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Annual Reports

2004IPM in Action (Part 2 of 2)

Guatemalan officials seek IPM advisor's expertise

The Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture and its export affiliate Expront invited UC IPM Advisor Phil Phillips to help with pest and disease surveys in Guatemalan avocado plantations. His role was to oversee, critique, and advise on the protocol developed for the survey and to participate in field visits for on-site training of Profruta (the extension arm of the Ministry of Agriculture) technical advisors.

Phil demonstrated sampling techniques such as the use of Teddar traps, sticky traps, and beat-sheet sampling. He also demonstrated survey and detection strategies for four avocado stem, fruit, and seed borers that are on the USDA-APHIS quarantine list for avocados.

Phil met with producers, consultants, and Expront and Profruta officials to discuss field biology, management strategies, and survey and detection technology for pests. In addition, he made on-site preparations for testing “best guess” pheromone formulations developed by Dr. Jocelyn Millar, UC Riverside, for survey and detection of the avocado seed moth Stenoma catenifer.

At the end of his weeklong visit, Phil presented a seminar in Spanish on avocado integrated pest management to growers, consultants, and officials of various agencies involved in the surveys.

Landfills pose problems for integrated pest management

When a landfill is located close to agricultural land, integrated pest management is threatened. UC IPM Advisor Phil Phillips maintains an ongoing dialogue with Ventura County land use planners, the air pollution control district, and growers about this important issue.

“The dust from these sites poses potential long-term disruption of IPM programs, specifically biological controls, in adjacent crops,” says Phil.

Through his previous research on the impact of PM10-sized dust on key parasitoids in citrus integrated pest management, Phil is able to provide specific feedback on the negative effects of fine dust particles that move off site and into local citrus and avocado groves.

Integrated weed management plays role in changing environment

weeding in Yuba CountyAs the boundaries narrow between urban and rural areas, California growers face challenges to modify their farming practices to comply with new regulations governing air, water, and soil quality. Any changes in a farming practice, however, can have unintended consequences on integrated pest management programs.

Weed management in conservation tillage is one avenue the IPM Program is exploring to help reduce dust emissions to maintain air quality. IPM Weed Advisor Anil Shrestha is working closely with the UC ANR California Conservation Tillage Workgroup, USDA-NRCS, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, UC Davis specialists, and growers to reduce tillage in cropping systems. The groups are monitoring weed populations and developing appropriate weed management methods in small grain-bean rotations, no-tillage dairy corn, and reduced-tillage tomato cropping systems in the San Joaquin Valley.

Anil is conducting on-farm and on-station research to identify problems and prospects, giving extension talks, writing articles, and presenting results at meetings on weed management in conservation tillage systems.

Adoption of conservation tillage is relatively low in California compared to several other states in the U.S.,” says Anil. “This is partly because of differences in climate and soils. We can’t use recommendations on conservation tillage from other states because of the complexity of cropping systems in California. However, as in other states, many growers are hesitant to adopt conservation tillage practices because of concerns of weed species shifts and associated crop yield reductions.”

Another issue driven by environmental concerns is the phaseout of methyl bromide use from agriculture worldwide. Methyl bromide has successfully provided broad-spectrum control of many pests, including weeds.

The UC IPM Program has joined forces with representatives from several disciplines including pest management, engineering, soil science, horticulture, and agronomy, to search for efficient and cost-effective alternatives to methyl bromide. Anil is a team member of a USDA-funded project and collaborates in several studies with USDA-ARS scientists, UC Davis specialists, and walnut and almond growers in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. He has been evaluating the efficacy of several alternative fumigants on weed control.

UC IPM promotes IPM practices for cities in the South Coast

UC IPM advisor Cheryl Wilenin nursery Water is important to the growing southern California population. We drink it, boat, swim, and surf in it, and use it to keep our home and recreational areas looking good. However, we also use pesticides and fertilizers to maintain the quality of these landscaped areas, and these products are often moved off site in surface runoff.

As part of a project to train staff in local municipalities about the effects of pesticide and fertilizer overuse, Area IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen worked with UC Watershed Advisor Darren Haver and Environmental Horticulture Advisor John Kabashima in Orange County. This core group developed training modules on general benefits of IPM and how to transition into an IPM program. They also trained city personnel and contractors about pesticide safety and use, and accurate pest identification and benefits of biological control.

Advisors involved in this ongoing project are developing additional training modules to address other components needed to successfully implement an IPM program. To make the programs successful, the advisors worked with the County of Orange Stormwater Division, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and individual cities to form collaborative working groups to improve water quality by implementing effective IPM systems.

UC IPM co-sponsors Education Day for retail nursery personnel

Healthy California Landscapes Education DayFor the fourth year, the UC Statewide IPM Program co-sponsored a Healthy California Landscapes Education Day for retail nursery store employees, master gardeners, and others who advise consumers on horticulture and garden pest management questions.

