John Palumbo, professor in the Department of Entomology at the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, & Endowed Chair in Integrated Pest Management, has been honored with an Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management from the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for his outstanding contributions which have advanced the field of integrated pest management (IPM).
The award recognizes Palumbo's exceptional work in translational research and outreach programs, specifically tailored to benefit growers in Arizona and California. As the Endowed Chair in Integrated Pest Management, Palumbo has played an important role in developing innovative and environmentally sustainable IPM strategies. His approach focuses on promoting health and safety within the agricultural community by reducing reliance on broadly toxic pesticides, all without compromising crop yield, quality, or profitability.
Palumbo's translational research programs are geared towards providing practical IPM solutions to major pest problems faced by the vegetable and melon industry. His efforts have addressed immediate challenges and contributed to the development of long-term pest management strategies. From leafy vegetables to melons, Palumbo's research encompasses critical aspects of pest management, impacting regions beyond Arizona, including California and the southeastern U.S.
One of the notable achievements highlighted by the award is Palumbo's role in integrating safer, reduced-risk insecticides into local IPM programs. The resulting IPM strategies have witnessed a significant reduction in the use of broad-spectrum insecticides, bringing about positive outcomes for growers, farm workers, consumers, and the environment.
“Before 1993, growers in Arizona relied almost entirely on highly toxic, broad-spectrum insecticides to control insect pests,” said Palumbo. “Since then, over 22 new classes of insecticides have been introduced that are uniquely effective against specific pests but are very safe for people and the environment.”
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the national meeting of the ESA in National Harbor, MD, near Washington DC, from November 5-8, 2023. This award highlights the importance of integrated pest management in shaping sustainable agricultural practices. As we extend our congratulations to John Palumbo, we recognize the broader impact of his work in fostering a resilient and environmentally conscious future for the agriculture industry.