The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is supporting alternative pest management projects with $1.78 million in investment. Five projects are being funded through DPR’s Alliance Grant Program. Nearly $8 million in Alliance Grants have been awarded since 2007. The program is designed to expedite the development of sustainable pest management practices and increase their adoption. Projects selected to receive funding emphasize the concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in agricultural, urban, and wildland environments.
“Alliance Grants directly support the department’s mission to foster methods and tools to reduce reliance on pesticides and their impact on human health and the environment,” DPR Director Julie Henderson said in a press release. “We are excited by the potential of these five projects and will continue to invest in projects that promote the development and use of safer, more sustainable pest management.”
One of the funded projects is being led by the Wild Farm Alliance and will focus on outreach and education. The project looks to promote IPM approaches that include natural-enemy habitats for the management of pest insects. Videos, field days, and webinars will be developed through the project. It will also include an online continuing education course for pesticide applicators. Another project will be led by Dr. John Lin at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The project seeks to evaluate the use of UV-C light to control mites, mildew, and mold in strawberries.
Urban pest management projects for the current cycle include providing IPM education in Los Angeles and addressing the management of Argentine ants. The wildlands pest management project that is being supported focuses on the management of creeping water primrose. Overall funds for the 2022 DPR Grants Program cycle were enhanced through the 2021-22 state budget. The increased allocation is more than five times the average available funding opportunities.