Facilitation of Innovation Through Technology – FITT
The purpose of the FITT initiative is to facilitate use of the most appropriate and current technology by IPM programs and projects and ensure that existing resources are fully leveraged. FITT provides database, communications, and related IT support for working groups and other collaborative efforts such as those funded by our Critical and Emerging Issues and IPMEP grant programs. FITT also provides access to and user support for project management (Basecamp®) and communications (GoToMeeting®, GoToWebinar®) packages. FITT also provides the Southeast Early Detection Network, a website and smartphone application to support general monitoring efforts on numerous species, along with Mailchimp® , a service that distributes and connects to blogs and tracks e-mail updates and newsletters.
Grants programs: Critical and Emerging Issues and IPM Enhancement
SIPMC’s internal grant programs provide two levels of timely response to important IPM issues. Both programs address challenges such as invasive species, pest resistance, and impacts resulting from regulatory actions.
i. The Critical and Emerging Issues Grant Program provides an opportunity to address and possibly prevent minor problems before they become major concerns. The program supports important developmental work like gathering preliminary data, estimating the scope and risk associated with a pest problem, and developing a network of key people who will effectively contribute to addressing the issue.
ii. The IPM Enhancement Grants Program (IPMEP) is a foundational mechanism used by SIPMC to address important issues affecting the region that has produced many significant outputs and favorable outcomes addressing Global Food Security challenges including invasive species, endangered species, pest resistance, and impacts resulting from regulatory actions.
More info on Southern IPM Center Grant Programs
Cotton IPM Decision Support System (CIDSS)
CIDSS builds on a foundation developed by our University of Georgia partners and supported by Cotton, Inc. This project has the potential to deliver the promise that IPM has always aspired to: effective science-based management based on truly comprehensive and timely information. The project builds on the GA Cotton Insect Advisor, the most advanced decision support app for a crop protection application to date. This app is an expert system for determining Extension-prescribed insecticide treatments for management of cotton insect pests in the state of Georgia, integrating treatment thresholds with insecticide selection information for stink bugs. Rather than merely regurgitating generalized recommendations, the app produces appropriate recommendations from simple questions about crop development (week of bloom from two to seven), percent damage (percent boll injury from 0 to 40), stink bug species present (four different species and combinations), and presence/absence of additional or secondary pests.
The CIDSS program is to build out from this foundation. In year 1 CIDSS will develop and integrate state-specific cotton IPM Decision Support enabling regionally appropriate recommendations. In years 2 and 3 regionally appropriate content for treatment of additional cotton pests including aphids, beet armyworms, bollworms, armyworms, spider mites, thrips and whiteflies will be developed. In year 4, the project will leverage the knowledge gained to include pest management recommendations for other row crops or vegetables. Expected participation includes peanut, corn, soybean, and small grains.
IPM for Pollinator Protection Working Group
This project brings Southern Region stakeholders together to address the pollinator health and protection issue. Pollinators including bees, butterflies, and other insects play an enormous role in plant reproduction, and as a result many important crops depend on pollinators.
Expected outputs relate to development and implementation of pollinator-friendly practices and include prioritization of specific research and extension projects; facilitation of consideration of pollinators when developing IPM recommendations; initial grower survey to establish baseline data on current practices; dissemination of educational information on best practices; a web page addressing this topic, with information shared with various social outreach methods and shareable by state IPM programs; and development of boilerplate text that can be incorporated into IPM Elements.