Alliance Projects Funded in 2000

Back to Pest Management Alliance Evaluations and Project Summaries

  • Promotion of 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; 2000: $98,756

In North America, California is the only area 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. The Alliance project offers a side-by-side comparison of current grower practices versus "softer" or alternative practices. Several pests cause problems in almonds, with navel orangeworm the key pest. Three large demonstration sites from 50 to 120 acres have been established in Butte, Stanislaus and Kern counties. Close to 900 growers and pest control advisors have attended nine regional field days to learn first hand about the benefits of winter orchard sanitation to control naval orangeworm, about monitoring techniques to accurately identify pest levels and levels of natural enemies, and about alternatives to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. The California Almond Board has established an environmental task force to help guide the activities of the Alliance. The Board plays a key role in transferring information on reduced-risk alternatives to growers.

  • A Reduced Risk Pest Management Program for Walnuts

Walnut Marketing Board
Mr. Dennis Balint
San Joaquin Valley: Kern, Tehama, Butte, Glenn, Yuba, Sutter, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Fresno, Kings, & Tulare counties
1998: $100,000; 1999: $65,750; 2000: $100,000

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. Codling moth and blight disease are the key pests in walnuts. In 1999 the Alliance established 12 demonstration orchards, comparing the growers' conventional program and reduced-risk alternatives, with good results. In 2000 the number of demonstration orchards was reduced to six to help determine if good results can be repeated from region to region under grower operated programs. The alternative practices being demonstrated include mating disruption, release of natural enemies particularly Trichogramma, use of low-risk biological pesticides, and disease forecasting allowing growers to better time disease treatments. Close to 300 growers and pest control advisors have attended five regional field days and smaller technical meetings, to learn first hand about reduced-risk practices. 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 goal.

  • Pest Management Alliance for the Containerized Nursery Industry
University of California
Dr. Michael K. Rust
Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego counties
2000: $67,849

The California containerized nursery industry Pest Management Alliance is composed of a diverse group of members. Representatives include the largest statewide nursery association in California, several of the largest nurseries located throughout the state, University of California researchers, and various representatives in the agricultural industry. The Alliance is faced with a new pest; red imported fire ant (RIFA). Nursery growers are mandated by state and federal laws to use selected pesticides to meet quarantine requirements for RIFA in order to ship products. This has resulted in organophosphate use 70 times above the normal in Orange County alone. These required pesticide soil drenches have increased pesticide risks in the workplace. State water regulators have also determined that these pesticides have moved offsite to contaminate surface waters and sensitive water bodies in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. The containerized nursery industry Alliance proposes to develop voluntary alternative strategies that allow growers to reduce organophosphate use in the workplace and/or increase protection of surface water and ground water.

  • A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Methyl Bromide Replacement in Strawberries Using Non-chemical Alternatives
California Strawberry Commission
Mr. Christopher Winterbottom
Monterrey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange, San Joaquin and Fresno counties
1998: $93,458; 2000: $93,300

California produces 80 percent of the nation's strawberries - over 1.4 billion pounds annually. This project is a statewide, multi-disciplinary pest management approach designed to enable grower organizations to identify and implement non-chemical alternatives to managing soil-borne pests in anticipation of the loss of methyl bromide. Funding from a 1997 Alliance grant helped enable researchers to explore and evaluate reduced rate fumigation through shank and drip irrigation, chemical and non-chemical barriers, microbial and cultural alternatives. As a result, most of these techniques have been demonstrated to the strawberry industry and several techniques such as drip fumigation and crop rotation have been or will soon be adopted by growers. Additional investigation is necessary to refine reduced risk alternative techniques, to demonstrate their effectiveness and consistency over the range of environments and conditions under which strawberries are produced, including the production of nursery stock, and to determine the parameters under which these techniques are economically viable.

The strawberry Alliance team includes the California Strawberry Commission (CSC), California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), University of California (UC) and its Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and growers from several growing regions.

