Proactive IPM Solutions Program

2023 Award

CDFA awarded funding for two projects in this funding cycle for the Proactive IPM Solutions grant program with each receiving $500,000. 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.

About Proactive IPM Solutions grant program

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.

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.

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