Extension IPM Demonstration Grants Program
With funding from UC ANR, UC IPM established a new competitive grants program in 2007 to fund demonstrations of integrated pest management research in the field.
The purpose of the Extension IPM Demonstration Grants Program is to demonstrate IPM practices and promote implementation of IPM in production agriculture, residential and urban areas, and natural areas. The primary focus is to increase adoption of IPM practices.
Funding for projects is available to all UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists. Members of the Agricultural Experiment Station are encourage to partner with UCCE advisors or specialists for projects that demonstrate their research. See "grants programs" on the Web site for summaries of projects and information on future requests for proposals.
In its first year, the program sponsored nine projects. One is featured below. An RFP for the 2009 program will be released in January 2009.
In Calaveras County, home of the California Gold Rush, gardeners have hit pay dirt when it comes to finding out about environmentally friendly gardening and integrated pest management (IPM) practices.
Under the direction of Calaveras County's UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Director Ken Churches and Master Gardener Program Coordinator Karen Riley, Master Gardeners have developed a Demonstration Garden project featuring up-to-date information and hands-on workshops to increase the use and acceptance of IPM strategies.
To educate visitors about least-toxic solutions for pest problems, giant versions of the UC Statewide IPM Program’s Quick Tip cards have been installed throughout the garden. Quick Tips are handy reference cards about specific home, garden, and landscape pests or pest management topics distributed by UC Master Gardener programs throughout the state.
A weather station was also installed in the garden to help visitors understand how local weather affects pest problems. Calaveras County's topography varies from gently rolling hills in the foothills to the rugged, steep terrain of the high Sierra Nevada. With its diverse topography, temperatures can differ widely, and pest control strategies must change throughout the year. The weather station was an important addition for Calaveras because historical weather data had not been collected in all areas of the county. Better knowledge of local weather will improve implementation of IPM strategies.
"The installation of a weather station in the San Andreas area enables us to begin tracking local weather, and its placement in the Demonstration Garden gives us a good location for extending this data to the public, other Master Gardener programs, and to UC staff in nearby counties," said Riley.
The gardeners have developed tours, held seminars, and distributed UC IPM Quick Tips and other resources to the public throughout the past year. Visitors see IPM strategies in practice in garden beds, get answers to their problems and questions, and then take Quick Tip pest cards home to use for future reference.
The Calaveras County Agriculture Department presented on-site pest management training at the garden and also trained Master Gardeners on current county and state regulations, and best practices when using pesticides.
One of the main functions of the UCCE office is to answer pest control questions and provide local growers with information so they can proactively manage their crops. "As the Demonstration Garden has developed, interest in using it as an outdoor education center has increased, and visitors to the garden have multiplied," said Riley.
In February, UCCE County Director Ken Churches presented workshops on codling moth and powdery mildew. "Codling moth traps were placed in the Demonstration Garden orchard in March with great results," said Riley. "Orchard sanitation was also used as another nonchemical pest control method.".
Riley and UCCE assistant Gretchen Sullivan conducted online UC IPM resource training in April to familiarize Master Gardeners with the Web site (www.ipm.ucdavis.edu) and the interactive tools and resources that it offers. Monthly training sessions featured UC Quick Tip and Pest Note topics to prepare gardeners to answer questions from visitors to the garden. Also, Master Gardeners staffing the Cooperative Extension Helpdesk were trained to use the UC IPM Web site to research pest calls.
In addition, they demonstrated the use of the UC IPM kiosk at the Master Gardener meeting in May and used the kiosk at two local events. The IPM kiosk is a portable, touch-screen computer that gives quick and environmentally sound answers to common home and garden pest problems. Users can find information on more than 60 common home and garden pests, including how to identify and manage them, alternatives to pesticides and least-toxic pest control, as well as safe use and disposal of pesticides. The kiosks also include lawn and landscape tips related to proper watering, fertilizing, and avoiding problems associated with garden chemicals.
At the start of the year, Master Gardeners surveyed local gardeners to determine their knowledge of basic pest management practices. The survey also asked gardeners to quantify their use of UC IPM online and print materials. Master Gardeners will follow up with another survey at the end of the year to assess the increase in gardeners' knowledge and use of UC IPM resources.
The UC Statewide IPM Program’s Cooperative Extension IPM Demonstration Grants Program funded this project.
New residential IPM approaches to manage codling moth • Application of IPM practices to Trinity County's heritage and backyard orchards • Demonstration Garden promotes best IPM practices • Improved adoption of IPM by nut crop PCAs and growers in the lower San Joaquin Valley • Area-wide "puffer" demonstration in Tehama County • Demonstration of house fly IPM at commercial dairies • Demonstrating the use of silicon and other IPM practices to reduce pesticide applications in bedding plant operations • Management of corn leafhopper and corn stunt disease in corn • Demonstration of efficacy of postharvest ethephon in the suppression of overwintering codling moth in pears
The UC IPM Program administers a state-funded competitive research grants program to develop, promote, and implement IPM programs in California. No new projects were approved in 2008-09, although continuing funding was given to six projects begun in 2007-08. Because of the declining state budget situation, no request for proposals is expected to be issued in 2008-09 for 2009-10 funding.
Next article >> UC Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research Program