Welcome to the Department of Pesticide Regulation

News

Back to News Releases

Media Contact: Glenn Brank October 26, 2006 (06-19)
916-445-3974 gbrank@cdpr.ca.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
   

DPR HONORS 7 WHO WORK FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT

(Editors/Reporters: Recipients are based in Butte, Fresno, Glenn, Lake, Placer, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Sutter, and Yuba counties.)

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Pesticide Regulation will honor seven diverse groups - from a top-ranked golf course in Placer County to a pair of Fresno advisors who assist immigrant farmers - for their work to sustain California's environment.

DPR will present its IPM Innovator Awards today at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters. IPM -- integrated pest management - promotes natural pest solutions to build a healthier environment that sustains itself with less chemical intervention.

"These Innovators are an eclectic group, but they share one important characteristic," said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. "Each award winner has created an enduring partnership with nature -- not just to co-exist, but to contribute to a sustainable environment and economy. And each one of these recipient is building on the success of our previous IPM Innovators."

DPR's IPM Innovator program has recognized nearly 100 individuals and organizations since 1994. They represent a range of business and community interests, including farms and other businesses, community groups, schools, and advocacy organizations. Most importantly, all have actively shared their successful ideas with others.

The seven new IPM Innovators and highlights of their accomplishments:

  • The Cooperative Extension Small Farm Program in Fresno, an off-campus research arm of the University of California, helped 1,500 Southeast Asian immigrant farmers adapt their ethnic crops to IPM.

  • Ecology Action of Santa Cruz became an IPM ambassador, searching out proven local sustainability efforts and propagating them in other communities. Successful efforts include school IPM programs to encourage pest prevention instead of pesticides, and a "Green Gardener" certification service for lawn and landscape companies.

  • Lahontan Golf Club in Truckee, part of an 880-acre Placer County community, defied conventional links design with a mixture of organic maintenance and native vegetation, garnering numerous industry awards.

  • Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing and six San Joaquin County growers adopted a set of IPM principles to protect workers, foster healthy dietary standards, enhance nature, and promote quality wines.

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service in Butte, Glenn, Sutter, and Yuba counties introduced IPM to growers as well as the federal conservation programs it administers for the benefit of air, water, and soil quality, as well as wildlife habitat and endangered species.

  • The Pear Doctor, also known as Broc Zoller in Lake County, made house calls even before pests came knocking to prevent the use of highly toxic pesticides on the North Coast. His "prescriptions" include meticulous planning and pheromone disruption - decoy scents that send sex-crazed moths flying in circles.

  • Ty Parkinson, Bill Chandler and the Stone Fruit Pest Management Alliance in Fresno County, who joined forces to successfully combat pests in peaches, nectarines, and plums while eliminating the most toxic pesticides traditionally used in their industry.

General information for the IPM Innovator Program, including nomination forms, may be downloaded from DPR's web site.

Here are IPM Innovator profiles and individual press contact information:

Ecology Action of Santa Cruz

Ecology Action of Santa Cruz was founded as a non-profit organization in 1970 to create conservation programs, prove their economic and environmental effectiveness, and help them become permanent community resources.

In 2003, Governor Schwarzenegger presented an Environmental and Economic Leadership Award to Ecology Action, in the environmental-economic partnerships category, for businesses "that foster unique, cooperative approaches between the private, public, and/or non-profit sectors to achieve both environmental and economic ends."

Ecology Action conducts three programs in the area of pesticide stewardship and integrated pest management in the Monterey Bay area, Salinas Valley and Santa Cruz County:

  • Green Gardener Program. This program builds on the Santa Barbara Green Gardener training workshops (2004 IPM Innovator Award) for Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, formalizing the curriculum into an "off-the-shelf" format that can be used anywhere in the state. The Green Gardener program promotes commercial lawn and garden services that adopt IPM practices.

