1995-96 Pest Management Grant Summaries

Back to 1995-2002 Pest Management Grants Program

Applicants submitted 70 proposals requesting funding under the Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) Pest Management Grants program for FY 1995/1996. The Pest Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) evaluated all complete proposals and by consensus, recommended 24 projects be funded for a total of $590,626. The Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation approved these recommendations and the funding of these projects.

Agricultural projects

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Development of IPM Approaches for Wine Grape Growing Areas of the Sonoma Valley Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Sonoma County $30,000 

Summary: This project will identify and incorporate innovative approaches to pest management for wine grape production in the Sonoma Valley. It is sponsored by growers and the private sector and relies on the technical expertise of the University of California Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service staff. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques will be promoted through demonstration sites and by providing education and outreach regarding practices that would reduce or eliminate pesticide use.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Central Coast Wine Grape Grower Natural Vineyard Team Central Coast Wine Grape Grower Natural Vineyard Team San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara Counties $5,000

Summary: A group of Central Coast wine grape growers representing over 10,000 acres of wine grapes has formed a team with Robert Mondavi Winery, local University of California farm advisors, and state officials to identify and promote environmentally safe viticultural practices for the Central Coast. The team will create a vineyard pest protocol that will identify pests and outline treatment options. This protocol will promote integrated vineyard production practices that enhance environmental protection, are economically sustainable, and maintain or improve grape and wine quality. A long-term goal is to encourage all growers to organize the region into a self-funded commission similar to the Lodi/Woodbridge Wine Grape Commission.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Validation and Demonstration of Predacious Mite Releases For Management of Spider Mites in Cotton University of California, Davis 
Dr. Larry Godfrey
San Joaquin Valley; Kern and Madera Counties

Summary: Spider mites are major arthropod pests of cotton in the San Joaquin Valley. In spite of frequent management actions, mite outbreaks the last two years have resulted in significant yield losses. A beneficial mite predator has been shown to provide excellent biological control of spider mites in small plot studies in cotton. This project will validate and demonstrate in grower fields the efficacy of releasing predatory mites for the control of spider mites in organic and conventional cotton. New mechanical mite release equipment developed by one of the researchers will be optimized and used in these studies.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Postharvest Disinfestation of Horticultural Commodities: Controlled Atmosphere as an Alternative to Methyl Bromide University of California, Davis 
Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham
San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento Counties $30,000

Summary: The fumigant, methyl bromide, is presently the primary method of postharvest insect control. Alternative postharvest insecticidal technologies are currently unavailable. Controlled atmosphere treatments [low oxygen (<0.5%) and/or high carbon dioxide (35 to 80%) concentrations] can provide effective postharvest insect control. The project will refine these controlled atmosphere treatments for postharvest control of insect and mite pests of leafy greens, strawberries, and cut flowers, and provide the implementation tests in a commercial setting to demonstrate the efficacy and feasibility of controlled atmosphere treatments for insect disinfestation.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Hedgerows: Turning Farm Waste Areas into Active IPM Life Cycles Yolo County Resource Conservation District Yolo County $30,000

Summary: Native-plant hedgerows have been shown to reduce chemicals, replacing bare dirt and weed areas with biodiverse systems that out-compete weeds, save soil, and harbor natural enemies of pests found on nearby crops. The Yolo County Resource Conservation District will develop a coalition of farmers, pest control and farm advisors, industry, university, and agency representatives to demonstrate and monitor hedgerows as a reduced-risk, sustainable IPM system. Multipurpose, multispecies hedgerows serve to decrease borderland tillage and pesticide use.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Developing Strategies for the Biological Control of Mosquitoes in Rice and Other Habitats using Lagenidium giganteum AgraQuest, Inc. Yolo County $10,000

Summary: This project will define how a fungal parasite of mosquito larvae (Lagenidium giganteum) can enhance existing mosquito pest management practices in rice fields, surrounding wetlands, and wildlife areas by reducing the number of pesticide applications and minimizing disturbances to wildlife. AgraQuest, a private company, will conduct field trials in cooperation with mosquito abatement practitioners, rice growers, and waterfowl associations. The present project will also develop the fungus as a biological control agent by improving the fermentation process and developing a formulation that is reliable and has an adequate shelf life.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Biologically Integrated Prune System for Tehama, Butte, and Glenn Counties The Nature Conservancy Tehama, Butte, and Glenn Counties $30,000

