State rewards CURES with IPM Innovator Award

The Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) was among four 2012 IPM Innovator Awards winners announced in March by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).

“This year’s honorees are reducing pesticide use in agricultural areas and in child-care centers and other public places in diverse ways that range from using less toxic alternatives to creating partnerships and developing educational materials,” said DPR Director Brian Leahy. “We applaud their commitment to using pest control practices to protect public health and the environment and willingness to share their practices with others.”

CURES is a nonprofit group in Dinuba created in 1997 with the mission to make and deliver science-based solutions and education to ensure that tools to manage pests and grow plants are used in ways that protect people and the environment.

When contacted by WPHA, the organization’s Executive Director Parry Klassen said he was quite pleased about winning the award.

 

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“It’s great to be recognized by DPR for our inclusion of IPM principles in the projects we have managed over the years,” he said. “A key part of any IPM program is judicious and careful use of pesticides. Whether our projects focus on protecting surface water or pesticides and pollinators, following stewardship practices is always a core part of our message.”

Klassen went on to say that support over the last 10 years by water quality coalitions and the registrant community set the stage for CURES to win the award.

“Dow AgroSciences, MANA and Syngenta provided important seed money that enabled us to be active when watershed coalitions were being formed in the Central Valley,” he noted. “The grower coalitions subsequently embraced the CURES approach and continue to involve us in their grower outreach activities.”

The numerous CURES’ projects focusing on practices to keep pesticides out of surface water led to the DPR award. Those projects range from developing educational materials on pesticide applications, studying new orchard sprayer technology, on-farm sprayer calibrations and evaluation of field practices to minimize pesticides in irrigation drain water.

CURES also assists water quality coalitions in the Central Valley with outreach to growers and applicators about using stewardship practices when applying pesticides near water.

“We just celebrated our 15th anniversary and look forward to our next 15 years as we continue these efforts in agriculture and urban settings, says Klassen, who is also a fruit grower in eastern Fresno County.  “Our most recent project involving studies on nitrate movement past the crop root zone will hopefully be the first of many stewardship opportunities in the field of crop nutrition.”                                                    

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