Job Opening: Director for the Western IPM Center

The Western IPM Center is hiring a new director to provide vision and leadership while managing staff and Center operations. The director will collaborate with local, state, regional and national partners to promote integrated pest management (IPM) and the Center.

The successful candidate will have knowledge of IPM as it relates to agriculture, conservation and the public; excellent leadership and management skills; a minimum of a Master’s Degree and at least four years of experience in a management or leadership role. Experience working with agriculture in the western United States or working with federal grants is preferred.

The application deadline is April 18, 2021. More details can be found on the University of California Job Board.

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Job Opening: Evaluation Specialist

The NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management at North Carolina State University is hiring an evaluation specialist to support integrated pest management (IPM) and biosecurity efforts. This position is collaborative; the successful candidate will work with local, regional, national and international stakeholders.

Responsibilities will include promoting use of IPM in the South, and this role also includes a focus on evaluation: providing advice on evaluation, looking for additional opportunities to evaluate efforts and providing training on evaluation methods.

More details can be found on the North Carolina State University job board.

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Recent Funding Opportunities – Quick Summary

Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program

The purpose of the Smith-Lever Special Needs grant program is to support scientific programs that support public needs to help before, during and after emergency situations.

Offered by: USDA NIFA
Deadline: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Who May Apply: Applications may be submitted with the approval of Extension Directors of 1862 Land-grant Institutions in the 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Percent of Applications Funded: 80%
Award Potential: $0 to $150,000
More details are available here.

Methyl Bromide Transition Program

The Methyl Bromide Transition Program supports commercial-scale research on methods, technologies, systems and strategies for controlling pests that have been successfully managed with methyl bromide. Outreach efforts that will support adoption should be included in proposed projects.

Offered by: USDA NIFA
Deadline: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Who May Apply: 1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Other or Additional Information (See below), Private Institutions of Higher Ed, State Controlled Institutions of Higher Ed
Percent of Applications Funded: 33%
Award Potential: $0 to $500,000
More details are available here.

Crop Protection and Pest Management

The Crop Protection and Pest Management program funds efforts to solve challenges related to managing pests at any level: state, regional or national. Projects should seek to improve management and control while using integrated, diverse strategies.
Offered by: USDA NIFA
Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2021
Who May Apply: 1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Other or Additional Information (see full description for details)
Percent of Applications Funded: Unknown
Award Potential: $200,000 to $900,000
More details are available here.

Supplemental and Alternative Crops (SAC)

The Supplemental and Alternative Crops grant opportunity funds projects that support canola grown for oil and industrial hemp grown for value added products.

Offered by USDA NIFA
Deadline: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Who May Apply: Applications may only be submitted by colleges and universities, other federal agencies and private sector entities

Percent of Applications Funded: 50%
Award Potential: $0 to $225,000
More details are available here.

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Overseas Laboratories Critical to Biological Control of Invasive Pests like Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

By Tim Widmer, National Program Leader-Plant Diseases, USDA ARS 

The study and control of the exotic brown marmorated stink bug is a prime example of how international collaborative efforts lead to solutions to invasive pests. A natural enemy of the stink bug was identified at an overseas biological control laboratory (OBCL), which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Hatching brown marmorated stink bugs with eggs.
Hatching brown marmorated stink bugs with eggs. Photo by Gary Bernon.

The OBCL facilities provide a year-round base for studying invasive pests in their native ranges and discovering natural enemies that potentially can be introduced safely into the United States. As a leader in invasive species research, ARS has established OBCLs through cooperative agreements with Argentina, Australia, China, and Greece. In addition, ARS owns and operates the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) in France. These overseas laboratories collaborate with and contribute to the goals of ARS labs in the United States to protect U.S. agriculture.

The brown marmorated stink bug is particularly devastating because it feeds on a wide variety of different host plants of economic and landscape value.  In the mid-Atlantic region, some apple and peach growers reported total losses.  In addition, it is a nuisance as it invades homes in large numbers to shelter for the winter.

Adult brown marmorated stink bugs on Asian pear.
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs on Asian pear. Photo by Gary Bernon.

To find a solution to the brown marmorated stink bug, scientists at the ARS lab in Newark, Delaware, began exploring in Asia with the assistance of researchers at the OBCL facility in China.  This resulted in the identification of an important parasitoid wasp species that was attacking brown marmorated stink bug eggs in their native Asian range. This discovery led to further taxonomic study of the parasitoid wasps, revealing that their current scientific name was not valid. The name was corrected, an important step, because precise identities are required in biological control for insight into the biological features and adaptive evolution of invasive agricultural pests.

International collaboration continued as molecular studies of the Asian collections of this parasitoid wasp were conducted at the EBCL in France. Interestingly, populations of this gnat-sized wasp have been found in the United States, although it is not known how they arrived. The molecular characterization initially conducted at EBCL confirmed there are three genetically distinct groups present in the United States, all of which are different from the Asian parasitoid wasps brought in for evaluation. Fortunately, these U.S. parasitoid populations are well established, and researchers soon should have the opportunity to assess their impacts. Because these parasitoid wasp populations are already established in the United States, some states have already permitted redistribution of existing populations as a management option for the stink bug.

