Alliance Projects Funded in 1999

Back to Pest Management Alliance Evaluations and Project Summaries

  • Pesticide Risk Reduction in California Prunes
California Prune Board
Mr. Gary Obenauf
Tehama, Butte, Glenn, Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, Merced, Madera, Fresno, & Tulare counties
1998: $50,000; 1999: $92,727

California prune growers produce about 200,000 dried tons annually on 81,000 bearing acres. The Prune Alliance was established in 1998 to expand and strengthen existing efforts to implement reduced-risk pest management practices in prunes. The Alliance includes prune growers, pest control advisors, UC researchers, and Farm Advisors working together to demonstrate economical prune production, while reducing reliance on highly toxic pesticides. The coordinated effort is called the Integrated Prune Farming Practices project. One of the key elements of the project is the use of new monitoring techniques developed to help growers make more informed pest management decisions. A significant accomplishment has been the elimination of dormant organophosphate sprays by participating growers at 22 demonstration plots statewide. Total plot acreage is 708; however, total prune acreage farmed by participants exceeds 6,000 acres. A major strength of the Alliance is the overall coordination of project efforts by the California Prune Board. This assures uniform transfer of information on alternative practices to the 1,400 growers and 21 packers in California.

  • To Promote A Reduced-Risk System of Almond Production Through Alternative Practices
Almond Board of California
Ms. Chris Heintz
Butte, Stanislaus, & Kern counties
1998: $99,000; 1999: $98,976

In North America, California is the only state that commercially produces almonds. There are approximately 6,000 growers in the state producing almonds on nearly 480,000 acres from Chico to Bakersfield. The Almond Alliance was formed in 1998 to evaluate and demonstrate less disruptive pest management practices. Several pests cause problems in almonds, with navel orangeworm (NOW) being the key pest. The Alliance has developed a project modeled after the Biologically Integrated Farming System (BIOS). BIOS growers are using well-established alternative practices to commercially grow both almonds and walnuts. Three large demonstration sites, from 50 to 120 acres in size, have been established in Butte, Stanislaus, and Kern counties. Six regional field days, three during the dormant season and three in-season, have attracted close to 600 growers and pest control advisors, who learned about the benefits of winter orchard sanitation to control NOW, alternatives to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, and monitoring techniques to accurately identify pest and beneficial insects and plant diseases. A major strength of this alliance is the Almond Board's role in transferring information on reduced-risk alternatives to growers.

  • A Reduced-Risk Pest Management Program for Walnuts
Walnut Marketing Board
Mr. Dennis Balint
Tehama, Butte, Glenn, Yuba, Sutter, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Fresno, Kings, & Tulare counties
1998: $100,000; 1999: $65,750

California produces 99 percent of the walnuts grown in the United States and 38 percent of those grown worldwide. Walnuts grow in a wide variety of areas throughout California on nearly 221,000 producing acres. The Walnut Alliance was established in 1998 to evaluate and demonstrate commercial walnut production using reduced-risk pest management practices. The key pests in walnuts are the codling moth and walnut blight disease. The Alliance established 12 demonstration orchards comparing the growers conventional program to control these pests, with reduced-risk alternatives. These alternatives include mating disruption, release of natural enemies, use of low-risk biological pesticides and disease forecasting allowing growers to better time treatments. At five regional field days, over 250 growers and pest control advisors have learned about these and other alternatives to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. The Alliance is a collaborative effort between participating walnut growers, UC researchers, local Farm Advisors, pest control advisors, and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, with support from the Walnut Marketing Board. The continuing focus of the Alliance is to increase grower adoption of economical reduced-risk alternatives. The group has identified a 75% reduction of organophosphate use on 12,000 acres as a realistic reduced-risk adoption goal.

