To help solve critical pest issues in U.S. agriculture and communities, the Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers recently awarded $1.2 million in grants to researchers and extension specialists around the country.
The grants will support planning, developing and promoting safe and sustainable pest management, a science known as integrated pest management, which is used in agriculture, forests and other natural areas, communities and schools.
“Integrated pest management, or IPM, has been protecting America’s farms and families since the 1970s,” explained Amanda Crump, the Western IPM Center director. “People using integrated pest management use all the resources available – pest-resistant plants, beneficial insects, technology and pesticides – to manage pests safely and economically, and with less pesticide risk than in the past.”
The Regional IPM Centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop, expand and evaluate integrated pest management. The four regions – West, South, Northeast and North Central – set their own priorities based on the pest problems in their areas and run their own competitive grant programs.
The awards reflect those regional needs. One North Central grant, for instance, focuses on corn and soybeans, while a Southern grant targets a specific bug in Southern cotton. The Northeast IPM Center is funding the creation of a New England tree fruit management guide, and the West is helping a tribal area in Oregon prepare for the arrival of a tree-killing disease known as Sudden Oak Death.
“One of the strengths of the Regional IPM Centers has always been their responsiveness to local needs and conditions,” Crump said. “Our regions are unique and diverse, and the Regional IPM Centers build connections throughout our regions to know the issues facing our growers and pest managers in communities and natural areas.”
The Regional IPM Centers have been providing roughly $1 million in competitive grant funding for each of the past dozen years. The complete list of funded projects in each region can be found through the following links:
North Central – http://www.ncipmc.org/connection/?p=2945