Scouting Out Bugs in North Dakota
For nearly 20 years, North Dakota State University has maintained an active Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Crop Scout Program. In recent years, scouts have expanded their surveying to monitor all parts of the state for insect pests and diseases of four major field crops (wheat, barley, soybeans, and sunflowers) grown in the state.
Integrated Pest Management combines several approaches to maintain crop profitability, reduce pest populations, and minimize environmental and health impacts.
IPM crop scouts collect data which can help researchers prioritize their extension and research activities and alert producers about pest outbreaks.
"The IPM Survey has served as an important mentoring tool for educating young agriculturists about IPM. These scouts have a solid background in IPM and some will become our next generation of scientists working on new and innovative IPM strategies," said Dr. Janet Knodel, Extension Entomologist and Associate Professor at North Dakota State University.
In the long run, the research may help the growers reduce costs by not treating their crop with unnecessary pesticide applications. This project is supported through NIFA’s Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Program.