The following letter was released June 2. It details the issues surrounding the lack of IPM Center funding in President Obama’s proposed budget.

The letter reads:

“We at IPM Voice, an organization that advocates for integrated pest management nationally, are writing to ask for your assistance on behalf of the future of IPM in the United States.”

For more, visit http://ipmvoice.org.

“For decades, public funding for IPM research and education has generated major economic, environmental, and health benefits for the United States. Specific examples are at the end of this letter. This public support for IPM is about to be severely curtailed unless you and others like you act now.

“President Obama’s proposed FY2011 budget has omitted funding for the USDA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program, often called ‘Section 406.’ This funding is slated to move to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). So far, the USDA has indicated that these funds will not be reserved within AFRI for IPM projects. As a result, most of the funding will likely be used to support other topic areas.

“Affected Section 406 programs include the following:

• Regional IPM Centers ($3.9 million/year)

• Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program (RAMP; $4.2 million/year)

• Crops at Risk (CAR; $1.3 million/year)

• Methyl Bromide Transitions ($2.95 million/year)

“Other important programs:

• Organic Transitions

• National Integrated Water Quality program

• National Integrated Food Safety Initiative

• NRCS’s Conservation Effects Assessment Program

“We ask that you support restoring Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Section 406 funding through the legislative process that will culminate in the final 2011 federal budget. Your efforts will help assure that these productive agricultural and environmental programs can continue to increase farm profitability, preserve natural resources, and protect human health.

“Contact members of Congress and ask that Section 406 programs be restored to the USDA NIFA budget. Mention specifically the IPM programs: Regional IPM Centers, CAR, RAMP and Methyl Bromide Transitions. The most involved legislators are those on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees of the House and Senate…

“Contact your own senators and representative, or copy them on letters sent to the Agriculture Appropriations members.”

To access contact information for Congress visit http://www.votesmart.org/.

“Spread the word to others at your institution and in your professional organizations about the situation and encourage them to address it now. Those of us employed by public agencies and universities may be constrained in how we can communicate with elected officials, but all are free to educate our peers about the situation.

“Join with IPM Voice in this and other efforts to advocate for IPM.

“We thank you for your immediate action to support restoration of the Section 406 funding. If the Section 406 integrated pest management programs are terminated, their invaluable benefits to farmers, ranchers, and society will be lost.”