NEERA2104: Northeast Region Technical Committee on Integrated Pest Management
(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)
NEERA2104: Northeast Region Technical Committee on Integrated Pest Management
Duration: 10/01/2021 to 09/30/2026
Statement of Issues and Justification
The northeastern region of the United States is comprised of twelve states (CT, DE, ME, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, and WV) with extremely diverse agricultural practices, ecosystems, and land use patterns. Research and extension personnel similarly have diverse backgrounds and focus areas, reflecting the diverse needs of Northeastern stakeholders. Indeed, research and extension personnel improve pest management and increase IPM adoption in various agricultural and public settings including crop fields, public health establishments, schools, housing and other structures, livestock, wildlife, and natural areas. Coordinating and sharing IPM approaches, successes, and difficulties among state personnel is central to the development of new ideas and collaborations that results in the development of more economically and environmentally sustainable pest management strategies that reduce risk to applicators, stakeholders, non-target organisms and the environment. Members of this group (currently designated NEERA1604, formerly NEERA1004) consist of IPM coordinators and extension personnel throughout the Northeast (including those of the Northeast IPM Center) and represent a wide range of IPM programs and expertise. By sharing information, we improve the quality and efficiency of IPM programming in the Northeast. There are also many new IPM personnel in the Northeast Region who stand to benefit greatly from interacting with colleagues of diverse expertise and experiences (whose programs also benefited from their participation in NEERA coordinating committee activities).
The extension arm of the land-grant university acts as a two-way bridge with stakeholders fostering dialogue necessary to develop feasible solutions, share innovations, and maximize IPM adoption. IPM specialists work together to identify knowledge gaps and emerging issues to address stakeholder-identified priorities. Such regional coordination facilitates rapid response and timely dissemination of information.
Northeast regional applied research and extension priorities include but are not limited to:
- Increase collaboration among regions to synergize resource use, identify new funding sources, coordinate research and extension efforts.
- Create standardized IPM performance metrics.
- Support region-wide weather-based decision support systems (e.g. NEWA) and cross-regional collaborations (e.g. IPM PIPE).
- Improve resiliency in the face of climate change and provide resources that improve understanding of climate change and its effects on pest management.
- Reduce threats to wild and managed pollinators including loss of habitat, pesticides, and diseases/parasites, as well as increase resources dedicated to pollinator health.
- Improve understanding of and mitigate pesticide resistance.
- Address challenges created by emerging and invasive pests such as spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorn tick, boxwood blight, palmer amaranth, Hydrilla verticillata, tar spot of corn, and more.
- Address public health issues including ticks and tick-borne disease (spreading in the Northeast) and other vector borne illnesses, as well as structural pests that can increase asthma and risk of human exposure to pesticides.
- Address legislative and regulatory issues associated with pesticides.
- Support IPM adoption for weed, disease and arthropod pests in schools, agricultural, natural, urban and rural settings
- Deliver materials that benefit diverse stakeholders in multiple languages and cultural traditions.
- Train next generation IPM practitioners.
- Create resources for stakeholders seeking to integrate biocontrol, non-chemical alternatives and reduced-risk pesticides into their pest management program
Working groups addressing regional issues and inform and contribute to NEERA priorities include but are not limited to:
- Northeastern weeds IPM working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/northeastern-weeds/
- Spotted lanternfly working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/spotted-lanternfly/ and StopSLF.org
- The Scientific Coalition of Pest Exclusion (SCOPE2020), https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/scope-2020/ and pestexclusion.org
- Invasive Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta) working group
- School IPM working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/schools/
- Tree fruit IPM working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/tree-fruit/
- Vegetable and small fruit IPM working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/vegetable/
- Spotted wing drosophila working group, https://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/spotted-wing-drosophila/
9. NE1832: Biological control of arthropod pests and weeds, https://www.nimss.org/projects/view/mrp/outline/18479
The NEERA1604 committee improves interdisciplinary communication and cooperation among IPM specialists, which facilitates interdisciplinary and multistate projects, improves evaluation of program impact, and helps deliver innovative and timely sustainable pest management solutions.