Summary: This project, under the direction of The Nature Conservancy, will implement a Biologically Integrated Prune System (BIPS) in Tehama, Butte, and Glenn counties. The BIPS project is designed to work with farmers along the Sacramento River to replace agricultural chemicals with functional farm biology. The project will involve cooperation with various state and federal agencies, local prune farmers, private pest management companies, and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory to refine and adopt farming practices that strive to protect environmental quality and increase biodiversity, while remaining economically viable.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
IPM Innovators Forum San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture  San Luis Obispo County $17,150

Summary: The San Luis Obispo County IPM Innovators Forum will identify and establish a group of local pest managers from public and nonprofit agencies with the objective of implementing innovative IPM techniques. This network will expand interest and knowledge of IPM practices and provide examples of IPM for control of yellow starthistle--a common agricultural pest. Planned IPM control methods include plant competition, grazing, biological control, removal by hand, mulches, and timed mowings. In the county, control activity will focus on the Carrizo Plains which has a fragile and unique endemic flora and fauna and is newly invaded with yellow starthistle.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Project Sporecast--The Development and Implementation of a Computerized Weather Station Network for Powdery Mildew Risk Assessment and Frost Forecasting Temecula Valley Vintners Association Riverside County $27,681

Summary:Temecula Valley wine grape growers will implement a weather-based powdery mildew/frost damage risk assessment network for local growers. The goal is to adapt and validate computer models for local conditions and to ensure effective adoption by providing local growers and pest advisors with necessary training. The fungal disease, powdery mildew, continues to be one of the most pervasive and persistent problems for vineyards. This risk assessment system for disease control in grapes can reduce fungicide use, maintain disease control, provide cost savings, decrease worker exposure to preventive fungicides, and reduce environmental loading of pesticides.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Using Data Generated from Local Weather Station as a Critical Factor in Pest Management Decisions Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association  San Luis Obispo County $13,926

Summary:The Paso Robles viticultural region encompasses over 950 square miles with more than 8,000 acres of wine grapes. To better understand the region's weather patterns, the Paso Robles Growers and Vintners Association obtained four computerized bio-phenometer-type stations which record a broad range of weather data. These stations were established to make disease/insect forecasting models available to growers to help in timing their pest management practices for optimum control. The association has made a large commitment to a reduced-risk pest management system based, in part, on the weather stations. The project will implement the use of the weather data collected from computerized weather stations by local growers. The project will demonstrate that using weather data enables growers to more effectively monitor pests, ensure that end-users have access to and understand the data, and involve growers in a commitment to reduced-risk pest management practices.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Establishment of Effective Natural Enemies of Vine Mealybug--A Basis for a Stable Grape IPM Program University of California, Riverside 
Dr. Dan Gonzalez
Riverside County $19,457

Summary: This project will establish a basis for a long-term, stable grape pest management program in the Coachella Valley. The program will establish an IPM Innovator Program in which growers are an integral part of a team that also involves technical and nontechnical advisors. Mealybug control currently requires intense use of insecticides in the Coachella Valley, in some parts of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and in the San Joaquin Valley. This intense use of pesticides can disrupt the entire pest management system. This project will use effective natural enemies of mealybugs as a basis for a more stable grape production system.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Development of an IPM System for the Control of the Pea Leafminer and Aphids in Leafy Vegetables in Coastal California Production Areas  University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey, 
Dr. William Chaney
Monterey County $22,000

Summary: Leafminers and aphids are serious insect pests of leafy vegetables in many areas of California. Currently the control system in the leafy vegetables (celery, lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens) is entirely based on synthetic pesticides. Although some work into alternatives has been done, the extremely high standards concerning insect damage have seriously limited any systems based exclusively on biological control. The project will look at control of the two key pests of the system in an integrated approach using some of the newer, more selective, synthetic and botanical pesticides along with biological controls to create a truly integrated control system.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Revegetation for Weed and Pest Control Friant Water Users Authority  Tulare County $20,000

