2000IPM in Action
Exotic pests and environmental issues arising over the past two years have presented great challenges for the nursery industry. When red imported fire ant was first discovered in Orange County in 1998, nurseries in the county were put under quarantine. The quarantine forced growers to treat the potting media of all plants with insecticide regardless of whether red imported fire ant had been found in the area or not. As a result, high levels of insecticides began appearing in runoff channels surrounding the nurseries. Compounding this problem, these nurseries were also required to treat their stock with insecticides to control the glassy-winged sharpshooter if they wanted to ship to certain counties in northern California. Since many large nurseries in Orange County are in the watershed that drains into the Newport Bay, growers were faced with the difficult issue of how to meet the requirements of the red imported fire ant quarantine and the glassy-winged sharpshooter compliance agreement while not allowing high levels of insecticide or other pesticide to leave their property.
A Pest Management Alliance was formed for container nursery production to develop methods of reducing runoff as well as to demonstrate alternative methods of pest management. The Alliance is sponsored by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and includes growers, regulatory agencies, California Association of Nurserymen, UC Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station scientists, and others who are affected by these issues. Cheryl Wilen, IPM advisor for ornamental plant production, is part of the team that is leading the research and demonstration effort. Other members of the team include John Kabashima, Farm Advisor for Orange County and Heather Costa, Mike Rust, Les Greenberg, and Robert Krieger from the UC Riverside Department of Entomology.
Most growers want good evidence of the feasibility of integrated pest management practices before they will adopt them. To address this need, a Pest Management Alliance Team of growers and UC personnel was formed in spring 2000 to demonstrate several IPM methods in stone fruits that reduce reliance on broad-spectrum insecticides. These include use of horticultural mineral oils to manage San Jose scale; pheromone monitoring traps to monitor San Jose scale parasitoids; the use of products such as spinosad for managing western flower thrips and katydids; and the implementation of sampling techniques for San Jose scale, katydids, and western flower thrips. Through alliance activities, participating growers are also learning methods to identify both pests and beneficials, how to manage arthropod pests, and how to reduce surface and ground water contamination caused by the use of organophosphate and carbamate materials. IPM for Stone Fruits and UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines, both produced by the UC IPM Project, are two of the key educational materials used in this training. Other important goals of the Alliance include gathering cost data and attempting to find the current amount and level of integrated pest management being practiced by stone fruit growers in California.
The Alliance team includes the California Tree Fruit Agreement, The Cling Peach Growers Association, UC Cooperative Extension, Walt Bentley and Carolyn Pickel of the UC Statewide IPM Project, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Farm advisors participating include Harry Andris and Richard Coviello of Fresno County, Kevin Day of Tulare County, Bob Beede of Kings County, Janine Hasey of Sutter-Yuba, and Mario Viveros of Kern County.
Pierce's disease is a lethal disease of grapevines that north coast grape growers have been fighting for several years. It is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which is spread by certain insects that feed on the xylem tissue of grapevines. The bacteria multiply in the xylem and block water movement in the plant. Diseased vines become nonproductive and may die just one or two years after infection. On the north coast, several native insects, most commonly the blue-green sharpshooter, spread the bacterium.
A new vector, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, was introduced into southern California around 1989. Since then it has spread to several counties in the Central Valley. Educational efforts are being conducted to try to slow the movement of this very serious insect into new areas. The insect is commonly transported to new locations on nursery planting stock. In an effort to make the public aware of the dangers of this insect and to solicit their collaboration for early detection North Coast IPM Advisor Lucia Varela has conducted English and Spanish workshops in several locations in the Bay Area and in the north coast. Different workshops are being given to nursery personnel, landscape workers, grape growers, pest control advisers and operators, and farmworkers. The primary goal of the workshops is to delay the establishment of glassy-winged sharpshooter in new areas; for this to happen, it is critical to detect the insect early, before populations are allowed to build up.
Like many others in agriculture, the prune industry is facing loss of pesticides, stricter regulations on pesticide use, and concerns over pesticide contamination of natural resources. The Prune IPM project was formed to develop, research, and implement reduced-risk practices that would address these problems. The project has an interdisciplinary focus that revolves around monitoring and developing treatment thresholds for key economic pests, optimizing plant nutrition, and managing irrigation. IPM Advisors Carolyn Pickel, Tim Prather, and Walt Bentley have played key roles in developing monitoring protocols and cover crop information. The key economic insect pests under study are mealy plum aphid, leaf curl aphid, peach twig borer, San Jose scale, leaf rollers, European red mite, and webspinning mites.
The goal of the project is to develop environmentally safe alternatives to dormant organophosphate treatment, basing all sprays on sampling programs with an economic threshold. Monitoring protocols with proposed economic thresholds are currently being validated in prune orchards in nine California counties. Bill Olson, Butte County farm advisor, coordinates the program with input from the IPM advisors. All prune orchards in the study have three treatments: a grower standard, IPM (reduced-risk), and an untreated area. Economic thresholds are modified each year after data analysis. Successful alternatives have been found on all of the key pests except for mealy plum aphid and leaf curl aphid. UC IPM Is sponsoring research on biological control of these species.
