- Education and Training: networking, technical assistance
- Pest Management: integrated pest management
Small farmers in the southern region of the U.S. face serious challenges in managing plant diseases, weeds, and insects in crops and forest ecosystems. Yield losses due to sub-tropical climate conditions, weather extremes (e.g., hurricanes, drought, tornados), and pest outbreaks have been substantial. Socially disadvantaged small farmers are more vulnerable to losses due to lack of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) knowledge, limited resources, and challenging circumstances for managing plant pests. Typically, most IPM projects have focused on large farms. This is a unique project in that it addresses Small Farm IPM. Alcorn’s agriculture research and extension program has created a niche in serving small farmers in Mississippi. Leveraging on this strength, Alcorn is taking the lead in organizing a multi-state-territory interdisciplinary IPM working group of 1890 Land-Grant Universities, and uniting with a diverse group of small farmers, entrepreneurs, students, and agricultural alliances to address key agricultural problems and identify IPM research and extension needs of small farmers.
Project objectives from proposal:
The specific objectives identified for the 1890 Small Farm IPM Working Group proposal are:
Objective 1: Unite farmers, students, community groups, and stakeholders across 4 southern states and 1 territory.
Objective 2: Identify key problems to multiple agricultural systems, targeting small farms - urban and rural.
Objective 3: Choose a combination of practical, safe, innovative and adaptive management strategies within a cropping system to minimize pests and other agricultural challenges.
Objective 4: Extend knowledge to users via publishing identified bulletins, holding on-farm workshops and trainings.
Objective 5: Produce a roadmap to assist the team in writing a multi-state-territory grant.
Objective 6: Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the IPM working group proposal meeting.