Epstein and Zhang, 2014

Epstein, Lynn, & Zhang, Minghua. (2014). The Impact of Integrated Pest Management Programs on Pesticide Use in California, USA. In R. Peshin & D. Pimentel (Eds.), Integrated Pest Management (pp. 173-200): Springer.


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is often promoted to farmers as a method that can provide the most economical, sustained disease and pest control, but promoted to the public as a method to reduce agricultural pesticide use. California has a public infrastructure for supporting IPM research and implementation, largely through the University of California IPM program. California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Pesticide Use Reports provide a system to track pesticide use state-wide. In practice, IPM in California is extremely pesticide-dependent, particularly in weed control and in agricultural production systems that rely on soil fumigation, such as strawberries. During our study period between 1993 and 2010, California had a decrease in use of 88 % of the highly-used pesticides listed for regulatory concern for human health. However, most of these pesticides were replaced with other chemicals rather than with non-chemical methods. We feature several case studies that illustrate key issues in California IPM: the limited progress in meeting Montreal Protocol guidelines for methyl bromide phase-out due to critical use exemptions for strawberry producers; a successful IPM program to decrease use of dormant-season organophosphates that are important water pollutants; the increase in use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which might have a role in the current bee colony collapse disorder; and the limited use of all of the commercialized microbial biocontrol agents except for Bacillus thuringiensis. FULL TEXT