USDA announces $4 million available to develop innovative pest management solutions

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $4 million to support research and extension efforts to mitigate pest issues and increase crop protection practices for the agricultural community. This funding is made through the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Program, administered by NIFA. Funding can be used to support projects that will address pest management efforts for both conventional and organic production systems. Funded projects may also develop reduced-risk methods for pest-free homes, schools, parks and recreational areas.

“Through programs like the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program, USDA 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 pests, that climate change presents,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy.  “The Crop Protection and Pest Management Program has a history of producing best practices and strategies to support communities with effective, affordable, and environmentally-sound solutions to protect human health.”

The CPPM program helps researchers develop innovative approaches for managing high priority pests at the state, regional and national levels. The program seeks effective new technologies to deal with both emerging issues and existing priority pest concerns. All competitive fiscal year 2016 grants will be made in the Applied Research and Development (ARDP) focus area, which centers on the development of new integrated pest management (IPM) tactics, technologies, practices, and strategies.

Since 2014, $32.5 million has been awarded through CPPM to further critical research and extension IPM efforts.

Previously funded projects include an extension-led project through Cornell University to identify and report locations of late blight outbreaks in Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. The University of Georgia used CPPM funding to develop a qualitative pest management monitoring network. The University of California-Davis is breaking new ground in applying ecoinformatics approaches to manage pests and improve productivity in California’s $1.3 billion citrus industry. Information on last year’s funded projects can be found here.

Applications are due by June 8. More information can be found by viewing the CPPM request for applications (RFA).

The CPPM program is aligned with the goals identified in the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management. The roadmap identifies strategic directions for IPM research and implementation efforts for pests in all settings throughout the nation. IPM practices in agriculture promote a healthy crop environment while conserving organisms that are beneficial to those agricultural systems. The CPPM program directly supports USDA goals to develop and extend effective, affordable, and environmentally-sound IPM strategies to reduce food production losses caused by diseases, weeds and pests.