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- EPA Region 5 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Summary
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Michigan Grapes
- Minnesota's AgBMP Loan Program: A Clean Water State Revolving Fund Success Story
EPA Region 5 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Summary
In partnership with the agricultural community, the EPA Region 5 SAI addresses the impacts of the Food Quality Protection Act on minor and specialty crops, and promotes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and other sustainable practices to reduce pesticide risks to human health and the environment. Through outreach and grant-funding, Region 5 has invested considerable time in building and maintaining relationships with those farm groups most impacted by the Agency's regulatory priorities. To mitigate the impacts on minor crops, existing IPM programs need to be strengthened, incorporating new chemicals in combination with non-chemical control tactics and increased surveillance. Increased education and outreach to farmers to assist them with transition to alternatives has been necessary. The Region also promotes cross-media work with our external partners and within the Agency to advance the Agency's priorities.
Outreach: With the phase-out and/or restricted use of several organophosphates on the horizon, Midwestern farmers and processors are highly concerned. The Region 5 SAI coordinator has provided the agricultural community an identifiable face for EPA, as we have worked with University research and extension to present regulatory updates and promote IPM at meetings such as the WI Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Annual Meeting, and the MI IPM Alliance annual tour (which includes more than 10 minor and specialty crops, including apples, cherries, grapes, asparagus, carrots, potatoes, and the nursery industry). The Region organized and hosted a highly successful informational tour in Michigan for OPPTS Assistant Administrator Jim Gulliford and OPP staff on azinphos-methyl issues in the summer of 2006, allowing apple and cherry growers and University staff to discuss efforts to move away from organophosphates toward potential alternatives. Requests for SAI outreach continue to exceed 20 visits a year.
Grant funding: Region 5 grant successes include findings by Michigan State University that IPM-managed vineyards used 31% less carbaryl, 51% less phosmet, and 70% less azinphos-methyl in comparison to fruit from vineyards managed with a standard spray program. These results are representative of Region 5 SAI-funded grants, which place an emphasis on outcomes that produce measurable results in IPM advancement. A complete list of funded projects, results to-date, and anticipated outcomes of ongoing projects is available upon request.
Interagency/Cross-media efforts: The Region has placed an emphasis on working with our Federal Agency partners. While EPA has a regulatory mandate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the largest pool of resources to research new IPM strategies; educate farmers on advancements; and implement IPM strategies on farm. Region 5 has ongoing cooperative efforts with USDA entities such as the Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program (SARE) and the USDA/CSREES Integrated Pest Management Centers. These efforts include the evaluation of Federal IPM programs. Efforts to advance the Region's understanding of agricultural issues across media have also been highly successful. The SAI approach to working with agriculture can help inform future agency efforts to engage this unique and varied stakeholder group.
The ongoing Region 5 SAI investment of time, travel funds, and grant dollars in the future will help mitigate the impacts of regulations on growers, and reduce the risk to consumers, farm workers, and the environment. OPP priorities to reduce the impacts of high-risk chemicals such as organophosphates and fumigants will continue to shape the Region 5 SAI efforts.
Region 5 SAI Contact:Barbara VanTil (email@example.com)
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Michigan Grapes
The EPA Region 5 Pesticide Program is one of several partners supporting an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) collaboration in Michigan. Participating members of the Michigan Grape Growers, with funding from Region 5 and additional support from Michigan State University Extension, were able to use their new IPM training and tools to significantly reduce their use of insecticides and fungicides while saving money, maintaining the high quality of their grape crops, and helping to protect sensitive Lake Michigan shoreline area ecosystems.
Minnesota's AgBMP Loan Program:
A Clean Water State Revolving Fund Success Story
Established in 1994, Minnesota's Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan Program (AgBMP) has become one of the leading environmental loan programs in the country. A subsidiary of Minnesota's Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program (CWSRF) that focuses on cleaning up agricultural sources of non-point source pollution, the AgBMP program has taken $52 million in federal appropriations and generated $91 million worth of loans, resulting in 6600 projects funded in 85 of the State's 87 counties.
- Provides low interest financing to farmers, rural land owners, and agricultural supply businesses to encourage agricultural best management practices that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots and farm fields and other pollution problems identified by the county in local water plans.
- Provides loans for projects that reduce existing water quality problems caused by agricultural activities or failing septic systems.
- Helps landowners comply with water-related laws and/or rules.
What are eligible activities?
- Feedlot improvements.
- Upgrading manure storage basins.
- Improved manure handling, spreading, and incorporation equipment.
The borrower proposes a project to the local county. If the borrower meets State eligibility requirements and the project addresses local water quality priorities, the county may approve the project and refer it to a cooperating local banker.; The banker evaluates the financial aspects of the project. With the approval of the county and the local bank, the project may be implemented.Once the project review process is complete, funds are sent from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to the local bank, and the loan is drawn up between the local bank and the borrower.
- Loan amounts limited to $50,000 for any one individual or project.
- Maximum length of loan:
- Animal waste facilities: 10 years
- Equipment: 5 years
- Septic Systems: 5 years
- Well sealing: 2 years
- The maximum interest rate is 3%.
- The county and local bank may set additional terms and requirements for eligibility of projects.
- Loans are meant to encourage water quality protection and may only be used to solve existing water quality problems.
For additional information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website: www.mda.state.mn.us/about/divisions/agdev.htmEPA Region 5 Contact:Andrew Lausted ( firstname.lastname@example.org)