in Action (1 of 2)
UC IPM partners with agencies to manage San Jose scale and peach twig
Insecticide management of San Jose scale and peach
twig borer in almonds and stone
fruits has been a primary contributor to
surface water contamination of California
In cooperation with the California
Department of Pesticide Regulation, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the
California Tree Fruit Agreement, and the
Almond Board of California, UC IPM
Advisor Walt Bentley and farm advisors Mario Viveros, Roger Duncan, Brent Holtz, Richard
Coviello, Harry Andris, and Kevin Day have developed alternatives for managing these pests.
One of the most successful innovations is a sampling program to predict the need to spray
to control San Jose scale. Twig sampling during the dormant period is an excellent indicator
of resident scale populations, although the thresholds for treatment are quite different
between almonds and stone fruits.
Demonstrations through the Almond Pest Management Alliance indicate that a treatment
is warranted when scales infest 20 percent of the fruiting spurs. Demonstration orchards
used in the Stone Fruits Alliance suggest that a lower threshold, 3 percent infested spurs, is
needed. In almonds, only the wood is damaged by San Jose scale (no loss is due to nut
infestation). San Jose scale infests stone fruit and makes it unmarketable. Fruit infestation
can occur even when San Jose scale is at low abundance.
The group has also found that the use of dormant horticultural oils is as effective as using
oils with organophosphates. Using oils alone greatly reduces the potential for surface water
Although oils do not control peach twig borer, newer and safer pesticides that do not
contaminate surface water can be used for this key pest. As peach twig borer emerges from
wintering during late bloom, reduced-risk pesticides that are nontoxic to honeybees have
been integrated into the pest management program.
This work addresses three of the high priority core issues identified by UC Agriculture
and Natural Resources: prediction and early detection of pest species, the use of alternatives
to broad-spectrum chemicals, and mitigation of surface water contamination.
Results from UC IPM research on mosquitoes in rice
This year's invasion of West Nile virus in California highlighted the importance of
mosquitoes in the agricultural landscape.
The UC IPM and the University-wide Mosquito Research Program cooperatively funded
research by Sharon Lawler, Deborah Dritz, and Anton Cornel at UC Davis on how rice
cultivation practices affect mosquito populations.
One study was on the effects on mosquito larvae and predatory insects from the pyrethroid
insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin, which is used against pests of rice. Lawler and colleagues
found that a single, labeled-rate application of lambda-cyhalothrin killed 80 to 90 percent of
pyrethroid-susceptible mosquito larvae for at least 18 days, providing some incidental control
of mosquito larvae (and perhaps also adult mosquitoes resting in or near rice fields).
However, throughout this time period, resistant mosquito larvae survived much better
than susceptible larvae, suggesting that widespread use of lambda-cyhalothrin could select
for pyrethroid resistance in mosquitoes. In addition, lambda-cyhalothrin also killed
beneficial insects, consistent with previous studies on mosquitofish, suggesting possible
disruption of biological control of mosquito larvae.
Overall, because lambda-cyhalothrin is also used for control of adult mosquitoes, the
study indicated that mosquito abatement personnel would benefit from communicating with
growers regarding pesticide use. The project also highlighted the need for alternative
controls for both mosquitoes and rice pests, and their potential interactions.
IPM advisors author seasonal guide for almonds
Almond growers can
information in the
recently published Seasonal Guide to Environmentally
Responsible Pest Management Practices in
Almonds, by the Almond Pest Management
Alliance (PMA). The guide is designed to
help almond growers make environmentally
responsible pest management decisions year
round, without decreasing yields or
increasing reject levels.
The guide contains information on how to
manage almond pests by first considering
environmentally friendly, low-toxic materials.
The book also gives guidelines and
thresholds for situations where growers may
need to use a broad-spectrum insecticide.
The information is based on University of
California research and results of the Almond
PMA. UC IPM advisors Carolyn Pickel and
Walt Bentley were involved in the project.
