UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

IPM Achievement Award for Cherry Buckskin Project in Contra Costa County

Accepting an award from the CA Dept. of Pesticide Regulation, for the Cherry Buckskin Project. From left to right: Jorge Vargas, Claire Bernardo, Janet Caprile, and Matt Slattengren.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation held their annual Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Achievement Awards on Jan. 26. Awards were given in recognition of six organizations that applied problem-solving approaches to manage pests through the use of least toxic practices. One of the awards, accepted by Janet Caprile, Farm Advisor UC Cooperative Extension Contra Costa County, was for the Cherry Buckskin Project.

Since 1987, the Cherry Buckskin Project has been working to prevent the establishment of cherry buckskin disease which can decimate entire orchards. “Cherry buckskin disease is spread by leafhoppers, which acquire the disease when feeding on diseased cherries or other plants that host the disease organism. Diseased trees produce pebbly, leathery-skinned paled fruit that is most evident at harvest,” according to the UC IPM website.

Prevention of cherry buckskin disease is a collaborative effort between UC Cooperative Extension, the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture and local cherry growers; the Cherry Buckskin Project aims at early detection through education and outreach.

A major component of the Cherry Buckskin Project is the training of UC Master Gardener volunteers and local growers. UC Master Gardener volunteers in Contra Costa County are trained annually by Caprile, who explains the history of the disease, how it is transmitted and what symptoms to be on the lookout for.

UC Master Gardener volunteers serve as early detectors and scout for symptoms of cherry buckskin disease, through an annual survey of cherry orchards in Contra Costa County. Since the beginning of the project UC Master Gardener volunteers donated more than 1,100 volunteer hours surveying cherry orchards!

Healthy cherry fruit (left) and fruit with symptoms of cherry buckskin disease (right). Photo credit: Jack Kelly Clark.
In 2002, a UC Master Gardener volunteer found the first orchard infected with cherry buckskin disease. Over the next five years, seven more orchards were identified with one or two trees showing symptoms of the disease. All of the infected trees were removed after the lab samples were confirmed to be positive. In 2015, the orchard that was a recurrent hot spot for the disease was removed and no more occurrences have been found in the annual surveys conducted since.

A huge congratulations to Janet Caprile for the well-deserved IPM Achievement Award, and a thank you to all of the UC Master Gardener volunteers in Contra Costa County that have helped make the Cherry Buckskin Project possible with the hours they have dedicated to its success.

Also attending the award ceremony with Caprile were Matthew Slattengren, Assistant Agricultural Commissioner Sealer of Weights and Measures, Jorge Vargas, Agricultural Biologist Weights and Measures Inspector, and Claire Bernardo, representing UC Master Gardener volunteers. The ceremony took place in the CalEPA headquarters Building in Sacramento, Calif.


UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County, cecontracosta.ucanr.edu
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County, ccmg.ucanr.edu
UC Integrated Pest Management (IPM), ipm.ucanr.edu

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2017 at 2:18 PM



Posted by Tunyalee A. Martin on February 7, 2017 at 11:59 AM

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