1996UC IPM Advisors
The Cling Peach Advisory Board became an EPA-Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Partner in 1996 which opened the way for a $35,000 IPM Education Grant for the Cling Peach Advisory Board. The Cling Peach Advisory Board looked to the University of California IPM Project for leadership of the team and Carolyn was chosen to lead the effort.
Team membership includes the Cling Peach Advisory Board, California Peach Canning Association, Cling Peach Processors, Consolidated Farm Service Agency, UC IPM Project IPM advisors, county UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, PCAs, and growers. The grant funds have been used to conduct "on-farm" demonstrations (the old-fashioned way) of mating disruption for both OFM and PTB. The grant also purchased one application of pheromone. In addition to overall coordination of the program, Carolyn also coordinates the Sacramento Valley project with local Farm Advisors Janine Hasey and Bill Olson. IPM Advisor Walt Bentley coordinates the project in the San Joaquin Valley.
In the Sacramento Valley, Carolyn and the farm advisors worked with the local Consolidated Farm Service Agencies to have a special pesticide reduction cost share program SP-53 approved in Sutter, Yuba, and Butte counties. This program is important because economic analysis from demonstrations in 1995 showed that the mating disruption program costs $225 compared to the growers' current insecticide program cost of $100. While many growers have heard of the mating disruption program's success, they are leery of the extra cost, especially in years of poor market demand for cling peaches. Nineteen growers representing 300 acres are participating in the project in 1996.
Carolyn is involved in many other IPM projects, including the following:
During the past 3 years, areawide codling moth mating disruption has been tested on a large scale in the Sacramento Delta (Randall Island Project) and the Pacific Northwest. Lucia's team includes University campus-based faculty, Cooperative Extension personnel, growers in the Mendocino County pear district, pest control advisers, and the pear industry. All team members are involved in the decisions that shape the project. Grower participation is a key factor in the success of the program and was a major criterion in the selection of the Mendocino County site.
The goal of the Ukiah project is to develop educational programs and to provide technical support to growers during the years of transition to pheromone-based programs for codling moth control. Education of growers will improve adoption of alternative techniques because their use requires extensive knowledge of the pest, the new technologies, and the impacts of environmental factors. Until growers develop confidence in these new techniques, they will continue to perceive them as highly risky. This continuing perception will hamper implementation. A combined program of reduced pesticide use and codling moth pheromone confusion is being implemented on 390 contiguous acres of pears in the Ukiah Valley. Pheromone dispensers loaded with the female synthetic scent are tied on trees to confuse codling moth males looking for mates. The scent saturates the orchard and as a result mating does not occur or is delayed. This reduces the number of viable eggs and the population crashes. Close technical assistance in monitoring pest incidence and in pest control decision making will enable growers to build confidence in this new technology.
Management of codling moth in California pear orchards has recently been threatened by the development of low levels of resistance to azinphosmethyl (Guthion), the most commonly used organophosphate in pears. Failure to achieve commercially acceptable levels of control using common rates and numbers of applications resulted in increased rates per application and increased numbers of sprays to control codling moth. The result has been an increased risk to farmworkers and increased mortality to natural enemies, leading in turn to secondary pest outbreaks and increasing dependency on pesticides. Mating disruption applied on a regional scale provides pear growers with an alternative to organophosphate-based management strategies.
Other projects in which Lucia is involved include:
It has recently been associated with oleander leaf scorch in Orange County, also caused by Xyllela. The ease of spread throughout California via the freeway system and the associated oleander plantings was cause for the organization of a task force meeting at UC Riverside with Sandy Purcell (UC Berkeley) and Mike Henry (UCCE, Riverside County) where Phil presented the Ventura situation and was involved in identifying research and extension needs. Phil has collected an egg parasite attacking this sharpshooter and has recently published a scientific note on this mymarid egg parasite with Sergue Triapitsyn (UC Riverside).
Phil is also studying the disruptive effects of dust on biological control programs; he is investigating the effects of ambient dust accumulation over the season on direct mortality in key insectary-reared parasitoids. One project involves PM-10 dust monitors within citrus orchards adjacent to a proposed mining project. Information gathered and developed by Phil regarding dust's impact on IPM systems in agriculture is being used by local county agencies in determining regulations for landfill and mining operations adjacent to agricultural production areas.
Phil is involved in a variety of other research and validation projects on fruits and vegetables such as:
Phil A. Phillips, South Coast
|Cheryl demonstrates IPM methods in floriculture and ornamental crops. Photo by Marcella Grebus|
Cheryl is working with Ursula Schuch, UC Riverside ornamental horticulture specialist, and Clyde Elmore, UC Davis weed science specialist, to examine organic and fabric mulches with and without the addition of herbicides to control weeds in containerized plants. When the container is in the nursery for 6 months or more, it is often difficult to apply herbicide to the soil surface due to plant interference, resulting in nontarget losses of the pesticide.
Research in this area should help growers increase herbicide efficacy as well as increase the predictability of their weed control efforts.
