2000-01 Pest Management Grant Summaries

Back to 1995-2002 Pest Management Grants Program

Applicants submitted 34 proposals requesting funding under the Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) Pest Management Grants program for FY 2000/2001. The Pest Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) evaluated all complete proposals and by consensus, recommended 19 projects be funded for a total of $553,857. The Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation approved these recommendations and the funding of these projects.

Demonstration Projects

Demonstration Projects

Project Title Applicant Location Budget
Monitoring Noctuid Pests in Row Crops Using Pheromone Traps UCCE Central Valley Region-Michael Cahn, Kent Brittan & Carolyn Pickel Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sutter and Yolo Counties $38,940

Summary: Implementation of a new pest management practice begins with educating pest control advisors (PCAs) and growers. This project aims to demonstrate to PCAs and growers the use of pheromone traps and degree-day models to monitor caterpillar pests in row crops (tomatoes and melons). Farm advisors in six counties in the Central Valley will train participating growers and PCAs representing 211,687 acres of tomatoes and melons. Pheromone traps will be located at 2 to 3 sites in each county. Nearby commercial fields will be sampled for eggs and caterpillars. The participating farm advisors will analyze trap data and calculate cumulative degree-days on a weekly schedule. With cooperation from PCAs and growers, the farm advisors will then sample study sites to validate the accuracy of the data collected.


Project Title Applicant Location Budget
Aerial Release of Trichogramma to Control Codling Moth ARENA Pesticide Management-Russell Stocker Butte, Contra Costa, Kings, San Joaquin, Sutter, Tehama & Tulare Counties $29,500

Summary: Studies have shown that the tiny parasitic wasp Trichogramma can reduce damage from codling moth, a key pest of California walnuts. Work done during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 growing seasons demonstrated the technical success of metering and aerially applying Trichogramma-parasitized grain moth eggs to the foliage of walnut trees. The work was done under carefully controlled and monitored conditions, in conjunction with the Pest Management Alliance (PMA) Work Plan for California Walnuts. The goal of the Alliance is to demonstrate reduced-risk pest management to the walnut industry statewide, and to encourage adoption by growers. In cooperation with the PMA, 68 timed releases of Trichogramma parasitoids were made over 197 acres of walnuts located in 15 orchards. Preliminary data show a 2.8 percent damage rate compared to a 10 percent damage rate for the grower standard practice. These data are encouraging, demonstrating that Trichogramma parasitoids are a viable and affordable reduced-risk pest management strategy. The goal of this proposal is to expand the effort, while reducing cost and gathering additional data to support adoption.


Project Title Applicant Location Budget
Mass Release of Natural Enemies of Vine Mealybug Foothill Ag Research, Inc.- Harry Griffiths & Joe Barcinas Riverside County $30,000

Summary: The vine mealybug has caused severe economic damage to table grapes since it was discovered in the Coachella Valley in 1994, and is now spreading through the San Joaquin Valley. The heavy use of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides to control the mealybug increases risk to workers and the environment. Two parasitoid species- Anagyrus pseudococci and Leptomastidea abnormis - continue to show promise for controlling the vine mealybug. This project focuses on mass rearing the parasitoids in a commercial insectary, releasing them in commercial vineyards, evaluating their establishment and effectiveness, and widely disseminating the results. In 2000, great progress was made through increased mass rearing of the parasitoids allowing expanded field releases of both parasitoids. Field releases of L. abnormis averaged 112,400 per week for 30 weeks, totaling 3,372,000 wasps released. Weekly releases of A. pseudococci averaged 277,947 over 38 weeks of field releases for a total 10,562,000 wasps released. California Department of Food and Agriculture work suggests that the parasitoids released in the Coachella Valley are spreading throughout the vineyards and are effective controlling the vine mealybug.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Areawide Implementation of Mating Disruption in Pears Using Puffers University of California Cooperative Extension-Rachel Elkins Lake & Mendocino Counties $30,000

Summary: Codling moth is the key pest of pears in California. Effective management is needed because the economic threshold for damage in cannery loads is only 5 percent, while damage in untreated controls can run from 10 to 50 percent. Restrictions on the use of conventional organophosphates for controlling codling moth have hastened the adoption of mating disruption tactics, also known as pheromone confusion. In 2000, codling moth was controlled on 820 acres of pears with pheromone-dispensing "puffers" and in 2001, 19 pear growers in Lake County will apply puffers to 1360 acres of Bartlett pear. Preliminary data showed virtually no damage in most standard puffer blocks with a few minor exceptions along edges bordering organic blocks. Participating growers have agreed to purchase the dispensers and pheromone, a substantial monetary investment, and PCAs will monitor codling moth populations. An implementation team will be formed to deliver a comprehensive extension program covering the efficacy of puffer technology.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Integrated Apple Production (IAP) Demonstration Project University of California Cooperative Extension-Janet Caprile Contra Costa County $30,000

