July 26, 2011
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced earlier this month that it will begin accepting proposals for the competitive grants program that funds the Regional Integrated Pest Mangement (IPM) Centers. The Request for Applications (RFA) was released on July 14th, and proposals will be accepted through August 19th.
The Centers were established in September of 2000, and are currently funded on a four year cycle, after which, they are re-competed by way of a peer-reviewed, competitive process. Land-grant institutions and other accredited private, public, and Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.
Currently, there are four Regional IPM Centers located throughout the country that follow the same regions as the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program, also administered by NIFA. The IPM regions include:
The IPM Centers make up a national pest management information network established by USDA as a means of strengthening its connection between research and education and production agriculture and agricultural stakeholders in general. The Centers help USDA and its partner institutions identify, prioritize and coordinate a national pest management research, extension, and education program implemented on a regional basis.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a “common-sense” approach to pest management that has provided producers with an alternative to intensive, conventional pesticide use. IPM relies on producer understanding of pest life cycles and their interaction with the environment by utilizing proper inspection, identification, and treatment of pests. IPM has been successful in reducing pesticide use on farm, minimizing losses off farm, and protecting human health through judiciously targeted pesticide management strategies.
The establishment of the Centers fulfilled the mandate legislated in the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, which placed stricter requirements on the safety and tolerance levels of pesticides used in the United States. Since their founding, the Centers have provided a valuable link between agricultural producers, academic and research expertise at land-grant institutions, USDA and EPA. NSAC supports federal research and extension programs on integrated pest management, such as the IPM Centers, along with other resource-conserving agricultural practices that provide producers with more options to effectively manage risk on their farms in an environmentally sustainable way.
For more information on the Regional IPM Centers Grant Program, or to see the RFA, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/integratedpestmanagementcenters.cfm.
For more information on the Regional IPM Centers, visit http://www.ipmcenters.org.