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2007 Annual Report

UC Statewide IPM Program

After harvest, nuts remain on fruiting wood killed by hull rot fungi. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.
After harvest, nuts remain on fruiting wood killed by hull rot fungi. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.

IPM Innovator Award

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has awarded two IPM Innovator awards to programs involving UC IPM staff—The Almond Pest Management Alliance and its publication of a Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds and The Healthy Garden-Healthy Home Program.

The Almond Pest Management Alliance (PMA), with its publication of a Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds, has earned an IPM Innovator Award from DPR for 2007.

Since 1994, DPR has given out more than 100 Integrated Pest Management Innovator awards to honor California organizations that emphasize pest prevention, favor least-hazardous pest control, and share their successful strategies with others.

“This is the second time that the almond industry has been honored with an Innovator Award,” said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. “This underscores the fact that the Almond Alliance is one of the most progressive commodity groups in California.”

In 1998, the Almond PMA was initiated by the Almond Board of California with funding from DPR to evaluate the possibility of reducing pesticide use in California almonds. 

The PMA is a cooperative effort among industry stakeholders including the Almond Board of California, the Board’s Environmental Committee, the Almond Hullers and Processors Association, the UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, PCAs and growers, DPR, and U.S. EPA Region 9. UC IPM Advisors Walt Bentley and Carolyn Pickel led this project.

"All the players—the Almond Board, DPR, UCCE, and UC IPM—partnered to make this effort a success," says Pickel. "The seasonal guide was a new approach to organizing IPM information to highlight environmentally responsible practices and give thresholds for growers to follow. The Almond PMA demonstrations showed that growers could use these pest management practices over the long term without substantial increases in pest populations."

With increased funding from the Almond Board, the PMA was continued (in Butte and Kern counties) for a sixth year in 2004.

The PMA demonstrates and evaluates reduced-risk pest management methods in local orchards and uses intensive monitoring to reduce the possibility of damage to the crop. The alliance has been able to track pest populations, damage levels, and economic data over several years to examine the long-term effects of reduced pesticide inputs.

Education and outreach is also a major component of the project. The PMA has conducted field meetings and dormant-season workshops, complete with hands-on training and demonstrations.

In 2005, the PMA was responsible for ANR Publication 21619, Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds. The guide has information on how to manage almond pests by first considering environmentally friendly and low toxicity materials. There are also guidelines and thresholds for situations where growers may need to use a broad-spectrum insecticide. This information is based on UC research and results of the Almond PMA. In addition, the Almond PMA’s newsletters contain updates on the regional projects and detailed information on implementation of reduced-risk pest management systems in almonds.

The guide was written by UC IPM Program advisors in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and UCCE farm advisors from Butte, Stanislaus, and Kern counties.

The seasonal guide, UC ANR Publication 21619, is available from the University of California for $7. Call 1-800-994-8849.

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The Healthy Garden-Healthy Home Program (HGHH) has also won an Innovator Award. The program is a partnership between UC Cooperative Extension/UC IPM and the San Diego County Department of Public Works Watershed Protection Program. 

With a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board, HGHH was formed in 2004 to support IPM outreach and education for San Diego's "Project Clean Water" program.

UC IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen led this project that seeks to increase the awareness of San Diego residents about the harmful effects of pesticide  pollution in receiving waters, to encourage proper use and disposal of pesticides among residential users, and to provide regionally consistent IPM education that can lead to the adoption of positive behaviors.   

"Our focus was to provide integrated pest management education and training to county residents to reduce pesticide use in and around homes and, consequently, reduce the amount of home-use pesticides entering the local waterways," says Wilen.

"This was definitely a team effort. We had participation from the City and County of San Diego, incorporated cities in the county, and help from Mira Costa College.  Much of the outreach material was developed from UC IPM Pest Notes and Quick Tips cards. This is a great example of being able to develop and use UC IPM resources to benefit local issues."

HGHH developed IPM information for urban users, held monthly community workshops on season-specific IPM topics, trained UC Master Gardeners in IPM to expand the reach of the program, and educated retail nursery staff about local pests and least-toxic solutions to supply the information to their customers. For  example, Pest Tips in English and Spanish, developed by the UC IPM Program, were made available at nurseries, big box stores, garden events, local fairs, and at libraries for users to select information appropriate for their use.  

In addition, the group created a Web site where urban users can learn about pesticides and the watershed, and how  IPM can help improve water quality.  Visit www.projectcleanwater.org.  

The most innovative aspect of the program is a touch-screen kiosk created by the UC IPM Program that is placed in high traffic areas at fairs, or in stores where the user can easily see not only IPM control methods for various pests, but also diagnose a problem and print out a Pest Tip card.

"We received incredibly positive feedback from the community and local nurseries about this program," she says. "Gardeners are looking for more environmentally sensitive ways to handle pests in and around their homes, and retail nurseries and their staff want more training about how to provide that information." 

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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