2001IPM in Action
in its 11th Year of Publication
Pest resistance and contamination of surface waters have stimulated researchers and growers to seek alternatives to traditional organophosphate and carbamate insecticides for management of San Jose scale in deciduous fruits and nuts. Horticultural mineral oils (HMOs) offer great promise as alternative management tools. Not only do oils overcome resistance problems and reduce threats to aquatic wildlife, they are much less harmful to parasitoids that can help keep scale populations low. The potential for integrating biological control and oils is especially high in orchards where mating disruption rather than broad-spectrum insecticides are used for other major insect pests such as oriental fruit moth.
Area IPM Advisor Walt Bentley, together with UC Davis entomologist Dick Rice, UC Riverside entomologist Beth Grafton-Cardwell, and Fresno County Farm Advisor Rich Coviello, have been studying the efficacy of HMOs on San Jose scale. Factors investigated include the efficacy of HMOs based on San Jose scale population abundance, the concentration of oil in water, the stage of San Jose scale present, and the timing of oil application. This three-year study involved four plum varieties.
The study demonstrated that HMOs can effectively manage San Jose scale. The best results occurred on varieties where fruit was harvested earlier (June rather than late July and August), where San Jose scale had not caused wood damage, and when a more dilute application than the standard was made. Low-volume electrostatic sprays also did not perform as well as the dilute applications. Laboratory studies show first instar San Jose scale, which were the predominant wintering stage during this research, are more susceptible to oils than mature females. When winters are mild and a greater abundance of mature females remain, HMO applications may not perform as well.
This research found a close relationship between the number of fruiting spurs infested and subsequent San Jose scale fruit infestation. Bentley and his co-workers hope that sampling spurs may provide a good way to determine whether or not a dormant spray is required for scale control.
The results of this work will continue to be demonstrated and evaluated as part of the Stone Fruit Pest Management Alliance being conducted in Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, and Sutter-Yuba counties.
In 2001, twenty Master Gardeners in Sacramento County received advanced training on Water Quality and IPM to prepare them to make Sacramento residents aware of water quality problems associated with urban use of organophosphate insecticides. After taking the course, Master Gardeners were ready to give presentations to community groups regarding these issues, answer phone inquiries, and staff information booths at retail nurseries, landscape and garden shows, and community events. The curriculum, information binder, slide sets, and posters developed for this program may become the basis for a statewide UC Master Gardener training program.
Funded as part of the Sacramento Stormwater Management Program's Water Wise Pest Control CALFED grant, the project involved several community agencies as well as UC IPM and UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County. Jodi Azulai, former UC IPM staff member, created educational materials with assistance from Mary Louise Flint from UC IPM and Judy McClure and Chuck Ingels from Sacramento County UC Cooperative Extension. Over the last year and a half, Sacramento Master Gardeners involved in this program have attended more than 50 community events, had one-to-one contacts with over 12,000 Sacramento residents, and distributed over 22,000 consumer information cards about how to manage pests without polluting waterways. The UC IPM Program made available 180,000 additional consumer pest information cards to UC Master Gardeners and UC Cooperative Extension county offices for distribution throughout the state.
Recently the Water Wise Pest Control Program was recognized with a Department of Pesticide Regulation IPM Innovator Award.
The olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) the most damaging pest of olives in the Mediterranean areas of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East is on the move in California. First observed in Los Angeles in 1998 in landscape olives, the olive fly spread down through southern California and up along the central coast and is now infesting olive trees in the San Joaquin Valley. The spread has been so wide and fast that state and federal regulatory officials have concluded that it is not possible to eradicate the olive fly in California. Once established in commercial groves, expensive control procedures may be required to prevent losses from fruit damage or decreased oil quality.
Area IPM Advisor Phil Phillips (pictured) has been working with UC Davis entomologist Richard Rice to learn more about the olive fruit fly's biology in California. A primary tool is CamP perforated yellow sticky panel/box traps, equipped with a pheromone and food bait packet. Olive flies can be distinguished from other similar flies caught in traps by their yellow or white scutellum and a distinct, single black spot at the tip of each wing.
Damage is caused by olive fly larvae, which are the only stage that feeds exclusively on olive fruit. Overwintered adult female flies lay eggs in mature, unharvested olive fruit in late winter or spring. After these infested fruit drop from the tree, larvae within them pupate, and new adults are produced. Female flies from this generation then attack mature olives or new crop olives as they develop in June through August. Depending on the area of California, three or more generations may be produced each year. In southern California, development appears to be nearly continuous as long as fruit are present on the tree or on the ground.
A better understanding of olive fly biology will allow development of an ecologically based IPM program for this serious invader.
