Information provided for informational purposes only

Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.

TRAC 5/27/98

Staff Background Paper # 7.3

USDA's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and
Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP) Programs

USDA's IPM effort is a cooperative program with the Land Grant institutions. The program is designed to provide farmers and other pest managers with science-based and cost-effective IPM strategies

Federal investments in IPM programs started in fiscal year 1972, when Congress provided funding for: 1) research and development; 2) field testing; 3) training and certification; and 4) demonstration. The issues leading to initial funding were concerns about increasing use of pesticides and resulting resistance and applicator safety problems; and the lack of "adequate alternatives" for pesticides used to control agricultural pests and human disease vectors. Today, six USDA agencies (APHIS, ARS, CSREES, ERS, FS, NRCS), in partnership with the land-grant university system, conduct IPM research, education, and application programs in every state and territory of the United States. The goal of USDA's IPM effort is to develop and help farmers and other pest managers implement IPM methods that: 1) Reduce environmental and human exposure to pesticides; 2) Maintain or increase the profitability of farming; 3) Protect natural resources; and 4) Ensure consumers a supply of high-quality and safe foods and other agricultural products at reasonable cost.

USDA's IPM research and education programs are tasked with building the knowledge base needed to help U.S. agriculture transition to new pest management systems in the years ahead. Minor crops are of particular concern because farmers do not have viable alternatives for many pesticides they currently use In many cases, existing IPM programs rely on a single pesticide. The goal the IPM effort is to develop the knowledge and technologies that make it possible for the majority of U.S. farmers to implement economically and environmentally sound pest management systems. In the long run these systems will likely result in savings to agriculture and benefits to the environment. To help farmers to gain confidence in alternative pest management strategies, educational efforts will be conducted to demonstrate and evaluate these new approaches in commercial production settings. The Department will provide technical and educational expertise to help get IPM systems implemented on an areawide or production region basis, by fostering public-private teams of growers, consultants, researchers, and important stakeholder groups.

The Pest Management Alternatives Program is a competitive grants program that supports the development of alternative pest management tactics to replace those lost through regulatory action or voluntary withdrawal as a result of FQPA implementation. Funding priorities are established by CSREES and the Office of Pest Management Policy in consultation with EPA, grower groups, and public interest groups. The priority-setting process will be directly linked to regulatory decisions made by EPA as it implements FQPA. The goal of PMAP is to quickly develop alternatives for critical pest management needs to ensure that American agriculture has safe, efficacious, and economically viable pest management options.

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updated May 22, 1998