Department of Pesticide Regulation
Release No. 97-32
Veda Federighi, (916) 445-3974
Date: November 12, 1997
AWARDS GO TO INNOVATIVE PEST FIGHTERS
SACRAMENTO -- Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation today honored a diverse group for their innovative work on the front lines of the war against pests.
DPR's "IPM Innovator" awards went to groups that have created environmentally friendly strategies to manage pests in orchards and groves, vineyards, parks and urban neighborhoods, and in sensitive areas where nature, agriculture and urban dwellers must coexist.
IPM -- integrated pest management -- is an approach that uses biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in various combinations that minimize effects on the environment while maximizing control of pests. "IPM Innovators" lead the way in adopting techniques that increase benefits and reduce risks, and in promoting these techniques by sharing their knowledge with others.
At ceremonies held in Sacramento, DPR Director James W. Wells presented the honorees with IPM Innovator award plaques, hats, and lapel pins featuring the IPM Innovator logo -- a ladybug, one of the best-known beneficial insects in pest management. Also attending the ceremonies were Secretary for Environmental Protection Peter M. Rooney and A.J. Yates, Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
"There is an ongoing evolution toward more environmentally benign tools, advanced on by people like the Innovators were are honoring today," said Secretary Rooney. "They have taken risks and proven that the job can be done, while at the same time fostering a healthy economy on the farm and a friendly environment in our neighborhoods and schools. We will continue working with them, and with all Californians, to encourage IPM solutions that are effective, environmentally friendly, and economical."
Said Director Wells: "The best way to share successful techniques is to demonstrate them in the real world. But those who develop innovative methods often lack the time, knowledge, and resources to share what they know with others. We want to recognize these "IPM Innovators" not only for their individual success stories, but to help them get the word out. In this way, we can work together to encourage others to work on innovative solutions to their pest management problems."
CDFA Undersecretary Yates also commended the Innovators. "These IPM awards underscore the fact that California growers are the most progressive in the nation," he said. "It's another indication of agriculture's commitment to our environment."
The Innovator award recipients are:
Almond Board of California, Modesto, represents more than 6,000 almond growers and 95 brokers. Since beginning its research program in 1972, the Almond Board has strongly supported IPM. The board committed more than $190,000 to ten projects just this year. IPM activities include the "Four Point Program" for navel orangeworm control. It involves dormant spray, orchard sanitation, timely harvest, and biological monitoring based on weather conditions to time in-season sprays. Other grower practices include insect trapping and use of Bt bloom sprays for peach twig borer control. Contact: Heidi Savage, (209) 549-8262 ext. 14.
Avocado Pest Management Task Force, of Lake Elsinore, was created by the California Avocado Commission and Calavo Growers of California in 1992 to explore IPM options for controlling Persea mite in avocados. Activities have since expanded to promote IPM for a new thrips pest which is spreading through avocado groves. The group focuses on biological control by identifying avocado pest predators, refining predator release techniques, evaluating predator effectiveness, and conducting pesticide efficacy trials. Contact: Steve Peirce, (909) 674-5046.
Beckstoffer Vineyards, St. Helena, is among the largest vineyard owners in Northern California with approximately 2,000 acres in Napa Valley and Mendocino County. Beckstoffer Vineyard activities are highly visible in the Napa Valley and Mendocino County. Information is shared through seminars, news articles in publications, and membership in the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. The vineyard has also been in the forefront on community-based projects with the Napa County Resource Conservation District. Contact: Andrew Beckstoffer, (707) 963-9471.
Bio-Integral Resource Center, Berkeley, is a non-profit organization that conducts applied research and education programs in *least-toxic* integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture. The center focuses on education and outreach to promote biologically-intensive IPM. A monthly and quarterly bulletin is mailed worldwide. The center also produced "Common-Sense Pest Control," a standard reference for reduced-risk solutions to pest management in home, garden and pet care. Contact: Helga and Bill Olkowski, (916) 795-2322.
California Table Grape Commission, Fresno, dedicates significant resources to developing IPM and reduced-risk strategies for pesticide applications. Examples include biological control studies of leafhoppers, mealybugs, and omnivorous leafrollers; studies of cover crops as field insectaries, and research on alternatives to methyl bromide. Its annual field days, where new pest
management techniques are demonstrated, draw grape growers from throughout the state. The commission also created an IPM research reference site on its outstanding Web page. Contact: Ross A. Jones, (209)*447-8350.
Central Coast Wine Grape Grower Natural Vineyard Team encourages reduced-risk pest management practices in the Central Coast wine grape region. In a short time, the team has demonstrated creativity in developing a "positive points system," one of the most comprehensive and fully integrated rating systems to evaluate IPM success in vineyards. Contact: Craig Rous, (209) 369-5861.
Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS) in Winters, originated in 1993 to introduce high school students and teachers to the principles of sustainable agriculture and IPM practices. FARMS is a unique partnership among Sierra Orchards, UC Davis, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, and Yolo County growers. Students select one subject area of sustainable agriculture, develop a research project, and make a presentation at a year-end meeting. The program includes field trips, lectures, demonstrations, farm and university tours, and overnight farm stays. Contact: Craig McNamara, (916) 795-3824.
Friant Water Users Authority, Lindsay, represents 25 water and irrigation districts with more than 12,000 growers. Friant organized a team to develop strategies to reduce pesticide use along ditches, in canals, and on farmlands, while minimizing erosion and reducing maintenance costs. Friant replaced traditional approaches to canal bank maintenance with an ecosystem of native perennial grasses to create a diverse, stable, and sustainable environment. Contact: Richard M. Moss, (209) 562-6305.
Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District, Riverside, manages and assists landowners with soil, water, wildlife, and related resources on both public and private lands in the Riverside-Corona area. Since it was formed in 1955, the district's 200,000 acres have changed from mostly rural and agricultural land to an area equally divided between urban and agricultural or open lands. The district has an IPM and resource management program used throughout western Riverside and Orange counties. Contact: Kerwin Russell, (909) 683-7691.
University of California Cooperative Extension in Merced County is an acknowledge leader in reduced-risk pest management research and actively promotes IPM practices for almonds apples, grapes, peaches, prunes, and walnuts. Merced County projects include pest mating disruption studies and specifically one of the first commercial mating disruption trials in California cling peaches. Other innovative work involves identification of specific pest thresholds, feasibility studies for organic production, and evaluation of new biological control agents. Contact: Maxwell Norton, (209) 385-7403.