The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has awarded $3.15 million in Research Grants to seven projects to support a statewide, systemwide transition to safer and more sustainable pest management.
DPR's Research Grants Program funds projects that advance integrated pest management (IPM) knowledge, tools, and practices in agricultural, urban, and wildland settings. IPM is a pest management approach that uses the least-toxic, effective method to solve pest problems.
Over the past decade, DPR has awarded more than $13.45 million in research grants.
"These grants are a cornerstone of DPR's mission to advance sustainable pest management and continuously improve the state's protection of people and the environment," said DPR Director Julie Henderson. "These projects play a central role in developing alternative approaches to pest management that support agriculture, enable the production of an abundant, healthy food supply, and support the well-being of all California communities."
In January 2023, DPR released the Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap, which outlines critical goals and actions to accelerate the transition to sustainable pest management.
Among the projects funded this year, two seek to reduce fumigant use, while three others could help decrease farmers' reliance on neonicotinoids and other pesticides. Fumigants – gaseous pesticides used in agriculture to kill soilborne pests – are a concern because they are often highly toxic and can impact the surrounding air. Neonicotinoids are also a concern since they have been linked to pollinator deaths.
Other grant-funded projects seek to reduce the human health effects of spray applications and to provide effective alternatives to traditional pesticides.