1998-99 Pest Management Grant Summaries

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 Demonstration Projects

Non-Agricultural Demonstration Projects

Agricultural Demonstration Projects

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Integrated Apple Production (IAP) Demonstration Project University of California Cooperative Extension, 
Janet Caprile
Contra Costa County $29,980

Summary: Rapid urbanization around apple orchards in Contra Costa county has lead to agricultural-urban interface problems, particularly regarding pesticide use. This project focuses on reducing the use of conventional, broad-spectrum insecticides in apple orchards by encouraging the use of proven, reduced-risk IPM practices. Integrated Apple Production (IAP) demonstration orchards will be established to combine these reduced-risk practices into a whole orchard management approach. Each IAP site will be paired with a conventional orchard, both being monitored for crop damage, beneficial insect activity, pesticide use, and economics. IAP sites will use mating disruption (MD) as the key reduced-risk practice. The project will remove cost and risk barriers to the adoption of MD for participating growers through product cost share and monitoring assistance. The researchers will use biological and cultural controls and non-disruptive spray materials to control secondary pests. The target is to reduce organophosphate and carbamate pesticide use by 60-70% at the end of the first year and by 80-90% after three years. The goal is to demonstrate the IAP program as a comparable cost-effective alternative to the conventional program and encourage grower adoption.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Pesticide Risk Reduction in California Prunes Agricultural Research Consulting (ARC), 
Gary Obenauf
Sutter, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, Merced, Tehama, and Colusa Counties $30,000

Summary: This project will expand and strengthen current efforts to implement existing reduced-risk management strategies in prunes, and will improve communication and cooperation among different segments involved in developing environmentally sound economical prune production. The project will develop and implement replacement systems potentially impacted by implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). This will be accomplished by minimizing the use of and finding alternatives for insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, and herbicides under review pursuant to FQPA. Specific goals include reduction and replacement of diazinon and other dormant organophosphate sprays; use of cover crops and other vegetation management practices to increase beneficial habitat, improve water infiltration and prevent surface runoff of pesticides; and reduction of pesticides through monitoring techniques, predictive models and biological controls. The project is a collaborative effort of the California Prune Board, prune growers statewide, the University of California and others. Project work will complement the work of the Pest Management Alliance (PMA) for California prunes.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Areawide Implementation of Mating Disruption in Pears Using Puffers University of California Cooperative Extension, 
Rachel Elkins
Lake County $30,000

Summary: Codling moth is the key pest of pears in California. Effective management is needed because the economic threshold for damage in cannery loads is only 5%. Damage in untreated controls can run from 10 to 50%. Azinphos-methyl (Guthion), the most effective codling moth insecticide available to growers, is facing restrictions-as is another popular organophosphate, methyl parathion (Penncap). This project will implement areawide mating disruption with pheromones using dispensers called puffers. The reasonably priced dispensers, now commercially available, have been the focus of three years of UC research funded by the pear industry. Participating in the project will be all the pear growers in Potter Valley (Mendocino County). The growers have agreed to purchase dispensers and pheromone, a substantial monetary investment. Puffers will be applied to approximately 425 acres of Bartlett and Bosc pear, of which 80 acres is certified organic.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Augmentative Biological Control Using Transplants California Department of Food and Agriculture, 
Charles Pickett
Imperial County $21,709

Summary: The silverleaf whitefly is a serious pest of several vegetable and field crops in the Imperial Valley. Melon growers can eliminate the need for late-season applications of pyrethroids and other broad-spectrum insecticides through early-season augmentative release of parasitoids. This approach enhances the regional population of highly effective whitefly parasitoids important to summer and fall field and vegetable crops. It may also reduce the possibility of resistance to whitefly insecticides by reducing their use. This project demonstrates a novel approach by using cantaloupe transplants to enhance early- season field populations of parasitoids. Before placement in fields, cantaloupe seedlings are inoculated with a specific whitefly parasitoid. The project will demonstrate that control of whiteflies in fields receiving parasitoids by this method is more effective and efficient than in fields where parasitoids are hand released. The project will also show that transplants with parasitoids can be integrated into imidacloprid-treated fields at very little additional cost, or at least equal to conventional insecticide costs.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
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, 
Jonathan Field
Kern, Fresno, Sutter, and Yuba Counties $30,000

