Pests cause up to 40 percent Loss in Global Food Production
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced it will be providing grants related to integrated pest management (IPM.) The grants are valued at more than $16 million and will provide support for research and extension activities to address IPM’s critical needs. IPM is a method to control pests using any and all approaches available to manage infestations, including the use of natural and synthetic pesticides. The methods used take into consideration all factors such as cost, environmental and health risks as well as emerging technologies.
The grants will be used for the protection of crops and livestock, strengthening food security and addressing public challenges that may arise from pest management. Food production and supplies are constantly at risk of contamination from pests, Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) programs attempt to use a broad system approach rather than limiting its strategy to one method. The grants will be used in three program areas:
- development of new technologies and strategies,
- implementation projects to advance new techniques, and
- improving coordination and collaboration across state lines.
As farmers know, pests can prove extremely difficult to manage; they come in forms such as pathogens, insects and weeds. It is estimated that pests cause up to 40 percent loss in global food production, it is believed that percentage will increase if the problem is not properly managed. Farmers should vary their pest control methods as to limit the opportunity for pests to develop resistance to chemical agents specifically made to eliminate them. Proper monitoring and documentation, as well as reporting information to proper authorities assist in understanding which pests are mutating at rates that reduce the effectiveness of pest management.
NIFA, part of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), advances and attempts to solve societal issues in agriculture by promoting new discoveries, funding research and engaging issues that arise with pest management.