  • "Our Water Our World." This outreach campaign for residential and landscape gardeners focuses on urban pesticide use and water quality. Begun by the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, the program has provided in-store IPM education to more than 2,300 consumers and training for more than 165 garden center employees in Santa Cruz County and the Salinas Valley. In partnership with government agencies and garden stores, "Our Water Our World" encourages pesticide consumers to avoid buying "problem pesticides" in favor of less-toxic products. The campaign held 31 IPM events in Santa Cruz County in 2006.

  • Schools IPM Program. This expands successful efforts by Marin and Madera Model School IPM Programs, providing training workshops and technical assistance to help area schools. The focus is on individualized pest management programs that emphasize prevention and reduced-risk strategies.

Ecology Action is one of the few organizations working to educate urban pesticide users. It adopts proven programs and expands them to new areas. In addition to pesticide programs, the organization addresses oil recycling, coastal clean-up, composting, waste reduction, and waste-free schools.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kyrrha Sevco, (831) 426-5925

Lahontan Golf Club of Placer County

Lahontan Golf Club opened in 1998 as part of a private, gated community on 880 acres. The development has an organic maintenance program established by company agronomist Mike Kosak, who grows only native plants within the community.

Before each season, golf course superintendent Kevin Breen and his crew spread 43 tons of chicken manure and composted green waste on 130 acres of fairway to build up the soil. Breen also samples soil from 14 different sites and develops a fertilization schedule based on soil needs. Use of synthetic fertilizers has steadily declined since the course opened.

Breen - trained as a meteorologist - also uses data from his own weather station to help adjust irrigation, and he keeps careful records of water use.

When pesticides are needed, Breen selects them carefully, based on their environmental fate, how quickly they break down, and their caution words and effectiveness. Pesticide use is minimal -- 90 percent of weeds are removed by hand. No aquatic pesticides are applied. Pond algae are managed by using bacteria, enzymes, and pumps that recirculate water. Course waterways are tested at least eight times a year for pesticides and fertilizers.

Imaginative pest management even extends to Canadian geese that could foul the fairways. An Australian Shepard is dispatched to send the birds on their way.

Lahontan Golf Club is ranked among the top 15 in California. Through its leadership, it influences IPM practices at other courses. For example, six nearby courses follow Lahontan's compost topdressing practices. Superintendent Breen promotes sustainable practices in articles he writes for the bimonthly publication of the Sierra Nevada Superintendents Association. Breen also hosts tours that highlight Lahontan practices for local and regional environmental regulators.

Lahontan has received recognition for its environmental accomplishments from the California Golf Writers and Golf Digest. The national Golf Course Superintendents Association, which represents more than 21,000 golf course management professionals, twice honored Lahontan for its accomplishments. As a high-profile golf course in a sensitive location that implemented and promoted IPM from its inception, Lahontan is a most worthy recipient of DPR's IPM Innovator Award.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Breen, (530) 550-2444

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing of San Joaquin County, and the first certified Lodi Rules growers: Robert Abercrombie, Sutter Home Winery; Jerry & Bruce Fry, Mohr Fry Ranches; John Ledbetter and Kim Ledbetter-Bronson, Vino Farms; Joe Dexter, Lobo Loco Wines; Robert Pirie, Colligere Farm Management; and Keith Watts, K and S. Vineyards.

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is a third-party certification program developed by the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, a marketing entity of 750 wine grape growers. The commission worked with Protected Harvest, a nonprofit corporation that independently certifies sustainable growing practices. The six nominated growers were the first to receive certification.

Lodi Rules encompasses a comprehensive IPM program developed and field-verified by some of the most respected IPM groups in California. A key component of the program is a Pesticide Environmental Assessment System (PEAS) that measures the environmental impact of all pesticides used. PEAS assesses risk to field workers and the human diet, as well as acute risks to small aquatic invertebrates, birds, pest natural enemies, and bees. Growers may not exceed a maximum number of pesticide impact points calculated using PEAS. These standards prohibit the application of high-risk pesticides.

The Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission keeps growers up to date on sustainable practices and Lodi Rules through meetings and its Research/IPM Newsletter. Attractive promotional materials and a first-class Website deliver broad impact. The commission is a strong networking group, and has featured Lodi Rules in presentations to IPM, environmental, commodity, and pesticide industry forums statewide and throughout the country.

IPM is central to Lodi Rules' high standards for sustainable wine grape production. Lodi Rules' third-party IPM label certification holds the distinction of being the first of its kind for a California commodity. The six wine grape grower-members recognized as IPM Innovators have invested significant time, effort and expense to enhance sustainability and wine quality. The Lodi Rules growers provide a progressive IPM role model for other regions and commodities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cliff Ohmart, (209) 367-4727

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Butte, Yuba, Sutter, and Glenn counties.

Part of the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was created 70 years ago to promote soil conservation. NRCS has county offices directed by district conservationists who set local priorities in consultation with county resource conservation districts.

IPM is a relatively new concept for the agency that has quickly gained recognition. California NRCS recently established a project with the University of California Statewide IPM program to provide IPM training for agency field staff. Some farm counties see a trend to provide IPM assistance for growers through NRCS support programs.

This is particularly true in Butte, Yuba, Sutter, and Glenn counties. NRCS is providing technical and financial support for comprehensive IPM systems, including pest control adviser monitoring and advisory services, non-pesticide control tactics (such as pheromone disruption and beneficial insects), efficient sprayers, reduced-risk pesticides, and use of a pesticide screening tool to assess environmental risk.

In Butte County, IPM is the backbone of Integrated Orchard Management plans funded by NRCS. Butte County District Conservationist Hue Dang draws on the expertise of respected, independent pest control advisers. The local office is breaking new ground by adapting NRCS procedures to accommodate relatively complex IPM systems. In the process, the local office has established IPM conservation benefits for air, water, and soil quality, as well as wildlife habitat and endangered species.

The Butte County coordinator has promoted IPM sites for demonstration projects, field days, and tours, frequently in partnership with UC Cooperative Extension. A special workshop trained pest control advisors as IPM Technical Service Providers for conservation contracts. This IPM Innovator Award recognizes pioneering efforts by NRCS in Butte, Glenn, Sutter and Yuba counties.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Sanden, (530) 527-2667

The Pear Doctor, Inc., of Lake County

The Pear Doctor, Inc., a privately owned corporation founded in 1979 by Broc Zoller, provides IPM recommendations and consultation services to pear growers in Northern California.

Zoller began working on insect mating disruption tactics with University of California researchers and others in 1988. The main target is the codling moth, and weapons include pheromones - scents from female moths that that attract male moths. Typically, "decoy" scent strips are attached to trees, confusing the males.

For six years, The Pear Doctor has used mating disruption as its main method to control codling moths on approximately 2,200 client acres. As a result, the use of harsh organophosphate chemicals has nearly been eliminated in North Coast pear-growing areas.

Other tactics used by The Pear Doctor involve specific monitoring techniques that (1) help identify and preserve beneficial insects, and (2) determine when and where various pests may attack a crop.

The process begins even before growing season gets underway, with surveys of overwintering insects. Growers receive annual reports that allow better planning for least-toxic pest management. The Pear Doctor's extensive data-collecting system also involves weekly orchard inspections that track pest and beneficial insect levels for 26 weeks during the growing season.

Zoller frequently speaks at field day events. He has published many papers and research reports on monitoring techniques for pear pests and diseases, and made his reports available online, although, in most cases, The Pear Doctor undertook full responsibility for report funding, research design, data collection, and preparation. Information is presented at the annual Western Orchard Pest and Disease Management Conference and made available to the California Pear Advisory Board.

The Pear Doctor has shown an ability to recognize, develop, and adopt viable new reduced risk methods more rapidly than others in the pear industry. Few can match the detail and regularity of inspections and information provided by the preseason reports. The Pear Doctor nimbly applied reduced risk techniques that helped North Coast pear growers survive the loss of some chemical tools, and earned The Pear Doctor an Innovator Award.

