The pea leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) and the lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribis-nigri) are the two most important pests of lettuce production in the coastal Salinas Valley of California. Lettuce production in this area is a 650 million-dollar industry in value of the product alone. The Central Coast Vegetable IPM (CCVIPM) Project, which began in 1997, focused on new strategies of controlling these and other pests in head lettuce and romaine lettuce. This project stands as an example of research that is participant-driven.
The project utilized side-by-side comparisons of two different pesticide regimes in the commercial production fields of cooperating growers. The IPM treatments excluded organophosphates (OPís), carbamates, and pyrethroids, except when alternatives were not available. From 1997 to 2000, the CCVIPM project conducted 46 field demonstrations covering 667 acres. In these fields, the reduction in the number of applications of OP's, carbamates, and pyrethroids for the IPM treatments compared to the standard was 72 to 88%. However, the project clearly shows that eliminating these FQPA targeted materials is not possible at this time. One or more of the excluded pesticides was required on the IPM treatment to manage a pest with no alternative control available, in 38% of the head lettuce and 29% of the romaine trials. Many of the "softer" IPM materials are more expensive than older OP's, carbamates, or pyrethroids. Thus, there was a higher cost for the IPM treatments, from $0.02 to $0.08 per carton. More information is available on the project website, http://ccvipmp.ucdavis.edu.
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA