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UW-Madison Project Announces $159,450 In Grants For Pesticide Reduction Studies

Located in the UW-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project addresses the impacts of the U.S. Food Quality Protection Act on Wisconsin commodities and producers. The act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish new health-based standards for pesticides. These new standards may result in the withdrawal of many pesticides commonly used by Wisconsin farmers.

The Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project identifies pesticides targeted under FQPA and develops working teams of farmers, farm organizations and researchers to identify profitable options, says Margaret Krome, who chairs the project”s steering committee.

The Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project is funded by pesticide overcharge funds administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice with matching funds from collaborating farm organizations and the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, which is home for the project.

“I am pleased that Wisconsin agricultural organizations and UW researchers were able to develop high-quality projects in a short period of time,” Attorney General Jim Doyle said. “It is gratifying to see antitrust settlement funds being put to good use for the benefit of Wisconsin”s farmers and our environment.”

In this first year of the three-year program the Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction Project awarded 16 grants including $28,000 for studies of field crops, $70,450 for research on fruit crops and $61,000 for vegetable crops. The grants ranged in size from $3,000 to $17,650, and were selected by state farm groups collaborating as “project partners.” These groups include: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, Wisconsin Berry Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives, Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Ginseng Growers Association, Wisconsin National Farmers Organization, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Rural Development Center, Wisconsin Soybean Association, and Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

The grant titles and lead investigator for each are as follows.

? Proposal for regional IPM training centers, Richard Proost, UW-Extension Nutrient and Pest Management Program.

? Survey of pest management practices employed by Wisconsin farmers, Pete Nowak, UW-Madison Department of Rural Sociology.

? Crop rotations with small grains/cover crops to improve profitability and reduce diseases, pests, and weeds of corn and soybean, Jim Stute, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.

? Sustainable practices for integrated management of apple scab, Patricia McManus, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology.

? Classical biological control of codling moth in apple, Dan Mahr, UW-Madison Department of Entomology.

? Sources and acquisition of streptomycin resistance in Erwinia amylovora, the fire blight pathogen of apple and pear, Patricia McManus, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology.

? Implementation of mating disruption of blackheaded fireworm in cranberry, Dan Mahr, UW-Madison Department of Entomology.

? Reducing the risk of pesticide use on cranberry and apple in Wisconsin, Patricia McManus, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology.

? Investigation of potential to breed Wisconsin strawberries resistant to tarnished plant bug injury, Brian Smith, UW-River Falls Department of Plant and Earth Science.

? Feasibility of compost use in Wisconsin”s commercial strawberry industry, Brian Smith, UW-River Falls, Department of Plant and Earth Science.

? Integrated pest management program development in cultivated ginseng, Mike Drilias, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture.

? Low-risk alternatives to pesticides used in potato and vegetable production, co-leaders Walter Stevenson, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology and Jeffrey Wyman, UW-Madison Department of Entomology.

? Meso-scale development of potato late blight in Wisconsin, Doug Rouse, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology.

? Weed management alternatives in vegetable rotations, Larry Binning, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture.

? Needs assessment for potatoes, sweet corn and peas, Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Wisconsin Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.

? Organic matter-mediated disease suppression in sandy soil vegetable production systems in Wisconsin, Alex Stone, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science.