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US (CA): CDFA accepting concept proposals for biologically integrated farming systems grant program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) is now accepting concept proposals for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Grant Program (BIFS). The BIFS grant program funds on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative, biologically based farming systems that employ sustainable pest management strategies.

"The BIFS program provides a unique opportunity to help growers address important pest problems while minimizing environmental risk," said Dr. Kent Daane, a past BIFS grant recipient and Cooperative Extension Specialist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Daane's project uses areawide management to address the invasive vine mealybug, a pest that damages grapevines and vectors grape leafroll associated viruses. "Area-wide controls can help manage both the insect and the virus, as has been shown in New Zealand, South Africa and here in California in Napa, but they can be costly. Our current BIFS project seeks to improve area-wide controls by improving insect control practices, such as the use of mating disruption, and increasing grower communication and cooperation by working with farmers in the Lodi Winegrape Commission and the Central Coast's Vineyard Team," said Dr. Daane.

The 2024-2025 Request for Proposals (RFP) identifies four priority funding areas based on recent or proposed regulatory actions and grower needs:

1. Dacthal (dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate, DCPA) alternatives in Brassica and onion crops
2. Lygus management in cotton
3. Neonicotinoid alternatives in tomato
4. Fumigant alternatives

One million dollars ($1 million) is available for this round, and applicants can request up to that amount. OPCA is funding this solicitation with a portion of its allocation of the pesticide mill assessment.

Following a review of short concept proposals, OPCA will invite up to three applicants to submit a full proposal. OPCA will announce invitations in August, and full proposals will be due in late September.

Concept proposals are due by 5 PM PST, July 26, 2024. Public or private colleges and universities, local, State, and federal government entities including tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and commodity groups are eligible to apply. The project lead(s) and their institutions must be based in California. Detailed information, including the application process and requirements, is available at


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