Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 15, 2009
Project End Date
Jul 14, 2011
Grant Year
Project Director
Rajotte, E.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
For more than ten years the Pennsylvania IPM Program has evolved into and internationally recognized extension and outreach organization promoting pest management awareness and practice that are economical and protective of the human health and the environment. We are proposing to build on our success by maintaining our base program and expanding our activities in promising emphasis areas. In 2002, the USDA launched the National Road Map for IPM, touting IPM as a critical strategy to "protect human health" and to "protect agricultural, urban and natural resource environments from pest and invasive species encroachment while minimizing unreasonable adverse effects on soil, water, air, and beneficial organisms. In addition to its research underpinnings, IPM has benefited from an extensive education effort organized under Smith-Lever 3d since the early 1970s. Virtually all states and many territories have IPM programs that are part of this system. The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program (PAIPM) is unique in that it formally combines the efforts of Penn State University (PSU) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). This alliance recognizes that there are several entities in the state that have a stake in IPM. More than 10 years ago the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture and the Dean of Penn State's College of Agriculture signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect. Subsequently, other MOUs have been signed by the departments of Health, Education and Environmental Protection as well as the Penn State College of Education to address IPM issues. Under this arrangement there are PAIPM personnel both at the University Park campus of Penn State as well as the PDA in Harrisburg (directed by PDA IPM coordinator, Catherine Thomas). With our entry into urban/consumer/school programming, PAIPM has established a staffed office in Philadelphia, our most populous city. This project will address IPM education and implementation for agricultural and urban communities.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
All IPM programs in Pennsylvania strive to attain the following goals: Improving cost benefit analyses through the adoption of IPM practices. Reducing potential human health risks from pests and related pest management practices. Minimizing adverse environmental effects from pests and related pest management However, PAIPM has designed its various programs to address particular needs. For instance in agricultural IPM programs, profitability and environmental degradation have heightened importance. In urban programs, human health has priority. The PAIPM program has two main goals: To promote IPM to rural and urban clientele, informing them about all IPM technologies, resources and educational opportunities across the state. This will be accomplished by: Maintaining and extensive, multifaceted communications effort that includes maintaining the second most accessed IPM web site in the U.S., frequent news releases, newsletters and email listserves Facilitate the production of brochures, manuals and web resources that aid in IPM decision-making. Maintain the extensive, regional, state and university-based stakeholder panels. These panels have been in existence for more than 10 years and allow PAIPM to keep current about important pest issues. Represent PA at national level. Presently the IPM coordinator is the National IPM Committee (CSREES and LGUs) representative to the Extension Committee on Operations and Policy (ECOP). In that role he is part of national policy discussions, especially as they affected extension programming. This provides special insight to PAIPM as to where future opportunities lie. Actively participate in Penn State's Mid-Atlantic Specialty Crop Research Initiative to help growers, packers, processors and retailers implement IPM. Maintain collaborations with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of USDA. This provides a mechanism to align the goals and methods of NRCS and IPM programs throughout the U.S. Maintain the strong relationship with USEPA to deliver IPM programming to underserved urban populations and schools Leverage core funding by competing for state and federal funds to expand program capacity and output.
Project Methods
The proposed activities of the Pennsylvania EIPM program include maintenance of core program activities and six emphasis areas; IPM in high value crops, IPM coordination within conservation partnerships and IPM in school. IPM coordination in PAIPM is a collaboration between the Penn State IPM coordinator and the PDA IPM coordinator (Thomas). All program functions, stakeholder interactions and other activities benefit from this collaboration. The IPM Coordinator is a 50 percent time commitment by Rajotte. He manages a campus staff consisting of an associate coordinator (full time), communications person (half time), webmaster (half time), school IPM assistant (full time). Off campus staff includes a Christmas tree IPM person, a school IPM person and a vegetable/greenhouse IPM person based at PDA in Harrisburg. In addition, PAIPM maintains an office in Philadelphia for urban programs. There are two full time urban/school/consumer IPM staff there. The IPM coordinator manages multiple budgets including Smith-Lever 3d funding a competitive grant funds. The IPM Coordinator represents PAIPM to college and university administrators and committees. He is also the contact point for state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations. Maintain Stakeholder engagement Stakeholder engagement is ongoing and managed in several ways. First, PAIPM is part of the Northeast Regional IPM Center. As such, PAIPM takes advantage of regional stakeholder activities and outputs. Pennsylvania IPM consumers are on all NERIPM stakeholder committees. Second, PAIPM manages several ongoing stakeholder groups: The Pennsylvania Statewide IPM Advisory Committee is commissioned by the Secretary of Agriculture to advise us on policy and program priorities. Members are appointed by the secretary and represent all areas of the community (agriculture, forestry, urban, government, environment, education, etc.) interested in the promotion and implementation of IPM. The College of Agricultural Sciences IPM Advisory Committee consists of faculty representing college departments including horticulture, crop and soils science, animal science, plant pathology, etc. This group advises PAIPM about current pest related research and education needs. The Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership is a very broad-based committee representing IPM issues for the City of Philadelphia. PAIPM has employed a communications strategy to reach the maximum number of people in the state, nation and world with the IPM message, and make its web site and publications reliable sources for all pest problems. Communications promotes collaboration and allows the program to take advantage of the broad range of expertise in the system. In turn, collaboration allows sharing of resources and avoids duplication of effort. This strategy ensures that each piece of information to be communicated goes to multiple media. All communications products can be found here PAIPM by definition is built on collaboration with state agencies, non-governmental organizations, emerging research and extension programs and other states. We propose to continue and expand these relationships.

