Overcoming Roadblocks to IPM Adoption in Washington Pears

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2023: $29,096.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2025
Grant Recipient: Washington State University
Region: Western
State: Washington
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Louis Nottingham
Washington State University

Information Products


  • Fruits: pears


  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, quality of life, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola) is the most economically destructive pest to the pear industry in Washington State, where about 42% of the nation’s pears are grown. In the Wenatchee Valley, WA, the second largest pear growing region in the United States, pear psylla has historically been managed using multiple broad-spectrum insecticide sprays. Insecticide resistance has resulted in increased spray frequency, which in turn kills off natural enemies that provide much needed biological control. The result has been a steady increase in psylla pest pressure over the decades, leading to the current state of growers spraying, on average, 15 conventional insecticides per season, at a cost of around $1,500 per acre. In contrast, the largest pear growing region in the U.S., Hood River, OR, sprays less frequently with primarily selective materials, costing closer to $500/acre, and has far lower pest pressure. The goal of this project is to help the Wenatchee growing region adopt integrated pest management (IPM) techniques through Extension and outreach activities. First, we will document the current perceptions of pear psylla IPM in the Wenatchee Valley through industry wide surveys and intensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Next, we will establish educational programs to facilitate the implementation of a recently developed pear IPM program. Last, we will resurvey the industry to document progress toward IPM adoption. In addition to facilitating pear IPM in the Wenatchee Valley, this project will help us more broadly understand why roadblocks to IPM adoption occur, and how to best overcome them.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Research Objectives

    Research Objective 1: Determine baseline perspectives and practices for Pear IPM in each of the major pear growing regions of the Pacific Northwest.

    Research Objective 2: Perform Extension and outreach activities to promote adoption of WSU’s Pear IPM recommendations.

    Research Objective 3: Document changes in the adoption of pear IPM.

    Educational Objectives

    Educational Objective 1: Update cooperators and pear stakeholders with insect monitoring results.

    Educational Objective 2: Engage the pear industry by demonstrating IPM in the real world.

    Educational Objective 3: Make IPM technology accessible to all pear stakeholders.

    Educational Objective 4: Reach underserved pear stakeholders through breaking down language barriers.

    Educational Objective 5: Present research to scientific audiences and publish peer-reviewed papers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.