DPR Supports Pest Management Research with $3.75 Million Investment

Brian GermanIndustry

Pest management research projects are receiving significant funding support from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). A total of $3.75 million is being invested in 10 research projects to further develop integrated pest management (IPM) options. Funding for the projects is made possible through DPR’s Research Grants Program, with a goal of transition to more sustainable pest management approaches.

Pest Management Research

“The grant projects we are funding today are critical to developing and expanding innovative practices and biological, non-chemical and physical tools to manage pests in agriculture, urban and other non-agricultural communities,” DPR Director Julie Henderson said in a news release. “The research will support the state’s work to accelerate a systemwide transition to safer, more sustainable pest management and better protect human health and the environment.”

Several of the pest management research projects are being spearheaded by UC Davis personnel. Dr. Themis Michailides will be leading research looking at the development of IPM software to help pistachio growers make more informed decisions for pesticide applications. Dr. Ian Grettenberger will be leading two projects evaluating new pest management approaches. One project will be the assessment of a biocontrol system for managing tadpole shrimp in rice. The other project will test the automatic release of biocontrol organisms using flying drones, as well as a new precision spray application technology.

Other projects will be led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Rodrigo Krugner will lead a project focused on mating disruption using vibrational signals to control spotted lanternfly. A project evaluating the potential of disrupting biological processes of diamondback moth and western flower thrips will be led by Dr. Daniel Hasegawa.

The funding for 2021-2022 DPR Grants Programs has been increased by 617 percent over last year’s funding allocation. Over the past 10 years, DPR has awarded more than $9.7 million in research grants to support the development of effective and less-toxic pest management tools.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West