Three IPM projects (Integrated Pest Management) looking at potential issues facing California agriculture industries get funding from the state. The California Department of Food and Agriculture granted more than $1.1 million to three projects through its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions grant program. The program helps facilitate work that looks at issues of concern to California ag industries but not yet found in the state.
The first project out of UC Riverside will look at Avocado Seed and Stem Feeding Weevils. These weevils feed directly on avocados and are native to Mexico. The project received almost $350,000 from CDFA, and the California Avocado Commission additionally donated nearly half of that total to the project. Researchers will look at pheromones, natural predators, and identify if flight is a way the weevils can travel.
Another project receiving almost $500,000 will look at a tomato leafminer called Tuta absoluta. The pest is widespread throughout Europe, Africa, western Asia, and South and Central America. The research will look at effective control of the leafminer including pesticides, biological controls, and resistance breeding.
The last project, receiving just over $260,000, is helping to protect cole crops from the exotic Swede midge. The fly-like insect is a problem for vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. The insect is an issue in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada. The project will look at low-impact insecticides, botanicals, and alternative host crops, as well as identification methods.