1999-2000 Pest Management Grants

Back to 1995-2002 Pest Management Grants Program

Applicants submitted 50 proposals requesting funding under the Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) Pest Management Grants program for FY 1999/2000. The Pest Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) evaluated all complete proposals and by consensus, recommended 19 projects be funded for a total of $588,250. The Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation approved these recommendations and the funding of these projects.

Agricultural Applied Research Projects

Nonagricultural Applied Research Project

Agricultural Applied Research Projects

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Evaluation of Efficacy of Green Lacewings, Chrysoperla rufilabris (Burmeister), Delivered Using a Liquid-Release Technique for Management of the Lettuce Aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosely), in Organic and Reduced-Risk (IPM) Leaf Lettuce University of California, Davis, 
Dr. Bill Chaney, Dr. Ken Giles, and Lynn Wunderlich
Monterey and San Benito Counties $21,690

Summary: A serious new aphid pest, Nasonovia ribisnigri, threatens developing IPM systems in Salinas Valley lettuce. Because the aphid prefers to feed at the center of the lettuce head, it is difficult to control and infested lettuce is unmarketable. The aphid's presence in fields has increased applications of broad-spectrum pesticides-especially oxydemeton-methyl-and has disrupted IPM for other insect pests in lettuce. The project's researchers are developing an IPM strategy that targets N. ribisnigri in head and leaf lettuce. During the first year, researchers released green lacewing eggs using an electronically controlled liquid-delivery system on commercial-scale farms, monitored aphid populations weekly, and collected lettuce yield and quality data. During the second year, they will use an improved delivery system to release lacewings in both organic and reduced-risk lettuce fields, with successive releases to build lacewing populations. The lacewing release strategy complements an overall insect IPM program for lettuce.
Dr. William Chaney (831) 759-7350, Fax (831) 758-3018


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Integrated Weed Management for Lettuce: Optimized Weed Management Inputs Made According to Seasonal Fluctuations in Weed Emergence University of California, Cooperative Extension, Monterey County, 
Dr. Steve Fennimore, and Dr. Richard F. Smith
Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties $27,424

Summary: California lettuce growers apply preemergence herbicides such as pronamide at prophylactic rates because at the time of application they cannot predict the density of weeds that will germinate in a field. Previous studies have shown that summer-planted lettuce has lower levels of weed pressure than lettuce planted in the spring, yet herbicide inputs are the same for both seasons. This project is developing a decision-driven reduced-risk system for weed management in coastal California lettuce. Preliminary results over the past growing season indicate that dormancy contributes to seasonal reductions in weed seed germination, and that this seasonal variation should allow weeds to be managed in summer-planted lettuce with reduced herbicide. Also, testing of a new brush hoe cultivator has shown promise as a possible alternative to one spray application or more and to possible reductions in band application widths. The results of the first year of research show that lettuce growers can reduce both their herbicide rate and number of applications. The project will next refine the use of brush hoe cultivators, expand dormancy testing to additional soil types and areas, and increase the number of grower field days.
Dr. Steve Fennimore (831) 755-2896 Fax (831) 755-2814


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Determining Seed Bank Levels in Citrus Orchards: A Basis for Designing a Weed Control Program University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, 
Dr. Timothy S. Prather and Dr. Fuhan Liu
Fresno and Tulare Counties $27,056

Summary: In citrus orchards, weeds are controlled primarily with preemergent herbicides. Postemergent herbicide application follows, preventing a large number of weed species from replenishing their respective seed banks. Through time, seed banks should diminish, but farmers cannot evaluate seed bank depletion since the weeds are controlled before emergence, preventing detection. Indicators of the seed bank are needed. This study investigates seed bank levels in citrus orchards based on duration of herbicide use and size of citrus tree canopy. A combination of continuous use of herbicides and shading may contribute overall to lower seed banks and weed populations as orchards age. Knowledge gained through this project will provide a decision support tool that will allow farmers and PCAs to adopt new strategies and more efficient techniques, resulting in reliable, cost-effective weed management systems that reduce risks to the environment. During the first year's work, 29 orchards were sampled to determine seed density, seed emergence, and percentage of viable seeds. The available data indicate that total weed seeds in citrus decreased as the duration of herbicide application increased. Spring and fall sampling of orchards will continue during the second year of this project. The researchers will sample a total of 47 orchards, and use the data they gather to develop a seed bank database and alternative management strategies for citrus growers.
Jeanette Warnert (559) 225-5611, Fax (559) 225-8624


