NEERA1001: The Northeast Research, Extension, and Academic Program Committee for Integrated Pest Management [NEREAP-IPM]
Statement of Issues and JustificationThe Northeast Research, Extension and Academic Program Committee for Integrated Pest Management (NEREAP-IPM) is responsible for improving communication and cooperation throughout the region between research, extension and academic personnel working on IPM programs and projects. In the northeastern United States, IPM encompasses a wide range of activities ranging from IPM in agriculture to school and urban IPM. With global and regional trends in population growth and demands to keep food production safe, economic, and socially acceptable, IPM has become a mainstay in both commercial agricultural operations and non-crop situations. Moreover, consumers are becoming more aware of IPM, and they recognize products that feature IPM as part of their production. Consumer awareness stimulates growers to practice even more IPM.
The twelve states in the Northeast region have academic, research, and extension programs that address IPM. IPM programs are often similar in adjoining states, so collaboration across state lines has always been practiced to a certain extent. The formal Extension IPM program was established nationwide in 1971, and each state receives annual, earmarked Smith-Lever 3d funds according to a formula. Each state has an IPM coordinator who is charged with supporting and promoting IPM in the state and serving as liaison to the Federal program. The IPM Coordinator often has collaborations with state government agencies, universities and other Federal agencies. The IPM Coordinator is unique in his/her ability to link state-level IPM networks with regional and national IPM networks.
IPM coordinators began meeting informally in the 1970s. As the value of meeting, exchanging information and planning collaborations increased, the informal meetings grew into multi-day formal meetings and included representatives from other agencies (EPA, state departments of agriculture) and other programs (e.g. SARE). The current term of NEREAP-IPM (referred to as NREC-IPM prior to 1996) was approved by the Northeast Directors in 2001. NEREAP is advised by representative research and extension administrators. In 2002 Regional IPM Centers were established in each region by CSREES. NEREAP-IPM took on the responsibility of advising these centers in addition to their regular activities.
NEREAP-IPM, consisting of members with a broad base of knowledge and expertise, helps to establish IPM research, extension, and academic priorities based on stakeholder needs in the region. With the ongoing changes in federally allocated monies that support agricultural research in Land Grant Universities (LGUs), multistate cooperation is expected to play a vital role in maintaining strong and viable IPM projects in the region. NEREAP-IPM, while maintaining close ties with the Northeast IPM Center at the advisory and functional level, continues to play the distinctive role of spearheading IPM efforts of the region and supporting a regional IPM vision. In addition, federal funding of LGUs is now requiring increasing levels of interstate collaboration. The long history of collaboration fostered by NEREAP-IPM should help LGUs meet this obligation.
There are many merits of multistate efforts such as NEREAP-IPM. NEREAP-IPM members have been in involved in innovative, multi-state IPM efforts which, in part, have been facilitated by NEREAP-IPM, and which have been adopted by other regions. Some of these accomplishments and impacts include:
-Region-wide collaboration to address IPM and pesticide residue issues in public schools. This includes incorporating IPM into public school curricula as a form of public education. Specifically, NEREAP-IPM members collaborated to develop a regional publication titled, Integrated Pest Management for Northeast Schools. This truly collaborative effort was jointly funded by the EPA Pesticide Stewardship Program and the University of Massachusetts Extension IPM Program, but had many cooperators including: Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES); The IPM Institute of North America; New York Department of Education; Environmental Protection Agency; the Universities of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Rutgers, and Cornell; and the Departments of Agriculture from Maine, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The publication, edited by C. Hollingsworth, W. Coli, and D. Ferro of the University of Massachusetts and K. Murray of the Maine Department of Agriculture, won a blue ribbon in the American Society of Agricultural Engineering educational aides competition for its "outstanding effort and achievement in the development of noteworthy educational aids". The publication can be viewed at http://www.umass.edu/umext/schoolipm/for_viewing_only_ipmns.pdf.
-Active pursuit of collaboration with USDA/NRCS to ensure that IPM was a component of conservation payment programs. Through interactions at NEREAP-IPM meetings, state IPM programs have learned about opportunities for partnering with NRCS and growers are being compensated for adopting IPM practices (e.g., PA, CT, and other states).
-Leadership in urban IPM programming and including urban issues in the National IPM Roadmap.
-Development and sharing of publications and other educational material.
-Up until 2004, NEREAP-IPM had the responsibility for providing direct input into how the Northeast Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program funds were distributed through developing the RFA. Currently, NEREAP-IPM identifies priority areas for research/extension emphasis for IPM in the Northeast. For example, in May 2006, NEREAP-IPM members identified the following areas: IPM strategies and tactics for ornamental crops including Christmas trees; Development of IPM packages that improve eligibility for NRCS program funds and satisfy the food industry (e.g., Sysco sustainability program); Use of web-based technologies for IPM decision making; Urban pest issues including insects and rodents; Improvement and expansion of biocontrol in high value crops including greenhouse; IPM packages for diversified, high value crop producers; and Development of product labeling systems to inform consumers about IPM practices.
-Success in leveraging funds from state agencies in support of IPM programming and development of a list-serv to coordinate the efforts of various partners involved. One of the most important impacts from NEREAP-IPM has been the sharing of information regarding strategies for obtaining additional IPM funding. At NEREAP-IPM meetings, state IPM Coordinators have shared and succeeded in finding strategies for leveraging their base federal funds. For example, in 2004, Connecticut leveraged their base 3d federal funds of $80,000 with $582,030 of other federal and state funds resulting in 3d funds providing only 14% of their overall IPM budget. Recently, Connecticut received additional state funding ($300,000). New York's legislature appropriated $1.2 million for IPM in 2005. The Pennsylvania IPM Program receives $60,000 in state funds on top of the $146,100 of base federal funds. Partial credit for the successful leveraging in these states and others is due to IPM Coordinators sharing strategies at NEREAP-IPM meetings.
-A successful, cooperative project (MA, PA, RI, USDA) in biocontrol that solved the birch leafminer problem throughout the Northeast resulting in virtually no damage anywhere in 3 years. Another highly successful program against purple loosestrife involved NEREAP-IPM members from the states of New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. A promising multi-state program against lily leaf beetle (RI, MA, ME, NH, VT) also involved extensive cooperation among NEREAP-IPM members. All these are examples of the type of collaborative work that results from interactions that are a consistent part of NEREAP meetings.
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