CDFA awards grant for proactive IPM solutions program
Photo courtesy of The California Department of Food and Agriculture

CDFA awards grant for proactive IPM solutions program

The three-year project will develop biological control agents for spotted lanternfly in California.

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The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded funding for one project in the initial funding cycle for the Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions grant program. The project, titled “Proactive Biological Control of Spotted Lantern Fly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae)” was awarded $543,936.

The three-year project will develop biological control agents for spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest that has not yet arrived in California but is spreading rapidly across the eastern US. This pest has the potential to affect many high-value California crops including grapes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. The project will piggyback on work that is already being conducted on the pest in the eastern US and abroad. Project leads are Dr. Mark Hoddle (UC Riverside) and Dr. Kent Daane (UC Berkeley). The biological control agent is a small (3 mm) stingless wasp, native to China, that parasitizes the eggs of the spotted lanternfly.

The goal of the Proactive IPM Solutions grant program is to anticipate which exotic pests are likely to arrive in California and to identify and test IPM strategies that can be rapidly implemented if the pests become established in California. CDFA is responsible for preventing and mitigating invasive pests in California. Techniques resulting from the Proactive IPM Solutions Program will allow for rapid deployment of future management plans.

Detailed information on this program, including the application process and application requirements, is available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/opca/proactive-ipm.html

CDFA’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) received an annual appropriation of $544,000 for this research program as part of the 2018-2019 budget. OPCA provides consultation to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on pesticide regulatory matters. The offices’ consultative activities focus on potential pesticide regulatory impacts and pest management alternatives that may mitigate or prevent such impacts on production agriculture. OPCA staff are also involved in other projects relating to pesticide use and alternatives.

Information on the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis is available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/opca/