PMA demonstration sites are with Joe Connell in Butte County, Roger Duncan in Stanislaus
County, and Mario Viveros in Kern County.
Almond growers have reduced dormant
applications by 77 percent from 1991 to 2000,
according to the California Department of
Pesticide Regulation. This reduction was
attributed primarily to the research and
educational efforts of the PMA, as well as UC
farm and IPM advisors.
What Is an Environmentally Responsible Program?
- Monitoring pest and beneficial insects and mites, and spraying only when treatments are warranted.
- Tolerating low pest populations that are below economic threshold levels.
- Using effective, environmentally friendly, and less toxic pesticides whenever possible.
- Using cultural controls or biological controls.
- Avoiding broad-spectrum insecticides unless treatment thresholds are exceeded and effective, environmentally
friendly insecticides are not available.
|The Almond Pest Management Alliance is dedicated to demonstrating environmentally responsible
pest management practices to manage economic pests in almonds. The partnership includes the Almond Board of California,
UC farm and IPM advisors, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and U.S. EPA Region 9.
IPM advisor helps farmers with agricultural pest management problems in Kosovo
Think globally. That's what IPM Advisor Walt
Bentley did when he recently traveled to Kosovo
to help farmers with their pest management problems.
Walt volunteered to advise Kosovo growers on pest problems in their apple, pear, plum, and cherry
crops. He worked with local agricultural and university officials to implement an IPM program with the International
Rescue Committee (IRC). Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work in 25 countries to help those uprooted or affected
by violent conflict and oppression.
Walt gave six presentations to tree fruit farmers throughout Kosovo and visited farms and nurseries
in the region. He provided specific training based on problems found in the orchards during his field visits
and distributed pest management guidelines produced by the UC IPM Program.
"Farmers have lost everything from trees to equipment used to
manage their orchards because of Serbian bombing," says Walt. They
do have the advantage of small orchards that are about 2.5 acres
that allows them to manage more intensively using cultural techniques.
Farmers produce crops primarily for local markets,
but don't export goods.
"The key pest problem apple farmers face is apple scab. Almost every orchard we visited had
severe symptoms of this disease. Practices we would follow here are impossible for these small acreage farmers
who do not have access to products available in the rest of Europe."
The second most prevalent pest problem is codling moth. Walt presented information on identification,
trapping, record keeping, and management of this pest. But, again, farmers lack the product resources available
in the rest of the world, and they rely on many toxic products that are no longer used in the rest of Europe
and North America.
Providing UC IPM manuals and pest guidelines was invaluable for this training, says Walt. "Being
able to show the range of pesticides available in other countries was important and also served as examples
to local officials and farmers of the type of information that could be developed for their region."
Demonstration orchards are the key to implementing better pest management in Kosovo tree fruits,
according to Walt. Finding a farmer in the area who is willing to support the system is the first step. "Using
a successful farmer to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of a program will help other farmers to adopt
Walt also suggests that a cooperative be established where farmers could purchase materials
from countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Italy, or Germany. Better application equipment is also vital.
The United States Agency for International Development funded this project.
Cotton industry partnerships lead to improved IPM outreach
The UC IPM Program has teamed up with the cotton industry in the San Joaquin Valley to protect
their product from contaminants such as sticky insect honeydew, and in the past two seasons, almost no complaints
of sticky cotton have been reported.
Through the efforts of IPM Advisor Pete Goodell, UC IPM has developed partnerships to help coordinate
whitefly and aphid management extension programs. These industry partners include CalCot, California Cotton
Ginners and Growers Association, J. G. Boswell Company, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association,
and Looking South Publications.
Pete developed educational materials for these groups in several formats, including print, electronic,
and Web. County farm advisors arranged local production meetings where 18 presentations reinforced the importance
of preventing sticky cotton by managing aphid and whitefly populations below action thresholds. Pete coordinated
among industry, researchers, and extension, providing a venue for industry to express its concerns and for researchers
to focus their resources on priority issues.
