NCSU Transition Team for Methyl Bromide helps growers maintain yields while improving the ozone layer

A group of extension specialists at NC State University have helped growers use integrated pest management to transition away from a toxic fumigant while maintaining their yields. Decreased use of the fumigant has had positive environmental consequences as well: the decreased use has led to lower bromine levels in the atmosphere, accounting for one-third of the measured decrease in ozone depleting halogens above the Antarctica.

The transition away from the pesticide methyl bromide began in 2005, in response to scientific data linking it to decreasing ozone levels in the atmosphere. Developed countries banned methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed in 1987 to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. In the United States, the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture devised a funding mechanism to help scientists gradually wean farmers away from methyl bromide use. Each year, scientists would apply for “critical use exemptions” to specify how much methyl bromide they felt farmers in their state would need while they searched for alternatives. The funding mechanism was called the “Methyl Bromide Alternatives Program.” Continue reading

USDA Research to Support Environmentally-Friendly Pesticides, Reduction of Methyl Bromide

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced funding available to research new, environmentally-friendly pesticides, and innovative tools and strategies to replace methyl bromide, an older treatment for pests.

The Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) program is helping to discover and implement practical and safer pest management alternatives. Projects may focus on integrated research and extension activities or extension-only projects that promote the adoption of new pest management practices. This year, NIFA’s Methyl Bromide Transition Program will award grants totaling $1.9 million for such research. Continue reading

FY 2018 Methyl Bromide Transition RFA Released

The methyl bromide transition program (MBT) addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Research projects must address commodities with critical issues and include a focused economic analysis of the cost of implementing the transition on a commercial scale. Continue reading

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.

“Insects, weeds, and diseases are ever-evolving challenges for U.S. agriculture,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA is making investments to develop sound scientific approaches to increase production and provide continued food security in the face of these threats.”  Continue reading

NIFA Funding Opportunity-Methyl Bromide Transition

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2017 Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Request for Applications (RFA). The MBT program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives for commodities and uses affected by the methyl bromide phase-out. This program focuses on integrated projects that use a systems approach to deliver short- to medium-term solutions and economic analyses for all commodities impacted by the loss of methyl bromide. The following link includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/methyl-bromide-transition. For programmatic questions, please contact Dr. Herbert Bolton (hbolton@nifa.usda.gov or (202) 401-4201).

Application Deadline:  April 25, 2017

USDA Awards $9.4 Million for Safer, More Effective Pest Management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded $9.4 million to support 25 research and outreach projects that will help mitigate pests, weeds and diseases on farms and in communities. The awards are made through NIFA’s Crop Protection and Pest Management Program (CPPM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program which have awarded more than $64.5 million since 2014.

“NIFA is making investments to ensure America’s agriculture sector is able to rely on sound scientific approaches to increase production and ensure continued food security in the face of the many challenges including arthropod, weed and disease pests,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The Crop Protection and Pest Management Program has a history of developing new tools, best management practices and strategies for healthy crop systems while supporting communities with effective, affordable and environmentally sound solutions that reduce potential health risks.”  Continue reading

Methyl Bromide Transition RFA has been released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Request for Applications (RFA). The MBT program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives for commodities and uses affected by the methyl bromide phase-out. This program focuses on integrated projects that use a systems approach to deliver short- to medium-term solutions and economic analyses for all commodities impacted by the loss of methyl bromide. The following link includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=282730 . For programmatic questions, please contact Dr. Herbert Bolton (hbolton@nifa.usda.gov or (202) 401-4201).

Application Deadline:  May 31, 2016 

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