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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , officeofpublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #23-005
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CDFA GRANTS $2 MILLION TO REDUCE CHEMICAL PESTICIDES THROUGH INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES

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SACRAMENTO, January 5, 2023 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) has awarded one project for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) grant program and two projects for its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions grant program, with the grants totaling $2 million.

The goal of the BIFS grant program is to promote the adoption of innovative pest management techniques that reduce chemical pesticide inputs while allowing growers to maintain profitable businesses. BIFS practices are often selected as a result of research conducted by California universities and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). BIFS projects further refine implementation programs to increase efficacy and economic viability. Outreach is performed through on-farm demonstration, technical assistance, and fostering farmer-to-farmer information exchange networks.

The new BIFS project, led by Dr. Hanna Kahl with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), will receive $1 million in funding to demonstrate and conduct the outreach for the use of biological control to manage spider mites and other pests in winegrape and walnut orchards. Outreach will be conducted in collaboration with commodity groups, Pest Control Advisors (PCAs), and UCCE, and will also include Spanish-language options. Technical assistance will be provided to support select growers interested in adopting biological control.

The goal of the Proactive IPM Solutions grants program is to anticipate which exotic pests are likely to arrive in California and to identify and test IPM strategies that can be rapidly deployed if the pests become established. Techniques resulting from projects of this program will allow for rapid deployment of integrated pest management techniques, including biological control, which will reduce reliance on broad-spectrum pesticides.

Two Proactive IPM Solutions projects will receive $500,000 each. The first is proactive control of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is presently the most devastating invasive insect pest of forests in the continental United States, led by Dr. Ricky Lara from CDFA’s Integrated Pest Control Branch. The second is proactive control of the Cotton Seed Bug (CSB), which was detected in Los Angeles County in 2019 and subsequently confirmed in Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties, posing a significant threat to the California cotton growers. This project will be led by Dr. Mark Hoddle from the University of California Riverside.

These projects are developing biological control strategies that require lengthy research before being approved for use. They will give California growers and CDFA a head-start in using integrated pest management for these pests. For more information on OPCA and its grant programs, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/opca/


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov