1997UC IPM Advisors
Because they bridge the gap from research to implementation, the activities of the IPM advisors over the last year provide dozens of examples of projects meeting the UC DANR criteria for successful programs as outlined in Vice President Gomes' 1997 strategic plan:
Pete Goodell, Kearney Agricultural Center, Extension
As the prime UC IPM Project resource to cotton farm advisors and pest control advisers (PCAs), Pete has had to respond to numerous pest crises within the cotton industry over the years. In 1996 an area on the west side of Fresno County was affected by large and sustained migrations of lygus bug. The most likely source of these pests was understory weeds in neighboring almond orchards. The migration resulted in multiple insecticide applications for lygus in cotton, which caused secondary outbreaks of aphids and worms. A meeting was called by PCAs and cotton and almond growers to discuss approaches in managing almond cover crops and limiting the migration from these weeds to cotton.
This regional approach involving the entire community resulted in more timely mowing to remove lygus breeding sources in the orchards and in the surrounding area. The effort succeeded in reducing lygus migrations and allowing cotton growers to set fruit during critical periods. Additional meetings are planned to evaluate long-term guidelines for orchard middle management that meet the needs of almond growers but do not exasperate the pest problems of their cotton neighbors. Pete provided resources for monitoring the pest across a wide area, coordinated information among the growers and PCAs, and helped guide the initial discussion among the cotton and almond growers. Local Farm Advisors Dan Munk, Rich Coveillo, Kurt Hembree, and Mark Freeman are all involved as is Tim Prather, IPM weed ecologist. Following up on this need to provide long-term sustainable management practices for reducing lygus problems in cotton, Pete has established a research project to evaluate the use of cowpea trap crops on the borders of cotton fields.
Pete coordinates the cotton pest management component of the West Side On-Farm Demonstration Project, a project of the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems program, which seeks to integrate biological, cultural, and pesticide management practices in the row crop systems of the west side of Fresno County. The management team includes local farm advisors, campus specialists, and local farmers. The approach is to augment existing PCA efforts through the collection and quantification of natural enemy and pest densities. Intensive plant monitoring is conducted to support pest control decisions. Growers are asked to manage a portion of their field in accordance with the current thresholds. This on-farm program accommodates individual levels of risk and economies while providing opportunities for growers and PCAs to push their IPM approaches. In addition to the weekly data collection and summary (Outstanding in Your Fields newsletter) provided to participating farmers and PCAs, farmers are looking at catch crops, natural enemy attractants, and predatory mite releases. There are 14 farms participating, each providing at least one site and representing 150 square miles of crop production.
Pete was involved in numerous other research and Extension projects in the 1996-97 year including the following:
Peter B. Goodell, Extension Coordinator
Another project, "Implementation of Reduced Insecticide Use for Cling Peach Growers," is in the second year of application. This program was initiated in 1995 by IPM Advisor Carolyn Pickel and carried on in 1997 by Farm Advisor Janine Hasey in the Sacramento Valley. In 1996 and 1997 the program was brought to the San Joaquin Valley. Farm advisors in Kings, Stanislaus, Merced, Sutter/Yuba, and Butte counties have served as local project leaders to implement the use of nondisruptive techniques to manage peach twig borer (PTB) and oriental fruit moth (OFM) in cling peaches. The primary technique for managing the two key pests has been the use of mating disruption. However, because of the costs associated with the PTB disruption some growers have been using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) sprays during spring and summer as a substitute for the dormant spray and the PTB disruption. Cooperating organizations include farm advisors in each of the counties, the Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, cling peach farmers, local PCAs, the Cling Peach Advisory Board, as well as from the manufacturers of the Bt insecticides and PTB mating disruption products, who have provided material to cooperating growers. Local growers use the nondisruptive techniques to manage pests and weekly monitoring is done by the local farm advisors and PCAs. Research updates and field meetings are being held in each of the cooperating counties. Local farm advisors coordinate these meetings where not only researchers but also PCAs and growers have input. At the end of the season the results of the project are summarized and presented to industry-wide meetings and in trade journals.
Other major projects that Walt has been involved in over the last year include:
Walter Bentley, South Central Region
Phil has played a major role in furnishing information for a Ventura County Farm Bureau issue of the Broadcaster Magazine, which was devoted to IPM. This magazine is generally circulated through the public sector as well as to the agricultural community.
