Release No. 94-31 Contact:
Date: August 30, 1994 Veda Federighi (916) 445-3974
INNOVATORS GET "GOOD BUG" AWARD
Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation today kicked off a program to
acknowledge the leadership and creativity of California farmers who have
joined together to find new environmentally friendly ways to fight insects,
weeds, and other pests.
The first five "IPM Innovator" awards were presented today by DPR Director
James W. Wells in ceremonies at a cabernet sauvignon vineyard north of
Lodi, 30 miles south of Sacramento. Also on hand to recognize the farmers
were Cal/EPA Undersecretary Jack J. Pandol and Michael Chrisman,
Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The vineyard is notable because like many operated by members of the
Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, it uses innovative methods to fight
pests, including high-rise "owl houses"--small bird houses atop tall
poles--to encourage rodent-eating owls to take up residence. The rows
between the vines are also lush with clover and other cover crops that
build soil quality and attract beneficial insects.
Wells presented the Commission and four other grower groups with an IPM
Innovator award plaque, along with baseball caps featuring the IPM
Innovator logo--a ladybug, the best-known beneficial insect, or "good bug",
and something of a symbol of integrated pest management (IPM). IPM is an
approach to pest control that stresses the application of biological,
mechanical, and cultural pest control techniques. Pesticides are used
only when necessary to achieve acceptable levels of control with the least
possible harm to nontarget organisms and the environment.
The award was presented to the:
Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, based in Lodi, launched a district-
wide IPM research and outreach program when the Commission was formed in 1991.
Randall Island Regional Management Pilot Project in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta pear-growing region, is a three-year project by Randall
Island pear growers to reduce pesticide use and residues, increase worker
safety, and advance the use of IPM.
California Processed Tomato Foundation, with growers throughout the state,
provides growers incentives to implementation of IPM including on-site
training. In addition, some tomato processors actively promote the use of
innovative IPM tools and sometimes insure growers against loss of yield in
fields where IPM is used.
Fillmore Citrus Protective District, a 350-member cooperative located east
of Santa Paula in the Santa Clara Valley of Ventura County, has been using
biologically based IPM since 1926. The district maintains insectaries to
mass-rear important beneficial insect parasites and predators.
Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems Project (BIOS) is a one-year-old
project promoting biologically intensive almond production for Merced
County farmers who wish to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
BIOS provides technical support to develop a
customized farm management plan and a comprehensive monitoring program for
"California has long been a leader in the development and implementation of
innovative ways of managing pests," said Wells. "One of our IPM Innovators
began using IPM 68 years ago--before it was called `IPM'. The growers we
recognized today, along with many others, have found that they can work
together productively and profitably to find solutions to pest problems
they all share.
"There is too little acknowledgment of the years of work it takes to
establish an effective and economically viable IPM program. We thought it
was time for that overdue recognition," Wells said.
Wells said that the Department will work with the County Agricultural
Commissioners and DPR's Pest Management Advisory Committee to fully develop
criteria that distinguish model systems. However, several characteristics
stand out and are serving as interim guidelines. An "IPM Innovator":
*Is usually a voluntary association using a system of methods and
techniques to control pests, and having an administrative organization.
*Typically has a history of economically viable operation.
*Has a documented pest management system so that others can learn and apply
it to their own situation.
*Provides opportunities to expand the number of participants, and
*Reduces the risk posed by the use of traditional pest controls.
"The systems we recognized today embody the spirit of innovation that we
want to encourage," said Wells. "They are models for others to follow."
Wells added, "There are a lot of good things going on in California
agriculture that even we don't know about. I fully expect that when word
of this award gets out, we will hear from other groups of farmers who want
to be known as`'IPM Innovators.' In fact, we hope we do."
Wells said that when the project is thoroughly developed, DPR will assist
IPM Innovators to locate and apply for sources of funding, both private and
public. DPR scientific staff may assist groups to find needed technical
assistance in pest management, or to develop the kind of documentation
necessary to define the system and promote it to others.
Kathy Brunetti, Agriculture Program Supervisor
Department of Pesticide Regulation 1020 N Street Room 161 Sacramento CA 95814
voice (916) 324-4100 FAX (916) 324-4088