1998-1999 Pest Management Grants

Back to 1995-2002 Pest Management Grants Program

Applicants submitted 73 proposals requesting funding under the Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) Pest Management Grants program for FY 1998/1999. The Pest Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) evaluated all complete proposals and by consensus, recommended 28 projects be funded for a total of $722,731. 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
Developing an IPM Strategy for the New Aphid Pest, Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosely), in Head and Leaf Lettuce University of California, Davis, 
Bill Chaney
Monterey County $19,500

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 will develop an IPM strategy that targets N. ribisnigri in head and leaf lettuce. In addition, the strategy will complement an overall insect IPM program for lettuce. The proposed IPM strategy will use augmentative biological control (release of green lacewing eggs) with selective reduced-risk insecticide treatments (imidacloprid and pymetrozine). Treatments will test efficacy of lacewing egg releases for N. ribisnigri alone and combined with either reduced-risk or standard insecticide treatments. The researchers will conduct trials on commercial-scale farms, monitoring weekly, and collecting yield and quality data.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Aerial Release of Trichogramma to Control Codling Moth ARENA Pesticide Management, 
Russell Stocker
Tehama, Tulare, and Kings Counties $29,500

Summary: Studies have shown that the parasitic wasp Trichogramma controls codling moth, a major pest of walnut. Previous work has demonstrated that Trichogramma eggs can be metered and applied from aircraft to the foliage of walnut trees. For this project, researchers will aerially release Trichogramma under carefully controlled and monitored conditions. The release project will comprise a portion of the Pest Management Alliance (PMA) Work Plan for California Walnuts. The PMA Work Plan will demonstrate and implement reduced-risk pest management strategies for walnut (such as aerially releasing Trichogramma) and communicate them to the walnut industry. This project will provide the aerial release while deferring the expense, which would otherwise be borne by the grower. This will increase the number of growers participating, and improve the likelihood of their cooperation, while demonstrating the success of a reduced-risk pest management strategy on a large scale.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Integrated Weed Management for Lettuce: Optimized Weed Management Inputs Made According to Seasonal Fluctuations in Weed Seed Germination University of California, Cooperative Extension, Monterey County, 
Steve Fennimore
Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties $29,590

Summary: The herbicide pronamide (Kerb) provides the foundation for weed control in 79% of California lettuce. Pronamide is currently being reviewed under guidelines of the Food Quality Protection Act and the status of continued availability remains uncertain. This project will continue the process of developing a decision-driven support system for weed management in coastal California lettuce. Currently, 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 late-summer planted lettuce has lower levels of weed pressure than lettuce planted in the spring, yet herbicide inputs are the same for both seasons. The researchers will determine if dormancy contributes to seasonal reductions in weed seed germination, and if this seasonal variation will allow weeds to be managed in summer-planted lettuce using reduced rates of bensulide and pronamide. In addition, the researchers will evaluate new cultivator designs to supplement reduced herbicide inputs.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Forecasting of Potato Late Blight at Tulelake University of California, Davis, 
Ariena H.C. van Bruggen
Siskiyou County $27,184

Summary: Until 1997, late blight of potatoes did not occur in Tulelake, California. In 1997 and 1998 the disease was quite severe in fields throughout the region. Despite a regular spray program, the disease was not controlled satisfactorily. Pathogen isolates from Tulelake are resistant to metalaxyl, otherwise the most effective fungicide for late blight control. A preliminary disease forecasting experiment was conducted in 1998. The forecasting program shows promise by reducing one spray from the regular spray program, but it needs to be tested for two additional years. This project will compare two forecasting systems (Blitecast and DACOM) and two fungicides (chlorothalonil and Tattoo®-C) to control late blight on potatoes in Tulelake. Weather data will be related to disease progress using multivariate analysis to fine tune the forecasting systems. Project researchers will characterize isolates of late blight using accepted techniques. The reseachers will determine effects of controlled environmental conditions on sporulation and spore release of isolates from Tulelake to further improve the forecasting program.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Development of Alternative Strategies for Control of Pre- and Postharvest Brown Rot of Stone Fruit University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, 
Themis Michailides
Fresno, Tulare, and Madera Counties $29,845

Summary: Brown rot is the most destructive disease of stone fruits. This disease has become increasingly more important to the fruit industry in California because of pest resistance and cancellation of the fungicide registered for postharvest treatment. This project focuses primarily on developing and evaluating alternative strategies for chemical control of pre- and postharvest brown rot of stone fruit. The researchers will emphasize the epidemiology of brown rot, particularly the significance of latent infection from thinned fruit as a source of secondary inoculum in orchards. Alternative strategies include burying thinned fruit below the soil surface, and spraying thinned fruit on the orchard floor with a registered fungicide. The project will expand on previous studies that focus on removal of thinned fruit. In addition, preliminary experiments in the development of biological agents for control of brown rot have been very promising.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Host Animal Resistance in Beef Cattle Fly Control Programs University of California Cooperative Extension, Siskiyou County, 
Daniel J. Drake
Yuba County $9,020

