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Pest Management Alliances lead to IPM adoption

The Issue

Farmers are facing increasing regulation of pesticides, in part the result of environmental concerns about pesticides in water supplies and health effects on farmworkers.

What Has ANR Done?

UC Integrated Pest Management advisors have been leaders in many of the Pest Management Alliance (PMA) projects funded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to develop and demonstrate pest management systems that reduce pesticide risks.

The Almond PMA established long-term demonstration/education sites in Butte, Stanislaus and Kern counties to show growers that reduced pesticide spray programs work. For nine years, no sprays were applied in some of these orchards and reduced-risk (less pesticide) sites showed no increase in damage at harvest. In prunes, the PMA focused on developing and demonstrating sampling plans and treatment thresholds that help growers determine whether sprays are needed for each economically damaging pest. A major goal is to reduce dormant sprays. The Walnut PMA has worked closely with researchers to develop "puffers" to apply pheromones for mating disruption of codling moths. The PMA developed monitoring protocols to help growers determine when the pheromone confusion technique requires supplemental sprays.

The Payoff

IPM adoption reduces pesticide use

Almond growers have reduced their total pesticide use by 65 percent since 1990. The California Almond Board attributes much of this to the results of the Almond PMA. The Almond PMA won the DPR IPM Innovators Award and a national IPM team award from the Entomology Society of America. The survey of the almond IPM training indicated that 90 percent of those who answered were interested in using the methods they learned that day. Some said it was the best extension workshop they had ever attended. Almost all of those who attended intended to use the methods they learned during the following season.

Prune growers have mitigated pesticides in surface water runoff by using reduced rates of pesticides necessary for aphid control and changing dormant spray timings. Results of the Walnut PMA's demonstration of "puffers" has increased mating disruption in walnuts to 15,000 acres in 2010.


Supporting Unit: Integrated Pest Management

Carolyn Pickel, cxpickel@ucdavis.edu,(530) 822-7515