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WSU organic grant focuses on pest control

A USDA grant will pay for Washington State University to research whether organic farming improves pest control.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Researchers at Washington State University will use a $749,661 grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to examine whether organic management improves natural pest control.

The grant is one of five that NIFA awarded recently to support research, education and extension programs that will improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers.

The grants disbursed include more than $3 million through the Organic Transitions Program. USDA’s flagship program to fund organic production, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, currently remains unauthorized to continue until a new Farm Bill is passed by Congress.

Other grants:

• University of Florida received $675,719 to develop sustainable whole-farm systems for organic pecan production in the Southeast.

• Michigan State University received $464,482 to develop alternatives to antibiotics for fire blight control in organic crops.

• University of Minnesota received $718,225 to create a series of online, interactive educational modules with a focus on the fundamentals of organic agriculture and how to transition to organic farming.

• University of Texas Pan American received $746,973 to launch a new academic program that engages students in rigorous, well-designed research projects designed to address real-world problems faced by organic farmers in South Texas.



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