  • Reduced-Risk Management of Insect Pests in Sugarbeets
California Beet Growers Association
Mr. Ben Goodwin
San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys
1999: $88,841; 2000: $67,849

Insecticide treatments for control of sugarbeet armyworm (BAW) have been identified by the industry as contributing to secondary pest outbreaks, such as spider mites and leafhoppers. Current control practices rely on organophosphate insecticides, which are susceptible to federal restrictions. Sugarbeet growers need viable alternatives to current practices that are sustainable and less likely to cause secondary pest problems. The goal of the work plan is to eliminate insecticide sprays early in the season, thereby maintaining predators and parasites. The first objective is to demonstrate a reduced-risk approach to BAW management, including such critical components as a damage threshold and a monitoring program that is easy to use. The second objective is to evaluate stand establishment pest management in the Imperial Valley. The entire approach to seedling pest management will be challenged, and alternatives will be demonstrated.

  • A Model Integrated Pest Management Plan for Schools
Marin County Department of Agriculture and Marin County Office of Education
Mr. Stacey Carlsen
Marin, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo counties
1998: $77,000; 2000: $100,000

Schools in California face many challenges in educating children. One challenge not normally recognized is the use of pesticides in schoolrooms and around the facilities to control pests. For many years, diminishing budgets have hindered school districts in maintaining facilities. Facility managers have shifted to practices that require less staff--for example, substituting herbicides for weed control along fencelines and selective herbicides in landscaped areas. With the growing concern over the use of pesticides, many school districts have begun to shift their practices to include IPM, but lack adequate information and training. The school project will have IPM experts conduct site assessments that can be used for specialized training of facility managers. Additionally, regional and local alliances will be developed to foster IPM in schools. Concurrently, critical information about pesticides and pest control will be provided to all levels of school staff. The information will be assessed as to value and decisions made based on the new information. Finally, information developed by a previous Alliance will be used to provide decision-makers at schools with alternatives to conventional practices.

  • The California Turkey Pest Management Alliance: Promotion of a Reduced-Risk Multiple Pest Control Program Through Field Level IPM Tactics, Demonstrations and Grower Training
Dr. Leslie Hickle
Marin, Ventura, Los Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, and Fresno counties
2000: $100,000

The state's turkey industry is ranked sixth in the nation, producing 19 million head in 1998 with a value of more than $181 million. More than 95 percent of the state's 400-plus turkey farms are in the San Joaquin Valley. This project will promote multi-tactic reduced-risk pest control through demonstrations and field-level training on four large turkey farms in the San Joaquin Valley. On-farm and company personnel will be trained in monitoring techniques for flies and rodents. Personnel will also be trained on the management of these pests using various reduced-risk techniques. By the end of the project, outreach and education materials are expected to reach more than 95 percent of California's turkey producers through meetings and handouts/mailings.

  • The California Winegrape Pest Management Alliance Project
California Association of Winegrape Growers
Ms. Karen Ross
Primarily Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Alameda, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties
2000: $99,3800

Winegrapes are grown in 42 of California's 58 counties on more than 427,000 acres. The winegrape alliance is coordinated by the California Association of Winegrape Growers and will include participating growers from winegrape growing regions statewide. These growers will be demonstrating sustainable vineyard practices throughout these different regions. Tasks include establishing a baseline of sulfur application practices and weed management options for different regions; recruiting 20 grower cooperators and mapping sensitive areas, organizing and holding field days in each region; and conducting community outreach on pest management strategies employed by local winegrape growers. The objective of this project is to increase the adoption of reduced-risk pest management among California's 4,400 winegrape growers and promote sustainable practices in the $1.6 billion winegrape industry.

  • 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, and Yuba counties
1999: $31,325; 2000: $51,251

California produces more than one million tons of peaches, plums, and nectarines annually. The Stone Fruit Alliance, established in 1998, is a coalition of 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 (OP) and carbamate pesticides account for approximately 80 percent of the applications to stone fruits annually to control SJS and other key worm pests. To reduce levels of routine OP use, work in 1999 focused on evaluating dormant oil sprays as an effective control of SJS, on identification of natural enemies for mass rearing and release, and on demonstration of commercially available mating disruption products. In 2000, the number of grower orchards demonstrating these reduced-risk practices will be expanded. The California Tree Fruit Agreement and the Cling Peach Advisory Board have combined forces in this Alliance to develop a model IPM system for implementation by stone fruit growers.