This project began as the Environmentally Sound Prune System and was funded by the California Prune Board. The project has expanded to include funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, USDA, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and Biointensive Farming Systems.
Pete Goodell, Regional IPM Advisor at Kearney Agricultural Center, has been emphasizing the importance of prevention in managing lygus. Lygus bugs can be found in many crops and on many weeds, moving as the plant host becomes unsuitable. In cotton, lygus is the key pest whose management can determine the fate of insect pest management during the season and into the following season. Once the population density has been determined to exceed acceptable levels, management is limited to broad-spectrum insecticides.
UC entomologists recognized the importance of preventing lygus movement over 30 years ago. Like these early workers, Goodell's efforts have been directed toward managing lygus before it comes into the cotton by maintaining alfalfa forage as an alternative habitat. Habitat can be preserved either as uncut blocks or strips. In areas where alfalfa occurs commonly in the landscape, ensuring that some fields remain receptive to lygus is as easy as staggering harvest schedules on fields. In field trials in which only one-third of alfalfa fields were cut within any week, Goodell demonstrated that alfalfa could act as a sink for lygus and limit its movement into susceptible cotton crops.
Strip cutting provides minimal habitat but is still useful in keeping lygus adults from moving into neighboring crops. Goodell found that as few as two 10-foot strips could hold lygus and prevent potentially damaging populations from migrating. Lygus move from the uncut strips into the regrowth and the uncut strips are harvested during the next cutting cycling.
Preventing the movement of lygus into susceptible cotton is a valuable alternative to the use of broad-spectrum insecticides, which can lead to secondary pest outbreaks. Growers recognize this and in many areas of the San Joaquin Valley are using the integrated pest management technique of strip cutting.
The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata, has been on the move throughout southern California for at least 10 years. However, the full significance of this pest was recognized only in the last year when a number of Temecula Valley vineyards were killed by Pierce's disease, which is spread by the sharpshooter. Since then, many politicians, researchers, and government agencies have been motivated to work together to find a solution to the Pierce's disease problem. Recently discovered infestations in the San Joaquin Valley have heightened research and containment efforts statewide.
Area IPM Advisor Phil Phillips was instrumental in providing much of the basic information on this insect's field biology through his proactive, applied research program, funded over the last four years by the Citrus Research Board. Phillip's research provided valuable insight into the glassy-winged sharpshooter's behavior in the field and has been used to develop survey and detection protocols throughout California. As a result of his surveys in southern California for biological control agents, four species of small parasitic wasps that attack the glassy-winged sharpshooter eggs have been discovered. He also helped coordinate an exploration trip to Mexico that led to the discovery of a promising new parasite that attacks glassy-winged sharpshooter eggs.
Phillips has provided technical assistance to University of California and CDFA, written articles for agricultural trade magazines, and conducted numerous presentations to growers and PCAs. One of his slide presentations can be found at http://www.efarm.com.
UC IPM's Pesticide Education Program (PEP) sponsored two full-day workshops in Merced and San Luis Obispo counties in summer 2000 to help health care professionals learn to recognize and manage pesticide-related illnesses and injury. In addition, methods of diagnosing pesticide illness and the requirements for reporting incidents of pesticide illness or injury were covered. Participants included physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, and community members from a wide variety of organizations. Additional workshops are planned for 2001.
Faculty include Patrick O'Connor-Marer and Jennifer Weber, UC IPM PEP; Richard Ames, Chief of the Pesticide Epidemiology Unit, California EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA); Rupali Das, Public Health Medical Officer, California Department of Health Services; William Ngai, Public Health Medical Officer, OEHHA; Michael O'Malley, Medical Consultant, California Department of Pesticide Regulation; and Barry Wilson, Professor, UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology.
The Pesticide Education Program (PEP) team successfully developed and conducted courses aimed at helping limited-English speaking farmers to read and understand pesticide labels. This project, funded by the Department of Pesticide Regulation, was a feasibility study on the use of English as a Second Language (ESL) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) principles in courses to improve pesticide label comprehension.
Diane Clarke's research provided PEP team members with information and resources on ESL and ESP. The team studied how these principles could apply to teaching pesticide label comprehension and then convened a committee of people with ESL/ESP expertise who could give input on developing training materials and a curriculum. Jennifer Weber and Melanie Zavala led the curriculum development.
The Monterey County Department of Agriculture recruited participants for the Spanish-language program. Jennifer Weber taught this course four evenings a week over a two-week period. Michael Yang and Richard Molinar of the Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension Office recruited participants for the Hmong language course that Michael taught on two evenings each week for a six-week period.
Course participants took a pre-test that measured their ability to read and understand pesticide labels. A similar test was used at the completion of the course to measure the changes. On average, participants showed an 82% gain in their ability to understand pesticide labels.
