Education Training season. The Web site has dates, locations, agendas, and registration forms. Point your Internet browser to

and select "Recertification and Pre-License Training." Each licensed pesticide applicator in Washington State should receive a hard copy of this information in the mail by the second week in October. Printed copies of the information are also available through county Cooperative Extension offices. For those waiting to hear from WSDA regarding their recertification status, those reports should be in the mail in early November.

Washington State University (WSU) provides pre-license and recertification training for pesticide applicators. Pre-license training provides information useful in taking the licensing exam. Recertification (continuing education) is one of two methods to maintain licensing. (The other is retesting every five years.)

Course registration (including study materials) is $35 per day if postmarked 14 days prior to the first day of the program you will be attending. Otherwise, registration is $50 per day. These fees do not include Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) licence fees. For WSDA testing sites, schedule, or other testing information, call 1-877-301-4555.
For more detailed information about WSU's pesticide applicator training, call the Pesticide Education Program at (509) 335-2830 or visit the Web site.

Mosquito Meeting to Address West Nile Virus

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) will hold its annual meeting on March 2-6, 2002, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The agenda will include major sessions on West Nile Virus.

For more information on this meeting and other mosquito control topics, including a searchable database on West Nile Virus information, see the AMCA Website

Go to this issue's Table of Contents

Go to Agrichemical and Environmental News Index

Go to WSPRS (Washington State Pest Management Resource Service) Home Page

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