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USDA Invests in Integrated Pest Management for Increased Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to bring safer, more effective pest management approaches to farms and communities.

ā€œInsects, weeds, and diseases are ever-evolving challenges for U.S. agriculture,ā€ said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. ā€œNIFA is making investments to develop sound scientific approaches to increase production and provide continued food security in the face of these threats.ā€Ā 

These grants are awarded through three NIFA pest management programs. TheĀ Crop Protection and Pest ManagementĀ program supports research and extension projects that address critical state, regional, and national pest management challenges and help ensure food security. The Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) programĀ supports pest management solutions primarily for specialty crops, such as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops (including floriculture). TheĀ Methyl Bromide TransitionĀ program supports research for new, effective pesticides and approaches to managing pests that can replace methyl bromide, an older, ozone-depleting treatment used in farming, storage, shipment, and quarantine.

Among the newly awarded projects is a Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University project that will evaluate the potential of vacuum and steam treatment as an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation of hardwood and softwood logs. Fumigation of imported and exported whole logs accounts for nearly a quarter of all methyl bromide use. At Michigan State University, more than 75 Extension educators and specialists will share integrated pest management (IPM) and pollinator research to help growers adopt IPM practices and reduce pesticide use.

In fiscal year 2017, 77 awards totaling $27.6 million were made by the following programs to support IPM projects. The awards were selected based on a competitive peer review panel process.

Crop Protection and Pest Management Program/Applied Research and Development Program Area:

  • Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $279,043
  • Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, $323,493
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $195,456
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, $324,449
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, $325,000
  • University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky, $324,992
  • The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, $321,957
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, $199,997
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, $324,997
  • Board of Regents, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, $325,000
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, $199,966
  • Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, $199,532
  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, $325,000
  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, $324,999
  • Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, $195,711

More information on these projects is available on theĀ NIFA website.

Crop Protection and Pest Management Program/Extension Implementation Program Area

  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, $150,129
  • Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $271,827
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, Arkansas, $179,445
  • Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, $255,000
  • The Regents of the University of California, Davis, California, $180,000
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, $150,471
  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, $179,940
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, $164,468
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $164,008
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, $124,500
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, $180,000
  • University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam, $67,800
  • University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, $94,500
  • Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa, $273,000
  • The Regents of the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, $179,092
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, $179,942
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, $268,565
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, $246,146
  • University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky, $128,889
  • Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, $354,000
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, $270,542
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, $273,000
  • University of Maine, Orono, Maine, $171,413
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan,$190,500
  • The Regents of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, $183,000
  • The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, $163,582
  • Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, $146,738
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, $273,000
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, $272,995
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, $172,134
  • Board of Regents, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska, $187,484
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, $130,948
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, $351,000
  • The Regents of New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico, $196,071
  • Board of Regents, University of Nevada Reno, Nevada, $203,999
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, $254,919
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $237,306
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, $99,807
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, $272,217
  • Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, $221,077
  • Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service, San Juan, Puerto Rico, $171,263
  • University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, $116,132
  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, $172,125
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, $358,000
  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, $182,067
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, $180,000
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $113,622
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, $180,000
  • University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, Burlington, Vermont, $254,195
  • Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, $272,998
  • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, Madison, Wisconsin, $225,000
  • West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown, West Virginia, $82,916
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, $150,690

More information on these projects is available on theĀ NIFA website.

Minor Crop Pest Management Program (IR-4)

  • The Regents of the University of California, Davis, California, $3,191,910
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $2,320,413
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, $1,978,284
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, $2,780,635
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, $799,046

More information on these projects is available on theĀ NIFA websiteĀ andĀ IR-4 website(link is external).

Methyl Bromide Transition Program

  • The Regents of the University of California, Davis, California, $499,749
  • The Regents of the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, $499,998
  • Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, $498,387
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, $393,049

More information on these projects is available on theĀ NIFA website.

Among past projects,Ā Rutgers University(link is external)Ā collected field and laboratory data on the safety of 1,000 pesticides for use on specialty crops and provided the data to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in the approval process. These regulatory approvals have helped specialty crop growers nationwide protect their crops from numerous pests, reduce food waste, and stock grocery store shelves with an abundance of high-quality American grown fruits and vegetables.Ā Texas A& M University(link is external)Ā created a software tool to help farmers choose effective methods of combatting palmer amaranth ā€“ a serious invasive weed that lowers yields of corn, soybeans, and cotton.Ā The decision tool can help farmers evaluate the effectiveness of their palmer amaranth management program, analyze overall economic profitability, and determine whether the weed may become resistant to herbicides.

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