Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded funding for a project to be administered through the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) grant program.
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.
The goal of the BIFS grant program is to demonstrate and refine integrated pest management (IPM) programs designed to reduce chemical insecticide inputs, especially non-selective, biologically disruptive insecticides with higher risk to human health and the environment. Projects foster farmer-to-farmer information exchange and on-farm demonstrations of IPM practices while allowing growers to maintain yields and quality. Outreach efforts bring together scientists, farmers and consultants in a collaborative, co-learning environment that enables farmers to learn and adapt farming practices to local conditions.
Detailed information on this program, including the application process and application requirements, is available at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/opca/bifs.html