Summary: This project is designed to evaluate and implement reduced-risk IPM practices for San Jose scale (SJS), peach twig borer (PTB), and Oriental fruit moth (OFM) in clingstone canning and fresh-market peaches, plums, and nectarines. Conventional use of organophosphate (OPs) and carbamates to control these pests account for approximately 80% of pesticide applications in stone fruits annually. Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) restrictions may have a serious impact on stone fruit production through loss of commonly used OPs and carbamates used to control SJS, PTB and OFM. In addition, current dormant spray use patterns and in- season application of OPs may contribute to a decline in the quality of surface and ground water. Project objectives are 1) to test the efficacy of new reduced-risk pesticides, 2) survey and identify endemic/commercial parasite strains, and 3) develop a biological control augmentation program for SJS, and promote increased use of pheromone mating disruption for PTB and OFM. This project seeks to mitigate the risks of routine OP use through the development of a model IPM system for implementation in peach, plum, and nectarine orchards throughout California.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Mass Release of Natural Enemies of Vine Mealybug Foothill Ag. Research, Inc., 
Harry Griffiths & Joe Barcinas
Riverside County $30,000

Summary: The vine mealybug has caused severe economic damage to table grapes since it was introduced to the Coachella Valley in 1994, and has recently appeared in vineyards in southern Kern County. The heavy use of organophosphate and carbamates to control the mealybug increases risk to workers and the environment. An international search for parasites and three years of evaluation show that two parasitoid species effectively manage the vine mealybug. In studies in the Caribbean, the same two parasitoid species control 85% to 95% of pink hibiscus mealybug. This project is a collaborative effort to implement a long-term reduced-risk pest management system for the vine mealybug. The project will focus on mass rearing parasitoids in a commercial insectary, releasing them in commercial vineyards, evaluating their establishment and effectiveness, and widely disseminating the results.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Evaluation of Cultivars for Yield in Organic Strawberry Production in the Presence or Absence of Mycorrhizal Inoculum USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Salinas, 
Carolee T. Bull
Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties $30,000

Summary: Organic strawberry production is a potential alternative to conventional production, which relies on intensive chemical inputs including methyl bromide fumigation. Due to pending legislation, potential Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) restrictions, and increased public concern, alternatives are being researched. Little work has been done to optimize yield in organic systems in order to increase the economic viability of organic production as an alternative. The high-yielding strawberry cultivars grown in California were selected under conventional production practices. Although cultivar choice may be the most important factor influencing yield, to make cultivar choices organic farmers must extrapolate from research done under conventional practices. Under this project, researchers will conduct variety trials under organic management in three or four locations in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties to provide information to organic growers on cultivar selection. Work under this project will also be conducted to evaluate disease incidence in organic strawberry production and to determine what effect microbial inoculants have on controlling disease and on yield. This project represents a unique regional and collaborative effort between USDA/ARS, the University of California, organic and conventional growers, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the California Strawberry Commission.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
A Demonstration of Refined Pest Management Strategies for Rice Water Weevil in California Rice University of California, Davis, 
Larry D. Godfrey
Butte, Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Placer, Glenn, and Sacramento Counties $30,000

Summary: Rice water weevil is the most important insect pest of California rice. Larvae prune rice plant roots, decreasing grain yield by 10% to 30%. Chemical control is the primary management tool. Growers have used pre-plant incorporated carbofuran to manage this pest, however, the use of this material is being phased out. Two alternative materials (Dimilin® and Karate®) effectively control rice water weevil in the laboratory. These products are proposed as post-flood treatments, which is more compatible with an IPM strategy because infestation severity can be assessed before application. Carbofuran treatments are generally made within 30 feet of each basin adjacent to the levees. These border treatments were effective because in California, weevil infestations are concentrated along the levees. The new insecticidal products may become too diluted by border treatment, and their use may increase if entire basins must be treated. The objective of this project is to investigate the use of post-flood treatments with reduced-risk products. In addition, the project proposes to demonstrate in grower fields across a wide area the efficacy of a new cultural control technique that has proven effective in small field studies.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Training Scouts and Developing Demonstration Sites to Promote Floriculture IPM Programs University of California Cooperative Extension, Ventura County, 
Julie Newman
San Diego, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties $29,997

Summary: A monitoring program provides early detection of pest problems and proper timing of appropriate control measures, which can result in reduced pesticide use. The backbone of a good IPM program is the scout. This project is a statewide IPM/reduced-risk effort in ornamentals being conducted in three regions in California. Scouts trained in each area are responsible for pest monitoring, record keeping, and weekly meetings with growers to make pest management decisions based on information collected. These monitoring procedures are being used to incorporate more IPM methods into the decision-making process. Comparisons are then made between IPM and conventional practices of the growers. Results thus far show that intensive monitoring and use of IPM practices reduced the need for pesticides while still maintaining plant quality. The project will evaluate new reduced-risk pesticides and examine new approaches that reduce pest populations, such as UV-absorbing plastic, sticky tape, and reflective mulches.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Use of Lime Sulfur to Control Postharvest Pathogens of Citrus Fruit Sunkist R&D Packing Services, 
David Sorenson
Tulare and Fresno Counties $18,000

