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USDA Research to Support Environmentally-Friendly Pesticides, Reduction of Methyl Bromide

Dan Environment, Industry News Release, Research

researchThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced funding available to research new, environmentally-friendly pesticides, and innovative tools and strategies to replace methyl bromide, an older treatment for pests.

The Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) program is helping to discover and implement practical and safer pest management alternatives. Projects may focus on integrated research and extension activities or extension-only projects that promote the adoption of new pest management practices. This year, NIFA’s Methyl Bromide Transition Program will award grants totaling $1.9 million for such research.

“NIFA is making investments to ensure America’s agriculture sector is able to rely on sound scientific approaches to increase production and ensure continued food security,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is critical that we have the most practical, safe alternatives and that we educate stakeholders on best practices.”

Methyl bromide is being phased out worldwide under an international treaty to protect the Earth’s ozone layer from ozone-depleting chemicals. Methyl bromide has been used for more than 50 years for a range of pest management purposes in farming, storage, shipment, and quarantine.

Eligible applicants include colleges and universities, including Hispanic-serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACUs), and research foundations maintained by them.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 30, 2018.

See the request for applications for details.

Since 2000, NIFA has invested more than $43.3 million through MBT to find effective and economical replacements for methyl bromide. Previously funded projects include a North Carolina State University project that assembled an interdisciplinary and inter-state team to provide alternatives to methyl bromide for managing pests when growing peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries in the southeastern U.S. A University of California, Davis project is developing alternative, economically and technically feasible pest management systems and outreach strategies to replace methyl bromide in strawberry production that also are applicable to other crops in coastal California.

NIFA’s mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA’s investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/Impacts, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA#NIFAImpacts.