A newly reported disorder in Southern California, oleander leaf scorch, has become the focus of a team of researchers involved with the ornamental plant industry. This disorder is thought to be caused by a bacteria, Xylella fastidiosa, and transmitted by leafhoppers. The disorder has devastated localized oleander stands in the Coachella Valley and Orange County. Cheryl, along with Mike Henry (farm advisor, Riverside and Orange counties), has been helping to coordinate the efforts of campus-based entomologists, plant pathologists, and horticulturists as well as county-based farm advisors in finding answers about the spread of the causal agent, conditions for bacterial growth, and potential methods of control.
Additional projects Cheryl is involved in include:
Walt Bentley, Kearney Agricultural Center, Entomology
|Walt takes a beat sample for true bugs in pistachios.|
Cooperators with UC IPM in this project include UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors in each county, the Community Alliance of Family Farms Foundation (CAFF), the Natural Resource Conservation Service, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, independent pest control advisers, and the Almond Board of California.
Walt is taking leadership in the efforts to quantify arthropod populations, including beneficials, pests and pest damage, associated with different approaches to growing almonds over a period of years and under different growing environments. A major aspect of this project has been utilization of information collected in the specialized monitoring program by almond growers. The BIOS staff, associated with CAFF, and UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors utilize the data collected from the specialized monitoring in newsletters. BIOS Field Notes, one such newsletter, is mailed at regular intervals to cooperating farmers. Anyone receiving it gets detailed information such as mummy counts, mummy infestation, parasitism of overwintered navel orangeworm, pest trends, and, to some extent, the abundance of beneficials associated with key pests. Frequent field meetings are held for all farmers and focus on timely topics in insect and disease management and the use of cover crops in almonds.
Walt is coordinator for the San Joaquin Valley portion of the cling peach mating disruption team project coordinated statewide by IPM Advisor Carolyn Pickel. A major focus has been to demonstrate the use of mating disruption for peach twig borer (PTB), a primary pest of processing peaches and compare these orchards to blocks in which the cooperators use insecticides to manage the pest.
Oriental fruit moth (OFM), another primary pest of cling peaches, has been under a successful mating disruption program. However, many peach growers have needed insecticide applications for control of PTB. With the registration of commercial PTB mating disruption dispensers, cooperating farmers have substituted this method for previously used insecticides. This approach to management has the potential to eliminate broad-spectrum insecticide sprays from use on cling peaches during the spring and summer. This project involves the Statewide IPM project, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, the California Cling Peach Advisory Board, the US Environmental Protection Agency, local pest control advisers, and the manufacturers who have provided participants with the mating disruptant products (Consepreg. and Herconreg.). The orchards used in the project are monitored weekly for PTB, OFM, omnivorous leafroller, San Jose scale, and various beneficial insects. Twig strikes caused by both OFM and PTB are counted to detect the development of larvae, and at harvest fruit are sampled and evaluated for insect damage. The results of the two management approaches are compared after harvest.
Meetings are held by farm advisors in each of the cooperating counties to provide farmers and pest control advisers step-by-step guidance in identification, monitoring, and management strategies for other pests that occasionally develop in the absence of pesticide use.
Walt conducted many other pest management research and educational programs during the 1995-96 year, including the following projects:
Tim Prather, Kearney Agricultural Center, Weed Science
|Tim is developing a computer program to identify weed seedlings in the field.|
Tim and Jodie envision using these models to determine groups of species that emerge at similar times so the groups can be controlled together with one cultivation or herbicide application rather than with multiple controls. The project will also help growers optimize the timing of preemergent herbicides or other management activities to control specific mid- to late-season weeds.
Tim continues his work with light-activated sprayers with an evaluation of a new orchard and a new row crop sprayer. The amount of post emergent herbicides used could be reduced by 40 to 80% using this new technology. Savings are greatest when weeds cover less than 20% of the ground surface. Identification of pests is an important part of an IPM program and Tim is working on a computer program to identify weed seedlings. Also in the works is a manual that will detail the seed and several seedling stages and which features the photography of Jack Kelly Clark. Working with Tim on the project are UC Davis Weed Scientists Joe DiTomaso, Robert Norris, and Clyde Elmore.
Tim has begun work with Wain Johnson (UCCE Mariposa County) on an extension demonstration project for yellow starthistle management in Mariposa County. Wain and Tim are demonstrating a variety of techniques in an effort to educate ranchers on how to best manage this serious weed problem. They are also looking at competitive grasses and forbs that might help control yellow starthistle.
California's pesticide use reporting system has opened doors to new research and education opportunities. Tim has been working with Jodie Holt on a herbicide resistance project that utilizes CalTrans pesticide use records to find locations where sulfonylurea herbicides have been applied repeatedly. This class of herbicides has a history of selection for resistance. Using the pesticide use reports, Jodie and Tim have found sites with sulfonyurea-resistant Russian thistle plants.
Tim finished a study on the economics of weed control in iceberg lettuce in the Salinas Valley. Several rates of the herbicide Kerb were used for initial weed control. Thinning and hand-weeding costs were recorded for each treatment. The overall economic profitability of a specific herbicide rate depended on the species and density of weeds present. The study showed that in fields without a recent history of serious weed problems, a lower rate could be used to achieve the same level of control without adding seeds to the seed bank. Fields with high weed populations are still best treated with higher rates of Kerb.
