Oct 23, 2023
$1 million grant to study California’s sustainable pest management

A $1 million California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) grant will study sustainable pest management (SPM) by charting the decision-making process of 200 of the state’s pest control advisors.

The grant, announced by CAPCA, the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, will focus on data collection surrounding the decision-making process of 200 PCAs and their use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and SPM in the field.  The official title of the grant is Assessing SPM Adoption, Decisions, and Resources in California Cropping Systems.

 This data will be used by CAPCA, CDFA, and the University of California Integrated Pest Management Department (UC IPM) to better inform continuing education. Data collection will be anonymous and only detail the crop, commodity, and county. This study will focus on a narrow but diverse set of crops, including grapes, lettuce, pistachios, and tomatoes.

The Pest Control Adviser (PCA) selection process will begin in January 2024.

Those PCAs chosen to participate in the grant study will use a special and private version of Telus Agronomy’s (formerly Agrian) Record Keeping Suite. The grant incentivizes PCAs through financial stipends for successful program completion, including a yearlong account upgrade through Telus Agronomy. Any resulting online continuing education will be given to participating PCAs.

“For many years, CAPCA has witnessed the decision-making process of our regulators and legislators in Sacramento centered around SPM,” Ruthann Anderson, president and CEO of CAPCA, said in a news release. “This grant will allow the PCA industry to provide data-driven information surrounding the ongoing and long-standing practice of IPM and SPM in the field.”

CAPCA looks forward to working with the PCA and grower communities, CDFA, UC IPM, and the allied industry, according to the release.

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