Surveys to identify natural enemies of the brown marmorated stink bug are complete, but work continues to determine which ones will be most effective. In addition, the OBCLs and the EBCL continue to lead ARS searches for new biological control agents for other invasive pests, such as spotted wing drosophila, spotted lanternfly, and roseau cane scale, in their native ranges.

If you would like more information on the OBCLs or information about how to begin a collaborative effort, please refer to the ARS OBCL website for details.

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Grant Opportunity from NIFA: Specialty Crop Research Initiative

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has $80,000,000 in funding available for its Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program. Award amounts will range from $50,000 to 8,000,000.

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative promotes collaboration, communication, information exchange and the development of resources to accelerate application of scientific discovery and technology.

Proposed projects should address at least one of the following topics:

  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops.

The full request for SCRI pre-applications is available here.

Approximately 20% of proposals are funded. Note that cost matching is needed for all funds requested. The pre-application deadline is January 26, 2021. More details are on the NIFA website.

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Grant Submission Reminder for North Central IPM Center

The deadline for grants is approaching! Whether you are applying for additional funds to continue your project or working on a new idea, applications are due by Friday, November 20, 2020, at 5:00 EST. 

All applications must be submitted online, and no late applications will be accepted. The North Central Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center awards grants for two different programs: Working Groups and Critical Issues. The Working Group projects will have approximately $200,000, with a maximum of $20,000 per award. The Critical Issues projects will have approximately $100,000 available, with a maximum of $50,000 per award. 

Additional details about these grant opportunities can be found on the North Central IPM Center website.

Please start the application process early in case you have questions along the way. Questions may be sent to Lynnae Jess,  North Central IPM Center Director. You can reach her at 517-432-1702 or jess@msu.edu.

We look forward to reviewing your project ideas for 2021!

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Specialty Crop Entomologist Opening at The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is hiring a specialty crop tenure track entomology position. This position will focus on agroecology, and the successful candidate will be asked to create a nationally and internationally respected program that includes both outreach and research activities. The impact of insects, from pest threats and disease vectors to pollination should be included as well as sustainable management practices and relevant ecological topics.

The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field as well as excellent communication and collaboration skills. More details are available in the position announcement.

To apply, prepare a curriculum vitae, cover letter, and statement of extension along with details about your research teaching and diversity interests and follow instructions in the position announcement: https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/103403 

The first review of applications will begin October 31, 2020.

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The North Central IPM Center Announces 2021 Request for Applications

The North Central Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center announces the availability of funding through its Working Group and Critical Issues programs. The Working Group projects will have approximately $200,000, with a maximum of $20,000 per award. The Critical Issues projects will have approximately $100,000 available, with a maximum of $50,000 per award.

Both the working group projects and the critical issues projects support the North Central IPM Center’s mission of improving health, environmental and economic conditions in the North Central region through leadership and cooperation with diverse stakeholders to increase use of IPM solutions. This mission directly accomplishes the goals of the National IPM Roadmap.

Applications for working group projects and critical issues projects should support the Center’s priorities, which can be found here. These priorities are based upon the Center’s Signature programs and are evaluated annually by regional stakeholders. 

Applications must be submitted online and are due by Friday, November 20, 2020, at 5:00 EST. Be sure to download all forms from the online project management system as some forms have been updated. Download the 2021 RFA from the North Central IPM Center website, and follow the RFA instructions for submission. There are video tutorials to help you get started.

The North Central IPM Center is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program.

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Two New Funding Opportunities

North Central SARE Call for Preproposals

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) grant program is currently accepting preproposals for 2021. The NCR-SARE grant program supports projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems.

Research and Education projects must include outreach and end-user (farmer/rancher) involvement. Projects can be long term: lasting 36 months or more, and awards can range from $10,000 to $250,000.

The submission deadline is October 8, 2020. The call for preproposals and more details are available on the NCR-SARE website.

National Predictive Modeling Tool Initiative (NPMTI) Request for Preproposals

The National Predictive Modeling Tool Initiative (NPMTI) is accepting proposals for 2021 and is interested in projects to develop research-based tools to help forecast incidences of diseases and mycotoxins affecting U.S. row crops.

The NPMTI offers a multi-year grant program that operates under the guidance of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. Note that projects funded by NPMTI will be expected to share data to help with the overall development of the suite of predictive modeling tools.

The deadline for preproposal submission is September 9; note that this process is very straightforward.

Visit the NPMTI website for more details.


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The International IPM Excellence Awards Nominations

Here is a great opportunity to recognize outstanding IPM programs and practitioners: Nominate someone for an International IPM Excellence Award!

To apply or learn about the specific criteria for each award, visit ipmsymposium.org/2021/awards. On this page, you can find pdf files of the nomination forms to help you compose answers to the questions before you start the online form. You can also check out completed applications from past award recipients. Feel free to contact Shaku Nair at nairs@arizona.edu with any questions regarding the awards.

More information about the Symposium itself can be found at ipmsymposium.org.

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