Coordinate information sharing to facilitate region-wide IPM collaborations and knowledge transfer.
Leverage regional expertise to identify and prioritize stakeholder needs, knowledge gaps, and funding opportunities.
Facilitate cooperation, team building and multistate research and extension programs
Represent IPM activities, opportunities and needs of Northeast region Land Grant IPM programs to Federal and state agencies and other entities.
Collaborate with and advise the Northeastern IPM Center to publicize the accomplishments of all IPM research and extension programs in the region, develop the northeastern region IPM communications network, and maintain a repository of IPM state reports throughout the Northeast Region.
Foster communications and represent Northeast IPM interests to IPM programs in other regions and at the national level.
Procedures and Activities
- The chairperson organizes an annual meeting to discuss important issues, share experiences and plans, devise regional responses to national issues, and coordinate collaborative multi-state activities. Each state provides an annual report from which highlights are discussed with the group. The annual meeting also includes reports from IPM Working Groups administered by the Northeastern IPM Center.
- The chairperson and chairperson-elect serve on the National IPM Coordinating Committee.
- The past, current and elect chair of the NEERA group serve on the Northeastern IPM Center Advisory Council.
- Representatives of EPA and SARE-NE are active participants with NEERA. The SARE-NE grants program technical review panel usually includes a representative from NEERA.
- A group email list is used to communicate among NEERA participants as issues arise through the year.
Expected Outcomes and Impacts
- Support for quality and consistency of IPM programming in the Northeast.
- Region-wide collaboration to address IPM issues related to new and emerging pests.
- Success in leveraging funds from multiple sources including state agencies, commodity groups, and the private sector, in support of IPM programming
- Increased reach of Northeast IPM innovations and information. Cooperative development and sharing of publications and other educational material. Comments: Through the annual meeting and group email discussion, NEERA functions as the only forum where all the IPM Coordinators from the Northeast meet to discuss programs, issues, and stakeholder concerns directly. Opportunities for collaboration among states are directly discussed by state-designated extension, and/or research, representatives from each state. NEERA also serves as a key point of contact for governmental and academic institutions, private sector stakeholder groups with respect to pest issues.
- Continued development and adjustments of agricultural IPM programs to ever changing weather and pest complexes. Comments: Example: Spotted Lanternfly (SLF): In Northeastern states where SLF has been established or detected, it threatens damages of $802 million in tree fruit, $113 million in grapes, $110 million in small fruit, and $2.6 billion in ornamentals. Spray records from 5 impacted vineyards indicate that the number of insecticide applications increased from 4.2 applications in 2016 to 14 in 2018, increasing insecticide cost from $54.63/acre to $147.85/acre in 2018. Despite the increased insecticide use, the vineyards still could not maintain control. A working group led by Penn State researchers is addressing the threats posed by SLF. Working group members were awarded USDA SCRI funding to investigate the pest biology and management methods. Participating are Penn State (PSU), Northeastern IPM Center (NEIPM), New York State IPM, Cornell University, University of Delaware (UDel), USDA ARS, University of Rhode Island (URI), Temple University, Rutgers University, and University of Vermont (UVM).
- Region-wide collaboration to address IPM and pesticide residue issues in public schools. This includes incorporating IPM into public school curricula as a form of public education. Comments: Example: Northeast School IPM (NESIWG): Children are more vulnerable to both pests and pesticides. Schools need support and assistance to adopt IPM practices. Funded by NEIPM from 2008 – 2013, NESIWG is still active, has broad representation of organizations and agencies serving schools throughout the northeastern states, including State of Maine, UMaine, Cornell, NYS IPM, WVU, URI, EPA Regions 2 and 3, University of Maryland, UMass, University of Connecticut, UNH, Rutgers, plus many school systems, private IPM practitioners, state agricultural and environmental agencies. Schools enrolled in the program have up to 90% fewer pest problems and pest-related allergens, and significantly less pesticide use and exposed pesticide residues, and improved indoor air quality. Published analysis shows annual cost savings from IPM adoption ranging from $1,000 to $32,000 per school. NESIWG continues to operate a well-used School IPM Best Practices website (www.northeastipm.org/schools/) and helped create a school nurse IPM program which has reached over 1.2 million people.
