El Paso, Texas
Extension Agent Integrated Pest Management, El Paso and Hudspeth Counties
BS – University of Florida, 1990 – Entomology
MS – Louisiana State University, 1995 – Entomology
Ph.D. – University of Missouri, 2002 – Entomology
1985-1987 Extension Agent and Credit Officer – Coffee Industry – IHCAFE, Honduras.
1990-1998 Research and Teaching Assistant Positions –Pan American School of Agriculture,
Louisiana State University, and University of Missouri.
1998-1999 Product Service Lead – Zeneca Agricultural Products. Arkansas and Southeast
2000-2002 Regional Coordinator – FHIA-La Esperanza (Coordination of Research/Extension
Efforts, management of a vegetable packing plant, wrote project proposals, program and
2003-2004 Leader of Horticulture Unit – Division of Agricultural Research in Science and
Technology. (Coordination of Research and Extension in vegetables and fruit).
2004-2006 Post Doctoral Researcher – Ohio State University (pepper research).
2006-present – Extension Agent -IPM Texas AgriLife Extension, El Paso and Hudspeth
IPM Unit Description:
The El Paso – Hudspeth IPM unit has responsibility for IPM education involving the 800,000 + people living in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties located at the far western edge of Texas. The IPM Agent provides assistance to people in both the urban and agricultural arenas. Ten-year average cotton plantings in the two-county IPM Unit are about 10,000 acres of upland cotton and over 20,000 acres of American pima cotton per year. The 10-year average dollar value of the cotton production is $5.8 million for the upland crop and $20 million for the pima crop (NASS 2011). Pecan production is another large agricultural enterprise in the IPM Unit. Over 12,500 acres are planted in irrigated orchards of improved varieties of pecan trees, 20% of the Texas acreage. Typically yields are as high or higher at El Paso than in any other region of the state. The 2011-2012 pecan harvest for El Paso and Hudspeth Counties is expected to reach 25-30 million pounds with a value of approximately $75-90 million.
Meetings and Publications:
Numerous local, county, regional, multi-state, national and international presentations including Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Branch Meetings of the ESA.
Texas AgriLife Extension Specialists (fire ants, salt cedar bio-control, Lygus bugs, pecan insects, cotton root rot, cotton agronomics, alternative crops, etc.), New Mexico State University (crop diseases, weeds and insect pests), Texas Department of Agriculture (pesticide applicator certification),Valley Gin, Delta and Pineland, Dow AgriSciences, Bayer Crop Science, Phytogen and others. In previous jobs, the Honduran Institute for Coffee, business and university leads and contacts while at Zeneca and University positions.
Many local, county and regional presentations.
Vitanza, S. 1992. Comparative Analysis Between the American and Honduran Educational Systems in the Teaching of Entomology. Pan American School of Agriculture. Zamorano, Honduras. Feb 21, 1992.
Vitanza, S. 1994. Overview of Reduced Tillage in Integrated Pest Management Research in Louisiana. Southeastern Branch Entomol. Soc. America. Baton Rouge, LA. March 1994.
Vitanza, S. 1994. Effects of Selected Soil Insecticides on Insect Populations in No-Till Corn. Southeastern Branch Entomol. Soc. America. Baton Rouge, LA. March 1994.
Vitanza, S. 1994. Influence of Tillage Practices and Three At-planting Soil Insecticides at Different Rates on Beneficial and Damaging Arthropods in Corn. Louisiana Plant Protection Assoc. Baton Rouge, LA. Nov. 18, 1994.
Vitanza, S. 1997. Impact of warm season grass strips on arthropod populations in Missouri cotton fields. Beltwide Cotton Conference. New Orleans, LA. Jan. 6-10.
Vitanza, S. 2005. Effect of Plant Stand Density and Pesticide Application Technology on Insect Pests and Diseases in Bell Peppers: First Season Research Findings. The Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Congress. Toledo, Ohio. Jan. 19-21, 2005.
