Grant Awards January 2020

CDFA awarded funding for three projects in the second funding cycle for the Proactive IPM Solutions grant program.

Project leaders Dr. Mark Hoddle and Dr. Jocelyn Millar will receive funding for “Proactive Management of Avocado Seed and Stem Feeding Weevils, Heilipus spp. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Molytinae).” This project will develop pheromones, identify natural enemies in the host range, and quantify flight capacity of the avocado seed weevils. Native to Mexico and invasive in Ecuador, these weevils feed directly on avocados and could cause substantial damage to the California avocado industry.

Project leader Dr. Ian Grettenberger and his research collaborators will receive funding for “A proactive approach to prepare for the invasion of Tuta absoluta into California.” T. absoluta, a tomato leafminer, is a serious pest throughout Europe, Africa, western Asia and South and Central America and could decimate California’s tomato industry. This project will proactively test targeted insecticides, identify native natural enemies that could be used in biological control, and conduct work to assist in breeding plants resistant to this pest.

Project leaders Dr. Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia, Dr. Ian Grettenberger and Dr. Daniel Hasegawa will receive funding for “Detection, biology and control of the exotic Swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii) for California cole crops.” Swede midge is a pest of cole crops in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada and could cause significant management issues for California’s large cole crop industry. This project will collect important information about the biology of Swede midge, test low impact insecticides and botanical products as options for control, assess the possibility of weeds as alternative hosts, and work with growers to start monitoring for the pest.