1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Implement an area-wide IPM program that will reduce navel orangeworm damage, aflatoxin contamination, and broad-spectrum insecticide use throughout the Central Valley. 2. Collect baseline data characterizing the experimental plots in terms of NOW population density, historic levels of damage, sanitation efficacy, and the cost of current practices. Compare the efficacy of current and proposed NOW management programs using cost/benefit analysis. 3. Identify key variables responsible for both consistent control and program failure and analyze the relative importance of these variables using epidemiological/epizootiological statistics. 4. Expand an existing damage prediction model for Nonpareil almond damage that is based on Kern County data, to the other growing regions in the Central Valley; and develop a damage prediction model for pollenizer varieties of almonds and validate the model in the different growing regions. 5. Determine the role played by NOW movement among multiple hosts on the efficacy of the new management practices demonstrated. 6. Create NOW damage databases using grower-provided data that can identify high-risk areas for each commodity within a county and utilize these databases to develop a better understanding of the distribution of both NOW infestation and aflatoxin contamination within and between counties. 7. Work with farm advisers and an advisory council to develop educational programs and training materials to instruct growers on the strategies demonstrated in the area-wide proposal.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Establish and implement an areawide pest management research and action program for navel orangeworm management which (a) results from a stakeholder partnership and collaboration dedicated to the demonstration and areawide adoption of navel orangeworm control technologies; (b) demonstrates the positive impacts and advantages of such a program through enhanced grower profits, reduced worker risks, an enhanced environment, and a proven superiority of area-wide adoption; and (c) achieves a mature navel orangeworm management system so end-users, consultants and other interested parties will be left with an operation program that will meet the overall goals through its wide-scale adoption. This will require the development of a unified effort between Federal, State, local and private interests, and whose participants will be involved in the program from conception to adoption.
3. Progress Report
Mating disruption in walnuts was evaluated at multiple sites covering more than 2,000 acres. Data will be gathered for several years to demonstrate that this technology can reduce navel orangeworm (NOW) damage and decrease the use of broad-spectrum insecticides. Mating disruption was demonstrated in 2,000 acres of almonds in Fresno County and in 2009 it was overlaid on the existing insecticide management scheme and successfully reduced damage. In Kern County almonds, monitoring techniques were refined to speed adoption of this technology. Information was transferred to growers in a series of Field Day demonstrations and symposia sponsored by county Farm Advisors, The Almond Board of California, and Industry Cooperators. Mating disruption is now used for 30,000 acres of almonds, a dramatic expansion from the 5,000 acres of almonds using this technology in 2007. Project participants continue to gather data on the development and pattern of emergence of NOW in almonds and pistachios in order to improve treatments employing new narrow spectrum insecticides. The use of these materials facilitates the adoption of mating disruption because disruption does not work at high populations. The combination of optimized insecticide use combined with mating disruption will reduce NOW damage and overall insecticide use in almonds and pistachios. Information on the prevalence of aflatoxin-producing molds on adult NOW and the role of NOW in dispersing aflatoxin-producing molds continues. This information will reduce the number of aflatoxin-related load rejections by the European Union and will refine the current economic assessment of NOW control costs. Supporting studies monitored NOW survival in unharvested almonds in order to validate the more stringent sanitation standards for the San Joaquin Valley proposed by this project. A simple educational tool created by project participants is now hosted on the website of the Almond Board of California. Use of this tool will increase acceptance of sanitation and harvest recommendations and contribute to decreased NOW damage. The above research addresses National Program objectives by reducing postharvest use of methyl bromide and other fumigants for durable commodities and protects these commodities using ecologically sound means. Cooperator activity was monitored by means of a stakeholder meeting in Parlier, August 2009, presentations made at the second Pest Management Alliance for almonds meetings in Parlier and Stockton, October 2009, presentations made at the Almond Board of California, Modesto, December 2009, presentations at Statewide Pistachio Day, Visalia, January 2010, presentations at the Kern County Almond Day, Bakersfield, January 2010, and at a symposium sponsored by this project, Tulare, April, 2010. Additional information was provided to UCCE farm advisors by meetings, telephone calls and e-mail.