- Collaboration with USDA/NRCS to ensure that IPM continues to be a component of conservation payment programs. Comments: Example: Municipal Rodent IPM Working Group (MRIPM), funded in 2021 by NEIPM is already working to advance the adoption of municipal-scale rodent IPM in the Northeast. Prior to this effort there has been no formal coalition dedicated to advancing the science and implementation of municipal rodent management. MRIPM includes representatives from academia, manufacturers, consultants, applicators, and several municipalities.
- Leadership in urban IPM programming and including urban issues in the National IPM Roadmap.
- Enhance our ability to quickly identify and respond to emergent IPM knowledge gaps and stakeholder needs.
- Maintain a repository of state reports to the annual NEERA meeting. Comments: Online access to state IPM Extension activities (state IPM coordinator reports) serves as historical documentation for the development and application of the IPM approach within the Northeast region.
Projected ParticipationView Appendix E: Participation
Priorities within individual states drive in-state educational planning. NEERA provides the forum for linking resources and activities to augment those programs with resources and expertise from multiple states.
IPM Working Groups within the Northeast region actively networking
- Brown marmorated stink bug
- New England Tree Fruit IPM Working Group (Multi-state and Canadian province workshop scheduled or October 2022)
- Municipal Rodents Working Group School IPM
- Spotted lanternfly
- Spotted wing drosophila
- Tarping and Soil Solarization Weed Control Working Group
- The Scientific Coalition of Pest Exclusion (SCOPE2020)
- Vegetable and Small Fruit
- Fire blight management (hosted by Univ. NH)
- Tree Fruit Friday forums (hosted by Univ. NH)
- Winter Tree fruit webinars (hosted by Univ. MA)
Continuation of regional publications & workshops
- New England Vegetable Guide
- New England Small Fruit Guide
- ME-NH-VT annual greenhouse IPM program
Topics for regional collaboration
- Asian longhorned beetle
- Asian longhorned tick
- Boxwood blight
- Browntail moth
- Climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning for agricultural IPM
- Hemlock wooly adelgid
- Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
- Insect pollinator conservation
- Integrating biocontrol and reduced-risk pesticides
- IPM training materials for underserved communities and multiple languages
- IPM curriculum for public education, Consumer IPM education
- Palmer amaranth
- Public housing structural IPM
- Regional weather-based decision support systems (NEWA, AgRadar, IPM PIPE)
- Regulatory interfaces with pesticides and other IPM tactics
- Soybean IPM concerns (e.g. soybean rust, herbicide-resistant weeds, etc.)
- Small scale, diversified, and organic agriculture IPM
- Spanish language IPM and pesticide safety materials
- Serving Beginner, Physically challenged, and Immigrant farmer audiences
- Standardizing and harmonizing IPM performance metrics
- Tick vectors and tick-borne diseases
- Training the next generation of IPM practitioners
The NEERA chair position rotates around the 12 participating states. Chairperson duties consist of organizing the agenda and logistics for the annual meeting, collecting and submitting reports, serving on the National IPM Coordinating Committee and the Northeastern IPM Center Advisory Council, and assisting the incoming chairperson for continuity. Chairpersons also collaborate with the Northeastern IPM center and the USDA National Institute of Agriculture to address issues important to NEERA members.
The 2020, 2021, and 2022 meetings were held virtually. Prior to that, in-person meetings have been held in conjunction with other IPM-related meetings (e.g. International IPM Symposium, American Phytopathological Society, Entomological Society of America, Weed Science Society of America, national and eastern-branch meetings).