Pete has kept the UC IPM Program involved by providing input to cotton pest management guidelines
for aphid and whitefly. Included in these updates were insecticide management strategies based in part on UC
IPM-supported research projects by Larry Godfrey, extension entomologist, and Bob Hutmacher, statewide cotton
The industry, in its quest for a clean product, gave Cooperative Extension a direct conduit
to clientele and provided research and extension funding. Extension, through county advisors and campus-based
provided the means for delivering the science-based information locally. UC IPM provided leadership and resources
for research and implementation. The result of these efforts has been a successful clean-cotton campaign.
IPM delivers outreach program for growers plagued by vine mealybug
In late 2002, the first vine mealybug infestation was found in the North Coast wine region.
Vine mealybug is an exotic new pest that affects grapevines.
Feeding by this insect causes cluster contamination, yield loss, and transmission of viral
diseases. Lucia Varela, North Coast IPM advisor, responded by organizing the Agricultural Commissioner and personnel
at California Department of Food and Agriculture to initiate an aggressive trapping program for the fall, continuing
through 2004. The trapping program revealed that the infestation was not only sudden but also widespread, with
34 confirmed sites identified so far in Napa and Sonoma counties. The results demanded an immediate and effective
response to address a new pest about which little was known.
Lucia delivered an outreach program to growers, vineyard managers,
pest control advisers, and vineyard workers. She also provided immediate
help to those growers with infested sites. This entailed quickly
rewriting the UC pest management guidelines that form part of the
North Coast Agricultural Commissioner's Compliance
Vineyard managers and winery personnel raised concerns about their vineyards becoming infested
through current practices of recycling winery waste into vine rows. In collaboration with Rhonda Smith, Sonoma
County Viticulture advisor, Lucia conducted experiments on the fate of vine mealybug in different stages and
during the process of wine making. From these experiments, they determined the relative risk of the different
streams of winery waste being contaminated with vine mealybug. Sanitation measures for winery waste are currently
UC IPM's strong research and outreach program made a quick response
possible. The IPM Education and Publications unit supported changes
to the pest management guidelines that form the basis for regulations
concerning this insect. IPM Advisor Walt Bentley provided
technical support and numerous consultations on cleaning up the
infested sites. Nursery material was identified as the major culprit
of North Coast infestation.
Statewide IPM funding, Walt and David Haviland developed
a hot-water treatment that has already been adopted by nurseries.
Grape nurseries adopt new tools for vine mealybug control
IPM advisors David Haviland and Walt
Bentley have been working closely with
grape nursery workers to develop preventive
management programs for vine
mealybug, Plannococcus ficus, in California
grape nurseries. Efforts by these advisors
and cooperating industry personnel have
resulted in IPM practices approved by the
California Department of Food and Agriculture
(CDFA) to ensure that grape nurseries
don't inadvertently play a role in the
spread of this recently introduced exotic pest.
Grape nurseries now use management
programs based on sanitation, monitoring
with pheromone traps, and optional use of
hot-water treatments. Sanitation is important
to ensure that vine mealybug never gets into a
nursery operation. Pheromone traps detect
very low populations of this pest that would
otherwise go undetected, and a nursery-funded
trapping program by CDFA is now in
place to monitor all nursery vineyards
registered and certified by the state.
"Nurseries that produce more than 80
percent of the grape planting materials
statewide have adopted hot-water
treatments," says David. "Our laboratory
studies show that, by immersing cuttings or
vines into hot water for 5 minutes at 127°F,
more than 99.9 percent of vine mealybugs
could be killed."
Based on their results, the CDFA has
adopted hot-water treatments as a viable
control strategy for this pest.
The following have been recognized for their accomplishments:
Zalom, director of the UC IPM Program from 1988 to 2001, is the recipient of the UC Davis 2004
James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in research,
teaching, and public and university service.
- Mary Lou Flint, director of IPM Education and Publications,
the Environmental Service Award from the San
Francisco Department of the Environment for lifetime
achievements and public
service in integrated pest
Top of page