Summary: Horn and face flies are common pests of cattle, causing the US cattle industry loss of nearly $800 million annually. Pesticides for fly control have been used extensively for the last 50 years, resulting in widespread resistance. Control practices are often difficult to implement for range cattle, and current fly control programs are often inadequate. Studies have identified adult cattle resistant or susceptible to horn flies using plasma protein markers. The project will use this potential new strategy to reduce horn and face fly infestation by identifying levels of host-animal resistance. The researchers will develop appropriate sampling times, and genetic relationships between parents and offspring. Knowledge of host-animal resistance could be used in IPM fly control programs to 1) reduce overall susceptibility of cattle and thus need for pesticides, and 2) permit targeting of strategic pesticide applications to those animals most in need of intervention. This work seeks to answer these questions under California conditions. Results would be incorporated into an IPM program to control horn and face flies statewide in beef cattle.

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 
Timothy S. Prather & Fuhan Liu
Fresno, and Tulare Counties $29,632

Summary: Growers control weeds in citrus orchards primarily with preemergence herbicides. With increasing concern about the environmental impact and cost effectiveness of these herbicides, citrus growers would like to base management decisions on accurate projections of weed populations. Seed bank indicators are needed because weeds are typically controlled before emergence. The researchers will use two indicators- number of years of herbicide use and size of citrus tree canopy-to study seed bank levels in citrus. Seed density, emergence, and viability of field soil samples will be examined in the greenhouse and laboratory. The researchers will conduct field trials to evaluate seed emergence and density. Knowledge gained through this research 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.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Rotations with Broccoli--A Sustainable Alternative to Soil Chemical Fumigants University of California, Davis, 
K.V. Subbarao & F.N. Martin
Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties $28,425

Summary: The pending loss of methyl bromide has made the search for reduced-risk alternative practices for disease control a priority. In strawberry crops, soil-borne diseases can cause significant yield losses when the soil is not fumigated. Few effective alternatives 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. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of this approach on strawberries to reduce soilborne diseases, and to determine effect on yield. Production strawberry fields managed by grower cooperators will serve as study sites. Project work will investigate the influence of rotational treatments on the incidence of different diseases, yield, and soil and root microbiological populations. The researchers will use field demonstrations and meetings to convey project results to local growers.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Use of a Natural Product to Stimulate Sclerotial Germination of Sclerotium cepivorum for the Control of White Rot of Onions and Garlic University of California, Davis, 
R. Michael Davis
Kern and San Benito Counties $22,265

Summary: White rot of onion and garlic is a worldwide threat to Allium production. No cost-effective control measures currently exist. Once a field is infested, it will remain so for at least 40 years since sclerotia of the fungus remain dormant indefinitely in the absence of Allium plants. Hence, infested fields are often forever abandoned from further onion or garlic production. The white rot fungus propagates only by the production of sclerotia produced on the roots of decayed host plants. The sclerotia germinate only in response to root exudation of specific volatile sulfides and thiols, breakdown products of amino acids peculiar to the genus Allium. The specific reaction between sclerotia and exudates suggests a possible use of these sclerotial germination stimulants for controlling white rot disease. If these sulfides can be applied to the ground in the absence of an Allium crop, the sclerotia may be "tricked" into germinating. In the absence of a host, the mycelia from germinating sclerotia persist from a few days to several weeks depending on the soil temperature, then die after exhausting nutrient reserves. Garlic powder, a product from dehydrated garlic bulbs used in food processing, is another sclerotial stimulant. In preliminary tests, garlic powder effectively reduced sclerotia viability. Being a natural plant product, it is a readily available and environmentally compatible renewable resource. It is the objective of this project to provide efficacy data on garlic powder as a sclerotial stimulant for the control of white rot.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Managing Watergrass (Echinochloa spp.) Resistance to Rice Herbicides in an Aquatic Environment: Research and Demonstration in Producer-Affected Fields University of California, Davis, 
Albert J. Fischer & James E. Hill
Colusa and Glenn Counties $29,832

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 profitable rice production, existing water-holding practices, and the environmental strides made by the rice industry over the last 15 years. In addition, the two widely used herbicides for grass control in California rice-molinate and thiobencarb-may come under review by the Food Quality Protectin Act (FQPA). The issues of weed resistance and targeting of herbicides by FQPA point to the need for alternatives. This project will address these issues 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.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Development and Implementation of a Reduced-Risk Pest Management Strategy in Fresh Cut Roses University of California, Davis, 
Michael P. Parrella
Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Diego Counties $30,000

