California’s Central Valley has a strong agricultural economy, and modern farm practices expose both human and ecological communities to various chemical risks. Many farmers are disconnected from the best scientific information about the impacts of the chemicals they use.
This project will help raise awareness and provide education. The project will update the Pesticide Management Prioritization Model, which was first developed by Parker with the support of a 2020 Delta Science Fellowship. The PMPM clarifies the risk of pesticide pollution by pesticide and application site type for all farms within approximately 100 kilometers of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta. The tool accounts for water management practices, land use, pesticide use rates and cumulative pesticide stress. This year, Parker will update the PMPM to include new information on how chemicals affect particular species, how various irrigation practices impact pesticide flow and at what rate pesticides degrade in various types of Bay-Delta soil.
The improved model will allow Delta residents, especially those in agricultural areas, to better understand the impact of pesticide exposure to humans and the ecosystem. Additionally, it will encourage meaningful conversations about opportunities to improve pesticide use in the region.