To effectively reach large numbers of agricultural workers with safety information, Pesticide Education Program (PEP) staff developed a training model that prepares individuals from within agricultural worker communities to train pesticide handlers and agricultural fieldworkers. Participants in these train-the-trainer workshops spend nearly 8 hours learning about pesticides and how to train agricultural workers to protect themselves from hazards associated with handling pesticides or working in areas where there might be pesticide residues.
To date, PEP has conducted a total of 175 train-the-trainer workshops, with 4,410 community members participating. Slightly more than one-third of the workshops have been conducted in Spanish. Participant feedback shows that the workshops information and training techniques will be extended to more than 813,000 agricultural workers in California.
Under California law, these workshops qualify participants to conduct pesticide safety-related training for people working in production agriculture, commercial greenhouses and nurseries, and forests. Using two comprehensive post-test surveys, PEP is now evaluating the degree of success achieved by train-the-trainer workshop participants as they conduct their own training.
PEP has an ongoing schedule of train-the-trainer workshops. Anyone interested in enrolling in one of these workshops can find a schedule on the UC IPM Web page.Pest Note series. UC IPM Pest Notes are a series of 2- to 4- page publications written primarily for home gardeners and professional landscapers. The series currently covers over 80 different pests, with new publications added to the series each year. This past year, many of the previously published Pest Notes, including the ever-popular ones on Ants, Fleas, and Spiders, were revised. This series is available on the UC IPM Web site and from UC Cooperative Extension Offices (UCCE) throughout the state.
Also available on the Web and at UCCE offices is the UC IPM Pest Management Guideline series, which is written for growers and PCAs and covers over 40 crops grown in California, including the most recent guideline for Floriculture and Ornamental Nursery pests. Frequent updates to the UC IPM Guidelines keep this publication on the cutting edge of new developments in pest management.
Although more people obtain the Pest Notes and the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines off the Web, printed copies distributed through county UCCE offices are extremely popular, too. A recent survey conducted by the IPM Education and Publications office showed that over 30,000 copies of individual Pest Notes and over 6,000 copies of individual IPM Guidelines were distributed to Californians in 1999-2000. Barbara Ohlendorf edits and coordinates the publication of both series.
The UC IPM Statewide IPM Project is actively engaged in two outreach projects related to reducing urban use of the insecticides diazinon and chlorpyrifos, which have been found in urban creeks at levels that endanger aquatic invertebrates. Two primary projects are a UC Davis CALFED-funded project focusing on the Modesto area and a cooperative effort with the Sacramento Stormwater Management Program. A review of the literature and user surveys from similar kinds of communities identified ants, fleas, spiders, lawn insects, and aphids as key targets for urban use of diazinon and chlorpyrifos. Attractive consumer handouts outlining alternative management practices for each pest were produced for each program. Over 7000 of the six Sacramento consumer cards were distributed by Sacramento UC Master Gardeners at over 20 community events and at the California State Fair. The Modesto brochure was released in fall 2000. A statewide version of the Sacramento consumer cards will be available to all UCCE offices for distribution in 2001.
UC IPM staff involved in these projects include Mary Louise Flint, Patricia Gouveia, and Jodi Azulai. Cooperators in Modesto include UCCE Horticultural Advisor Ed Perry, CALFED Manager Mike Oliver, and the Modesto City Industrial Waste Division, headed by John Rivera. In Sacramento, UC Master Gardener Coordinator Judy McClure and Horticulture Advisor Chuck Ingels have played key roles along with the Sacramento Stormwater Management Program staff. (View the Sacramento Water Wise Pest Control consumer cards at http://www.sacstormwater.org/).
Providing growers and pest management specialists with useful information on specific crops has been a primary goal of the UC Statewide IPM Project since its inception in 1979. Since that time, technical writers at IPM Education and Publication have worked with experts throughout the state to compile 14 crop-specific manuals covering California's 15 top horticultural crops. The 14th book, Integrated Pest Management for Floriculture and Nursery Crops, will be released in spring 2001. These books range from about 100 to 350 pages with 175 to over 300 color photographs of pests, natural enemies, and damage symptoms. The IPM manuals are key components of the pest management extension program of UC Cooperative Extension advisors in every crop. They also are a primary teaching resource for university students in pest management courses. Over 130,000 IPM books have been sold, far more than any other series UC ANR has published.
Yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus, is regarded as one of the most troublesome weeds in the world. A bane to home gardeners and commercial farmers alike, nutsedgeoften called nutgrassis virtually impossible to control without an integrated program involving several tactics. Early removal of small plants, changes in irrigation practices, mulches, crop rotation, shading, and herbicides are typically components of IPM programs for nutsedge. An understanding of the life cycle and growth requirements of the weed is essential for effective management. The UC Statewide IPM Project provides information on how to manage nutsedge in the crop Pest Management Guidelines on its Web site and for home gardeners and landscapers in the Nutsedge Pest Note. The UC IPM Web site also includes data for a phenological model of yellow nutsedge and an entry in the Weed Photo Gallery. Research funded by the UC IPM Project is currently underway by IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen to develop an IPM program for nutsedge management in field-grown cut flowers using combinations of mechanical, cultural and chemical techniques.