  • Pear Pest Management Alliance
California Pear Advisory Board
Mr. Chris Zanobini
Sacramento, El Dorado, Lake, Mendocino, & Yuba counties
1998: $100,000; 1999: $65,750

California ranks second nationwide in pear production; in 1996, approximately 317,000 acres were harvested. The Alliance project establishes and expands codling moth (CM) pheromone-based pest management projects in each of four pear-growing counties-Sacramento, El Dorado, Lake and Mendocino-involving 33 growers and 8 pest control advisors. The major goal during the first year was to reduce organophosphate (OP) use by 60 percent. A research component evaluated new reduced-risk insecticides such as Confirm® for leafroller control, because a decrease in OP use has lead to an increase in damage from secondary pests. Alliance team members conducted timing trials of the reduced-risk pesticide used for control of leafrollers, an important secondary pest in CM pheromone-disrupted orchards. Secondary pest pressure impedes expansion of these projects. In Yuba County, a demonstration project showed that the biological control agent, Blight Ban A506®, was effective at half the label rate, allowing a 50-60% reduction in antibiotic use for fireblight control.

In the demonstration projects, growers and PCAs were apprised of insect populations on a weekly basis by fax (sooner if necessary) from project leaders along with personal contacts with PCAs at weekly breakfast meetings. End-of-year meetings with all participants were held as well as presentations in the early (Walnut Grove) and late (Ukiah) district of all pear research including the Alliance projects.

  • Alfalfa Seed Pest Management Implementation Training Program for the Central San Joaquin Valley
California Seed Association
Mr. Richard Matteis, Executive Director
Central San Joaquin Valley
1999: $55,000

California is the largest producer of alfalfa seed in the United States. There are currently over 62,000 acres of alfalfa grown for seed in California, and although acreage is up, alfalfa seed yields have declined significantly in the past several years. This yield reduction is primarily a result of the inability to control insect pests in the field. Each year, growers spend an average of 25 percent of their production costs on insect control. Two pest management plans were developed in 1997. These plans outline recommended pest management strategies for two of the most important pests in seed fields- lygus bugs and spider mites. Building on this, the Alfalfa Seed Alliance was established in 1999 with three major objectives: (1) Development of an alfalfa seed pest management implementation program and manual for Central San Joaquin Valley growers; (2) The sharing of the program with growers through training workshops; and (3) A project to shorten the seed alfalfa pollination period to avoid pest pressures and reduce pesticide applications. Dr. Shannon Mueller is the principal investigator for the first two objectives, and Dr. Larry Teuber for the third objective. DPR funding for this Alliance started in June 1999 and work is now underway.

  • Extending IPM strategies for cotton: Improving outreach and field evaluations in Pima and Upland cotton
California Cotton Growers Association
Mr. Earl P. Williams
San Joaquin Valley: Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, & Merced counties
1999: $100,000

The Alliance has focused on developing IPM strategies for pests of Pima cotton. To manage weeds and insects, team members published four Field Check monthly reports on alternative practices. They also distributed Quickcheck faxes and e-mail information during critical pest pressure periods to growers and PCAs last season. The Alliance has developed outreach through a series of newsletters and established the California Cotton Research Council. Alliance team members demonstrated strip cutting of alfalfa near cotton fields as a pest management program to control lygus bugs. They also started a lygus migration forecasting program to help predict movement of lygus from the foothills to valley cotton. In addition, team members continued the third year of an area-wide whitefly monitoring program.

  • Reduced-risk pest management of insect pests in sugarbeets
California Beet Growers Association
Mr. Ben Goodwin
Imperial Valley; Yolo, Solano, Fresno, & Sacramento counties
1999: $88,841

California ranks fourth in the nation for sugarbeet production. In 1996, approximately 82,000 acres of sugarbeet were harvested. The goal of the sugarbeet Alliance is to improve IPM of insect pests in sugarbeets by replacing conventional with sustainable practices, and avoiding secondary pest problems.

The first objective is to demonstrate the advantages of a reduced-risk approach to sugarbeet armyworm management. Field work in Yolo, Solano, and Fresno counties will demonstrate that when armyworm control comes too early in the season, secondary pest problems increase and result in additional insecticide applications. The project will also convince growers of the economic benefit of preserving beneficial insects; validate an existing damage threshold that considers economics and current varieties; and provide growers and pest control advisors with an easy and effective method to monitor armyworms.