Summary: Green mold of citrus is one of the most economically important postharvest diseases of citrus worldwide. Two of the three fungicides approved for use on citrus are listed as possible or probable carcinogens by U.S. EPA, and are under review pursuant to the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Tests have shown reduced postharvest decay of citrus fruit by more than 95% when the fruit was briefly immersed in a 3% lime-sulfur solution. The treatment equaled the effectiveness of many other treatments and fungicides. Conclusions from repeated laboratory tests show that this treatment could be further developed and incorporated into existing citrus-packing lines. One possible advantage of lime-sulfur solution is less stringent waste-water discharge requirements since lime-sulfur is applied as a soil conditioner. Implementation will require new equipment to contain odors evolved during the use of lime sulfur for the safety and comfort of workers. Project work will involve large, commercial- scale tests of lime-sulfur applications to determine effectiveness in controlling odors.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Investigation of an Augmentation Program for Grape and Longtailed Mealybug and Classical Biological Control of the Obscure Mealybug University of California, Berkeley, 
Kent M. Daane
Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Madera, Tulare and Fresno Counties $19,048

Summary: The grape mealybug, longtailed mealybug, and obscure mealybug, are pests of table, raisin, and wine grapes. In recent years, there has been an increase in grape mealybug infestations in the Central Valley and a dramatic increase in obscure and longtailed mealybugs in the central coast and Carnerros regions. Many natural enemy species native to North America attack these mealybug pests. In the past, resident natural enemies, and especially parasitic wasps (parasitoids), have controlled grape and longtailed mealybugs. However, recent surveys indicate that parasitoid activity is often low, varies considerably among vineyard locations, and does not consistently provide adequate control. Augmentation of natural enemies may increase parasitism levels and reduce the need for insecticide applications. In Chile, an encyrtid parasitoid is produced in insectaries for inoculative release in vineyards and this control practice is supposedly effective against the obscure mealybug. This project is developing similar programs for California vineyards. The objectives are to 1) develop insectary techniques for the mass production of two parasitoids and one predator, all of which attack grape and longtailed mealybugs, 2) test the effectiveness of inoculative release in field and on-farm trials, and 3) if the tested inoculative release experiments show promise, work with the table and wine grape industries and commercial insectaries to establish cooperatively based insectaries.

Nonagricultural Demonstration Projects

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Gateway to a Less Toxic Home and Garden City of Daly City,
Karen Vitulano
San Mateo County $10,196

Summary: This project involves an education program that will instruct the residential gardening community in northern San Mateo County about IPM and reduced-risk pest control in and around the home. Studies show that pesticide runoff from lawns and gardens during rainstorms enters storm drains, which in San Mateo County flow directly to the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay without treatment. Diazinon is of particular concern due to its toxicity to aquatic organisms. Currently, there is very limited assistance and information available to the public in San Mateo County regarding IPM. There is a need for basic outreach to the public regarding the concept of IPM, and useful information and guidance on reduced-risk control of common urban pests. This project is designed to create an IPM demonstration garden, organize an Educator Training Program, and organize and conduct public workshops. For an education site, the project will use the Gateway Garden, a newly created garden currently demonstrating the uses of reclaimed water. The project goal is to introduce and promote the adoption of IPM practices among home gardeners in San Mateo County, thereby reducing the risk to water resources from pesticide use, particularly diazinon.

Project Title  Applicant Location Budget
Capacity Building on IPM in Urban Agriculture in Bay Area Public Schools and Surrounding Low-Income Communities University of California, Berkeley, 
Miguel A. Altieri
Alameda County $29,520

Summary: Sections of the cities of Berkeley and Oakland are home to some of the poorest families in the U.S. In public schools, teachers report that may children show up for school without adequate breakfast and many are unable to concentrate and lack energy. Most children have diets high in fat and calories, due in part to the unavailability of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. This project will establish gardens at various schools in low- income areas, featuring vegetable cropping systems that will produce salad vegetables and some staple crops. The project will establish an IPM training, demonstration and outreach program at five public schools located in low-income neighborhoods of Berkeley and Oakland. Students will participate in all aspects of garden development, monitoring of crop- pest-natural enemy interactions, and in outreach activities in their local community. School gardens will feature biodiversified cropping systems that will enhance ecological interactions and serve as tools for integrating ecology, food, and agriculture into the classroom curriculum. The project will emphasize special workshops on IPM complemented with handouts, videos, slide shows and hands-on practice. Established demonstration plots will serve to promote field days and cross-visits to enhance outreach of project benefits to many school children and the community at large.