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UC IPM delivers IPM solutions to Californians

The Issue

Chlorpyrifos is an important insecticide in IPM programs for alfalfa, almond, citrus and cotton due to its efficacy, value as a resistance management tool, and established international registration status. Public health and environmental concerns about chlorpyrifos resulted in an ongoing evaluation about its use in agriculture. Regulatory safeguards could include changes in use, up to and including full cancellation of registration. Crop teams, made up of industry leaders, agreed that stewardship and education are needed to ensure the safe and effective use of chlorpyrifos. Additionally, decision support tools are needed to enable pest control advisers (PCAs) and growers to recognize when chlorpyrifos use is necessary and justified. The new generation of PCAs coming into the field provides an excellent opportunity to train emerging professionals about chlorpyrifos use.

What Has ANR Done?

UCCE developed an online IPM decision-support tool that mines information from the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines. The tool presents management options for multiple pests in cotton, citrus, alfalfa and almond. The tool guides PCAs and growers in thinking through pest control decision-making and lists alternatives and mitigation for those pests. A report documents the decision-making process, which can serve as an IPM plan for the farm.

In addition to developing the online tool, UCCE held thirteen IPM training sessions throughout the state from El Centro to Yreka. Sessions were led by local farm advisors, UC IPM staff, and representatives from the Department of Pesticide Regulation, Natural Resources Conservation Services, and county agricultural commissioner offices. The training featured updated UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines, decision-support tool training, and information about chlorpyrifos.

The Payoff

Chlorpyrifos discussion strengthens pest management guidelines and trains emerging professionals

Through industry and regulator meetings, over 1700 people were educated about chlorpyrifos and the decision-support tool. Conversations with multiple participants indicated a positive response to the tool, as well as an expression of intent to use it. From October 2015 to August 2016 the tool received 6,038 page views, and 874 users went to the final report page, spending an average of 2 minutes on the report. Increased understanding by UCCE advisors of these grower and PCA situations strengthened the University’s guidelines for managing pests and formulated better IPM training for this important clientele. Training increased grower and PCA awareness of alternative practices and the importance of using chlorpyrifos only when necessary. The project created a truly innovative mobile-friendly tool that allows access to science-based information to support management decisions. We anticipate that use of the tool will result in an increase in big picture considerations when managing a crop and could result in less pesticide use.


Supporting Unit: Statewide IPM Program

Lori Berger, Project Coordinator, 559.799.8266, lberger@ucanr.edu
Pete Goodell, Area IPM Advisor, 559.646.6515, pbgoodell@ucanr.edu