California Walnut Board Earns Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award

Honor Recognizes Achievements of the Board's Production Research Advisory Council Entomology Working Group

FOLSOM, Calif. (January 23, 2014) The California Walnut Board’s Production Research Advisory Council (PRAC) Entomology Working Group is a recipient of the 2013 California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovator Award. The award, which is the department’s highest environmental honor, was announced today at a ceremony in Sacramento.

“On behalf of the California walnut industry, we are honored to be recognized for our IPM leadership and innovation,” said Dennis A. Balint, Executive Director of the California Walnut Board. “When we come together as an industry, we are powerful at addressing real challenges that produce far-reaching, sustainable benefits for all California walnut growers.”

The California Walnut Board’s PRAC Entomology Working Group is part of a comprehensive, long-term effort to continually improve walnut production practices. During the past decade, the California Walnut Board has invested
$7.9 million in production research and related activities, said Balint.

The IPM Innovator Awards were established in 1994 to recognize organizations that use IPM in innovative ways to reduce pesticide use and address pest-related challenges.

“The walnut industry’s long-time leadership in IPM innovation and clear demonstration of results make the California Walnut Board’s PRAC Entomology Working Group worthy of this recognition,” said Brian R. Leahy, Director of the California DPR.

Created more than seven years ago, the PRAC was formed to bring objectivity and structure to the production research process. The PRAC focuses on four key areas with working groups dedicated to entomology, orchard management, plant pathology and genetic improvement.

The goal of the PRAC Entomology Working Group is to discover, test and broadly share economically and environmentally beneficial ways of controlling major walnut pests. This working group has made excellent progress in a variety of areas, including the widespread adoption by growers of pheromone mating disruption (PMD) to control the codling moth – the key insect pest of walnuts. As a result of the working group’s efforts, PMD has reduced codling moth populations to the point where supplemental insecticide applications have been eliminated, in many instances, within two to four sequential seasons of use.

“The successful use of biological methods to control the codling moth is a major area of progress and achievement for the PRAC,” said Joe Grant, University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County, and co-chairman of the working group. “Overall, the working group has made significant strides toward reducing pesticide use in walnut production, and we continue our work today in identifying and helping to solve other California walnut pest challenges.”

PRAC’s effectiveness is due in part to a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration of a variety of California walnut industry stakeholders, including University of California and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers, farm advisors, walnut growers, pest control advisors and IPM product suppliers, said Grant.

“The innovative structure of the group has led to tangible benefits for walnut growers that could only be accomplished by combining our collective time, talents and resources for the benefit of the broader industry,” said Hal Crain, Crain Ranch, and co-chairman of the working group.


Media resources available:

  • Expert interviews
  • High-resolution photography from the IPM Innovator Award ceremony

About California Walnuts

The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 growers and 100 handlers. The growers and handlers are represented by two entities, the California Walnut Board (CWB) and the California Walnut Commission (CWC).

About the California Walnut Board

The Walnut Marketing Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. In April 2008, the Walnut Marketing Board became the California Walnut Board to provide origin designation to the product it represents. The Board is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers. The CWB is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs, and also provides funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.

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The California Walnut Board (CWB) prohibits discrimination in all programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWB offices at (916) 932-7070. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). CWB is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

The California Walnut Board offices are located at 101 Parkshore Dr., Ste. #250, Folsom, CA 95630.