Summary: Greenhouse ornamental production accounts for the most intensive agricultural use of conventional pesticides on a per-acre basis. To date, greenhouse growers have been reluctant to adopt IPM programs to minimize pesticide use because of the perception that they may not achieve adequate pest control. Over-reliance on calendar-based pesticide applications in greenhouses continues to threaten worker safety and the environment, and leads to pest resistance. Recent events have begun to change grower perceptions. Potential impacts from passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), increased costs associated with conventional pesticides, and demonstrated cost efficiency of pest scouting techniques have convinced many in the industry to consider alternative approaches. This project is a focused effort to minimize reliance on conventional pesticides in greenhouse ornamentals. Recent work has identified several potential key advancements in greenhouse pest control including 1) development of precision-level monitoring and control guidelines for key pests, 2) development of economic injury levels and action thresholds, and 3) identification, evaluation, and development of user guidelines for newly available reduced-risk pesticides as alternatives for FQPA at-risk pesticides. The project is a collaborative effort among University of California researchers, UC Cooperative Extension, and representatives of the pesticide industry and grower organizations. The project will develop and implement a reduced-risk pest management program for fresh cut roses, using the above technologies.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Use of Sodium Bicarbonate in a High-Pressure Scale Washer to Clean Citrus Fruits Sunkist R&D Packing Services, 
David Sorenson
Tulare and Fresno Counties $12,000

Summary: Green mold of citrus and sour rot are the two most economically important postharvest diseases of citrus worldwide. Currently, green mold is controlled by applications of the fungicides imazalil, sodium ortho-phenyl phenate, and thiabendazole. Alternatives are needed due to developing pest resistance to these chemicals and emerging regulatory issues. In addition, there is currently no chemical control available for sour rot. Postharvest decay of citrus fruit has been reliably reduced more than 95% by washing the fruit under high pressure in a 3% sodium bicarbonate (SBC) solution. The treatment was equally effective to many other treatments and fungicides employed for this purpose. A significant advantage of SBC solution is that it has GRAS (generally accepted as safe) status. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of SBC applied by a high-pressure scale washer to control postharvest decay in a commercial setting. Researchers will also determine if they can achieve a hot soak tank-like treatment using a high-pressure washer and SBC on a commercial packinghouse brush bed.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Evaluation of Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Soil Fumigation at Commercial Fruit and Nut Tree Nurseries California Association of Nurserymen, 
Elaine Thompson & Michael V. McKenry
Butte 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 will evaluate three proposed methyl bromide alternatives-Basamid®, Basamid/Telone II® and Telone II/chloropicrin-in commercial nurseries to test and verify their practicality and efficacy. Two nurseries will commit grounds and resources to the project and trial work will be performed on Juglans spp. (walnut rootstock) and Prunus spp. (peach rootstock). The project will 1) determine whether the proposed alternatives can control nematodes, weeds, crown gall and crown and root rot in a commercial setting, 2) compare the efficacy of alternatives against the conventional methyl bromide/chloropicrin combination and an untreated control, and 3) identify areas that need further consideration, research, or testing.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Plug Plant and Soil Amendment Technology as an Alternative to Methyl Bromide Fumigation on California Strawberries The Alliance for Alternative Agriculture, 
Frank V. Sances
San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties $29,867

Summary: The impending ban of the pesticide methyl bromide presents a significant challenge to the California strawberry industry to find workable alternatives. This project tests the use of non-chemical soil treatments, alternative chemical fumigants, and the use of disease-free strawberry plants commercially produced in sterile potting media (plug plants), for suppression of root pathogens of strawberries on the California Central Coast. Pacific Agricultural Research Corp. has conducted and published previous studies on the feasibility of organic soil amendments, new conventional fumigants, mycorrhizal inoculates, and alternative nursery transplants as methods for non-methyl bromide strawberry production in California. This new project will continue work at the company's research station on the Central Coast with collaborating growers, conduct educational outreach presentations for growers and pest control advisers, and produce and distribute an educational bilingual (English/Spanish) video of the findings. Of critical importance to this research is the economic impact on growers. To consider alternatives, conventional growers must be convinced of economic and environmental benefits. This project will contain a strong element of economic data that can be used for educational outreach. The Alliance for Alternative Agriculture, a California non-profit corporation, will work with Pacific Agricultural Research on all phases of this project.

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, 
Donald L. Dahlsten
Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin Counties $27,621

Summary: The Argentine ant is the major ant pest found in California agriculture and is ranked number two 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. The researchers will use information they obtain to incorporate reduced-risk pesticide use into ant management programs. The project will study relationships between structural invasions by ants and associations with honeydew-producing arthropods such as aphids. Three geographical regions (Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin counties) will be included in the study. These regions were selected to represent the varying climatic conditions found in the state. At each site, the researchers will survey plants for honeydew-producing arthropods in trophic relationships with ant populations. The researchers will also evaluate natural enemy complexes to determine the level of biological control for control of honeydew sources used by the Argentine ants, and evaluate ant population densities and distribution. Project results will be disseminated via UC Cooperative Extension, Pesticide Applicators Professional Association (PAPA) continuing training sessions, trade publications, and scientific journals.