Training helps managers navigate almond tools
In training workshops, UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists helped more than 280 pest control advisors pull together the wide range of IPM tools and methods for managing almond pests. Almost all of those who attended intended to use the methods they learned during the following growing season.
Workshop organizers arranged the agenda by season, following the almond year-round IPM program UC developed. For the dormant, bloom, fruit development, and harvest periods, experts presented the latest about monitoring procedures and tools, degree-day pest models, pesticide selection and timing, biological control, and new technologies such as puffers for dispensing pheromones.
Speakers also presented information about economic and environmental risks associated with pest control practices. This included how to meet pest and pesticide residue requirements that foreign markets place on growers who export this important U.S. crop. During the breaks, meeting goers could participate in hands-on demonstrations of almond pests and their natural enemies.
California’s almond industry has grown steadily for the past 15 years, bringing a crop of new growers and pest control advisors who need to adopt good pest management practices that minimize pesticide risks. They work in a complex plant/pest/environment system with a rich assortment of resources to support good pest management decisions.
Attendees were enthusiastic about the meeting. The evaluation, which used an electronic audience-response system and a brief written survey, indicated that 90% of those who answered were interested in using the methods they learned that day. Some said it was the best extension workshop they ever had attended.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance II sponsored the workshops at the UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier and the Cabral Center in Stockton.
Almond Pest Management Alliance II was a cooperative project of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Almond Board of California, UCCE farm advisors, and UC IPM. The two-year demonstration and outreach program successfully promoted reduced-risk pest control practices to help farmers to meet the stringent requirements of foreign markets, preserve air and water quality, and create a safer work environment for farmers and farm workers.
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