The second objective is to demonstrate that the reduced-risk insecticide imidacloprid can be effective and economical for controlling aphids that transmit viruses. Field work in Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento counties will demonstrate the season-long benefit of imidacloprid to reduce beet yellows virus infection, introduce growers to imidacloprid as an alternative to aldicarb, and demonstrate how it fits in with production practices.

The third objective is to improve sugarbeet stands and reduce pesticide use in the Imperial Valley. Work will evaluate stand establishment pest management. The entire approach to seedling pest management will be challenged, and alternatives will be demonstrated. Plots will demonstrate alternative insecticides for the control of armyworms on seedling sugarbeets and ascertain the value of early-season insecticide applications to emerging sugarbeets.

The fourth objective is to produce an internet-accessible program to assist growers and pest control advisors with pest identification, consider reduced-risk alternatives, and choose the least disruptive and most cost-effective pest management alternatives.

  • Development of an Integrated System for Controlling San Jose Scale, Peach Twig Borer and Oriental Fruit Moth in Clingstone Canning and Fresh Shipping Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines
California Tree Fruit Agreement
Mr. Jonathan Field
Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Sutter, & Yuba counties
1999: $31,325

California produces over one million tons of peaches, plums, and nectarines annually. The Stone Fruit Alliance, established in 1998, is a coalition between canned fruit and fresh-market stone fruit growers and UC researchers. The Alliance has established a project to evaluate and promote implementation of reduced-risk pest management alternatives. San Jose scale (SJS) has become such a serious pest of stone fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, that growers are removing orchards. Organophosphate (OPs) and carbamate pesticides account for approximately 80 percent of the applications to stone fruits annually to control SJS and other key pests such as peach twig borer (PTB) and oriental fruit moth (OFM). The Alliance is working to develop a model IPM system for implementation by stone fruit growers to mitigate the risks associated with routine OP use. In 1999, work focused on evaluating dormant oil sprays as an effective control of SJS, identification of natural enemies for mass rearing, and evaluation of commercially available mating disruption products to refine application rates for more effective control of PTB and OFM. The California Tree Fruit Agreement and the Cling Peach Advisory Board have combined forces to coordinate this work. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate reduced-risk practices and use the information to develop practical recommendations for stone fruit growers.

  • Demonstration and Implementation of a Reduced-Risk Pest Management Strategy in Fresh Cut Roses
California Cut Flower Commission
Mr. Lee Murphy
Central Coast, South Coast counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Diego
1999: $85,000

Farm sale value of flowers and foliage in California is over $500 million annually. Greenhouse roses are the strongest component of the California cut flower industry, making up 70 percent of the nation's rose production with annual sales of $64 million. Key pests include the Western flower thrips, two-spotted spider mite, and powdery mildew. The lack of effective monitoring guidelines or thresholds for key pests of fresh cut roses has meant that growers typically use preventive sprays to minimize pest damage. The objective of the Alliance is to implement cost-effective, reduced-risk pest management practices. This will be accomplished by implementing monitoring procedures for the three key pests, using economic and action thresholds to guide pest management decisions, substituting reduced-risk pest pesticides, and developing control strategies for secondary pests. The Alliance has established demonstration sites in eight greenhouses located in Central and South Coast counties. The total area involved is 101,000 square feet. A number of growers are adopting the project's reduced-risk practices. In addition to the eight growers in the Alliance, there are fourteen others who are consistently using biological control for two-spotted spider mite.

  • A Pest Management Alliance for Reducing the Environmental Risk of Rice Pesticides in California
California Rice Research Board
Mr. Dana Dickey
Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo and Yuba counties
1999: $20,000

More than 95 percent of the state's rice is grown in Northern California's Sacramento Valley. California harvests approximately 500,000 acres of rice annually. In California, the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus is the most important insect pest of rice. Rice water weevil larvae prune rice plant roots causing decreases in grain yield by 10 to 30 percent. The rice Alliance was established in 1998 with two major objectives: (1) expand the present light trapping efforts for rice water weevil to provide data for real-time estimates of weevil flight incidence and timing, and (2) continue progress toward the development and adoption of reduced-risk pest management measures through Alliance meetings of key rice industry personnel. At this time, locating sites for the light traps is nearing completion with light trap monitorings scheduled to start in April 2000.