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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Build, expand, and maintain an educational website for the Pacific Area-Wide Pest Management Program for Integrated Methyl Bromide Alternatives (PAW-MBA). 2. Publish a special issue of California Agriculture dedicated to findings of the PAW-MBA. 3. Foster utilization of PAW-MBA results and resources.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS scientist will work in collaboration with the PAW-MBA Website Outreach Subcommittee [OSC] to hire a website specialist (WSS) through the University of California (UC). With direct supervision provided by an ARS scientist and overall guidance provided by the PI, the WSS will first compile the graphics, data, and text required to populate the PAW-MBA website for 1) the Perennial Nursery project and 2) the Almond & Stone Fruit project. The WSS will use these materials as examples in requests for similar materials from each of the other 11 Leaders of PAW-MBA projects. The WSS will use Site Builder software available through the UC to create drafts of the PAW-MBA website. Project leaders will work with the WSS to redraft the website content until it is ready to go online. The first priority of the website will be to effectively communicate useful information directly from the PAW-MBA to target stakeholders (growers, pest control advisors, regulatory scientists and officials, relevant granting agencies). Such information will include summaries of PAW-MBA project findings, publications, and case studies, etc. A second priority of the website will be to communicate information that is not directly from the PAW-MBA but has supporting relevance to its educational outreach (e.g., regulatory updates, related research findings, meetings, & conferences). The overall emphasis of the website will be to facilitate science-based implementation of safe and effective MeBr alternatives in the western U.S. It is anticipated that the website will become active in 2011 and remain active, with periodic updates, through at least 2015. For example, PAW-MBA projects with perennial crops (e.g., almonds, peaches, walnuts, & grapes) will be collecting yield data and supporting continuing economic analyses through 2015, and these data and analyses will be used to update the PAW-MBA website through this period. For the life of the website, UC Extension Specialists will provide essential guidance in adapting it to meet the evolving educational needs of stakeholders that are adapting to production of agricultural products without MeBr. ARS scientists will work in collaboration with PAW-MBA director and other OSC members to lead development of a special issue of the Journal of California Agriculture. The issue will be dedicated to findings from the PAW-MBA. Titles and manuscript outlines will be solicited from PAW-MBA project leader and projects. The OSC members will accordingly plan and adjust details of the special issue with the managing editors of California Agriculture. The overall emphasis of the special issue will be to facilitate science-based implementation of safe & effective MeBr alternatives in California, but the issue will have relevance to stakeholders throughout the western U.S. Objective 3. will prepare brief powerpoint presentations and handouts featuring the PAW-MBA website and, when available, information on the special issue of California Agriculture. The materials will be made available for oral presentation or distribution by PAW-MBA project leaders and other agriculturalists that work in the topic area of MB alternatives.

3. Progress Report:
Established in support of objective 5 of the in-house project, which is to conduct multi-regional education programs that instruct growers, farm workers, and associated members of the agricultural community on optimized, IPM-supported use of MB alternatives. The goal of this project is to build, expand, and maintain an educational website for the Pacific Area-Wide Pest Management Program for Integrated Methyl Bromide Alternatives (PAW-MBA) and to publish a special issue of California Agriculture dedicated to findings of the PAW-MBA. During the October 2011 to September 2012 reporting period, considerable progress has been made on the website objective and moderate progress on the California Agriculture publication. A website specialist (hired in August 2011), worked extensively the PAW-MBA Website Outreach committee to propose a structure for the website and develop template pages. The Committee and the website specialist discussed benefits and drawbacks of several available web development tools that could be used for the PAW-MBA website. In the end, the Site Builder System developed by University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) was chose for the project. The website specialist worked closely with the principal investigators (PI) in fall 2011 to develop webpages for one “production project” and one “nursery project”. These were intended to serve as a starting point for the overall PAW-MBA website and as examples for the other PIs to consider in developing their own information for the website specialist. In November 2011, PWA-MBA leadership called a meeting of all principle investigators during the Methyl Bromide Alternatives Outreach Conference (November 1, 2011; San Diego, California). At this meeting, PIs and the website specialist discussed the outreach objectives of the website and presented the webpages that had been developed for the PWA-MBA Perennial Nursery Project. The website designer solicited input on the existing pages and format and spoke to individual project leaders about developing the content for their pages. From December 2011 to July 2012, the website designer worked with several of the PWA-MBA to develop website content for their projects. To date, significant progress has been made on most of the major projects including: Cut flower and ornamental nursery, Sweet potato hotbeds, Forest nursery, Perennial nursery, Almond and stonefruit replanting, Grape replanting, Strawberry production, and Emissions reduction. Although portions of the website are still under development, research results, program information, and soil fumigation issues related to the PWA-MBA are presented in over 100 webpages located at this web address: The second objective of this project is to publish a special issue of the Journal of California Agriculture dedicated to the PWA-MBA research. The articles for this issue are being prepared and submitted by the individual PIs and are undergoing the normal peer-review process by the journal’s editors and editorial board. At least six of these articles have been submitted to the journal and others are still in progress. Time requirements for writing, review, revision, and final publication of these articles will likely delay final publication of this special issue until at least late 2012.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 08/21/2017
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