Mating disruption incentives are being made available through the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). A $490,000 grant has been awarded to the Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) as part of an effort to increase the value of pheromone mating disruption. The funding supports a three-year project to deploy the natural pest control method near impaired waterways in the eastern San Joaquin Valley. Collaborating on this initiative are key players including the Almond Board of California (ABC), the University of California Cooperative Extension, and crop consultants partnering with growers along compromised waterways.
“We have a responsibility to balance our mission to protect the state’s food supply from pests like the navel orangeworm with the imperative to use the most sustainable methods available,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a news release. “This funding will provide real, tangible benefits to growers, to impaired waterways, and to the broader community.”
The grant, part of CDFA’s Sustainable Pest Management Pilot Grant Program, aims to promote safer, sustainable pest control practices by incentivizing their use near sensitive habitats. This initiative aligns with the state’s new pest management strategy, “Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management: A Roadmap for California,” emphasizing a comprehensive approach promoting human health, resilient ecosystems, and economic viability in agricultural production.
Navel orangeworm (NOW) is a major insect pest in almond, pistachio, and walnut orchards. The grant project offers mating disruption incentives to support growers in implementing an area-wide approach. Backed by both commercial use and UC research, mating disruption is proven effective in reducing NOW damage.
“We’re offering financial incentives and technical assistance for using the NOW mating disruption simultaneously in their contiguous orchards,” said Parry Klassen, Executive Director of CURES. “The larger the area covered along a waterway, the more effective the approach for reducing NOW populations and the damage they cause.”
Ag News Director / AgNet West