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Pest management tool for stone fruit growers

The University of California has released Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Peaches and Nectarines to help producers determine such things as when to put up pheromone traps for peach twig borer, or what pests are best managed during their dormant stage.

Because most growers relate to crop growth stage or season, this cyclic approach guides stone fruit growers and PCAs on how to protect their crops and the environment at the same time.

Starting with the dormant period, followed by bloom/post bloom, in-season, harvest, and post harvest, this handy guide outlines activities that need to be carried out throughout the year. Common pests, pest monitoring procedures, treatment thresholds, cultural practices, and treatment choices are summarized for each season.

Also included are lists of environmentally friendly insecticides and broad-spectrum pesticides that pose risks to wildlife and the environment. Printed in full-color on sturdy coated paper, this guide has been designed for ease-of-use and durability in the field.

Authored by UC Statewide IPM Program Advisors Carolyn Pickel and Walt Bentley, and UCCE farm advisors in Butte, Stanislaus, Kern, Fresno, and Madera counties, the Seasonal Guide builds on years of UC research directed at environmentally sound solutions to stone fruit pest problems.

”We’ve put peach pest management information into a convenient, quick, and easily understood form,” says Bentley. “Our goal is to get farmers and pest control advisers familiar with a pest and the easiest way to detect it. The pesticides stressed in this publication work just as well as the more broad-spectrum materials. They are safer for people and the environment. That is the major difference.”

The program summarizes practices demonstrated in a four-year project, The Stone Fruit Pest Management Alliance is a public/private partnership of University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisors and UC Statewide IPM Program advisors, the California Tree Fruit Agreement, the California Cling Peach Board, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9.

Detailed, year-round IPM programs and annual checklists for peaches and nectarines that complement the Seasonal Guide can be found on the UC IPM Web site linked to the UC IPM pest management guidelines for those crops.

The year-round IPM programs include downloadable monitoring protocols, record keeping forms and treatment suggestions. Also included are printable color photo ID sheets, biology, monitoring and management methods, and pest identification tips. Find these free tools at

The eight-page Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management in Peaches and Nectarines, UC ANR Publication 21625, is available from the University of California for $7. Call 1-800-994-8849. Quantity and reseller discounts are available.

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