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Research at Cornell University to Help Reduce Weeds on Farms and Pests in Residential Apartments

Ithaca, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,493,798 in new federal funding for Cornell University. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Crop Protection and Pest Management Program (CPPM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Cornell University will use the funding to advance four projects in three NIFA research areas to help reduce weeds on farms and pests in residential apartments.

“Protecting New York's farms and surrounding communities from pests and invasive species is a challenge that requires the full arsenal of scientific research, community education and federal funding. That is why the research conducted at Cornell University aimed at rooting out these pests is so important,” said Senator Schumer. “This significant federal funding will allow Cornell University, already a world leader in crop protection research, to go the extra mile in protecting New York's farms and residential communities.”

“This federal funding will help expand the vitally important crop protection and pest management programs at Cornell University,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “Cornell University is already at the forefront of our nation’s agriculture research, and these federal funds will help them work even more efficiently and effectively to keep our food supply healthy and affordable housing communities safe.”                          

“The federal funding secured by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand allows Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to continue vital work that serves the people of New York state and the nation,” said Kathryn, J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We are proud to be able to contribute to the overall mission of the National Plant Diagnostic Network and implement integrated pest management in affordable housing across the U.S. thanks to this show of support.”

Through NIFA’s Applied Research and Development Program Area (ARDP), Cornell University will receive $324,856 to develop new practical sampling protocol to combat the defoliation of beets and $189,273 to develop an integrated management package to combat fungus causing premature leaf senescence in onion crops.

Through NIFA’s Promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Affordable Housing program, Cornell University will receive $363,636 to work in collaboration with the Northeastern IPM Center (NEIPMC) which operates in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver approximately 88 trainings in 50 affordable housing properties over the next four years to determine long-term, cost-effective solutions with minimal impact on human health and the environment for pest control.

Through NIFA’s National Plant Diagnostic Network, Cornell University will receive $616,033 to facilitate safeguards to protect U.S. agricultural crops and natural plant resources against introduced and endemic pathogens and pests in collaboration with the American Public Gardens Association and the Sentinel Plan Network. Funding will go towards training diagnosticians and identifying plant pests and pathogens.

NIFA invests in and advances innovative research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA supports research and discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability and ensuring food safety. Specifically, the Applied Research and Development Program Area (ARDP), which invests in high priority pest management projects that encourage adoption and implementation of new IPM technologies. The Promoting IPM in Affordable Housing grant provides IPM technical assistance services and training sessions to public housing authorities and other housing providers. The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) is a nationwide group of diagnostic laboratories that collaborate on early detection, identification and reporting of plant disease pathogens, especially those that may be biosecurity risks.