New demonstration grants program for UC IPM
With funding from ANR, UC IPM has established a new competitive grants program to fund demonstrations of IPM research in the field.
The purpose of the Extension IPM Demonstration Grants Program is to demonstrate IPM practices and promote the implementation of IPM in production agriculture, and residential and urban areas, and to protect natural areas such as wildlands and water bodies. The primary focus is to increase adoption of IPM practices.
Projects are expected to provide essential resources to Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists to strengthen the link between research and outreach. For 2007-08, the program funded seven projects. From improving adoption of IPM practices in nut crops to using silicon to reduce pesticide use in bedding plant operations, the research promotes IPM methods.
The following is a brief synopsis about researchers who are implementing silicon use in plants.
Building on studies that show adding silicon to plants can enhance their resistance to pests and increase their growth, UC scientists are testing the research at four California sites, and, in turn, hope to reduce pesticide use.
With funding from the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UCCE Floriculture and Nursery Farm advisors Julie Newman, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and James Bethke, San Diego County, along with UC IPM Advisor Cheryl Wilen will add a silicon nutritional amendment to fertilizer mix to increase bedding plant resistance to arthropod and disease pests in Davis, San Diego, Orange, and Ventura counties in the spring.
In previous studies, UC Davis Entomologist Michael Parrella found that when the concentration of silicon in a plant's leaves reaches 0.4 percent, leafminer populations can be reduced in chrysanthemums. Parrella will work with the county advisors to implement the silicon demonstrations and interpret the results.Bedding plant growers are a fast growing segment of horticulture in California and the United States. Revenue for nursery, greenhouse, and floriculture crops in California exceeded more than $3.8 billion in 2006.
The UC IPM Program administers a state-funded competitive research grants program, launched in 1979, to develop, promote, and implement IPM programs in California. For 2007-08, the program funded six new projects, but there are no funds for new projects in 2008-09, and no call for proposals will be issued.
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