Grants funds for integrated pest management strategies

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) program and its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (Proactive IPM) Solutions Program. Applications are due December 6, 2021.

What is the purpose of the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program?The goal of the BIFS grant program is to fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically based farming systems that employ integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient, and scientifically sound practices. OPCA received a one-time appropriation of $2 million for BIFS as part of the 2021-2022 budget.

What is the purpose of the Proactive Integrated Pest Management Solutions Program?The goal of the Proactive IPM is to anticipate exotic pests likely to arrive in California and to identify and test IPM strategies which can then be quickly implemented if the pests are detected. CDFA is responsible for preventing and mitigating invasive pests to protect is agricultural crops. Techniques resulting from this proactive approach will allow for rapid deployment of management plans and less pesticide use.

Who is eligible to apply? Public or private colleges and universities, local and federal government entities including tribal governments, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Project lead(s) and their institutions must be based in California; out-of-state collaborators are allowed.

California state agencies may not submit proposal applications but may be listed as subcontractors on other proposals. State agency share of funding may not exceed 30% of total funding. State agencies may not take the lead in project management.

Specifically, the Proactive IPM program encourages applicants to subcontract with out-of-state collaborators. Project lead(s) and/or collaborators must have access to a quarantine facility if the project involves biological control or testing products on insects that are not yet established in

California. All necessary federal and state permits must be obtained for work with any non-exempt species.

What projects are the project priorities for BIFs?The focus of this program is on chemical pesticide reduction in plant-based farming systems. The objective of this program is to demonstrate and refine IPM-based farming projects designed to reduce chemical pesticide inputs, especially non-selective, biologically disruptive insecticides and herbicides, with greater risk to human health and/or the environment. Applicants should discuss the risks of the insecticide(s) and/or herbicide(s) they are aiming to reduce. All aspects of the farming system may be considered as they relate to pest management, including factors such as adjacent landscapes, whether they are farmed or not.

Projects will typically include the following three elements:

  1. On-farm demonstration/evaluation of an innovative, biologically-based farming system, that employs IPM strategies;
  2. A collaborative outreach effort for sharing technical information about the farming system, and;
  3. An organized program of monitoring key biological and economic variables so as to inform on-farm decision making as well as evaluate project success.

What are the research priorities for Proactive IPM?The objective of this research program is to identify and test IPM strategies to control one of the target pests identified by CDFA. The IPM program could be quickly implemented once the invasive pest becomes established in California. It is a priority to first utilize and adapt existing knowledge and technology that may exist outside of California. Additionally, the focus is on targets suitable for long-term IPM control. Pests that are typically successfully eradicated, such as certain fruit flies, will not be a high priority.

Project proposals must include details and reasoning on what IPM techniques for that pest (biological/cultural control, monitoring, etc.) will be investigated. Projects may include any number of IPM components, including a single aspect of an IPM system. Projects with biological control components should detail a plan to collect data necessary to obtain a release permit and describe the process for how a permit will be obtained. The focus of the research should be on long term control of the invasive pest that minimizes disruption of urban communities and existing agricultural IPM systems.

What are the funding levels? CDFA received a one-time appropriation of $2 million for BIFS. A maximum budget allowed is $1 million per project, though smaller projects are encouraged to apply. CDFA anticipates award two to four projects. Matching funds from industry partners is not required but is encouraged.

The office of Pesticide consultation and Analysis (OPCA) will administer the Proactive IPM program. OCPA received an appropriation of $1 million for this program. Maximum funding will be $500,000 per project. Matching funds are not required but are strongly encouraged.

Applications for both programs are duce December 6, 2021 at 5pm PST.

The full Request for Proposals for the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program can be found here.

The full Request for Proposals for the Proactive Integrated Pest Management Solutions Program can be found here.  

Morrison has extensive experience writing successful applications for clients for this program. For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.

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