Summary: Rapid urbanization around apple orchards in Contra Costa County has led to agricultural-urban interface problems, particularly regarding pesticide use. This project focuses on reducing the use of conventional, broad-spectrum insecticides in apple orchards by encouraging the use of proven, reduced-risk IPM practices. In 1999, nine Integrated Apple Production (IAP) demonstration orchards were established to combine these reduced-risk practices into a whole-orchard management approach. A 26% decrease in use of organophosphates and carbamates was achieved. During the 2000 season, three additional orchards were added. Each IAP site is paired with a conventional orchard, and both are monitored for crop damage, beneficial insect activity, pesticide use, and economics. IAP sites used pheromone confusion as the main reduced-risk practice for codling moth, the key pest of apple. The project shares the cost of the pheromone products with growers and assists them with monitoring, thus removing cost and risk barriers to new participants. Although costs were slightly higher for first-year trials, costs the second year dropped by as much as 20 percent as a result of fewer sprays and reduced treatments for secondary pests. Releases of codling moth parasitoids will be made in some orchards.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Demonstrating Reduced-Risk Pest Management Practices For Pests of Ornamental Cropping Systems University of California Cooperative Extension-Karen Robb Riverside, San Diego and Ventura Counties $48,499

Summary: Ornamental crops receive more frequent applications of pesticides than most agricultural crops, due to low tolerances for damage and numerous pests. This project will evaluate IPM techniques and materials and demonstrate to growers the best tools presently available for monitoring, exclusion and insecticidal control. In particular, the project will evaluate the efficacy of reflective/metallic ground covers for repelling insects, the effectiveness of trap crops such as buckwheat, and the use of different colored traps for thrips. The use of petunias as indicator plants to locate sources of topoviruses has been demonstrated previously; this system utilizes blue cards to increase the attractiveness of the indicator plants. This project will investigate increasing the attractiveness of the indicator plants by using hot pink cards. New reduced-risk pesticides will also be tested for various pests. A demonstration workshop and field day will be held for growers, PCAs and farm advisors in order to increase adoption of these strategies. Articles will be developed for publication in grower newsletters and other media.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Reduced-Risk Vineyard Practices-Demonstration and Outreach by the Central Coast Vineyard Team Central Coast Vineyard Team-Kris O'Connor San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, & Monterey counties $30,000

Summary: Winegrape acreage in the Central Coast region, which includes Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara counties, is increasing rapidly. The Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT) is a grower group, managing over 30,000 acres of winegrapes, whose mission is to promote sustainable vineyard practices on the Central Coast. The group has developed the Positive Points System (PPS) for measuring growers' progress. The PPS represents a model vineyard that integrates soil, water, pest and viticultural practices into a balanced biological system. Since 1996, the CCVT has worked on refining the PPS as an assessment tool within the region. This project uses the tool as the foundation for a demonstration and grower-to-grower outreach effort that will target a significant number of new growers on the Central Coast, as well as growers in other winegrape regions. In their first year of funding, the group held field days with over 300 attendees representing approximately 127,000 acres of Central Coast winegrapes. Information was also disseminated to growers through a quarterly newsletter, local industry publications, and an educational Web site (www.vineyardteam.org). This year, the group will evaluate the adoption of reduced-risk practices and create a custom database to facilitate analysis of the data.


Project Title Applicant Location Budget
Promotion of Vineyard and Pest Disease Monitoring and Reduced-Risk Pest Management Practices in Sonoma County Sonoma County Grape Growers Association-Duff Bevill, John Clendenon, Joe Votec & Pete Opatz Sonoma County $30,000

