The Central Issue: June 2019
Sudden Oak Death Reported in Kansas and Indiana

Sudden Oak Death was confirmed in both Kansas and Indiana, earlier this month, with the remainder of states in the Midwest on high alert for the pathogen. SOD is a plant disease that has killed large tracts of oaks and other native species in California and Oregon. The causal agent of SOD, Phytophthora ramorum, has been detected in rhododendrons that were shipped to large retailers (such as Walmart, Home Depot and other corporate garden stores) across the Midwestern region. The two states’ plant regulatory staff have been destroying all infected and potentially-infected rhododendrons still for sale, along with any other host plants in the vicinity.

The infected plants that have been found in the Midwest have all been traced back to a common source.

North Central IPM Center Launches New Website

The North Central IPM Center is pleased to reveal its new website to stakeholders and those dedicated to the mission of Integrated Pest Management in the North Central region, and beyond. The new website was designed with usability as our primary focus. On our new homepage, you'll find quick links that take you to our Pest Alerts program, our IPM Data platform for Pest Management Strategic Plans (PMSPS) and Crop Profiles and the Regional IPM Centers' website. We have also streamlined access to our contact information as well as information regarding our grant programs. 

We have taken the time to take all NCIPMC affiliated publications and carry them over to our new website, and have also added them to the Iowa State University Extension Store, where they can be both downloaded and printed, at no cost. We have also focused efforts on streamlining some of the website's links and redirects, reducing the amount of dead ends on the website and making it easier for users to access the information they need. Should you have trouble accessing an old publication, or informative webpage that used to be accessible on the old website platform, please contact Ethan Stoetzer at

Currently, our Pest Alerts page is undergoing an update, as we work to improve our website accessibility for screen readers and quick referencing on a desktop, and on mobile. The pest alerts will now be laid out as webpage text with included photos. The NCIPMC and Regional IPM Centers will continue to sponsor and operate the Pest Alert program, and will continue to make PDF versions of the alerts available through both the website and the Iowa State University Extension Store, where certain Pest Alerts can be ordered in bulk at no charge. 

We appreciate your patience during the transition, and your commitment to furthering the goals and mission of IPM. We hope that the website makes it easier to access the information you need, and highlights the impacts you have on your communities.

Working Group Updates


It’s not too late to get your travel and lodging costs covered for the IPM4Bees Workshop on July 25th, in Ames, IA. There are a handful of travel grants and graduate student fellowships still available, and we extended the deadline to apply to this Friday, June 14th!  

More details are available on the website. Registration is free and still open.

Join other bee researchers and extension agents in the region to:

  • Address bee decline in the Midwest and our unique regional stressors
  • Identify barriers to IPM for beekeepers
  • Rub elbows and network with outstanding Midwestern scientists

Thus far, registered attendees include faculty, scientists, and graduate students from almost every state in the Midwestern region. Please share the event with all other people in the bee research and extension world that may be interested!

Midwest Grows Green Lawns and Land Forum

The Midwest Grows Green Lawns and Land Working Group has launched a GoFundMe to develop a reference tool kit for more than 250 park and school district staff, municipal policymakers, turf care providers and community members.

For 2019, the IPM Institute wishes to scale recent Forum successes to reach more policymakers and practitioners, initiate actionable discussions surrounding natural lawn care (NLC) and complete the implementation of NLC programs. To accomplish these tasks, the MGG Lawn & Land Forum plans to create an online toolkit that advocates, turfgrass managers and policymakers can turn to when making NLC policy and programmatic decisions that reduce chemical use, satisfy community needs and remain economically feasible. 

Early in 2019, the web-design firm Elevation  accepted this toolkit for their 1-to-1 matching grant (see The grant will provide web design services to the IPM Institute at half the cost of the market value ($8,950). However, we need to provide a match of $8,050 to receive these services. 

All funds raised from this GoFundMe will be directed towards the match so that we can make an accessible, appealing and online natural lawn care resource for all.  