Phil is involved in a variety of other research and validation projects on fruits and vegetables such as:
The statewide demonstration project started as a UC IPM-funded research project in 1993. Research was conducted for 2 years at California State University, Hayward. In 1995 the research was moved to orchards in the Sacramento Valley with Farm Advisors Bill Olson, Rick Buchner, Janine Hasey, and Wilbur Reil. Although the traps tested were not selective enough for use in the field, a technique was developed from the research that growers and PCAs could use to better time WHF sprays. Flies are sexed on the WHF traps and females squeezed to determine egg development. Once females have eggs, growers need to spray in 7 to 10 days. Other useful information came from Sue Opp's research on best traps to use and placement in tree canopy. All of this information is outlined on the video. The video is for sale for $20.00 through UC DANR Communication Services.
To further implement this program, 16 field demonstrations have been coordinated with area IPM advisors and farm advisors throughout the state. Field meetings have been held to demonstrate the sexing and squeezing for farm advisors, PCAs, and growers; this group has been very receptive to the use of this new technique. This program is likely to significantly reduce sprays directed at WHF. Growers report making up to six applications for this pest--sometimes with very little control achieved. Growers in the demonstration project were able to successfully control the pest with one or two sprays.
Carolyn has been involved in numerous other IPM projects over the last year including:
Carolyn Pickel, Sacramento Valley
Over the last year, Tim has devoted a substantial amount of his time to management of weeds in citrus and grapes, working towards the development of application techniques and production practices that will prevent off-site movement of the herbicide simazine.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) must respond to a federal EPA requirement to provide management options that reduce or prevent off-site movement of simazine. Tim's research supports the state effort to respond to the federal EPA requirement. He is working with Farm Advisors Neil O'Connell, Michael Costello, Mark Freeman, Kurt Hembree, and Post Graduate Researcher Fuhan Liu on this research and Extension project. This Cooperative Extension team works closely with Frank Spurlock and Cindy Garettson of CDPR to design and collect the needed data to meet the federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements. Most of the experimental treatments were selected through discussion with grower-PCA advisory teams to ensure that any changes to grape or citrus production are implementable. Research results are presented to a wide audience through Extension newsletters and in-field meetings. This project has expanded to include an additional large-scale experiment in cooperation with the Kings River Conservation District to test the ability of cover crop plantings to reduce runoff and erosion in hilly terrain.
Tim began working in the Sierra foothills last year on a demonstration/research project for management of yellow starthistle. Landowners alerted county supervisors in Mariposa County of the need for solutions to their yellow starthistle problems. Wain Johnson, UCCE county director in Mariposa County, was contacted for help. The result of Wain's efforts led to a joint project between Franz Rulofson, UCCE Tuolumne County and Tim, and was funded through Smith-Lever grants. The project was designed to demonstrate the existing techniques for managing yellow starthistle and to investigate the feasibility of establishing perennial grasses that compete with yellow starthistle. The summer field day was a great success with participation from ranchers, county agriculture commissioners, county supervisors, county roadway maintenance crews, US Forest Service personnel, and US Park Service staff.
Tim is working on a cultivation equipment evaluation experiment through the Biologically Integrated Farming System Program (BIFS). This farmer-researcher cooperative project involved farmers, PCAs, UCCE and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. In addition to cultivation, Tim is working on flaming weeds in-row in cotton. Tim is working with Sean Swezey, UC Santa Cruz, and farmers in the Chowchilla area to evaluate just how flame cultivation fits into low input and organic production.
Weed phenology continues to be a research focus for Tim as well as for Jodie Holt, UC Riverside and Scott Steinmaus, postdoctoral researcher at UC Riverside. Models that predict weed phenological development have been developed for a number of weed species. These models are now being tested and validated in a variety of cropping systems.
Tim Prather, South Central Region
Jim recently returned from a 9-month sabbatical leave, during which time he worked on citrus diseases as a Fulbright Research/Lecturing Scholar in Peru, and studied alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation at the Volcani Center in Israel.
With the impending loss of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant, soil solarization is gaining momentum as an alternative soil disinfestation method for use with shallow-rooted crops and containerized nursery production in the hot, interior valleys of California. Jim is providing treatment guidelines to growers who wish to test and use solarization, and he continues to work on integrating solarization with organic soil amendments that give off toxic volatile compounds to provide a more effective form of "biofumigation," and with various chemical treatments. Jim has many UC collaborators on the project, including Extension farm advisors and specialists, and Agriculture Experiment Station researchers. Another of Jim's continuing projects involves development and implementation of reflective mulches for control of plant viruses and their aphid vectors in vegetable crops. The complex of virus diseases has caused major economic losses in several susceptible crops in the San Joaquin Valley during recent years. Working in collaboration with other UC agriculturists, Jim's laboratory has been testing the effects of wavelength-selective mulches on health and production of a variety of vegetable crops, small fruits, and cut flowers. Also, the mulch techniques are being integrated with soil solarization to maximize the biological and economic benefits to users. A recent hands-on workshop was held at Kearney Agricultural Center to disseminate up-to-the-minute information on drip irrigation/reflective mulch production systems to UC farm advisors and industry personnel. The workshop was sponsored by a UC Smith-Lever IPM Implementation grant.
