Training the Next Generation of IPM Practitioners on the Management of Orthoptera Pests: An Insect Order With Increasing Impacts to Western Farmers

Project Overview

WPDP24-028
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2024: $99,990.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2027
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University Oregon IPM Center
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Silvia Rondon
Oregon State University
Co-Investigators:
Christopher Marshall
Oregon State Arthropod Collection, Oregon State University
Dr. Ebba Peterson
Oregon State University Oregon IPM Center

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

Orthoptera – a diverse insect Order including grasshoppers and
crickets – is ecologically important yet can cause substantial
harm to farmers and ranchers.  Orthoptera has been
identified as a key pest species threatening western agricultural
and non-agricultural areas.  Out of the estimated 400
species found within western states, only a handful cause
economic damage; regardless, impacts are realized across millions
of acres during outbreak years.  To minimize losses and
reduce the health and environmental risks associated with their
control, chemical applications should only be applied against
pest species at their vulnerable live stages, and at appropriate
thresholds.  Further education is needed within the
agricultural community to best accomplish these goals. 

We propose to hold five train-the-trainers workshops focusing on
Orthoptera identification, survey methods, and management
throughout Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho
(see letters of support).  Participants (e.g. Extension
faculty, State and Federal government field staff, crop
consultants, and certified Master Gardeners) will collectively
provide a minimum of 800 additional training hours to their
regional communities, using self-collected Orthoptera specimens
and online and printed Extension resources developed as part of
this program. 

To best understand and respond to Orthoptera threats, both
currently and in anticipation of future needs, we will
additionally foster collaboration between the Oregon State Arthropod
Collection
(OSAC) and our agricultural partners.  Dr.
McNary, a visiting specialist, will train OSAC personnel in the
identification of Orthoptera species, native and
non-native.  OSAC will then work to ID participant
collections through photo and specimen submissions.  This
puts us in the best position to monitor for future changes in
Orthoptera diversity and population dynamics.  By combining
insect ID and coordination with OSAC with the promotion of IPM
principles, we will minimize the impact of Orthoptera outbreaks
at reduced risk, while also preserving the biodiversity of this
Order and its associated communities.

Project objectives from proposal:

After the short-course, participants will

  1. be able to identify all major Orthoptera pest species found
    within their target regions, including their adult forms and
    nymphal stages.
  2. be able to differentiate pest species from non-pest species.
  3. have learned current IPM techniques used to monitor and
    manage Orthoptera outbreaks.
  4. be able to direct their audiences to appropriate online and
    mobile app materials when making their own Orthoptera management
    choices.

Within a year of attending the short-course, participants will
have

  1. built specimen collections of regionally-recovered Orthoptera
    species, to be used as an in-house teaching tool when
    disseminating information to their audience of growers, ranchers,
    and gardeners. Specimen collections will be verified by an
    Orthoptera taxonomic specialist.
  2. collectively delivered a minimum of 800 hours of trainings
    about IPM principles as they relate to Orthoptera management in
    their home communities.

This project will furthermore establish relationships between the
trainers and the Oregon State Arthropod Collection, as a means to
increase our understanding about the diversity and distribution
of Orthoptera species within the region.

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.