Almonds Pose Pest Management Challenges

Times were much simpler three and four decades ago. People were thrilled to get their first (black-and-white) television set. Homes had a single, wired telephone. The family sedan was filled with 20 cent-per-gallon gas at the nearby full-service station.

Veteran pest control advisers (PCAs) fondly remember simpler times on and off the farm when job duties were just as important but less complex. PCAs today are armed with an arsenal of knowledge on numerous pests and diseases, a broad range of crop protection materials with various active ingredients, and ever-changing, more complicated regulations.

PCAs must consider environmental issues and how pest control technology can impact air and water quality, endangered species, international markets, maximum residue levels, bees and pollinators, and production costs, said Gabriele Ludwig, associate director of environmental affairs for the Almond Board of California (ABC), Modesto, Calif.

Ludwig discussed hot-button pest management issues faced by Californias almond industry during the 2009 California Association of Pest Control Advisers annual meeting in Sparks, Nev., in October.

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