Former Area IPM Advisor Walt Bentley, Area IPM Advisor Lucia Varela and former Associate Director for Communications Joyce Strand were awarded the UC Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Team along with UCCE advisors and specialists Larry Bettiga, Monica Cooper, Kent Daane, Rhonda Smith, Robert Van Steenwyk and Frank Zalom.
Despite working in the spotlight on a pest of great significance to the high-value north coast wine industry, the team gained the trust and respect of industry and regulatory agency partners.
The award was given for the Team’s efforts to eradicate European grapevine moth. Quarantines, originally established in 10 wine and table grape growing counties, were reduced to a portion of one county over 7 years. Zero European grapevine moths were trapped in the last remaining quarantine zone in 2016, and the quarantine restrictions were lifted. The Team worked quickly to develop a pest management program based on the moth’s biology, focusing on pheromone dispensers to disrupt mating and carefully-timed insecticides. Results from the Team’s research helped growers produce an economically viable crop in quarantine areas. The results also helped regulators formulate detection and dispersal regulations. Despite working in the spotlight on a pest of great significance to the high-value north coast wine industry, the team gained the trust and respect of industry and regulatory agency partners.