Jim also continues to devote a considerable portion of his research and Extension time and effort, in collaboration with UC Extension viticulture farm advisors, to integrated management of diseases of wine and table grapes, with a current emphasis on bunch rots.
James Stapleton, South Central Region
Management of codling moth in California pear orchards has been threatened by the recent development of low levels of resistance to azinphosmethyl, the most commonly used organophosphate in pears. Failure to achieve commercially acceptable levels of control using common rates and numbers of applications has resulted in increased azinphosmethyl rates per application and increased numbers of sprays to control codling moth. This has led to increased risk to farmworkers and increased mortality to natural enemies, leading in turn to secondary pest outbreaks and increasing dependency on pesticides.
The codling moth areawide management project in Mendocino County is part of a larger implementation team effort involving the UC Statewide IPM Project, University campus-based faculty, the Agricultural Experimental Station, Cooperative Extension, the pear industry, pear growers, and pest control advisers. Grower participation, a key factor for success, was a major criterion in the selection of the site by the funding agencies which include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. This on-going 5-year program began with the Randall Island Project in the Sacramento Delta and the efforts have expanded to include 7% of the pear acreage in California under the project. The overall use of organophosphate insecticides has been reduced by 75% in orchards following this program. The states of Washington and Oregon are also involved in this program.
In Mendocino County, the areawide project involves 550 contiguous acres of pears. The goals of the Mendocino implementation project are (1) to develop educational programs addressing specific problems and benefits of mating disruption;
(2) to foster a grower-run coalition focusing on "soft" alternatives in agriculture; (3) to provide technical support to growers during the years of transition to pheromone-based control programs; (4) to demonstrate the larger benefits of restructuring pest management of codling moth for reducing pesticides for secondary pests; and (5) to develop a more sustainable and stable pest management program. In 1996, the first year of the project, use of organophosphates for codling moth control was reduced by 66%. We expect a reduction of organophosphate of 75 to 80% in 1997.
Rhonda Smith, Sonoma County viticulture advisor, and Lucia are involved as principal investigators on a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to develop and deliver an IPM educational program for Sonoma Valley wine grape growers. Monthly outdoor workshops covering the insect pest or diseases present at that time of the year are being offered. The workshops take place in a grower's vineyard and are designed to be hands-on demonstrations using the vineyard as a classroom.
Other projects in which Lucia was involved over the 1996-97 year were:
Lucia Varela, North Coast
Ursula Schuch (formery UC Riverside, now at Iowa State University), Clyde Elmore (UC Davis), and Cheryl have been conducting a research project to evaluate the effect of mulches, method of irrigation, and herbicides on weed control in containerized plants. Weeds in containerized plants not only reduce plant growth, but increase production costs due to the high amount of hand labor involved in hand-pulling weeds. Other costs are associated with nontarget losses of herbicides from leaching or misapplication. Results from this study will provide growers with information about how to improve their weed control efforts.
As a member of the team of scientists investigating the newly reported disease oleander leaf scorch, Cheryl is participating in research examining the extent and control of this disease. The bacterium (Xylella fastidiosa), the same organism that causes Pierce's disease of grapes and almond leaf scorch, was recently identified as the causal agent of oleander leaf scorch. Oleanders affected by this disease decline and then die, usually within 1 year of the first symptoms. Oleanders are an important plant in California because they are drought tolerant and have few disease or insect problems; therefore the loss of this plant could be devastating not only to the landscaping industry but also to nurseries which supply oleanders. In order to make growers, PCAs, landscapers, farm advisors, and campus-based personnel aware of the problem as well as keep them informed of progress being made in controlling the disease, the project team developed methods for immediate outreach to affected groups. Cheryl coordinated and participated in the production of a summary brochure for landscapers and others who needed to know about the problem. She also maintains an informal electronic newsletter to update interested parties about advancements in the research of this disease.
Cheryl coordinated a cooperative project with Mike Henry, Jose Aguilar (UCCE Riverside County), John Kabashima (UCCE Orange County), Ramiro Lobo (UCCE San Diego County), Janet Hartin (UCCE San Bernardino County), Don Hodel (UCCE Los Angeles County), and Steve Tjosvold (UCCE Santa Cruz County) resulting in several successful pesticide training meetings in Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange counties. Each meeting was focused on the particular needs of the clientele as identified by the local farm advisor. For example, a hands-on calibration workshop for golf course and landscape workers was held in Riverside County and pesticide applicator training was held in Spanish for nursery and greenhouse workers in Orange County.
Other IPM programs Cheryl has been involved in include:
Cheryl Wilen, South Coast