US grants for cutting California pesticide risks
The US California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation is to issue grants totalling nearly $1 million to four research teams working on ways to reduce risks associated with pesticide use in the state. Three grants will go to branches of the University of California (UC) and one to the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). All the projects are focused on fumigants or organophosphate insecticides. The ARS will receive $130,578 for a project to eliminate non-essential fumigant use by up to 50% in almond and stone fruit orchards. UC Santa Cruz gains $399,304 to examine alternatives to soil fumigants and organophosphate insecticides for pest control on brassicas. UC Davis gets $153,289 to fund further research on alternatives to the fumigant, methyl bromide, in strawberry production. The UC's division of agriculture and natural resources receives $305,542 for research into pest management for lettuces and brassicas while reducing the use of organophosphate insecticides.