Summary: The Friant Water Users Authority (FWUA), representing over 12,000 growers, will form a team to evaluate and implement the use of revegetation of canal rights-of-way and adjacent lands to reduce pesticide use. The team will be composed of FWUA, the Tulare County Farm Bureau, Cooperative Extension office, water districts, growers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Fish and Game, and others. The project will evaluate plant species and establishment methods, make cost-benefit determinations, and quantify the impacts on ground squirrel densities, noxious weeds, and pest or beneficial insects.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Napa River Watershed Integrated Pest Management Napa County Resource Conservation District  Napa County $29,700

Summary: This project will promote pesticide risk reduction through the promotion of integrated pest management concepts on a watershed scale. A watershed approach integrates the many parts of the river valley including social, economic, and natural issues. The project will prepare educational materials to inform agricultural and nonagricultural parts of the community about IPM and its role in maintaining watershed health. This project will develop an IPM tools section for the next edition of the Napa River Watershed Owner's Manual which will demonstrate the benefits of IPM to farm profitability, human health, wildlife habitat, and water quality.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Mating Disruption of Carob Moth in Dates University of California, Riverside 
Dr. Jocelyn Millar
Riverside County $29,027

Summary: The California date industry produces about 20,000 tons of dates annually with a gross value of about $50 million. The only significant pest of dates is the carob moth which can devastate a date crop if left unchecked. The objective of this proposal is to develop the sex attractant pheromone of the carob moth--a powerful, nontoxic natural attractant which can disrupt carob moth mating. With the use of this pheromone system, insecticide use in dates could be drastically curtailed or eliminated. This could then eliminate drift and concerns about worker safety and pesticide loading in the environment from date production.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
BASIC: A Cotton Pest Management Innovators Group in the Northern San Joaquin Valley University of California, 
Santa Cruz 
Dr. Sean Sweezy
Madera and Stanislaus Counties $30,000

Summary: The Biological Agriculture Systems in Cotton (BASIC) pest management innovators work group will test and disseminate innovative ideas in pesticide use reduction. An organized member outreach program will employ the collaboration of cotton farmers, pest control advisors, agronomists, and the University of California. A multiple field, BASIC monitoring protocol will include plant mapping; analysis of soil physical and biological characteristics; monitoring key arthropod, disease, and weed populations; and calculation of on-farm water use, input energy equivalents, yields, and quality. The effectiveness and costs of BASIC pest management programs will be compared side-by-side with nonprogram acreage.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Management of Riparian Woodlands for control of Pierce's Disease in Coastal California University of California, Berkeley 
Dr. Alexander Purcell
Napa and Sonoma Counties $20,027

Summary: Pierce's disease is a lethal bacterial disease of grapevines that is spread chiefly in coastal California vineyards by an insect--the blue-green sharp shooter (BGSS). Riparian vegetation along streams provides the main breeding habitat for BGSS and a reservoir for the causal bacterium. The project will look at management of riparian vegetation to replace plants that are key breeding hosts of BGSS and/or hosts of the disease bacterium. In addition, the use of buffer strips of conifers between riparian communities and vineyards to reduce sharpshooter movements into vineyards will be evaluated.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Controlling Coyote Predation on Sheep in California: A Model Strategy University of California Cooperative Extension, Hopland 
Dr. Robert Timm
Sonoma and Mendocino Counties $30,000

Summary: Coyote predation on livestock, particularly sheep, is a difficult problem and has led to the demise of the sheep industry in North Coastal California. Illegal use of pesticides for coyote control has been an ongoing problem. The project will form an advisory committee of wool growers and University of California researchers and will develop and demonstrate an integrated strategy of coyote control. This strategy will use the Livestock Protection Collar, a very selective device known for removing killer coyotes, as well as nonlethal control techniques such as livestock-guarding llamas and fencing.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Biologically Integrated Viticulture Systems in the Central San Joaquin Valley University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno Dr. Michael Costello Fresno County $27,458

