Jun 10, 2023
California grants available for sustainable pest management

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting grant applications for a program promoting sustainable pest control practices.

The CDFA’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) is accepting applications for the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Grant Program (BIFS). The grants fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative, biologically based farming systems that employ sustainable pest management strategies, according to a news release.

The OPCA has scheduled a webinar at 11 a.m. to noon Pacific on June 14 to discuss the grant program. Register for the session online.

The program aligns with California’s new pest management plan document, “Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management: A Roadmap for California,” which seeks a transition toward the adoption of safer, sustainable pest control practices.

“The BIFS program is distinct in that it facilitates the creation of grower-to-grower learning networks in which grower skills and experiences can be shared,” Hanna Kahl, a past BIFS grant recipient and the ecological pest management specialist with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, said in the release. “We have heard from walnut growers we work with in San Joaquin, Sutter, Yuba, and Butte counties that this approach makes it easier for them to visualize and practically apply alternative pest management strategies like mating disruption to their farms.”

OPCA received a one-time appropriation for this program as part of the AB 179 Budget Act of 2022, and $1 million of this appropriation will be available during this funding cycle.

Applications for the program are due at 5 p.m. Pacific, July 31. Public or private colleges and universities, local, State, and federal government entities including tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and commodity groups are eligible to apply. Project leads and their institutions must be based in California. Detailed information on the BIFS program, including the application process and requirements, is available on the CDFA website.

Grant recipients will be announced Oct. 6.

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