Signature Programs


Facilitation of Innovation Through Technology (FITT)

FITT facilitates use of the most appropriate and current technology by IPM programs and projects and ensures that existing resources are fully leveraged. As technology rapidly changes, the approach must also evolve to best serve and anticipate the needs of the IPM community. This serves a valuable role for the partner programs in monitoring the technology environment, identifying tools that will be useful, bringing these tools to the attention of Center stakeholders, and facilitating their use.  In addition to providing advice and IT infrastructure, FITT provides access and user support for applications to facilitate communication, sharing of information, and assist in common research and extension activities.

 

For more information about technology and other services that SIPMC offers, click here.


Invasive Species

Invasive species are a constant threat to agricultural, forested, and natural ecosystems. Mitigation of that threat requires directed efforts to detect new invasives, dedicated resources to contain recently introduced pests, coordinated research to develop new management strategies, and timely outreach to help extend the latest information. Limited resources and the wide ranging impact of invasive species requires all organizations to work together and leverage each other efforts. The recent recommendations from the Invasive Species Advisory Committee to the National Invasive Species Council highlight this imperative; specifically:

 

Facilitate open access to and sharing of invasive species data to improve decision support capacities at all levels of government and in the private sector, including public and private learning institutions;

Support regional and international coordination efforts of federal agencies, states, territories and federally-recognized tribes to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species;

Promote the development and application of innovative tools and technologies for prompt and effective prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species

Improve public engagement on the invasive species issue by supporting and expanding existing education and outreach efforts, applying unified messaging and social media platforms

This signature program embraces the need for collaboration and leveraging of resources.


Pollinator Protection

Over the past decades, insect pollinators have faced a dramatic decline in populations, which puts the existence of many species, ecosystem resilience, and global food security in jeopardy. Globally, 87 major food crops depend on animal pollination, accounting for roughly 35 % of world food production. In addition to these agricultural crops, many ornamental plants, crops for fiber, fodder, biofuels, timber, and phytopharmaceuticals are also dependent on insect pollinators. The present pollinator crisis threatens global and local food security, as well as ecosystem stability. Together, we must work towards better pollinator stewardship and pollinator habitat restoration to systemically counteract the current pollinator crisis.

 
To this end, the goals of this Signature Program include engaging Southern and national stakeholders to address the pollinator health and protection challenges. By working with pollinator experts across the nation, we are in the process of developing a Journal of IPM Special Collection entitled "How IPM can help Protect Pollinators in the Urban Environment". 
 
We are also working to include more pollinator health projects in our grant opportunities, and will be working to raise awareness of pollinator concerns through our programming, social media, and other opportunities as they arise. 

Resistance Management

Economic loss from pesticide resistance in the US is estimated at $1.5 billion per year. Utilizing the FITT program better visualizes the geographic scope of known resistance in support of working groups and projects that aim to delineate resistant pest populations. This includes the reporting of potential performance failures, coordinating individuals to troubleshoot application issues, collection of samples for confirmation of resistance, and facilitating communication between growers, extension, researchers, testing labs, and industry representatives.


Underserved Audiences

The term “underserved” refers to individuals or groups who have not participated in or have received limited benefits from traditional programs.  Historically, the underserved include tribes, minorities, women, the disabled, limited resource farmers/ranchers and small-scale farmers.

In the South, there are a number of audiences with whom the Center has not worked closely nor effectively in the past. The Center would like to better engage these underserved audiences within these communities through workshops, a small grant program, and mentoring, where appropriate. Federal programs identify the historically black colleges and universities (1890s) and Hispanic audiences as members of the underserved communities. This program is targeted directly to these communities.


Currently, we are working with coffee growers in Puerto Rico, and minority growers with small acreages in the Virgin Islands. In the coming year, we hope to expand this program to include indigenous peoples, nations, or other organized groups or communities.