For any questions about this campaign, Midwest Grows Green  and natural lawn care, please email Ryan Anderson at

Multi-state Extension Resources for Field Crops Extension

The Crop Protection Network (CPN) is pleased to announce an addition to its collection of resources available to farmers, crop advisors and others involved in crop management and production. Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) will now have the opportunity to obtain continuing education units (CEUs) under the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Category, through CPN in the form of educational quizzes.
A total of 19 quizzes are currently available through the website, and are each based on CPN publications covering areas such as: diseases and management, pest resistance and mycotoxins. After reading CPN publications, CCAs can take the corresponding quiz for 0.5 CEUs, simply by entering their names and CCA number, and starting the exam. Participants must earn a passing score of 70 percent or more on a quiz to qualify for credits. Results will be sent monthly to the American Society for Agronomy (ASA) for processing, and participants will be presented with a certificate for their records. Participants can take these quizzes at no cost, either through a dedicated web page, or as a link with corresponding publications. Each quiz was written and reviewed by CCAs and extension specialists for difficulty and accuracy.

Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group

The Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group has organized a summer vegetable bus tour across Western Michigan this year. The goal of the tour will be to allow the “next generation” of vegetable growers to network with each other and extension staff while visiting area farms. The event takes place over two, half days on July 17-18. Day 1 will focus on soil health, showcasing Morgan’s Compost and a major potato grower who is part of a soil health initiative. Day 2 will include another major potato grower plus muck vegetable production.

Registration is required to attend the event as spots are limited. Visit the link to register and learn more. 

Public Gardens as Sentinels Against Invasive Plants Working Group

The Public Gardens as Sentinels Against Invasive Plants Working Group was profiled in the The Journal of the American Public Gardens (Volume 34, Issue II, 2019) for its commitment to developing public gardens.

In This Issue
NCIPMC gets a new website

Sudden Oak Death confirmed in Kansas and Indiana

Monarch Listing Date Extended

NIFA to move to Kansas City

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, on June 13, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to the Kansas City Region.

USDA conducted a Cost Benefit Analysis and conservative estimates show a savings of nearly $300 million nominally over a 15-year lease term on employment costs and rent or about $20 million per year, which will allow more funding for research of critical needs like rural prosperity and agricultural competitiveness, and for programs and employees to be retained in the long run, even in the face of tightening budgets. On top of that, state and local governments offered generous relocation incentives packages totaling more than $26 million. Finally, this relocation will give USDA the opportunity to attract a diverse staff with training and interest in agriculture. 

Read the full release here.

Events in the Region
North American Pulse Improvement Association (NAPIA) biennial meeting
Fargo, North Dakota

Have any events those in the region might be interested in? Send requests to

Monarch Butterfly decision on Protected Status extended

In an agreement approved by the court, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the deadline for its decision on whether or not to list the Monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act to December 15, 2020.

The deadline extension was agreed to by the Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity, who had petitioned the Service to formally assess the status of the butterfly. The extension allows the Service to focus additional effort on obtaining the best available science, including data from the latest overwintering surveys. 

With completion of the status assessment in December 2020, the Service will determine whether protecting the monarch under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. If so, the Service will publish a proposal to list the species and will seek public input before making a final decision.

View the full release here.

Fusarium head blight resistance holding

A new University of Illinois study shows no evidence of a highly toxic Fusarium head blight (FHB) variant, known as NA2, in the wheat-growing region of the state. The study also reinforces the effectiveness of wheat resistance to the fungal disease.

The study, published in the journal Mycologia, used a field pathogenomics approach to identify the types of FHB on wheat of different resistance levels growing in Brownstown, Carmi, St. Jacob, and Savoy. The method skips several time-consuming steps; traditionally, fungal diseases need to be isolated and grown in the laboratory before genetic material can be extracted and analyzed. In the new method, scientists extract all the RNA in the wheat sample – fungus and plant together – and compare with the published genomes for wheat and Fusarium.

To view the whole study, click here.

Program to pay Minnesota homeowners to let their lawn go to the bees

The state of Minnesota will help homeowners turn their lawns into bee-friendly habitat under a spending plan approved by the Legislature and sent this week to Gov. Tim Walz.

The state will set aside $900,000 over one year to assist homeowners by covering much of the cost of converting traditional lawns by planting wildflowers, clover and native grasses in an effort to slow the collapse of the state’s bee population. The plan was trimmed down from the original House and Senate proposals, which would have provided funding for three years.

Visit the Minnesota Star Tribune's article.

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This work is/was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2018-70006-28883)

Copyright © 2019 IPM Centers, All rights reserved.

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