WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $33 million to support research and extension activities addressing pest management issues that have human health, environmental and economic consequences across the nation. The awards were made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“The projects supported through these programs will support research, education and extension activities that help to find innovative pest management solutions for our farmers, consumers and families, aiming to ensure a safe and affordable supply of food,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

NIFA offers a wide range of pest management programs that support the development of science-based solutions to address human health, environmental and economic issues. NIFA supports research, education and Extension activities that promote pest management in general, and reduced-risk pest management in particular. The agency’s pest management programs are implemented through working partnerships with scientists in our nation’s colleges and universities, other federal agencies and the private sector.

NIFA’s pest management programs work in coordination with stakeholders to address the broad goals outlined in the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which was developed by federal and non-federal IPM experts, practitioners, and stakeholders in 2004. In addition, NIFA’s pest management programs play a key role in ensuring food security for all.

Fiscal year 2012 pest management awards were funded through 10 programs:

Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers: The Regional IPM Centers work to improve the costs and benefits of adopting IPM practices and reduce the environmental and human health risks associated with managing pests. The centers serve as focal points for regional pest management information networks, collaborative team building and broad-based stakeholder participation. FY 2012 funding: $3,805,820

Regional Integrated Pest Management Grants Program: This program supports research and extension efforts that develop individual pest control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement Extension and education programs. FY 2012 funding includes:

  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – Northeast: $569,739
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – North Central: $722,337
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – South: $789,792
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management – West: $642,039

Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP): PSEP is managed jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NIFA and supports educational programs for pesticide applicators in the proper use of pest management technologies. Extension programs at land-grant institutions, in conjunction with state regulatory agencies that certify and license applicators, provide these education programs. FY 2012 funding: $500,000

Pest Management Alternatives Program: This program provides support for the development and implementation of IPM practices, tactics and systems for specific pest problems while reducing human and environmental risks. FY 2012 funding: $1,291,507

National Plant Diagnostic Network: This national network of existing diagnostic laboratories rapidly and accurately detects and reports plant diseases and other pests of national interest, particularly pathogens of high consequence. The network provides the means necessary for ensuring that all participating land-grant university diagnostic facilities are alerted of possible outbreaks and/or introductions and are equipped to rapidly detect and identify pests and pathogens. FY 2012 funding: $2,750,940

Methyl Bromide Transitions: This program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives to methyl bromide uses for which the United States is requesting critical use exemptions. FY 2012 funding: $1,894,937

Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4): This program provides safe, effective and economical pest management solutions for growers of minor and specialty crops. IR-4 facilitates crop protection by providing expert assistance with product development and registration. FY 2012 funding: $11,073,505

Expert IPM Decision Support System: This program supports the development of expert systems that help guide, demonstrate and multiply impacts of USDA supported IPM programs. FY 2012 funding: $141,544

Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program: This program supports state and local contributions in advancing the goals of the National Road Map for IPM by addressing priority needs associated with the implementation and evaluation of extension IPM programs.  FY 2012 funding: $8,898,218

Promoting Integrated Pest Management in Affordable Housing: Through an interagency agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, NIFA funds projects that use IPM to address housing conditions that threaten human health and strengthen affordable housing communities. FY 2012 funding: $318,182