October 24, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $1.5 Million In U.S. Dept Of Agriculture Funds For Cornell University To Research & Address Integrated Pest Management

Cornell University Will Use USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Funds to Research & Develop Methods to Protect Crops & Livestock Against Pests Including Pathogens, Weeds, Insects

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that Cornell University will receive $1,529,329 in federal funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Cornell University will use these funds to research and address integrated pest management (IPM) in Upstate New York. This federal funding will provide Cornell the resources to research and develop ways to protect crops and livestock against pests, including insects, pathogens, and weeds. This program through the USDA seeks to develop and implement techniques that can be used to reduce potential health risks and environmental impacts that arise during food production, as well as coordinate these approaches on the state, regional, and national levels for greater efficiency. Cornell will receive funds through three of NIFA’s grant programs, including the Regional Coordination Program, the Applied Research and Development program, and the Extension Implementation Program.

“Invasive species and pests are a blight on our economy, our family farms and our ecosystem. That is why the research conducted at Cornell University aimed at rooting out these pests is so important. Today I am pleased to be able to announce that Cornell will receive more than $1.5 million in federal funds to support its continued research in this field,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will allow Cornell to continue is leadership in pest management as well as develop and implement new approaches to increasing pest control coordination on the regional, state, and federal levels. Protecting our crops and livestock from these pests, such as insects, weeds and pathogens, is critical to the continued vitality of the region and to protecting consumers by identifying possible health risks that could arise during food production.”

“This funding will help protect New York’s farmers and consumers from the barrage of pests that cause so much damage to our state’s agriculture,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “Cornell is at the forefront of solving these issues, and this $1.5 million will help them work efficiently and effectively with producers to keep our fields, forests, and livestock healthy.”              

Of the more than $1.5 million, Cornell University will receive $1,000,000 through the NIFA Regional Coordination Program, which aims to increase coordination and improve the efficiency of IPM research and extension efforts on the regional, state, and national levels. This funding will facilitate collaboration across states and disciplines, and will promote further development and adoption of IPM through regional pest management information networks. Cornell will also receive $244,329 through NIFA’s Applied Research and Development Program, which focuses on the development of new IPM tactics, technologies, practices, and strategies. Cornell will conduct specific research through NIFA’s Applied Research and Development extension grant program for Overseeding School Athletic Fields in the field of reducing weed populations and herbicide use. This program also funds IPM adoption and implementation projects. Finally, Cornell will receive $285,000 in NIFA Extension Implementation Program funds, which aims to fund projects intended to increase the implementation of new IPM strategies among extension clientele served. The desired result of all three of these program efforts is to broaden implementation of IPM research findings on federal, state, and regional levels.