Dr. Sonja Brodt has joined UC IPM to assess farm practices and decision-making strategies as they relate to IPM through surveys and other forms of evaluation. A major goal of Sonja's IPM efforts will be to collaborate with the Director, Extension IPM Coordinator Pete Goodell, and other investigators to determine use of various IPM practices. She also works with Pesticide Safety Training Coordinator Pat O'Connor-Marer and the NIOSH-sponsored UC Agricultural Health and Safety Center, consulting on evaluations of outreach and intervention projects. These projects focus on the health and safety of farmers, farm workers, and consumers in a four-state region.
With a B.A. in Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, a M.S. in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Hawaii, Sonja has a unique background in both the natural and social sciences. She recently worked with Karen Klonsky in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis. Sonja replaces Dr. Rose Krebill-Prather who has moved to Washington State University.
As part of an ongoing commitment to multi-organization collaboration and leveraging of resources, the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) has collaborated on major agricultural health and safety projects with University and non-University organizations during the past year.
In one collaboration, PSEP teamed up with the UC Agricultural Health and Safety Center at Davis to organize and host the Center's third biennial conference, entitled "Health and Safety in Western Agriculture: A Practical Approach." The conference explored real-world changes, problems, and solutions confronting agricultural populations and health and safety professionals in western agriculture as we move into the 21st century. Speakers discussed research in laboratory and field; tools such as epidemiological studies, surveys, and evaluations; improving the well-being of farm laborers; agricultural ergonomics; outreach to limited-resource farms; respiratory disease research; and preventing agricultural illnesses and injuries.
In early 2001, PSEP collaborated with California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to revise DPR's Laws and Regulations Study Guide, making it a handier study tool for people preparing for the "Laws, Regulations, and Basic Principles" examination. DPR is distributing the revised study guide, whose new features include updated coverage of pesticide laws and regulations; expanded, multiple-choice review question format at the end of each chapter; new review question answer sheet at the back of the guide; new photos and drawings to illustrate and elaborate on important information; and a helpful glossary defining all important terms.
The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) has convened a Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) workgroup to focus on agricultural health and safety issues in California. The diverse workgroup membership includes people from ANR, non-ANR units within the UC system, and regulatory and industry organizations involved in agricultural health and safety issues.
Workgroup goals include (1) overcoming language, cultural, and education barriers when extending health and safety information to California's diverse agricultural workforce; (2) interacting and collaborating with non-ANR agricultural health and safety programs in order to leverage ANR's efforts in this area; and (3) conducting agricultural health and safety in-service training to improve workgroup participants' skills and effectiveness in extending agricultural health and safety information to their clients.
Lygus, or the western tarnished plant bug, is a key pest on cotton, beans, and seed alfalfa and generally moves into susceptible crops from external sources throughout the San Joaquin Valley. When the population moves in quickly, broad-spectrum insecticides are often required. If we had a better understanding of when, why, and how the population moves from one source to another, IPM entomologist and Area IPM Advisor Pete Goodell believes less intrusive, ecologically based management methods might be possible. He is approaching these questions from several angles.
Tracking spring hosts with satellite imagery. Overwintering populations of lygus build up on rangeland vegetation in spring, moving into cotton at critical periods in May and June. Using vegetation indices developed from Landsat 7 imagery, Pete hopes to track host availability in noncrop areas in April and May. This information will help identify sampling sites as well as provide estimates of how much spring host material is available, a possible predictor of future lygus problems. This research is funded with a USDA-CSREES Western Regional IPM Grant.
Using GIS to track lygus populations in season. Pete is working with a group of Buttonwillow (Kern County) farmers and consultants to map lygus populations in cotton during the growing season. Using GIS (geographical information systems) methods and PCA sampling data, the group can create maps that illustrate the density of lygus in cotton throughout the region while also displaying the crop mosaic surrounding the cotton crop. This cooperative study, supported by the UC IPM Program, will provide valuable information about cropping patterns, lygus populations, and lygus movement.
Monitoring lygus movement from alfalfa with protein-marking techniques. Alfalfa hay is favored by lygus and can be a major sink to keep lygus out of other crops like cotton where it does more damage. Pete is working with UC Davis entomologist Charles Summers and Fresno County Farm Advisor Shannon Mueller on a project funded by California Department of Pesticide Regulation to study movement of lygus from alfalfa. Key questions include: how much uncut alfalfa is required to hold a lygus population and how far will they travel if their habitat is removed through harvesting. Protein-marking techniques are being employed to identify the origins of individual lygus bugs.
