USDA Awards $4 Million in Research Grants for Integrated Pest Management Solutions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced nearly $4.2 million in grants to support research projects and extension programs that will provide pest management solutions and advancements. This research aims to increase food security by further protecting agricultural resources and improving pest mitigation practices.

“Ensuring a safe, quality, and abundant food supply is an essential facet in preparing to feed a growing population,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “The programs funded today will contribute to the future of food production with new techniques and improvements on tried-and-true methods.”

NIFA made the awards through the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program (CPPM), which supports projects that address high priority integrated pest management (IPM) challenges with coordinated state, regional, and national research and extension efforts. All fiscal year 2015 grants were made in the Applied Research and Development focus area, which centers on the development of new IPM tactics, technologies, practices, and strategies. The impact of these research and extension efforts will be increased by the establishment of communication networks and stakeholder participation in setting priorities.

The grants awarded in fiscal year 2015 have been awarded to:

  • University of California, Davis, Calif., $174,998
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., $299,900
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $174, 306
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $278,767
  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $300,000
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., $299,891
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Md., $299,998
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $173,151
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., $175,000
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., $299,953
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., $300,000
  • New York Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y., $172,657
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., $300,000
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., $172,560
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., $299,940
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $298,159
  • Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., $174,922

These grants include an extension-led project from Cornell University that will identify and rapidly report locations of late blight outbreaks in Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin.  Another project from the University of Georgia involves the development and demonstration of a qualitative pest management monitoring network based on brief weekly reports on pest presence and absence entered on mobile devices. A third project from the University of California – Davis will break new ground in applying ecoinformatics approaches to solve pest management and agricultural productivity challenges in California’s $1.3 billion citrus industry.  More information about these and other related grants can be found on the NIFA website.

The CPPM program is aligned with the goals identified in the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management. The roadmap identifies strategic directions for IPM research and implementation efforts for pests in all settings throughout the nation. IPM practices in agriculture promote a healthy crop environment while conserving organisms that are beneficial to those agricultural systems. Funded projects may also develop reduced-risk IPM methods for pest-free homes, schools, parks and recreational areas. The CPPM program directly supports USDA goals to develop and extend effective, affordable, and environmentally-sound IPM strategies to reduce food production losses caused by diseases, weeds and pests.

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