New IPM. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Oregon schools are gearing up for a new law in July that requires a different approach to handling problems that may require the use of pesticides. All schools in Oregon, including community colleges, will soon be required to adopt what's called IPM- Integrated Pest Management, that gives preference to the use of non-chemical pest control measures. The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are educating school officials right now so they'll be ready come July.

FULTS: The new law is a holistic way at looking at managing pests in schools with information being provided to parents, teachers, staff of those schools when there is a pesticide that needs to be applied.
Janet Fults of ODA says the required written notification prior to the use of a pesticide product in schools is just one of the components of the new law. Whether it's a problem with mice, ants, or yellow-jackets, IPM will provide a range of options that still includes pesticides as a last resort. The hope is that the cause of the pest problem will be addressed as well as the pest itself.

FULTS: I think the ultimate outcome is to ensure that pesticides, when they are necessary and when they are applied, are applied correctly in the right place at the right time for the right reason. That way they are done in a safe and responsible manner.
There will be some up front costs as a result of the new law, including the required IPM coordinator for each school district. But officials are hoping the long term costs are lowered through more effective and safe pest management. Fults says IPM, as required by the new Oregon law, gives schools a tool box of options for treating pest problems, with pesticides being an option of the last resort.

FULTS: Pesticides are a tool of the integrated pest management philosophy. You do want to try and look at all other ways of managing pests and pest pressure by identifying what is the source, sanitation, keeping the pests out of the facility to begin with and then they don't become a problem.
Tim Stock, IPM education specialist with Oregon State University, says the new approach seems to work well in school districts around the country.

STOCK: Nationally, there have been four or five studies where IPM was implemented in schools. The average has been about a 71 percent reduction in pesticide use and a 78 percent reduction in pest complaints.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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