The 2016 IPM Achievement Awards
The 2016 Awardees are:
Cherry Buckskin Project
The Cherry Buckskin Project is a collaboration among UC Cooperative Extension, the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture, and local cherry growers. The project began in 1987 in Contra Costa County to prevent the establishment of cherry buckskin disease, which can destroy entire orchards if left unchecked. Transmitted by leafhoppers the disease is difficult to detect because symptoms aren't obvious until harvest, which is the busiest time for growers. As part of the project, growers and master gardeners are trained to scout for disease symptoms. If a tree tests positive, it's quickly removed to prevent further spread. The persistent effort of a largely volunteer corps has resulted in disease-free cherry trees. Since infected trees were discovered in 2002, buckskin has sharply declined in Contra Costa County and trees were symptom-free during harvest this year. Through proactive outreach efforts the program has eliminated the need for continuing preventative sprays. The achievement category is education and outreach.
Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Project
In 2011, a tiny insect, the Virginia creeper leafhopper, showed up in Mendocino and Lake counties, causing severe losses of wine grapes. By 2014, the new leafhopper had spread across thousands of acres and was devastating vineyards. Some organic growers began using conventional pesticides to stay in business. UC Cooperative Extension, grower-collaborators, the Lake County Wine Grape Commission, and the Mendocino County Farm Bureau collaborated to provide newsletters, videos, and field days to teach growers to recognize the new leafhopper and its natural enemy, a tiny parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in leafhopper eggs. However, the plentiful natural enemies weren't doing their job in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Researchers brought in a new, effective strain of the wasps from the Sacramento Valley, which are now reproducing quickly on their host in the lab and are becoming established in the counties. Eventually, the wasp will enable both conventional and organic growers to reduce synthetic pesticides used to combat the new leafhopper. The achievement category is leadership.
Riverside Unified School District
The Riverside Unified School District established an IPM program in 2007, hiring an in-house IPM technician and adopting IPM practices at all district locations. The district educates custodians, food service workers, and teachers about ways to keep pests out by patching holes and gaps inside buildings and keeping floors and furniture clean. Outdoors, mulch is spread in landscaped areas to keep down weeds, replacing herbicide sprays. Liquefied sand is used to fill gopher and ground squirrel burrows, replacing routine use of rodenticides. In past years, honey bee swarms disrupted school activities. The district now uses portable traps that attract the swarms and a local beekeeper moves them to her avocado, citrus, and guava groves. More than 300 swarms have been relocated. The district has curtailed spraying pesticides, saving money and reducing pesticide exposure of students, teachers, and staff. The achievement category is innovation.
Pink Bollworm Project
Since 1967, the Cotton Pest Control Board and its Pink Bollworm Program has kept the destructive pink bollworm from establishing in California's major cotton region despite high populations in nearby Arizona. Instead of spraying conventional insecticides, the program uses sterile moths to prevent successful mating, a strategy that eradicates the moths. The Pink Bollworm Program is universally supported by cotton growers, who trap moths using pheromones and plow down plants after harvest, destroying some of the larvae and starving the ones that survive. The use of sterile-insect technique has become standard for the industry. The Pink Bollworm Program is a collaborative effort of the California Cotton Pest Control Board, California Department of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the National Cotton Council. The achievement category is leadership.
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority manages the day-to-day airport operations of an international airport that has more than 6,000 employees and 50,000 visitors daily. In 2012, the Airport Authority rolled out its IPM program, working with Cartwright Termite and Pest Control, to educate airport tenants how to report pest problems, pest-proof stored food, and keep pests away. Cartwright's iPad-based program logs about 900 inspections monthly at many airport locations. The detailed app prompts the inspector to enter the type of pest, how to exclude it, and how to remedy the situation through cleaning practices. As the app is used more and more, communication among the Airport Authority, pest management professionals, and airport tenants has reduced out-of-control infestations and eliminated the need for most pesticide sprays. The airport is an industry leader in sustainable practices and is the recipient of several environmental stewardship awards. The achievement category is leadership.
Project Apis m.
Project Apis m. is a nonprofit organization that funds research and programs that protect bees. The project has raised more than $6 million to fund bee research on topics such as the deadly varroa mite, a common parasite that weakens honey bees by spreading viruses and possibly contributes to colony collapse disorder. The project encourages almond growers to plant cover crops soon after harvest to draw in bees, providing habitat and food. A more permanent solution, pollinator hedgerows, offers wildflowers and perennials that house and feed bees. Hedgerows also provide habitat for natural predatory insects of orchard pests. Research and information is regularly presented, as well as available on the Project Apis m. website, to educate and inform their stakeholders. The achievement category is education and outreach.
If you would like to find out more about IPM or the IPM Achievement Awards Program, you can contact:
Pest Management & Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-2489
Fax: (916) 324-9006