UC IPM trains NRCS staff
To help growers meet new pest management standards, California Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff are learning about IPM principles and resources.
The training is part of a larger agreement between UC IPM and NRCS to design, implement, and evaluate IPM practices that support NRCS conservation goals.
NRCS maintains local offices in all agricultural counties with staff who work with growers to develop conservation plans and implement new technologies that protect the environment. Most of these staff have expertise in soil conservation and irrigation management or agronomy, but they have minimal training in pest management.
More than 120 NRCS staff attended UC IPM workshops during the last three years in Davis, Riverside, and Fresno. The fifth workshop was held in May 2007.
Workshops include an overview of IPM, as well as hands-on activities in a computer lab that allow participants to create their own IPM plan using tools specially created for this purpose on the UC IPM Web site. This exercise includes using the year-round IPM programs and the step-by-step procedures for IPM plan development in the context of preparing a conservation plan.
Training focused on implementing the new NRCS IPM incentive that provides $125/acre to eligible growers who implement an IPM program using one of UC IPM’s year-round IPM programs.
"Not only have the programs provided training to NRCS, but they have also provided an impetus for greater cooperation between Cooperative Extension and NRCS," says UC Cooperative Extension specialist Mary Louise Flint.Flint, UC IPM advisors, and Associate Director Joyce Strand created, planned, and delivered the comprehensive short course on IPM.
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