Adapted IPM Model from former UC ANR faculty is offered in multiple languages leading to potential profit increases of $1.79 million.
Numerous endemic and invasive pests threaten all kinds of crops, and the application of synthetic pesticides is the most common control option in many cases around the world. Frequent application of pesticides leads to pest resistance, secondary pest outbreaks, increased risk of environmental and human health, and negatively impact sustainable crop production efforts both in the short-term and long-term. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a concept of pest management in an ecologically sustainable manner. IPM has been promoted for decades, and many farms apply IPM practices to some extent. However, there are certain deficiencies in the understanding of IPM, its components, finding non-chemical management options, and exploiting cultural practices to improve crop health and yields. The traditional IPM model faces challenges because of its limitations for practical applications. There is a need to improve the understanding of growers, pest control advisors, and crop advisors in developing comprehensive crop care strategies using IPM principles, as well as revise the traditional IPM model to fit the modern production trends and consumer preferences.
How UC Delivers
Former UC ANR Cooperative Extension Advisor Dr. Surendra Dara conducted extensive research developing IPM solutions and promoting biological control options for small fruits and vegetables in California and provided advice for managing pests in nurseries, ornamental crops, urban landscapes as well. The ultimate goal is to improve IPM knowledge and implementation locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Based on his decades of research and extension experience in the US and other countries around the world, Dr. Dara developed the new IPM paradigm in 2019 that incorporated social and economic aspects of crop production in addition to various pest management options and other influencing factors. He had been invited by multiple groups to speak about IPM strategies in multiple crops and the new IPM model. Multiple symposia were organized at professional conferences, farmers, crop care professionals, and agricultural input industries updated their crop production and protection strategies based on the new IPM model. The model has been translated into multiple languages with international collaboration.
An anonymous online survey conducted between December 2021 and May 2022 received responses from California and elsewhere. Forty-five respondents from allover California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin states in the US, and from Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Tanzania, and Uganda participated in the survey.
Survey results showed that 95.6% found the information from Dr. Dara's IPM program was useful, and 93.3% people would use that information or have used it to improve their farming operations. The IPM information has been or would be used on 33,703 acres with a realized or expected savings or additional returns of $1.79 million. The respondents also indicated that they have or would share the information to 132,739 people. Survey respondents included farmers, pest control or crop advisors, private researchers, agricultural industry partners, and university faculty or researchers. Since it was published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management in late April 2019, the new IPM model has been read or downloaded more than 48,000 times so far. Dr. Dara's research and extension demonstrates an ongoing commitment to UC ANR's public value of protecting natural resources in California and beyond.
“I have been growing strawberries for more than 20 years and worked with several farm advisors. Surendra is undoubtedly the best. He is the most productive and passionate about helping the farm industry.” Santa Maria Strawberry Grower
“IPM model is a very important tool that we can all promote to better implementation of efficient and sustianable solutions. thanks” Global Biocontrol Salesperson
“I am impressed with Dr. Dara's range and depth of trials, demonstrations, and experiments in the area of regenerative agriculture. The information he has put out is novel, useful and helpful. Sorry to see him go to Oregon.” Pest Control Advisor in USA
“Dr. Dara research is helping growers and crop consultants navigate sustainible and environmentally safe, effective and profitable options for pest managment in high value specialty crops.” Private Researcher, Hawaii, California, and Arizona
“Dr. Dara has a wealth of information that he distributes effectively using multiple different platforms. He is a good writer and communicator who is capable in presenting to audiences at various levels from growers to research scientists” Pest Control Advisor in the Western US
“Dr Dara is providing critical research and outreach for sustainable farming in the west and is also a linch pin in research and education on invasive pests.” Trade magazine editor