Pest Control Advisor Advanced Training
The IssuePest control advisors (PCAs) in California are college-educated professionals who examine agricultural fields and recommend control measures for crop pests. They help to ensure a plentiful, high-quality crop at harvest time.
UC researchers are constantly developing new pest management techniques and PCAs are challenged to stay current with these developments. Although PCAs are well trained and spend much of their time in the field, they can become overwhelmed by the amount of new information.
What Has ANR Done?UCCE advisors occupy a pivotal role in educating PCAs, ensuring that agricultural professionals are aware of the latest pest management tools and techniques as quickly as they are developed. Farm advisors inform PCAs of recent science-based developments through meetings, newsletters, e-mails and personal contact.
In Imperial County, ‘Ag Briefs’ are published monthly to keep PCAs aware of timely issues that can affect them. To address more urgent needs, UC advisors put information into Pest-O-Gram, a newsletter tailored for professional crop consultants. In addition, some advisors make information available to the growers electronically via the Internet. Integrated Pest Management information crop by crop is posted on our website http://ceimperial.ucdavis.edu
PCA training improves pest control skillsThe PCAs receive information about UC variety trials regarding pest resistance and the most environmentally sound methods of pest control available.
In addition, PCAs are briefed on the biology and life cycle of plant pests. In this way, the PCA can best judge when a pest will cause damage to a crop and when to make a recommendation to avoid damage. Just as important, PCAs will be able to judge when a treatment is not necessary.
The PCA also is informed of the danger of pesticide resistance to chemicals. He or she can learn which materials are most at risk of becoming useless, and how to reduce the likelihood of developing a resistant pest that cannot be controlled.
Supporting Unit:Imperial County
Tom Turini, Herman Meister
UCCE Imperial County, 1050 East Holton Rd.
Holtville, CA 92250-9615