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- On Jan. 27, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will recognize a diverse group of businesses and organizations as 2010 IPM Innovators. They control insects, weeds, rodents and other pests with a combination of natural and preventive strategies and pesticides less toxic than traditional treatments.
This privately held company based in Santa Cruz County was founded in 1999 to develop farming management information systems and sustainability self-assessment programs that help growers make data-driven decisions about IPM and other sustainable farming practices.
In 2001, SureHarvest was hired by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance to head an effort that resulted in the Sustainable Winegrowing Program. Building on the work of the Lodi Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, SureHarvest President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Dlott led a team of scientists and others to develop the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices, a self-assessment, Web-based program. The intent of this first-in-the-nation program is to improve sustainable agricultural performance with specific benchmarks. It now covers more than 68 percent of California’s 526,000 winegrape acres.
SureHarvest is extending its self-assessment model to almonds, pears, pistachios, walnuts, tomatoes, peppers, stone fruit, raisins, table grapes, carrots and other specialty crops. The National Grape and Wine Initiative is studying the California program as a model for adaptation to other winegrowing areas throughout the country. More information is available at www.sureharvest.com or by contacting Jeff Dlott or call (831) 477-7797.
University of California Statewide IPM Program and Natural Resources Conservation Service Partnership
The University of California Statewide IPM Program (UCIPM) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in cooperation with other groups and individuals, have significantly increased their efforts to promote IPM in California over the past two years. UCIPM develops and promotes integrated ecologically sound pest management programs in California for farmers, urban communities and natural resource managers. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to protect farmland and the environment. The East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District (RCD), one of the cooperators in the partnership, also stands out for its efforts to promote IPM locally.
The NRCS-UCIPM partnership has defined and clarified effective IPM practices for a wide range of commodities and provided appropriate stakeholders with this information and incentives to increase their adoption and implementation. In 2007 and 2008, approximately 117,000 acres of California farmland were under NRCS pest management contracts, and growers representing some 18,000 acres implemented year-round IPM programs.
Examples of the partnership’s efforts include development of year-round IPM programs for 19 different crops, including nut and fruit trees, row crops and vegetables. These programs help to reduce pesticides in water runoff and volatile organic compound pesticide emissions that contribute to smog. The partnership also resulted in cross training between the two organizations and financial incentives for private-sector consultants to develop IPM plans for farmers. The RCD promoted development of IPM plans and year-round programs with local farmers and private consultants, resulting in significant gains in implementation of IPM. More information is available at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov or www.ipm.ucdavis.edu or by contacting NRCS State Resource Conservationist Diane Holcomb or call (530) 792-5667.