Summary: The most fundamental element of integrated pest management (IPM) is monitoring for pests and their natural enemies. The primary goal of this project is to increase the use of field monitoring by developing standardized techniques and field data collection sheets. Coordinated by the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association, the project includes a management team consisting of four grower-researchers, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and independent pest control advisors. Demonstration sites were established on grower properties, one in each of four appellation regions. The grower-researchers manage the sites using reduced-risk pest management practices, and monitor weekly for insects, mites, natural enemies and disease incidence using the standardized techniques. They will establish and maintain a database, making information available to other growers in a timely manner. The grower-researchers hold monthly appellation meetings at each site to share monitoring techniques, discuss management strategies, discuss control action thresholds, and encourage adoption of IPM practices for grape leafhopper and mite control. The training component will be presented in Spanish and English. The group will conduct an annual membership meeting in January of 2001 and a field day will take place in late summer 2001. The UCCE Viticulture Newsletter will provide project updates at least three times a year.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Demonstration of Vineyard Floor Management Alternatives University of California Cooperative Extension-Richard Smith & Larry Bettiga Monterey County $15,451

Summary: Runoff of pesticides from agricultural lands is a key water quality concern along the Central Coast of California. Growers are under increasing pressure to adopt management practices that reduce runoff. This project will demonstrate vineyard floor management practices that have great potential to decrease runoff from vineyards. Standard vineyard management practices will be compared with alternative strategies, such as cultivation and post-emergent herbicides and new generation pre-emergent herbicides. Winter cover crops will also be planted in the reduced-risk plots. Cover crops have been shown to decrease runoff, thereby reducing off-site movement of herbicides. The costs of the alternative strategies will be analyzed. The results of the project will be presented to the growers through field days, UCCE grower meetings, newsletters, trade journals and a website.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Kids in Gardens Aquatic Outreach Institute-Kathy Kramer Alameda, San Francisco, and Santa Clara Counties $30,000

Summary: The Aquatic Outreach Institute (AOI), a non-profit environmental education organization, develops and manages education and outreach programs on creeks, wetlands, and watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area. These programs provide thousands of school children, educators, and the general public with information about aquatic resources. This project involves one of AOI's highly successful programs, Kids in Gardens, which will educate 90 kindergarten-through-twelfth-grade teachers on ways they can educate their students about reducing the use of toxic pesticides. Teachers will involve 6,000 students in organic and IPM school gardening projects. Students will also educate their families and community members about IPM gardening practices. More than 6,000 family and community members will receive student-generated information on IPM in the form of surveys, fliers, artwork, and web pages. Creating school gardens in California has become a high priority for school administrators; using these gardens as outdoor laboratories for students presents an excellent opportunity to combine IPM practices with lessons teachers are already teaching, and to extend this learning to students families.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Pesticide Use Reduction-Landscape Maintenance Demonstration Program San Joaquin County, Public Works - Solid Waste Division-Scott Essin San Joaquin County $27,500

Summary: The Cities and County of San Joaquin are collaborating with the California Waste Management Board to decrease greenwaste generation and disposal in local watersheds. This partnership, the Landscape Management Outreach Partnership (LMOP), has identified reducing pesticide use by homeowners as a priority. Last year, over 14,000 pounds of pesticides were collected from county residents and disposed of by the county. A University of California Master Gardener will coordinate outreach activities, including three workshops on integrated pest management principles. Workshops will focus on worker safety, reducing pesticide run-off in storm water, the role of beneficial insects, and providing less-toxic alternatives to current practices. The LMOP will set up a "Greenwaste Certified Landscaper" program to train landscape professionals in pesticide use reduction as part of an overall greenwaste reduction program. This project will encourage the use of IPM and reduced-risk pesticides by the nearly 1,200 landscape businesses operating in the county.


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Promoting Urban-based Ecological Pest Management: Expanding Outreach in the East Bay Schools and Community Gardens (Phase III) University of California, Berkeley-Miguel Altieri Alameda County $30,000

Summary: Sections of the cities of Berkeley and Oakland are home to some of the poorest families in the United States. In public schools, teachers report that many children show up for school without adequate breakfast, lacking energy and the ability to concentrate. Many children have diets high in fat and calories, due in part to the unavailability of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. This project has established gardens at various schools in low-income areas, featuring vegetable cropping systems that will produce salad vegetables and some staple crops. Five public schools, located in low-income neighborhoods of Berkeley and Oakland, have established an IPM training, demonstration, and outreach program. Students participate in all aspects of garden development, monitoring of crop-pest-natural enemy interactions, and in outreach activities in their local community. The project emphasizes special workshops on IPM complemented with handouts, videos, slide shows and hands-on practice. Demonstration plots are utilized during field days to enhance outreach of project benefits to many school children and the community at large. The current year will focus on 16 small garden plots managed by previously trained students and their families. Management by the students will vary according to each student's knowledge level and should produce the opportunity for exchange of information about successful techniques that can be used in the future.