California Department of Food and Agriculture

Office of Pesticide Consultation & Analysis

2019 Proactive IPM Solutions Program

CDFA awarded funding for one project in the initial funding cycle for the Proactive IPM Solutions grant program. The three-year project titled “Proactive Biological Control of Spotted Lantern Fly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae)” was awarded $543,936. Project leads Mark Hoddle (UC Riverside) and Kent Daane (UC Berkeley) will proactively develop biological control agents for spotted lantern fly, an invasive pest that has not yet arrived in California but is spreading rapidly across the eastern US. This pest has the potential to affect many high value California crops including grapes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. The project will piggyback on work that is already being conducted on the pest in the eastern US and abroad. The biological control agent is a small (3 mm), stingless wasp, native to China, that parasitizes eggs of the spotted lantern fly.

The goal of the Proactive IPM Solutions grant program is to anticipate which exotic pests are likely to arrive in California and to identify and test IPM strategies that can be rapidly implemented if the pests become established in California. CDFA is responsible for preventing and mitigating invasive pests in California. Techniques resulting from the Proactive IPM Solutions Program will allow for rapid deployment of future management plans.

OPCA's new 2018/2019 funding also supports its Proactive IPM Solutions Program. The goal of this program is to anticipate which exotic pests are likely to arrive in California and to develop a library of integrated pest management (IPM) programs which can be rapidly implemented when the pests becomes established in California. New invasive pests can cause major problems for California's agricultural industries. The urgent need to control a new pest often leads to more frequent use of insecticides. This can disrupt integrated pest management (IPM) systems that have been in place and cause secondary pest outbreaks, leading to even more insecticide use and possibly decreasing profitability. At the same time, growers are under pressure from ever-tightening regulations and need to phase in new pest management methods in order to remain competitive. CDFA is responsible for preventing and mitigating invasive pests. Many pests which plague California's agricultural industry first become established through urban areas owing to global travel and unintentional import of exotic pests. CDFA expends considerable effort controlling pest outbreaks in urban areas before they can spread into agricultural regions. Because affected communities have become increasingly concerned about insecticide sprays, it has become difficult to employ standard synthetic chemicals to control pest infestations. There is need for selective, low risk chemical and biological options which may be used. These options and plans take years to develop, during which exotic pest populations may expand well beyond the initial infestation. The proactive approach allows for rapid deployment of new management plans. Funding for this type of proactive pest management is awarded through a request for proposals (RFP), the first of which will be available in March 2019.