In the late 1970ís insect damage to almond and walnut crops in
California was increasing and the use of insecticides was also
increasing. A group of
growers contacted the University of California with their dilemma.
The end result was the formation of Scientific Methods, Inc. by
recent graduate Dr. Barry Wilk Through changes in orchard management practices, alteration in
insecticide application methods, and intensive monitoring of orchards
Scientific Methods drastically reduced crop loss due to insects (from
30% in many cases to less than 2% on average) as well as significantly
reducing the amount of pesticides used.
The company has continued this excellent performance to the
present day, expanding into the management of other crops such as
prunes, apples, pistachios and tomatoes.
- The primary goal of Scientific Methods, Inc. is to assist the
grower in producing a crop of maximum quantity and quality while
optimizing the monetary input per acre of crop. Pesticide use is
recommended only after intensive orchard monitoring reveals that a
treatment is necessary and other non-chemical methods are explored.
Methods of application are tailored to optimize the material used
(e.g.. varietal sprays, half sprays, lower than label rate sprays).
Materials are selected that will provide effective control and have
a minimum impact on natural enemies or the environment in general.
- To manage pest problems using the most effective Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) techniques available with an eye to minimizing the
use of pesticides and maximizing the use of natural controls
(parasites and predators) present in the orchard. Use of cultural
controls are stressed. Pest management decisions are always made
with the welfare of the crop as the central focus and long-term
ecologically sound methods are used whenever possible.
- Develop and implement, when necessary, tools for improved IPM
programs in orchards. For example, mass rearing of two-spotted mite
predators for release in our clients' orchards.
- Maintain active contacts with University, Extension, and private
companies concerned with orchard management in order to stay abreast
of newly developing management strategies that can be incorporated
in current IPM programs.