Apr 10, 2023
CDFA grants aim to spur adaption of integrated pest management

Two integrated pest management programs in California, including one assisting organic farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, will receive a share of $1.1 million in funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Integrated pest management is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of agricultural practices and use of resistant plant varieties

These investments align with the state’s new pest management strategic planning document, “Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management: A Roadmap for California,” (.pdf) which seeks to spur the adoption of safer, sustainable pest control practices.

“Moving to more sustainable pest management won’t occur overnight,” Karen Ross, CDFA secretary, said in a news release. “We have to develop the expertise to use IPM techniques in the field, both for technical assistance providers and the growers who benefit from their knowledge. These investments will help achieve that.”

The University of California Organic Agriculture Institute will receive $510,000 for three years to establish an area advisor in organic agriculture position. The advisor will provide technical assistance to certified and in-transition organic farmers in the San Joaquin Valley as well as any farmers interested in using organic practices.

In addition, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers will receive $600,000 over four years to help primarily small-scale, diversified farmers overcome informational and financial barriers to implementing IPM practices.

CAFF will organize a steering committee of the University of California Cooperative Extension advisors, pest control advisers and other experts to identify effective IPM practices for community growers. These tools will then be used to tailor approaches to individual growers through one-on-one sessions, and a pilot incentives program will be created to help growers with the transition.

The project will also establish sustainable pest management farmer forums to facilitate knowledge-sharing and networking.

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