IPM Voice Newsletter July 2015
Senate Committee Approves Bill to Relocate IPM Funding in Smith Lever Line
On July 16th the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Bill, including a change that would make all federal IPM program funds exempt from overhead charges by host institutions. As we reported in the April 2015 IPM Voice Newsletter, the FY 2015 budget included changes to the structure of IPM funding, including consolidating funding for all IPM programs in the 406 integrated funding line, subjecting all programs to overhead fees from host institutions. This effected up to a 30% reduction in budget for those programs that moved out of the overhead-exempt Smith Lever funding line.
The Senate Appropriations Committee this month, in an attempt to correct for the funds lost in the transition, drafted and passed a FY 2016 budget that would relocate all of the consolidated IPM funds from the non-exempt 406 funding line to the exempt Smith Lever line. This may have some unintended impacts such as discouraging host institutions from supporting and advocating for programs like the Regional IPM Centers that have historically been subject to overhead. The move may also have implications for research grants which would be obligated to have an Extension component if located in the Smith Lever funding line, a section of the budget traditionally reserved for Extension. The House Appropriations Committee elected to leave the consolidated IPM funds in non-exempt 406 integrated funding in their version of the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. The next step will be for both the full House and Senate to discuss and vote on their committees' bills, which is unlikely to happen before the August recess.
Farmers Fly in to D.C. to Support Sustainable Ag Funding
Late in June a group of agricultural advocates flew to Washington D.C. to meet with key executive and legislative decision makers as they worked on budgeting for key sustainable agricultural programs. The group included farmers, advocates and agricultural researchers from six different states around the nation. Each of these participants had personal interactions with one or several farm bill programs in including Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE), Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and grant and loan programs for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
The fly-in visit, organized by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), was timed in response to drafting and debate of the FY 2016 agricultural appropriations bill in the House Appropriations Committee and the USDA's development of its FY 2017 budget proposal. The group began their day of advocacy with a visit to the USDA where they met with key officials including Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resource and the Environment Ann Mills and program leaders from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. After leaving the USDA, the group met with the White House Office of Management and Budget before splitting to meet with their congressional representatives. Of particular concern on Capitol Hill are the significant cuts to CSP acreage, lowering the total from 10 to 7.74 million, in the draft appropriations bill produced by the House Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations. To read more about the backgrounds of each of the fly-in participants and their day in Washington D.C. visit NSAC's blog.
Mosquitoes Make Headlines
While summer brings with it long evenings and warm days perfect for spending time outdoors, it also harkens the arrival of one of our most annoying outdoor pests: the mosquito. The mosquito is of particular concern to public health because the pests' preferred dinner of blood makes them ideal vectors for disease. Malaria, West Nile virus (a variety of encephalitis), dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya are examples of diseases spread through mosquito bites. Traditionally mosquitoes which transmit these diseases were found only in tropical regions. But, with heightened levels of international travel and shipping, mosquitos that carry diseases such as yellow fever and chikungunya have spread to the United States and other cooler climates around the world. This information comes from a new study out of Oxford, summarized by a HealthDay reporter in the U.S. News & World Report.
How to combat these disease carriers is a subject of much debate. IPM wisdom would look to eliminate mosquito breeding ground in and around your home and property - upturning anything that could potentially hold pools of water. Some researchers took a different tack to solving mosquito problems in trials in Brazil, the Cayman Islands and Panama that made headlines in Discover Magazine early in July. A biotech company out of the U.K. genetically engineered (GE) male mosquitoes to carry a gene that produces a lethal protein if they aren't given a specific antibiotic. Researchers breed males in the lab and then release them into the wild where they mate and produce offspring that inherit the lethal gene and die in their infancy. In one Brazilian trial, mosquito populations in the suburb were reduced by 95% where the GE mosquitoes were released. Since the males die in the wild after they have stopped receiving their lab administered antibiotics, these control populations must be constantly reintroduced. The upside of this is that few if any artificially engineered genes will persist in the wild. Read the full journal article detailing these research results on the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases website.
Egg Harvesting System Promises New Effectiveness for Lady Beetle Biological Control
An entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service has developed a new system for collecting and handling lady beetle eggs that makes the process more efficient. Lady beetles are avid predators which can be used as biological control against agricultural pests such as aphids, spider mites and others. However, previous insectary and biological control systems were unable to effectively transport the eggs, so lady beetles were released into fields as adults. This lowers the percent of the released population that actively works in the target area, since the adults are fully mobile fliers who can look elsewhere for food.
With this new system, designed by Meg Allen, eggs can be collected and placed in target fields before they even hatch. Her design uses a squat jar and a rigid mesh lid, from which dangles several textured strips where females can lay their eggs. The textured strips were key to success as smooth, glossy strips didn't attract nearly as many females to lay their eggs. These strips can then be removed, laden with eggs, and distributed to their destinations and it's very productive! Allen has just six jars holding 10-20 females each, a system that produces several hundred to a few thousand egg masses a day. Read more about this new technology here.
Join IPM Voice!
Renew your IPM Voice membership for 2015 (or become a new member) and check out our new donation options by visiting http://www.ipmvoice.org/join.htm.
Upcoming IPM-Related Meetings and Conferences
August 9-13, 2015.International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control and the 48th Annual meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. Vancouver, Canada
August 24-27, 2015. The XVII International Plant Protection Congress. Berlin, Germany
Sept. 20-22, 2015. First Global Minor Use Priority Setting Workshop: Seeking Pest Management Solutions for Growers Around the World. Chicago, IL
Sept. 22-23, 2015. IR-4 Food Use Workshop (FUW). Chicago, IL
Sept. 24, 2015. IR-4 BioPesticide Workshop. Chicago, IL
November 15-18, 2015. Entomology 2015, Synergy in Science: Partnering for Solutions. Minneapolis, MN
September 25-30, 2016. XXV International Congress of Entomology. Orlando, FL
IPM Voice is an independent, non-profit organization advocating for integrated pest management (IPM) that is genuinely progressive and seeks continuous improvement of environmental, social and economic conditions through application of accepted scientific principles. IPM Voice was formed in 2010 by more than 35 professionals working to expand the benefits IPM has provided to agriculture and communities for more than 40 years.
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