Vitanza, S., C. Welty, R.C. Derksen, M. Bennett and S. Miller. 2006. Effect of plant stand density and pesticide application technology on insect pests and diseases of bell peppers. 5th National IPM Symposium. St. Louis, MO. April 4-6, 2006.
Vitanza, S. 2007. Principles of Integrated Pest Management in Agricultural and Urban Settings. Texas AgriLife Extension Pesticide Applicator Training. El Paso, TX. Jan. 17, 2007.
Vitanza, S. 2008. Biological Control of salt cedar (Tamarix parviflora) using the leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata in Indian Hot Springs, Hudspeth County, TX: Progress and Implementation. El Paso Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. El Paso, TX. Feb. 9, 2008.
Recent IPM Emphasis and Accomplishments:
Dr. Vitanza’s work has concentrated on pecan, cotton and urban integrated pest management programs in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties. He conducted weekly field and orchard scouting to support his pecan and cotton programs. On cotton he has worked to provide variety demonstrations and data (upland and pima), cotton root rot management demonstrations, plant population demonstrations, cotton production workshops, and turn-row meetings. In pecans his work to promote IPM and best management practices for pecan nut casebearer control has been very helpful to producers. During the first generation, he worked with growers scouting orchards on a daily basis. He organized a field day for pecan IPM with emphasis on pecan nut casebearer and aphid management. A pecan aphid control demonstration provided growers with management information. Dr. Vitanza supports urban pest management as well. He works with the public on pest identification and management. In addition, he conducts pesticide applicator training which in 2010 attracted 260 participants, many of whom own or work for urban pest control companies.
Vitanza, S. 1995. Influence of Tillage Practices and Selected Soil Insecticides on Arthropod Densities in Northeast Louisiana Field Corn. Masters Thesis. Middleton Library Call # 378.76 l930 1995 VITA. Louisiana State University.
Vitanza, S., C.E. Sorenson and W.C. Bailey. 1996. Impact of Warm Season Grass Strips on Arthropod Populations in Missouri Cotton Fields. In Proc. Beltwide Cotton Conf. P. Dugger and D.A. Richter (eds). National Cotton Council, Memphis, TN. pp. 174-176.
Vitanza, S. 2000. Summary Report on Research and Extension Activities of the Demonstrative Agricultural Project at La Esperanza. Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation Annual Meeting.
La Lima Cortes, Honduras. Nov. 17, 2000.
Vitanza, S. 2001. Summary Report on Research and Extension Activities of the Demonstrative Agricultural Project at La Esperanza. Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation Annual Meeting.
La Lima Cortes, Honduras. Nov. 16, 2001.
Vitanza, S. 2002. Impact of Annuald and Perennial Vegetative Strips on Arthropod Populations in Missouri Cotton Fields. PhD. Dissertation. Call # QL463.Y2002 V583. OCLC #54100938. University of Missouri – Collumbia.
Welty, C. and S. Vitanza. 2005. Insecticide efficacy evaluation of European corn borer control in bell pepper in 2004. Arthropod Management Tests. Vol. 30. Rept. E52. Entomological Society of America. 10001 Derekwood Lane, Suite 100, Lanham, MD. 20706.
Vitanza, S., C. Welty, M. Bennett, S. Miller and R. Derkson. 2006. Effect of plant stand density and pesticide application technology on insect pests and diseases in bell peppers. Hortscience 41:1075.
Vitanza, S. and C. Welty. 2006. European corn borer control in bell peppers with foliar insecticides, 2005. Arthropod Management Tests Vol. 31. Rept. E48. Entomological Society of America. 10001 Derekwood Lane, Suite 100, Lanham, MD. 20706.
Derksen, R.C., S. Vitanza, C. Welty, S. Miller, M. Bennett and H. Zhu. 2007. Field evaluation of application variables and plant spacing for bell pepper pest management. Transactions of the ASABE. 50:1945-1953.
Miller, S., S. Vitanza, M. Bennett, R.C. Derksen and C. Welty. 2007. Spacing studies in peppers. In: Proceedings Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. Dec. 5-7, Grand Rapids MI.
2011 Texas Pest Management Association – Excellence In IPM : 0 to 6 Years