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NIFA Grants to Enhance Innovative, Ecologically-Based, Sustainable Integrated Pest Management Systems

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2010 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded grants to seven universities to address short- and medium-term research, education and extension needs in integrated pest management (IPM) for cropping systems.

“Producers want to be able to manage pests on their crops in ways that are effective and sustainable with minimal damage to the environment,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. “These grants will support work that will offer producers innovative, safe and effective IPM solutions that increase farm profitability, reduce environmental and human health risks and protect natural resources.”

NIFA awarded more than $5 million through the Crops at Risk (CAR) and Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program (RAMP). Both programs fund integrated, multifunctional and multidisciplinary research, education and extension projects for crops with high priority IPM needs as identified by stakeholders and that contribute to the goals identified in the National Road Map for IPM.

The CAR program funds projects that are short-term between two and four years and use a diversity of tactics and approaches for a single or specific food or fiber commodity in commercial production for pre- and/or post-harvest systems. The program addresses either a major acreage or high-value crop commodity, such as key fruits and vegetables. The primary emphasis is on crop productivity and profitability, while addressing critical environmental quality and human health issues.

The fiscal year 2010 CAR awards will develop a sustainable approach for management of herbicide resistant hydrilla, address strawberry powdery mildew, develop an undergraduate and graduate training program for students in plant pathology focused on extension opportunities and use DNA-based bar coding to unlock the puzzle of wireworm pest identities. Fiscal year 2010 awards include:

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., $512,379
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont., $218,419
  • Cornell University, Geneva, N.Y., $330, 995
  • Cornell University, Geneva, N.Y., $230,000

 

RAMP involves major acreage crops, as well as key fruit and vegetable production systems and other agroecosystems. Funded projects are up to four years long and involve systems approaches targeted at eliminating or minimizing pesticide residues in key foods, soil and surface and ground water. These projects are also multi-state or regional in scale and typically involve multiple pest species in multiple cropping systems with emphasis on enhanced stability and sustainability of IPM systems.

The fiscal year 2010 RAMP awards will provide web-based IPM information for winter wheat, investigate innovative nematode management strategies, support internships to develop IPM professionals and develop tools to manage soil borne diseases or raspberries in the west. Fiscal year 2010 awards include:

  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $1,929,861
  • Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., $1,154,161
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Bryan, Texas, $225,598
  • Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $828,811

 

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

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