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January 27, 2011

SureHarvest honored as IPM Innovator

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(January 27, 2011 – Sacramento, CA) SureHarvest will be recognized today as an IPM Innovator by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) for its leadership in developing and implementing the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and supporting sustainability information management technologies. Since 1994, DPR has annually recognized public and private organizations for pioneering methods of pest management that increase IPM adoption.

"Our work at SureHarvest, and that of my fellow honorees, and those before us that have earned this award, represents a manifestation of the groundbreaking contributions of Hagen, van de Bosch, Huffaker and Stern who built the scientific foundations of IPM at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside,” stated Dr. Cliff Ohmart, VP of Professional Services for SureHarvest.  “We stand on their shoulders today and I thank DPR for continuing to recognize this important aspect of pest management."

Beginning in 2001, SureHarvest led a collaborative effort among the Wine Institute and the California Association for Winegrape Growers in the formation of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.  A multi-stakeholder team built a self-assessment program covering 227 vineyard and winery practices called the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices, building on the Lodi Winegrowers Workbook. From 2002 – 2004, SureHarvest coordinated 72 workshops with over 1000 participants from 800 vineyard enterprises and 125 winery facilities to complete self-assessments. Using the SureHarvest Sustainability MIS, a web-based software platform, SureHarvest prepared benchmark reports with aggregate results for the trade associa­tions and confidential reports for individual growers to compare sustainability performance. IPM adoption and energy efficiency were identified as priorities for continuous improvement.

From 2004-2009, 131 pest manage­ment workshops were held involving over 7400 vintners and growers.  In 2009, 1237 vineyards and 329 win­eries re-assessed their practices using the web-based platform. The 2009 Progress Report revealed that vineyard performance increased for 35 of the 38 pest management criteria measured. The SWP is the largest agricultural sustain­ability program in the nation involving 68.1% of the 526,000 total statewide vineyard acres and 62.5% of 240 million total statewide cases of wine produced in California.

“This is a great honor, not just for SureHarvest, but for the California winegrowing industry itself, who leads the nation in agricultural sustainability and enjoys the reputation as a sustainability leader among its global competition,” stated SureHarvest President and CEO, Dr. Jeff Dlott.

The IPM Innovator Awards ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, January 27 in the Sierra Hearing Room on the second floor of the California Environmental Protection Agency building in Sacramento.

About SureHarvest: (www.sureharvest.com) Since 1999, SureHarvest has provided growers farming a total of over 400,000 acres with software and services to implement sustainability as a business strategy. SureHarvest Farming MIS tracks, analyzes and reports on all farming activities, including scouting, chemical-fertilizer applications, irrigation, yield forecasting, harvest and labor. As a key architect of the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, SureHarvest securely houses the self-assessment data for more than 60 percent of California vintners and wineries with its Sustainability MIS web-based platform.