California Walnut Board earns IPM innovator award

California Walnut Board earns IPM innovator award

The California Walnut Board’s Production Research Advisory Council Entomology Working Group earns the 2013 California Department of Pesticide Regulation's Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award.

The California Walnut Board’s (CWB) Production Research Advisory Council (PRAC) Entomology Working Group is a recipient of the 2013 California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award.

The award, DPR’s highest environmental honor, was announced Jan. 23 at a ceremony in Sacramento, Calif.

“On behalf of the California walnut industry, we are honored to be recognized for our IPM leadership and innovation,” said Dennis Balint, the CWB’s executive director.

“When we come together as an industry, we are powerful at addressing real challenges that produce far-reaching, sustainable benefits for all California walnut growers,” Balint said.

The CWB’s PRAC Entomology Working Group is part of a comprehensive, long-term effort to continually improve walnut production practices.

During the past decade, the CWB has invested $7.9 million in production research and related activities.

“The walnut industry’s long-time leadership in IPM innovation and clear demonstration of results make the California Walnut Board’s PRAC Entomology Working Group worthy of this recognition,” said DPR Director Brian Leahy.

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Created more than seven years ago, the PRAC was formed to bring objectivity and structure to the production research process. The focus is on four key areas - entomology, orchard management, plant pathology, and genetic improvement.

The goal of the PRAC Entomology Working Group is to discover, test, and broadly share economically and environmentally beneficial ways of controlling major walnut pests.

This working group has made excellent progress in a variety of areas, including the widespread adoption by growers of pheromone mating disruption (PMD) to control the codling moth – the key insect pest of walnuts.

As a result of the working group’s efforts, PMD has reduced codling moth populations to the point where supplemental insecticide applications have been eliminated, in many instances, within 2-4 sequential seasons of use.

“The successful use of biological methods to control the codling moth is a major area of progress and achievement for the PRAC,” said Joe Grant, University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County, and co-chairman of the working group.

“Overall, the working group has made significant strides toward reducing pesticide use in walnut production, and we continue our work today in identifying and helping to solve other California walnut pest challenges,” Grant said.

The IPM Innovator Awards were established in 1994 to recognize organizations that use IPM in innovative ways to reduce pesticide use and address pest-related challenges.

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