MEDIA CONTACT: Broc Zoller, (707) 279-9773

Ty Parkinson, Bill Chandler and members of the Stone Fruit Pest Management Alliance of Fresno County.

The Stone Fruit Pest Management Alliance was organized in 2000 as a public-private partnership. It includes the California Tree Fruit Agreement, Cling Peach Advisory Board, University of California Statewide IPM, U.C. Cooperative Extension, Fresno State University, stone fruit growers, and pest control advisors. The group develops, demonstrates, educates and implements IPM in peaches, nectarines and plums. Grower participants Ty Parkinson and Bill Chandler are leaders in this effort.

The Stone Fruit Alliance can claim credit for a number of cutting-edge reduced risk practices:

  • Applying horticulture mineral oil in the dormant season to control San Jose scale and European red mite without organophosphates.

  • Sampling for San Jose scale and web spinning spider mites to allow treatment based on pest population.

  • Managing Oriental fruit moths via mating disruption using season-long pheromone dispensers, along with a moth parasite.

  • Using reduced-risk materials such as spinosad and neem to control forkedtail bush katydid, a new pest.

The Stone Fruit Alliance's work led to publication of an "Environmental Guide to Pest Management in Peaches and Nectarines." The alliance has sponsored more than 35 outreach meetings for more than 4,000 growers and pest control advisors.

Parkinson, and Chandler have been key participants. Parkinson pioneered dormant season oil applications that have replaced organophosphates, carbamates, or pyrethroids. Recently, he hosted an Environmental Justice Tour in his peach orchard where he discussed his reduced-risk approach.

Chandler recently hosted a Food Quality Protection Act field meeting at his farm. He discussed the success of his Oriental fruit moth management program based on information developed from the alliance, and welcomed a demonstration of "smart sprayer" technology in his orchard.

These growers have made a special effort to share IPM practices that work for them. The Stone Fruit Alliance demonstrated how to make a major shift from broad-spectrum pesticides to reduced risk products. The California Tree Fruit Agreement shares in this award for providing critical funding support for the alliance.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Gary VanSickle, California Tree Fruit Agreement, (559) 638-8260 or (559) 228-0301 and Jeanette Warnert, U.C. Cooperative Extension, (559) 241-7514

University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farm Program, Fresno.

U.C. Cooperative Extension is the off-campus research and educational arm of the university, serving farmers, agricultural companies, and consumers. Extension offices help growers find federal, state, county, and private resources, and extension agents help tailor programs to meet local needs.

Fresno's extension office provides strong support for up to 1,500 small, family farms. The two largest ethnic farm groups are Hispanic and Southeast Asian (Hmong and Lowland Laotian). The program is the recognized local authority on specialty Asian vegetables, pest problems and pest management.

Richard Molinar and Michael Yang have provided IPM outreach to many minority farmers who often must contend with lack of financial resources, little agricultural education, and limited English language skills. They make more than 300 farm visits a year, working one-on-one with growers and teaching monitoring techniques, pesticide use reduction and IPM practices.

For the past eight years, Molinar and Yang have conducted IPM training with a biweekly radio broadcast. They organized a "Small Farm Resource Network," established IPM partnerships with public and private agencies, and maintain research plots at Kearney Ag Center with local farmers.

Gaining the trust and cooperation of Southeast Asian growers has been a lengthy process, and Yang was recruited with these challenges in mind. Hmong growers, for example, do not have a native written language; so one-on-one IPM communication is essential. Yang and Molinar have earned wide recognition for these efforts. Supporters include the Small Farms Center in Davis, Small Farms Program Director Desmond Jolly, and U.C. IPM Director Rick Roush. DPR is pleased to add its recognition for the Fresno Small Farm Program with an IPM Innovator Award.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeanette Warnert (559) 241-7514

One of six departments and boards within the California Environmental Protection Agency, DPR regulates the sale and use of pesticides to protect people and the environment.