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Project description

Use of CalEPA's Pesticide Use Reports to Quantify the Impact of Selected IPM Programs on Pesticide Use. (98DS019)
Program UC IPM competitive research grants program
Principal
investigator
L. Epstein, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
Host/habitat Unspecified
Pest None
Discipline Social Sciences
Review
panel
Decision Support
Start year (duration)  1998 (Two Years)
Objectives Finish the development of software that converts individual application records in the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Pesticide Use Reports into an output (a Profile of Pesticide Users) that graphically and quantitatively describes growers’ pesticide applications programs.

Use our Profile of Pesticide Users to compare the reported pesticide use with the recommended use by the model. In selected cases in which there are new environmentally-driven models for pesticide applications.

Document selected cases in which incorporation of an IPM program between 1992 and 1996 has possibly resulted in reduced pesticide use in California using our Profile of Pesticide Users.

First-year
progress
The California Pesticide Use Reports (PUR) can provide data on the current and potential impact of alternative IPM programs that have a goal of reduction of pesticide use. For this project, we electronically converted individual applicator records from the PUR into tables and graphical output that describes vineyards' fungicide use between 1992 and 1995. Overall, the data indicate that use of fungicides to control bunch rot remained fairly constant between 1992 and 1995. Thus, if the introduction of leaf pull resulted in the reduction of fungicides used to control bunch rot, that reduction occurred before the PUR data became available. Data from the PUR also indicate that the percentage of growers who used inorganic copper on grapes, which is used to control several diseases including bunch rot, increased between 1992 and 1995; although growers may view copper as a safe material which is even acceptable in "organic" agriculture, copper is a water pollutant. The number of applications of sulfur per acre, used to control powdery mildew, also increased between 1992 and 1995. Nonetheless, the majority of growers in 1995 used fewer applications of fungicides to control either powdery mildew or bunch rot than would be expected if they followed a "calendar spray" schedule. Finally, the PUR data indicate that larger growers tend to report more applications of fungicides used to control either bunch rot or powdery mildew than smaller growers do. That is, the median acre is treated with a larger number of fungicide applications than is used by the median grower.

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