Status of a USDA NRCS conservation program to provide public-supported financial incentives for implementing integrated pest management
Michael J. Brewer, email@example.com, Michigan State University, Integrated Pest Management Program, B18 Food Safety and Toxicology Bldg, East Lansing, MI
Mitigation of pesticide use with reduced-risk IPM techniques to assure environmental quality, worker protection, and consumer safety is core to the argument that the public good gained by growers using reduced-risk IPM techniques warrants public-supported financial incentives to aid grower implementation. The opportunity to use a USDA NRCS conservation program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to aid grower adoption of IPM was explored. The EQIP fund distribution to growers from 1997 to 2002 during the last Farm Bill cycle totaled ca. $ 1.05 billion, with the percent allocation to a pest management practice averaging 0.77% +/- 0.009% (mean +/- SD) among states. Working with NRCS, program modifications were adopted in Michigan to encourage participation and grower use of pest management in the 2004 program year. With appropriate program adjustments and increased grower awareness of the program, the EQIP can be an important mechanism to provide financial incentives for implementing IPM, although currently the program provides modest to meager support.