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U.S. EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program helps almond growers in a big way

Release Date: 01/17/2008
Contact Information: Mary Simms, 415-947-4270, simms.mary@epa.

U.S. EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program helps almond growers in a big way

    Almond Pest Management Alliance earns innovation award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation

    (1/17/2008 San Francisco, Calif.) – A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant funded the development of the Almond Pest Management Alliance’s award-winning publication, “A Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds.”

    The Almond Pest Management Alliance is one of eight organizations that will be honored today by the Department of Pesticide Regulation as 2007 Integrated Pest Management Innovators, for promoting natural pest solutions to build a healthier environment with less reliance on chemicals.

    "Funding seasonal guides like this is money well spent by our Agency,” said Cindy Wire, Senior Agriculture Policy Specialist for U.S. EPA Region 9. “California will continue to see environmental benefits from the use of this guide for a long time."

    California Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam will present the IPM Innovator Awards at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 17th at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento. The public is invited.

    “California has taken on more urban and agricultural environmental challenges than any state in the nation,” said Warmerdam. “We are very proud of this guide, which DPR helped create, because it illustrates how we can overcome pest management problems in ways that re-define traditional measures of success.”

    The guide, written by the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, provides almond growers with a season-long road map for farming almonds using environmentally responsible pest management practices. It was developed based on research and demonstration projects conducted for five years in three primary almond growing areas in the state -- Butte, Stanislaus and Kern counties. The first-of-its kind publication advances innovative pest management with concepts that are easily understood and implemented. Almond farmers who participated in this project were able to see first hand how well these techniques work.

    “Many almond growers worry about not using pesticides, because of the risk of damage and economic loss,” said Carolyn Pickel, of the University of California’s Cooperative Extension. “It takes a strong partnership, such as the Almond PMA to educate growers so they feel good knowing when to use less, or safer pesticides.”

    The Almond Pest Management Alliance is a cooperative effort among industry stakeholders that includes the state Almond Board, growers, UC Cooperative Extension, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Almond Hullers and Processors Association.

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