Grant awarded: Christelle Guédot receives NIFA SCRI funding for insect mating disruption project

Christelle Guédot, associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology, recently received $49,979 in funding for a project titled “Killing them softly: Defining the future of insect mating disruption in specialty crops,” through NIFA’s Speciality Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). It was among 25 projects to share $70M in funding.

Project description (from CRIS website): Pheromone-mediated mating disruption (MD) has become a critical sustainable pest management approach for US specialty crops. MD is an insect Integrated Pest Management strategy that is effective and yet under-utilized by stakeholders as it presents challenges for successful implementation that this project will directly address. This planning project relates to the SCRI focus area 1.e. Pest and disease management. The outputs of our Research and Extension Planning Project will be 1) the establishment of a national MD research and extension community of practice; 2) a stakeholder survey identifying MD research priorities; and 3) a transdisciplinary, multi-state, multi-commodity 2023 SCRI CAP grant proposal. The CAP proposal will aim to increase adoption and develop improved MD technologies within a socio-economic framework that integrates research and extension activities centered around stakeholder needs. Our proposed activities include: monthly conference calls, a stakeholder survey, and a planning meeting to be held in Chicago, IL in November 2022, that will culminate in the development of a full SCRI CAP proposal to be submitted in 2023. Our project has the explicit support of 24 stakeholders who have been engaged in the development of this planning proposal and will continue to play an integral role in identifying priorities in the 2023 proposal. Specialty crop stakeholders, including growers, MD manufacturers and distributors, and extension educators will benefit from this project. Increased MD adoption will improve environmental quality of agroecosystems, enhance farm worker safety, reduce pesticide residues, preserve beneficial insects, and improve grower profitability.