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Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers in the United States. Ronald E. Stinner and Stephen J. Toth, Jr., Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7613 USA. Introduction

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Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers in the United States

Ronald E. Stinner and Stephen J. Toth, Jr., Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7613 USA

Introduction

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service supports four geographically-based Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Centers (North Central, Northeastern, Southern and Western) to promote regional collaboration among institutions in IPM research, education and regulation. Objectives of the Regional IPM Centers include: 1) organizing and maintaining multi-state IPM information networks; 2) involving stakeholders in identify-ing IPM needs and priorities in the regions; 3) managing regionally-based IPM grant programs; and 4) facilitating the development, review and communication of scientific and regulatory documents concerning IPM. The North Central IPM Center is managed at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the North-eastern IPM Center at Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University, the Southern IPM Center at North Carolina State University, and the Western IPM Center at the University of California at Davis and Colorado State University (Figure 1).

Multi-state IPM Information Networks

Under the federal Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA), the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for reviewing the tolerances of all registered pesticides in the U. S. under new registration standards designed to protect the public. To conduct this scientific review, the EPA needs reliable information on IPM and pesticide use within the U. S. An important role of the Regional IPM Centers is to connect agricultural scientists in the states and territories with EPA and USDA personnel so that the scientists can provide crucial IPM and pesticide use information to the EPA at a time when the agency is making pesticide regulatory decisions.

The Regional IPM Centers have established multi-state IPM information networks by supporting state contacts who: 1) maintain linkages to IPM stakeholders (e.g., university scientists, growers, pest managers, agriculture groups, consumer and environmental organizations, and govern-ment agencies) within their states or territories; and 2) collect timely and accurate pest management information from university scientists and other experts in response to information requests from the IPM Centers and federal regulatory agencies.

Establishing Regional Priorities for IPM

The Regional IPM Centers have established Advisory Councils, Steering Committees and/or Working Groups composed of stakeholders, which serve to identify IPM needs and set regionally-based priorities for the funding of IPM research and education. Funds from a variety of USDA grant programs (including the Regional IPM Grant Programs) are managed and distributed by the IPM Centers to scientists in participating states and territories. These funds are used to seek solutions to current and emerging pest management problems on a wide diversity of agricultural crops, as well as answers to urban and public health pest problems.

Developing/Communicating IPM Information

The Regional IPM Centers support the development and communication of the latest research-based pest manage-ment information among university research and extension scientists, growers, pest managers and other regional stakeholders. IPM information is distributed by the IPM Centers via the Internet (Figure 2) and other media.

Crop Profiles, Pest Management Strategic Plansand additional documents are generated by university scientists and other interested parties to provide the EPA and USDA with pest management information required for FQPA implementation. The Crop Profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plansare housed at North Carolina State University in searchable databases available on the Internet (Figures 3 and 4). The Regional IPM Centers work with project leaders in the states and territories to produce Crop Profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plans identified by the EPA and USDA as priorities for regulatory decision making under the FQPA; thus, ensuring that the pest management needs of stakeholders are represented in the regulatory decisions.

A Crop Profile describes production practices for an agricultural crop in a U. S. state or territory, pest problems associated with the crop, and pest management practices (chemical and non-chemical) currently used to control the pests. A Pest Management Strategic Plan is developed at a workshop where university scientists and IPM stakeholders cooperatively establish pest management priorities (research, education and regulatory) for an agricultural crop. Activities resulting from these plans support the transition of growers to alternative pest management practices when pesticides are lost as the result of regulatory actions under the FQPA.

Photograph by Ken Hammond

Photograph by Ken Hammond

Not Pictured: Alaska, Hawaii

and other Pacific Islands

Not Pictured: Puerto Rico

and U. S. Virgin Islands

Figure 1. Location of North Central, Northeastern, Southern and Western IPM Centers.

`

Photograph by Scott Bauer

Photograph by Dan Mott

Figure 2. Internet site maintained for the Regional IPM Centers at: http://www.ipmcenters.org/.

Figure 3. Crop profile database available on the Internet at: http://pestdata.ncsu.edu/cropprofiles/cropprofiles.cfm.

Figure 4. Pest management strategic plans available on the Internet at: http://pestdata.ncsu.edu/pmsp/index.cfm.