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Annual Reports

2000Competitive Grants Programs

CONTENTS:
Michael Rust New Associate Director for Research
UC IPM Projects Address the IPM Continuum

UC IPM Research Furthers Project Mission
UC IPM Mission
Competitive Research Grants, 2000-2001

Summaries of UC IPM research report projects are online at UC IPM Web site.


Michael Rust New Associate Director for Research

Michael Rust, Professor of Entomology at UC Riverside and Director of the UC Center for Invasive Species Research, has recently been appointed the UC IPM Project’s Associate Director for Research. Dr. Rust is an urban-industrial entomologist who has achieved national recognition for his work; this year he was the recipient of the National Conference on Urban Entomology’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Urban Entomology. Dr. Rust succeeds John Menge, Plant Pathology, UC Riverside, who has been Associate Director since 1997.

The Associate Director works with the UC IPM Project Director to oversee the annual process of requesting and reviewing proposals submitted by UC researchers, tracking the progress of funded projects, and identifying individuals to serve on the UC IPM Workgroups, which review submitted research proposals.

UC IPM Projects Address the IPM Continuum

Over its 20 years of service, the UC IPM Project has been sponsoring research to help growers and pest managers in California move along the IPM Continuum. Its research workgroups address the continuum from "decision support" for improved scouting and monitoring, through "biorational uses of chemicals and biotic agents" which provide reduced-risk options to conventional pesticides, to "cultural controls" and "biological controls" intended to identify sustainable, ecologically-based pest control options. In fact, the majority of projects funded by UC IPM in the past 10 years have targeted development of cultural and biological control tactics. Proposals supported by the "applied field ecology" IPM workgroup provide the more basic science that identifies how pests interact with their hosts in the environment. Thirty research projects were funded for the 2000-01 year in commodities ranging from alfalfa to walnuts. Four examples of current research projects are pictured here. Check out our Web site to get summaries of all research projects funded by UC IPM since 1995. A list of all projects funded or finished in 2000-2001 can be found in the section on funded projects.

Photo of giant whitefly Photo of root knot Photo of fire blight in pears
The giant whitefly, Aleurodicus dugesii, is a newly established pest of many ornamental plants in southern California. Parasites of this pest imported by UC Riverside Entomologist T. S. Bellows are being distributed in five southern California counties in cooperation with local UC Cooperative Extension personnel in hopes that they will establish and control this pest. A combination of host plant resistance, rotation, and planting date choices are being investigated as nonchemical alternatives for the control of root knot nematodes in fresh carrot production by UC Riverside Nematologist Phil Roberts. Root knot nematodes severely distort carrots, making them unmarketable.
The effectiveness of fire blight control in pears by the biological control agent Pseudomonas fluorescens strain A506 (Blightban A506) was shown in research by UC Berkeley Plant Pathologist Steve Lindow to increase threefold when a surfactant was added to applications.

UC IPM Research Furthers Project Mission

Since its inception in 1979, the UC IPM Project has developed, supported, and funded a competitive grants program whose goals coincide with the Project's mission (see box below). To assess the scope and accomplishments of the IPM Project grants program, UC Davis Agriculture and Resources Economists Karen Klonsky and Ben Shouse recently conducted a survey of the Project's research activities during the last 10 years that assessed the scope and accomplishments of its grants program.

In the survey, principal investigators were asked to identify anticipated impacts of their completed research projects. Almost three-quarters of the projects were expected to reduce pesticide use, and another two-thirds of the projects were expected to improve pest control (Table 1). Over one-third of the projects were expected to lower the cost of pest control, increase the social acceptability of pest control systems, increase the use of natural controls, or provide pest management methods for organic production.

The survey also revealed the extent of the principal investigators' interactions with growers, commodity groups, governmental agencies, pest control advisers, and various units within the university. Table 2 details the kind of assistance given to the principal investigator by each of these groups. Notable among these were UCCE farm advisors, who were frequent participants in every stage of the research process, managing field trials and collecting data. Individual growers were instrumental in providing field trial space for more than half of the IPM projects and assisted in managing about half of those field trials. Of other individuals and organizations outside of UC, representatives of commodity groups were more likely than individual growers, public agencies, or state licensed pest control advisers to be involved in research proposal development.

Results of the Klonsky-Shouse survey show that the UC IPM Competitive Grants Program has met its goals of directing research towards more effective and environmentally sound pest management and marshaling multiple agencies and disciplines towards IPM programs. A full report of the survey can be found on the IPM Web site.

TABLE 1. Anticipated Impacts of UC IPM Research Projects Identified by Principal Investigators

Anticipated impact

% projects

reduced pesticide use

73

improved pest control

67

lower cost of pest control

46

increased social acceptability of pest control systems

46

increased use of natural pest control

39

pest management methods for organic production

39

improved pest outbreak prediction

27

addresses FQPA concerns

26

improved pesticide resistance management

19

alternative to methyl bromide

16

addresses water quality concerns

16

reduced pesticide drift

14

management of recently introduced pests

14

reduced risk to farmworker

7
TABLE 2. Assistance Provided by Individuals and Institutions at Various Stages of the Research Process (Percent of All Projects)


Person(s) assisting

Develop proposal
Provide field trial space
Manage field trial
Collect data
Interpret results
commodity group rep. 21% 4% 5% 2% 3%

grower

10
55
26
7
5

pest control adviser

12
8
9
5
3

public agency rep.

8
4
4
4
4

UC Senate faculty

28
5
6
10
22

UCCE farm advisor

39
19
29
26
22

UCCE IPM advisor or UC IPM staff

13
4
7
8
10

UCCE specialist

22
2
6
11
15

UC IPM Mission

Since its inception, the mission of the IPM Project has remained the same:

  • to reduce the pesticide load in the environment;
  • to increase the predictability and thereby the effectiveness of pest control techniques;
  • to develop pest control programs that are economically, environmentally and socially acceptable;
  • to marshal agencies and disciplines into integrated pest management programs;
  • to increase utilization of natural pest controls.

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