Summary: The biologically integrated vineyards system (BIVS) brings together researchers, pest control advisers, and growers to develop nondisruptive, environmentally sound, and profitable grape production. This project will establish a network of grape growers in the central San Joaquin Valley who are committed to reducing disruptive chemical inputs while maintaining yields and quality. Practices that will be encouraged and demonstrated include reduced rates of simazine, use of compost to combat nematodes, summer oil for mites, copper spray for phomopsis disease, and a perennial native grass cover crop. Acreage under the program will be monitored for pests, natural enemies, yields, and quality and compared to conventional acreage.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Integrated Management of Soil-Borne Diseases and Aphid Transmitted Viruses in California Vegetable Crops--An On-Farm Demonstration University of California, Davis Dr. Charles Summers  Fresno County $30,000

Summary: At present, it is nearly impossible to grow fall vegetable crops such as squash, melon, and tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley due to severe virus disease problems. Insecticides are used extensively in an attempt to control the aphids that transmit these viruses, but with little success. This project will demonstrate the use of reflective mulches to repel winged aphids on squash, melons (cantaloupe), and fresh market tomatoes. The incidence of virus diseases can be reduced significantly without the need for synthetic pesticides. The use of polyethylene mulches also provides excellent weed control reducing the reliance on herbicides. They also conserve water resulting in reduced irrigation requirements and the expenditures of energy associated with irrigation. The project will also combine the use of plastic mulches for soil solarization and repellency to aphids, thus managing both soil-borne diseases and aphid-transmitted viruses.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Program expansion of IPM Reference Field Monitoring for Processing Tomatoes Bio-Integral Resource Center Yolo County $30,000

Summary: Reference Field Monitoring (RFM) in processing tomatoes enables growers to make decisions about pesticide use based on actual pest and natural enemy prevalence to reduce pesticide reliance. RFM builds upon, adapts, and synthesizes sampling and reporting methodologies and biologically intensive IPM strategies developed collaboratively with Cooperative Extension agents, the University of California, and Campbell Soup researchers into a practical, state-of-the-art approach that can cost-effectively reduce pesticide use throughout the processing tomato industry.

Nonagricultural projects

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
The San Francisco Green Gardening Educator Training Program San Francisco Department of Public Works San Francisco County $20,000

Summary: The San Francisco Department of Public Works, Water Pollution Prevention Program, and the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners have developed the Green Gardening Educator Training Program (GGETP) to respond to the vast demand from San Francisco residents for education and training on IPM and environmental horticulture. The goal of the GGETP is to reduce risks to human health and the environment by training innovator groups to demonstrate new pest management practices and gardening at diverse San Francisco garden projects. The GGETP will teach pest identification, use of regular on-site monitoring of organisms, and physical, mechanical, cultural, biological, and educational strategies; and, as a last resort, the safe use of least-toxic chemicals to control pests.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Implementation of IPM for the Elm Leaf Beetle in a Large Urban Area University of California, Berkeley 
Dr. Donald Dahlsten
Sacramento County $29,280

Summary: Elm leaf beetle is a major urban insect pest in California. Methods for managing the elm leaf beetle have been developed that are known to be time- and cost-efficient, and reduce unnecessary use of pesticides through better timing of treatments. This project will apply these techniques to the city of Sacramento. A key element of the program is monitoring and the identification of hot spots (areas that need treatment), to reduce the environmental and economic costs of treating all trees. Alternative control strategies, such as the use of natural enemies and Bacillus thuringiensis, will be tested as part of the Sacramento City Tree Services management plan.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Establishing IPM Programs to Reduce Pesticide Use in Public Buildings Bio-Integral Resource Center Santa Clara County $30,000

Summary: This project involves the 290-acre Moffet Field, a former military base which is now home to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Ames Research Center and other facilities, housed in over 140 buildings. Moffet Field is establishing an innovative participatory IPM program for structural pest control that will be reproducible to other sites. The Bio-Integral Resource Center will lead a team of facility managers, pest control operators, and IPM consultants to develop a cost-effective and pro-active IPM program that emphasizes pest prevention, pesticide reduction, and the use of monitoring data to guide treatment decisions.