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Managing Watergrass (Echinochloa spp.) Resistance to Rice Herbicides in an Aquatic Environment: Research and Demonstration in Affected Farms University of California, Davis, 
Dr. Albert J. Fischer, Dr. James E. Hill, and Dr. Michael D. Carriere
Glenn County $30,000

Summary: A 1997-98 survey of California's rice-producing area has found widespread herbicide resistance in watergrass and barnyardgrass populations to both registered and experimental herbicides. The advent of herbicide resistance in watergrass threatens the environmental strides made by the rice industry over the last 15 years. This project addresses this concern by testing and demonstrating new strategies to producers in a field-scale experiment that involves 1) the use of transgenic rice cultivars resistant to environmentally friendly, broad-spectrum herbicides, 2) annual rotation to herbicides with different mechanisms of action, and 3) techniques to prevent replenishing the soil seed bank with resistant seed. The first two strategies are being evaluated by comparing four rotational herbicide regimes applied over three years to sixteen individually irrigated plots. Straw management treatments will be applied after the 1999 harvest to evaluate their effect on watergrass seed population. These strategies will demonstrate that managing resistant watergrass populations should involve both herbicidal and cultural practices. The project's ultimate goal is to demonstrate depletion of the soil seed bank of herbicide-resistant seed using this system.
Mike Carrier: (530) 752-3458, Fax (530) 752-4361


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Evaluation of Reflective and Cover Crop Mulches for Insect, Disease and Weed Control in Fresh Market Tomato Production Systems University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, 
Dr. Jeff Mitchell
Fresno County $11,910

Summary: Aphid-vectored virus diseases cause significant crop loss to California's fresh market tomato growers, and frequently trigger routine, ineffective pesticide applications. In addition to disease problems, growers often rank weeds as the number one pest requiring chemical treatment. Surface plastic and cover crop mulches may be a means to reduce aphids, weeds, and ultimately, the amount of pesticides used. Preliminary results from a pilot study conducted in 1999 suggest that tomato growth and productivity can be increased by silver reflective plastic and may be maintained by certain cover crop mulches relative to bare ground production systems. This project, with support and assistance from the California Tomato Commission (CTC), will compare three fresh market tomato production systems: conventional, plastic mulch, and cover crop-derived mulch. Each system will be evaluated for productivity, fruit quality, pest and beneficial insect populations, and weed and disease incidence. The researcher will document production costs and pesticide inputs. Information developed by the project will be provided to growers and pest control advisors by several means including field demonstrations, CTC grower newsletters, and grower meetings.
Jeanette Warnert: (559) 225-5611, Fax (559) 225-8624


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Rotations with Broccoli for Soilborne Disease Management in Conventional and Organic Strawberry Production Systems University of California, Davis, 
Dr. K.V. Subbarao, Dr. F.N. Martin, and Dr. K. G. Shetty
Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties $30,000

Summary: Soil-borne diseases can cause significant yield losses to strawberry crops grown in unfumigated soil. Few alternatives to methyl bromide are currently available. Crop rotation appears to be one of the viable alternatives. The attributes of an effective crop rotational program in strawberries include 1) the ability of the rotational crop to reduce pathogens in the soil, 2) compatibility of the crop rotation with current production practices, and 3) grower acceptance of the crop rotation in their cropping system. Broccoli is one crop that has shown the above attributes. This project is demonstrating the feasibility of this approach on strawberries to reduce soil-borne diseases, and to determine effect on yield. Preliminary results from field studies demonstrated the significant effects of different vegetable crop rotations on successive strawberry plant growth, yield, and severity of Verticillium wilt. Rotations with broccoli had the most beneficial effect on strawberry growth and yield. Cost-benefit analysis showed the broccoli-strawberry rotation to be an economically viable option under a moderate level of Verticillium disease pressure. The goal of this project is to obtain additional data to support grower adoption of strawberry-broccoli rotations.
Pat Bailey (530) 752-9843 Fax (530) 753-4068