Tim is cooperating with UC Davis Weed Scientist Tom Lanini to evaluate an application technique that uses a variable rate of Treflan at layby in tomatoes. The highest rate is used over the furrow with decreasing amounts next to the crop row. The idea is to allow plant competition from the tomatoes to control most weeds next to the crop and reduce herbicide inputs. Also working on the project with Tom and Tim are Farm Advisors Michelle LeStrange (Tulare County), Kurt Hembree (Fresno County), and Gene Miyao (Yolo County).
Several soil-active, preemergent herbicides may have their use restricted because of potential groundwater contamination. Federal EPA has required development of Best Management Practices for continued use of simazine. California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will be responsible for developing a state management plan. As part of this project, DPR has funded Tim to conduct research into methods to reduce the potential for groundwater contamination by simazine. Tim is working in both citrus and grapes. Working with Tim on the project are Farm Advisors Mark Freeman, Kurt Hembree, Michael Costello (all UCCE Fresno County) and Neil O'Connell (Tulare County).
Tim has worked on the Orchard Odyssey, a peach and nectarine demonstration project at Kearney Agricultural Center that is led by Pomology Specialist Scott Johnson, UC Davis. Tim is working on weed control options. The Orchard Odyssey provides hands-on experiences on all aspects of peach and nectarine production to school children from a number of surrounding school districts.
Tim Prather, South Central Region
Kearney Agricultural Center
9240 South Riverbend Avenue
Parlier, CA 93648
FAX: (209) 646-6593
Jim Stapleton, Kearney Agricultural Center, Plant Pathology
|Jim shows workers how to identify pests in a hands-on workshop.|
Working in collaboration with UC Davis Entomologist Charles Summers, also based at Kearney, Jim's laboratory has been testing the effects of wavelength-selective spray mulches on health and production of eggplant, melons, pepper, squash, and tomato. Also, the mulch techniques are being integrated with other methods of repelling aphids, such as alarm pheromones, and with soil solarization to maximize the biological and economic benefits to users.
Jim also continues to devote a considerable portion of his research and extension time and effort to integrated management of diseases of wine and table grapes, with emphasis on bunch rots. In addition, Jim continues collaborative projects to evaluate fungicide sprays to control bunch rots in the San Joaquin Valley. Results continue to show that bloom-time sprays may be of value in cooler, more humid growing areas more conducive to Botrytis bunch rot, or after exceptionally wet raining seasons, such as occurred in 1994-95. Other projects aim at clarifying the epidemiology of the "summer bunch rot complex," including fungal, bacterial, and insect pest components, and evaluating potential biological control treatments.
With the impending loss of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant, soil solarization is gaining momentum as an alternative soil disinfestation method for use with shallow-rooted crops and containerized nursery production in the hot, interior valleys of California. Jim is providing treatment guidelines to growers who wish to test and use solarization, and he continues to work on integrating solarization with organic soil amendments that give off toxic volatile compounds to provide a more effective form of "biofumigation." Jim and UCD Extension Pomologist Louise Ferguson are evaluating solarization of containerized planting media for nursery production.
Jim began a period of sabbatical leave in January 1996.
James Stapleton, South Central Region
Kearney Agricultural Center
9240 South Riverbend Avenue
Parlier, CA 93648
FAX: (209) 646-6593
Pete Goodell, Kearney Agricultural Center, Extension
|Pete in a cotton field. Photo by Larry Strand|
This workshop helped focus new and continuing projects directed at understanding pest and plant interactions as well as improving the detection of insecticide resistance in key cotton pests.
One project in support of those efforts is the Smith-Lever IPM Cotton Insect Survey. Fourteen cotton fields are being sampled weekly for insect, mite, and plant development. Pests and natural enemies are recorded and summary data is provided to the cooperators. This effort has allowed participants to watch the development of insect populations across a wide area, monitor for the presence of natural enemies, and consolidate a baseline of information for monthly production meetings.
Pete has continued his efforts in refining nonchemical approaches to root knot nematode in cotton. Studies are underway to evaluate recently approved nematode-resistant Acala cultivars that not only protect the cotton yield, but actually reduce the pest density in the soil. The use of rotations for management of this soil inhabiting pest is being explored as well. Yields of cotton following different commonly used rotational crop plants are being evaluated.
Lygus is the key insect pest in blackeye beans resulting in both yield and quality losses. Through the support of the Dry Bean Advisory Board and Statewide IPM Competitive Grants Program, Pete has initiated a lygus threshold study on blackeye beans. This study will review the impact of various lygus densities on bean yield under tightly controlled conditions on two different dates.
Pete has continued to maintain an active outreach program by presenting information and leading discussions at field and winter meetings. His IPM contributions to the California Cotton Newsletter, San Joaquin Valley Vegetable Newsletter, and Plant Protection Quarterly reach a wide audience. He maintains a toll-free telephone line to disseminate current information on cotton insect pests.
At the national level, Pete serves on IPM committees to advise in the development of national and regional IPM programs. He continues to serve as UC statewide IPM extension coordinator for the eight IPM advisors.