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Annual Reports

2003Letter from the Director

Despite Budget Crisis, UC IPM Moves Ahead in Health and Environmental Protection

Rick Roush, Director of the UC Statewide IPM Program
2003 Annual Report
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This has been a year of extraordinary challenges for the state, the University of California, and the Statewide IPM Program. The budget cut to the University was especially deep to Cooperative Extension, where the state legislature assigned a 25% loss. The University’s Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) also took a 10% hit. To make its reductions without laying off farm advisors and extension specialists, the Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) has had to make deep cuts to the Statewide Special Programs, including IPM.

The UC IPM Program has been given a 20% permanent cut ($400,000 per year), eliminating our ability to fund new IPM grants, in addition to losing $97,000 of carryover funds that we had hoped to use for new initiatives with my arrival in Davis.

The depth of the budget cuts to ANR has intensified concerns that the legislature and the public doubt the continuing relevance of UC’s AES and Cooperative Extension programs for California. I am convinced that ANR generally and UC IPM in particular will be especially important in resolving many of the state’s major human health and environmental concerns, and that we need to do more to educate the public about our role. Air and water pollution remain major concerns. UC IPM has been working intensively on water quality issues, as illustrated in this report.

The UC IPM Program continues to help growers reduce pesticide use, especially dormant (winter) sprays in orchards that are a concern for surface water contamination. Urban pest management is coming under a more intense public spotlight and is an increasing focus of our Program. The state is federally obligated to reduce by 20 to 30% the sprays that contribute to volatile compounds in air pollution, and new IPM practices will certainly be needed to achieve reductions of this scale. Growers are interested in reduced tillage practices that save money and reduce dust, and IPM practices will need to be adapted to facilitate these changes in cropping practices.

The IPM Program has also undertaken initiatives to help address the threat of West Nile virus.

As part of our continuing outreach, we have increased our library of written materials and the UC IPM Web site has been redesigned for easier use. Over the next year, as part of a new initiative with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the USDA, we will be creating Web-based tools to help California growers meet NRCS’s new Pest Management Standard.

On a personal note, I want to thank both UC staff and our friends outside the University for making me feel especially welcome back into the University (after 23 years in the eastern US and Australia) and into my role in the UC IPM Program. Traveling across the state, I have met Cooperative Extension staff with a wide range of interests. Along the way, I gained an overwhelming impression that UC staff are among the most expert in the world.

UC ANR staff are also intensely dedicated to serving the needs of the people of California. UC IPM staff have been extremely cordial and supportive. I owe a particular debt of thanks to Professor Jim Lyons, who served as Interim Director before my arrival and, with patience and a wealth of knowledge and experience, provided an extended orientation and strategic advice.

Rick Roush, Director, UC IPM Program

UC IPM logoAbout the UC IPM Program

The University of California Statewide IPM Program was established in 1979 to develop and promote the use of integrated, ecologically sound pest management programs in California.

It sponsors activities throughout California

  • at University of California campuses in Berkeley, Davis, and Riverside
  • at UC's research and extension stations including Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier
  • through IPM advisors located in the Sacramento Valley, North Coast, San Joaquin Valley, South Central Coast, and South Coast
  • in the field throughout the state in cooperation with local UC Cooperative Extension county offices.

Mission of the UC IPM Program

Since its inception, the mission of the IPM Program has been to:

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

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