Community-based alliances of growers, pest management professionals, and researchers have been springing up throughout the state to meet the challenges of finding reduced-risk pest management approaches. In most of these alliances, Cooperative Extension provides crop, pest, and IPM expertise while producers, pest control advisers, and other interested organizations provide pragmatic direction to research and implementation. Each alliance works cooperatively to review the current system and develop a plan. Frequent field meetings and demonstrations are a cornerstone of every program. Throughout the process, there is an active exchange of ideas, experience, and knowledge. For most crops, these alliances have truly invigorated pest management systems.
The first group to use this model was the Merced Almond BIOS (Biological Integrated Orchard Systems) in 1988, which addressed issues related to insecticide reduction, fertility management, and cover crops, and was funded by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Since that time, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has used this general model of participatory extension and research to develop a competitive grant program called Pest Management Alliances (PMA) directed at promoting reduced-risk practices.
UC Statewide IPM advisors and specialists have been leaders in developing and coordinating successful PMAs in Prunes, Almonds, Walnuts, Cotton, Pears, and Nurseries. Active involvement in PMAs allows IPM advisors to enhance and multiply their extension efforts. Each program is different and measures of success vary. The Cotton PMA grew out of a successful alliance of UC Cooperative Extension and industry that saw the amount of pyrethroid, carbamate, and organophosphate insecticides used in San Joaquin Valley cotton drop by almost 60% between 1995 and 1999. The Prune PMA evolved through the merger of several other cooperative efforts and strong leadership from the California Prune Board and has seen quick adoption of methods. Successful alternatives have been found for all insect pests in prunes except aphids. The Walnut PMA has moved ahead demonstrating practical methods of using biological control for codling moth, validating a walnut blight model, and other reduced-risk practices. Each alliance has not only moved the science of pest management forward, but has also enhanced the extension of IPM information.
In recent years, runoff of urban pesticides into water bodies has become an important concern in California. Additionally, certain commonly used pesticides (diazinon and chlorpyrifos) are being phased out of home and garden markets because of potential health risks. As a result there is substantial interest in understanding urban pesticide use.
California uses 100% pesticide use reporting to track pesticides used by commercial companies for structural pests (e.g., ants and termites), agricultural crop production, and landscape and turf pest control. However, pesticides used by non-commercial users such as homeowners or renters for applications in and around their residences are not tracked. In addition, pesticide applications contracted out to unlicensed applicators are generally not reported.
Cheryl Wilen, Area IPM Advisor in southern California, developed and conducted a survey of how and why non-commercial applicators in the San Diego Creek Watershed in Orange County used pesticides. She also examined how they disposed of the pesticides, where they were purchased, and which products were available for home use. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation funded this project and the results will be used to help develop educational programs for integrated pest management by home users of pesticides.
When the UC Statewide IPM Program was initiated in 1980, cotton was identified as one of the eight most promising commodities for focusing early research and extension efforts. The UC IPM manual Integrated Pest Management for Cotton was produced in 1986 and the Cotton Pest Management Guidelines in 1988. UC IPM supported research that increased understanding of spider mites in cotton and resulted in the development of binomial sampling for spider mites. This presence-absence approach to sampling simplified yet quantified decision making. The close association between researchers and IPM Advisors ensured delivery and adoption.
The IPM Program continued a tradition of supporting systems approaches and crop modeling in cotton, resulting in crop and pest simulations and the development of computer-aided decision-making. During the 1990s, the CALEX-Cotton expert system was designed to integrate production practices with pest management decisions for insects, weeds, and nematodes. The program was eventually simplified to operate from palmtop computers.
The IPM Program continues to influence and refine IPM in cotton through its IPM Advisors and support of research in cotton pests such as whitefly, aphid, and lygus. The IPM Program has been on the forefront to move IPM from the field to a wider view of the ecological landscape. Managing pests is a community effort and farmers in an area need to understand and appreciate complex interactions between pests and environment in order to manage population buildup and minimize insecticide resistance. Community partnerships to approach problems on an areawide basis are an important component in implementing IPM, and UC IPM expects to remain an active participant in such programs in the years to come.
The UC IPM Program is sponsoring a conference on IPM for Public Agencies on March 4 and 5, 2002 at UC Davis. The conference is intended to promote networking between UC scientists and public agency personnel charged with carrying out IPM programs in parks, right-of-ways, schools, playgrounds, and public buildings. The format will include presentations by researchers and public agency personnel regarding their experiences managing key urban pests including roaches, ants, weeds, and yellowjackets. Other sessions will brainstorm on barriers and solutions for implementing IPM programs more widely across the state. Conference organizers include Mary Louise Flint and Cheryl Wilen from the UC IPM Program, Nita Davidson from California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and Deborah Raphael from the City and County of San Francisco. Online registration is available.