CAPCA Conference Highlights Science and Innovation for the Future of Agriculture

Brian GermanIndustry, Pest Update

The California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) hosted its 45th Annual CAPCA Conference and Agri-Expo in Reno this year, with multiple days of presentations covering the most critical information for Pest Control Advisers (PCA) in California.  The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Hunting for Solutions’ with discussions focused on the future of agriculture.

“We see what we need to be successful, whether that’s labor, whether that’s a reliance on fair and accurate science when it comes to our crop protection tools,” said California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) President Jamie Johansson.  “But it’s also: we need to have realistic expectations.”

The CAPCA conference has traditionally served as a means for learning about the latest updates to material registrations and restrictions.  This year one of the discussions highlighted the cultural shift in public opinion related to crop protection materials; specifically, the regulatory threats to active ingredients in pesticides.  “It’s creeping its way into our regulatory system.  We certainly saw that, definitely with chlorpyrifos,” Johansson noted.

Attendees also heard an overview of the new applications of aerial technologies and how PCA’s can make recommendations and improvements to scouting and spraying.  Several presentations also looked at conventional pest management, with some focusing on brown marmorated stink bug, as well as navel orangeworm.  Attendees were also provided with information on organic pest management.

The conference highlighted the future of pest control and areas that the industry as a whole will need to address in the coming years.  Johansson noted that the future of agriculture is going to rely heavily on an increasingly educated workforce as the industry continues to adopt more automation and digital technology.  “It’s going to be a much higher degree necessary and it’s going to be constant education, and we’re going to need all hands on deck,” said Johansson.

Listen to Johansson’s interview below.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West