Pest management includes a wide range of programs addressing human health, environmental, and economic issues related to the management of pest populations through a variety of science based technologies.
Americans want safe, pest and disease-free homes, schools, parks, recreational areas, as well as a safe and affordable supply of blemish-free food products and a wholesome pesticide-free environment. To accomplish these goals, various plant science and weed science technologies are used, including biological, chemical, cultural, genetic, and physical methods. Integrated pest management (IPM), a pest management strategy, coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information, and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while minimizing risk to people, property, resources, and the environment.
NIFA funds programs and projects which support research, education, and extension activities that promote pest management in general, and reduced risk pest management in particular. The agency's pest management programs are implemented through working partnerships with scientists in our nation's colleges and universities, other federal agencies and the private sector. In addition to numerous pest management projects, NIFA provides support for:
- Crop Protection and Pest Management/Extension Implementation Program - Extension programs in the states and territories that disseminate IPM knowledge and improve adoption of IPM practices;
- Minor Crop Pest Management Program Interregional Research Project #4 (IR-4) - provides assistance needed to ensure that new and more effective crop protection products are developed and made available to minor/specialty crop producers;
- National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) - a national network of diagnostic labs that detect and report pathogens that cause plant diseases that could be deemed to be a biosecurity risk;
- Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Centers - help NIFA and its partner institutions identify, prioritize, and coordinate national pest management research, extension, and education programs;
- Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (SARE) - a regional program that uses a common set of practices that contribute to long-term farm profitability, environmental stewardship and improved quality of life.