More than 115 people attended the program on the UC Davis campus in August. The conference showcased tours of the nearby UC Davis Arboretum and the Department of Environmental Horticulture. Hands-on demonstrations by UC Cooperative Extension scientists featured methods for pruning young trees and a diagnostic session that included examples of damage from more than 80 different pest and environmental problems on landscape plants. Speakers presented talks on landscape designs and techniques that reduce irrigation runoff or improve water quality, tips for maintaining healthy lawns, and new plants for Mediterranean climates.

Presenters included Steve Dreistadt and Mary Louise Flint (UC IPM Program); Richard Evans, Linda Dodge, and Loren Oki (UC Davis Department of Environmental Horticulture); Pam Geisel, Ali Harivandi, Chuck Ingels, Bethallyn Black, and Mario Moratorio (UC Cooperative Extension horticultural advisors); Ellen Zagory, Emily Griswold, and Ryan Deering (UC Davis Arboretum). The program was cosponsored by the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and UC Cooperative Extension, along with UC IPM.

New IPM-based tools soon available for UCCE and school groups

IPM-based tool on ants, how to outsmart them

 
IPM-based tool on ants, how to prevent or reduce problems
Master gardener coordinators, horticultural advisors, and school employees will soon have new tools to use in their outreach, education, and training programs. UC IPM is creating a series of interactive presentations that will be used not only for educating school employees, but also the general public. In response to increasing interest in reducing pesticide use in urban environments, these presentations will help get the IPM message out to the public and provide science-based solutions for common pest problems.

Ant management and IPM for weeds are the first two presentations being developed. The 20-minute ants program contains more than 70 illustrations and photographs, plus five video clips. A script accompanies the PowerPoint presentation, but a narrated video version is also available. Identification tips, biology and food preferences, and environmentally sound management strategies are highlighted. The approach to ant management stresses relying on sanitation and exclusion in combination with baiting as needed, while avoiding insecticide sprays that can cause health or environmental problems. The program also describes how to use baits most effectively.

A presentation on integrated pest management for weeds is expected to be completed in Winter 2005.

A novel component of this outreach project is the crafting of interactive scenarios to stimulate discussion among the audience following the presentation. Presenters will be trained to use these tools to reinforce key points in the presentation. Handouts and posters created for each topic will complete the educational package.

Cheryl Reynolds, IPM Education and Publications, is producing the programs with input from numerous UC advisors, specialists, and master gardener coordinators, as well as school grounds maintenance managers. Funding is from USDA, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the UC Slosson Endowment.

Working with NRCS/USDA to incorporate IPM into conservation planning

IPM Education and Publications director Mary Lou Flint (center) at NRCS sessionThe Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a branch of the USDA that assists landowners with conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources by providing technical and financial assistance.

In the 2002 Farm Bill, NRCS was charged to promote adoption of new pest management practices and IPM programs that would reduce environmental problems associated with pest management. The new program includes establishment of an NRCS Pest Management Standard, incorporation of pest management goals into funded NRCS conservation plans, and training and certification of NRCS staff in pest management.

In 2003-2004, $47 million were available to California growers participating in the NRCS’s new Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to implement new pest management, nutrient management, and soil erosion or water/ irrigation management practices that would protect the environment.

The UC IPM Program is partnering with the California NRCS office to provide tools and training to assist NRCS staff, growers, Technical Service Providers and PCAs in identifying and implementing effective and environmentally sound pest management alternatives.

A major part of our contribution involves the enhancement of the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines (PMGs) database on the UC IPM Web site to provide quick and reliable information about problem pesticides and alternatives that will meet NRCS conservation requirements. These include:

  • Year-round IPM plans that identify the major activities growers need to be doing at each crop growing/development period to implement a comprehensive IPM program.
  • The UC IPM WaterTox database, which is linked to every PMG, giving a quick readout of water quality concerns for every pesticide listed.
  • Annual crop-specific checklists and monitoring forms that provide a readymade format for documentation for growers seeking to get their IPM programs considered for NRCS programs.

Year-round IPM programs are available on the UC IPM Web site for prunes, almonds and cotton. Plans for many other crops including plums, grapes, alfalfa, strawberries, avocado, peaches, and nectarines will be completed over the next year.

A second area of contribution is training. UC IPM sponsored two two-day training programs for more than 40 NRCS staff at UC Davis on Oct. 12 and 13 and at CSU Fresno on Oct. 27 and 28, 2004. The training gave participants a background in pest management and IPM and demonstrated how they can use the UC IPM Web-based tools as they work with growers to develop conservation plans.

Highlights included lectures by IPM advisors and academic staff, break-out groups with UCCE advisors to brainstorm IPM alternatives, and hands-on training with computers to test out the new online year-round IPM plan tools that have been created for this program. NRCS staff also gave presentations on the new Pest Management Standard, EQIP and NRCS’s WIN-PST database of pesticides and water quality issues.

This training will be repeated next year for additional NRCS staff and will be part of NRCS’s requirements for staff certification in the area of pest management in California.

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