Southern IPM Coordinators release their pest management priorities for 2017

IPM Coordinators in the Southern Region updated a list of the major insect pest, disease and weed issues that researchers and extension specialists should try to address in the coming year. During their annual meeting on March 15 at the Southeastern Branch Entomological Society of America meeting, IPM Coordinators reviewed the current Southern Region priorities while sharing some of the challenges in their state.

The coordinators belong to a regional committee called the Southern Extension and Research Activities (SERA) 003. Each major region of the country—south, northeast, north central and west—has a similar regional committee.

Regional priority lists drive the types and topics for research and extension projects during the year. Funding entities such as USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Environmental Protection Agency and the Regional IPM Centers use priority lists to guide funding decisions for proposed projects.

Priorities are chosen based on three criteria: stakeholders have stated a need to have the priority addressed; the topic addresses economic, environmental and/or human health issues; and the priority is relevant in at least two states in the region.

The following issues are among the list of priorities for the Southern region:

  • Projects that address critical IPM issues resulting from changes in management systems, pesticide resistance, invasive pests, loss of management tools or environmental changes
  • New, emerging and important pests and issues, including:
    • New invasive insects such as the brown marmorated stink bug, spotted wing drosophila, tawny crazy ant, tropical fruit flies, etc.
    • Disease management issues such as trizole resistance, laurel wilt, thousand canker disease and arthropod-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus.
  • Chronic or established IPM problems including:
    • Agricultural insect pests
    • Pests of livestock
    • Urban pests and issues
    • Diseases that affect field crops, specialty crops and livestock
    • Nematodes
    • Weeds and herbicide-resistant weeds
  • Projects that focus on development and implementation of IPM systems
  • Projects that focus on the implementation of evaluation tools
  • Projects that improve the delivery of IPM information by creating new resources or developing new or enhancing existing programs
  • Projects that sustain public IPM infrastructure, including education for new IPM professionals, sustained support, improved extension capabilities and enhanced federal support

The full list of priorities can be found at http://www.sripmc.org/SIPMC/assets/File/SERAPriorities2017.pdf.

University of Kentucky entomologist Ric Bessin said that addressing these priorities is crucial to advancing IPM in the region.

Bessin noted that “each year our group comes together to discuss the current priorities to make sure they are still relevant and to address new priorities arising from our respective stakeholder groups from each state.”

“Stakeholder input is crucial to better to direct our limited resources to the most significant IPM issues,” he says.

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