The 2013 IPM Innovators Awards

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The 2013 Awardees are:

Contra Costa County Agriculture Department

The Contra Costa County Agricultural Department adopted a department-wide IPM policy and comprehensive IPM plan for controlling exotic insects and suppressing noxious weeds and vertebrate pests. The department's contributions to IPM include conducting invasive insect trapping and inspections, developing a unique noxious weed program that has continually monitored the same areas for 34 years, using a binocular microscope with video capture technology to electronically document pests for rapid identification by a State Entomologist, conducting parcel inspections using dogs to detect invasive pests, detailing an IPM decision-making processes for ground squirrel management, and initiating a pilot structural IPM program for 13 county buildings. The department also phased out use of 26 of the 34 most hazardous pesticides and reduced use of the other 8 by 83 percent. It has a strong farm worker safety training program, including bilingual training programs, and has trained over 3,200 Spanish-speaking workers since 2001. The department produces a quarterly newsletter and distributes it to 225 growers, ranchers, and other interested parties.

More information is available at or by contacting:
Beth Slate
Phone: (925) 646-5250

IPM Advocates Program

IPM Advocates Program is a collaborative outreach and training program that aims to improve delivery of IPM information at retail stores through education of employees and customers, store managers and buyers, and product distributors. The program addresses environmental and health problems resulting from improper use of pesticides sold to consumers. The program began in June 2011 as an extension of a 2010 DPR Pest Management Alliance grant and is now funded by local government pollution prevention programs and Our Water-Our World. IPM Advocates were trained through the program and in turn trained store employees, who then interact with customers and advise them on less-toxic ways to manage pests. The IPM Advocates also serve as consultants and offer marketing advice to businesses ranging from independent nurseries to big-box stores. The stores have responded to the IPM Advocatesí information and recommendations by stocking more reduced-risk products, such as traps for rodents and iron phosphate for slugs and snails, and by directing customers to these reduced-risk products through prominent product placement on shelves and explanatory signage. Store managers encourage staff to share IPM information with their customers. As a result of the program, 23 of 30 store managers (77 percent) surveyed reported greater sales of less-toxic products from 2011 to 2012.

More information is available at or by contacting:
Annie Joseph, IPM Advocates Coordinator
Phone: (707) 373-9611

Scientific Methods, Inc.

Scientific Methods, Inc., is an agricultural consulting firm with an IPM focus. The owners began the business in 1980 in response to grower requests for solutions to increasing insect damage and insecticide use in almonds. Over the last 33 years, Scientific Methods, Inc. has expanded its services to other crops (walnuts, prunes, peaches, apricots, citrus, apples, pecans, pistachios, and persimmons) and has played an important role in the development and adoption of key pest management practices that have largely reduced the need for organophosphates. These practices include the development and use of economic injury thresholds for navel orangeworm (NOW) and peach twig borer in almonds based on samples of pest eggs in nuts. They also include a mass trap-out system for mated NOW females in almonds and a low volume spray technique for walnut husk fly in walnuts. Using leaf wetness sensors, they developed a disease monitoring program, which has reduced the incidence of disease and the need for fungicides. Scientific Methods, Inc. was involved in the development of innovative practices that have helped growers maintain productivity while reducing or eliminating the use of organophosphate dormant sprays, minimizing in-season pesticide applications, and improving product quality.

More information is available at or by contacting:
Dr. Barry Wilk, Owner
Phone: (530) 828-2837

UC Cooperative Extension, UC Berkeley, Yolo County RCD, and Hedgerow Farms

For the last 20 years, these organizations partnered to research the benefits of hedgerows and promote those benefits to landowners. Although hedgerows have existed since ancient times, studies conducted by the partnership provide a scientific and economic basis for recommending hedgerows as a component of modern agricultural IPM systems. The partnership has authored five peer-reviewed research articles and several other publications on hedgerows. Its members present papers and posters at professional meetings and promote hedgerows on the UCCE Web site. In addition, members hold frequent field days and workshops to discuss project results with students, university scientists, industry, government agencies, and sustainable agriculture nonprofits. Work on hedgerows, started 15 years ago by the Audubon Society in cooperation with Yolo County RCD and Hedgerow Farms, has been replicated in many California counties and is the basis for Audubonís National Working Lands Program.

More information is available at or by contacting:
Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension
Phone: (530) 666-8734

Walnut Production Research Advisory Council Entomology Working Group

The California Walnut Production Research Advisory Council (PRAC) Entomology Working Group is a component of the California Walnut Board. PRAC consists of UC and USDA researchers, farm advisors, growers, pest control advisors (PCAs), and IPM product suppliers who interact as peers to identify research priorities and strategies to address them, develop research proposals, and discuss research results. PRAC research is focused on the development of effective and economical low-risk pest management solutions, such as pheromone mating disruption and other pest management practices that do not hamper biological control. While many commodity boards have research advisory groups that ensure research funds are used to meet grower needs, PRAC's innovation lies in its involvement of growers, PCAs, UCCE staff, suppliers, and researchers throughout the entire processófrom selection of research topics to updates and input on research progress. PRACís efforts have resulted in many highly innovative and effective practices, including puffer technology as a means to dispense pheromones as a replacement for organophosphates for codling moth control.

More information is available at or by contacting:
Hal Crain, grower and co-chair
Phone: (530) 527-1077

If you would like to find out more about IPM, our IPM Innovators, or the IPM Innovators Program, you can contact:

Lisa Estridge
Pest Management & Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-2489
Fax: (916) 324-9006