Biologically Integrated Farming Awards


Project leader Hanna Kahl (Community Alliance with Family Farmers) 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.


Grant project leader Houston Wilson (University of California, Riverside) and collaborators will receive $994,551 in funding for "Building Agroecological Partnerships to Facilitate Integrated Pest Management in Hemp." The project will form a new partnership known as the Hemp Agroecology Network (HAN) to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate ecologically based pest management practices in hemp. The HAN partnership will include hemp growers, consultants, researchers, and Cooperative Extension personnel and will provide the foundation for a variety of research and grower–to–grower experiential learning opportunities. These activities will target four hemp production regions, including the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California.


Project leaders Sara Tiffany and David Runsten (Community Alliance with Family Farmers), Jhalendra Rijal (UC-ANR), and collaborators received funding for “Promoting biologically integrated orchard systems in walnuts in Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.” This project will setup six demonstration sites throughout major walnut-producing regions in the state where IPM-based programs will be implemented. Demonstration sites will utilize mating disruption programs for two major pests that were previously controlled using chlorpyrifos: coddling moth and navel orangeworm. Biological control of spider mites will be investigated through release of predatory mites and planting of cover crops to attract natural enemies. A rigorous pest monitoring program will inform spray decisions, and when sprays are needed, more selective and lower-risk pesticides will be used. The Project Team, in collaboration with the California Walnut Board and others, will utilize demonstration sites to host field days and training sessions with growers, PCAs and CCAs where season-specific pest management activities will be covered. Web-based materials, podcasts, videos, and industry publications will also be generated by the project team and distributed to the relevant audiences.


Project leader Dr. Kent Daane of UC Berkeley and collaborators will receive $1 million in funding for “Refinement and Implementation of an Areawide Program for Vineyard Pathogens and their Insect Vectors.” This project will establish two demonstration blocks of at least 1,000-acres each where pheromone disruption tools will be used to control vine mealybug, the insect responsible for vectoring grape leafroll disease (GLD). Vines infected with GLD will also be systematically removed to further prevent the spread of this economically devastating disease. Grower outreach will be conducted in collaboration with the Central Coast Vineyard Team and the Lodi Winegrape Commission to expand the adoption of these low-impact practices in place of chemical insecticides. The project work will be done in the Lodi and Central Coast winegrape regions and take four years to complete.