CANGC Unified BMPs Project
Introduction and Objectives
As the introduction of invasive insects and diseases has impaired the ability of California’s nursery industry to do business, growers have used best management practices (BMPs) in combination with IPM approaches to exclude and prevent the spread of several major pests.
Unifying these pest-specific systems approaches into a methodology applicable to a range of insects and diseases will prevent the spread of existing pests and exclude future invaders allowing nurseries to conduct business in a more efficient and sustainable manner while safeguarding California’s crop agriculture and the environment.
The California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) was awarded funding in the amount of $296,603 for 2010-2013 from the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program of the CA Department of Food and Agriculture for the project “Unified Production Nursery Systems Approach for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Best Management Practices (BMPs)”. CANGC has partnered with UCNFA to achieve these project objectives:
a) Survey existing BMPs across a number of insects and diseases currently affecting California’s nursery and floriculture industry and report the results using a matrix format.
b) Assemble a Science Advisory Committee to analyze the resulting matrix and identify those BMPs that can be applied to multiple insects and diseases.
c) The Science Advisory Committee will also identify gaps in knowledge regarding BMPs that are in need of research and recommend funding to researchers capable of acquiring the necessary data.
d) Design and produce a manual of unified and validated BMPs for nursery cultural and pest-exclusion practices and post them at the websites of the CANGC, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and the U.C. Nursery and Floriculture Alliance (UCNFA).
e) Conduct an assessment of nursery awareness of BMPs as components of an IPM program.
f) Conduct training workshops for California nursery managers on how to use the unified BMPs manual and establish a unified BMP program at their nurseries.
We have made great progress on objectives a), b) and c) in the initial time period. We are now ready to conduct the needed research identified by the Science Advisory Committee to fill in knowledge gaps about the BMPs.
One project will examine the interaction of soilless media and biological control agents for soil pests.
Another will compile regulatory data on insect and disease finds to establish baseline levels of activity in California prior to the adoption of the unified BMPs. This effort will also build the general case for voluntary BMP adoption using data from regulated pest programs that have been in place for several years. Pest incidence data will be compared before and after BMP implementation.
A third project will conduct case studies to determine the economic impact of scouting on pesticide use in nurseries.
We will then complete work on objectives d), e) and f) by producing the manual of unified BMPs, assessing nursery awareness of BMPs as components of an IPM program, and conducting training workshops for implementation of the unified BMPs.