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Field Trials for the Combined Use of Ozone Gas and Beneficial Microorganisms as a Preplant Soil Treatment for Tomatoes & Strawberries in Pathogen-Infested Soils Soilzone, Inc., 
Alan Prior
Orange and Santa Cruz Counties $22,000

Summary: Tomato and strawberry growers in California are highly reliant on methyl bromide as a soil fumigant. Use of methyl bromide, however, will be phased out by 2005 due to concerns about its deleterious long-term effects on the stratospheric ozone layer, as well as other adverse effects. Interestingly, researchers have shown that soil treatments of ozone gas substantially reduce populations of root-feeding nematodes and pathogenic soil-dwelling fungi. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared ozone application safe for food processing, and the California Certified Organic Farmers approved experimental use of ozone. This project will evaluate the effect of preplant treatments in tomato and strawberry fields with both ozone gas and beneficial microorganisms. The researchers will monitor plant growth and vigor, determine concentrations of soil pathogens and beneficial microorganisms, and assess cost effectiveness of the two treatments. Information will be provided to growers and pest control advisors through California Strawberry Commission-sponsored Grower Days seminars and through industry publications.
Alan Prior (530) 758-5173 Fax (530) 758-5173


Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Evaluation of Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Soil Fumigation at a Nut Tree Nursery Site California Association of Nurserymen, 
Dr. Elaine Thompson and Dr. Michael V. McKenry
Yolo County $30,000

Summary: The California nursery industry depends on effective control of soil-borne pests to provide clean nursery stock. Soil fumigation with methyl bromide is currently the most effective control method. Due to the pending phase-out of methyl bromide, there is a critical need for alternative pest management strategies in commercial tree nurseries. This project is evaluating the practicality and efficacy of three proposed methyl bromide alternative treatment strategies for use in commercial nurseries. The researchers have established a nursery site for a Juglans spp. (walnut rootstock) field. Pre-treatment soil samples were taken from the site and analyzed for the presence of plant-parasitic nematodes prior to treatment. The ultimate goal is to gather data to support incorporation of these alternatives into California's Nursery Stock Nematode Control Program.
Elaine Thompson: (916) 928-3900, Fax (916) 567-0505


Nonagricultural Applied Research Project

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Food Stress Interactions Between the Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile) and Urban Tree-Dwelling Arthropods in Relationship to Structural Invasions University of California, Berkeley, 
Dr. Donald L. Dahlsten and Dr. Vernard R. Lewis
Alameda, Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties $28,670

Summary: The Argentine ant is the major ant pest found in California agriculture and is ranked second among insect pests found in the urban environment, where it commonly invades structures. As a result, there is increased potential for human exposure and environmental contamination from pesticide use. This project provides an opportunity to incorporate new biological information into structural pest control programs including the IPM program at the UC Berkeley University Village at Albany, where data have been collected continuously for 28 years. During the first year of work, the researchers established that seasonal ant invasions of structures result from reduced availability of honeydew (the sweet excretion from insects such as aphids), and not from environmental factors such as low temperatures or rainy weather. This information will be used to incorporate reduced-risk pesticide use into ant management programs. During the second year, research will expand from Alameda County to Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties. At each site, the researchers will survey plants for honeydew-producing insects. The researchers will also evaluate natural enemy complexes to determine the level of biological control for control of honeydew-producing insects when Argentine ants are excluded.
Jill Goetz: (510) 643-1042, Fax (510) 642-4612