Progress 07/15/09 to 07/14/11

OUTPUTS: The Pennsylvania IPM Program combines the efforts of Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. PA IPM maintains stakeholder partnerships to communicate the program's message, publishes approximately 50 news releases a year, produces a quarterly newsletter, maintains e-mail listservs, a 1-800 number and a website. PA IPM collaborated with PDA in working with high tunnel vegetable growers in Lancaster County to incorporate beneficial predatory mites as biological control to reduce the use of pesticides. A biocontrol specialist worked with growers on how to scout for symptoms and pests, identify pests, and time the release of predators and other biocontrols into the crops and conducted a field day. PA IPM also worked with the Amish/Mennonite community in Lancaster County via weekly training sessions with an IPM/sustainable agriculture specialist. Growers learned how to effectively use scouting and record keeping; crop rotation; sanitation; cultural, mechanical, and biological controls; and biorational and reduced-risk pesticides. PA IPM's Christmas tree project assisted interested growers with the organizational issues and costs of starting a conifer crop management association. In addition, PA IPM collaborated with NRCS to provide incentives for IPM adoption in high-value, specialty crops by developing a network of county extension educators and PDA personnel that explained opportunities related to IPM through the EQIP, CSP and AMA programs. PA IPM also developed IPM guidelines, conducted two IPM training sessions per season to NRCS field staff and provided technical assistance to NRCS personnel. Web assistance was also provided by PA IPM. School IPM training workshops and outreach activities to educators were also conducted at venues across the state. PA IPM worked with PDA and school business partners to refine a "compliance assistance" tool to use on-site at schools for a voluntary assessment of both compliance and level of IPM implementation and provided instruction to schools. PA IPM also delivered IPM trainings for child care staff and administrators across the state. PA IPM produced a bi-lingual (Spanish-English) four-module set of IPM trainings for childcare center staff and acquired certifications for the training that are useful to the licensed child care community. PA IPM also integrated the trainings into existing programs such as Keystone Stars and Penn State's "Better Kid Care". PA IPM also helped develop "IPM for Multifamily Housing" trainings for public housing managers. PA IPM worked with three Philadelphia pest control companies and partnered with existing neighborhood networks to reach at-risk populations through additional trainings and materials. PA IPM also worked the College of Ag Sciences to develop the Pennsylvania Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE). PA IPM helped develop the web site and the tools for observational disease reporting. PARTICIPANTS: PA IPM Collaborations The Pennsylvania Statewide IPM Advisory Committee is commissioned by the Secretary of Agriculture to advise us on policy and program priorities. The College of Agricultural Sciences IPM Advisory Committee consists of faculty representing college departments. The Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership is comprised of over 400 individuals representing health professionals, community and faith-based groups, city agencies, and a diversity of non-profit organizations. PSCIP has brought in over $1 million in grants. With our programs we have reached over 2,000 Philadelphia agency staff, outreach, school and Health professionals and over 25,000 Philadelphia residents (youth and adults, English and Spanish speaking) over the last ten years. Service by PA IPM to other committees The NRCS State Technical Committee advises NRCS about state conservation needs. The Penn State Metro Advisory Committee advises the College of Agricultural Sciences about implementing its new focus on urban issues. The Pesticide Education Advisory Committee advises that program's activities concerning pesticide safety education. The new Mid-Atlantic Specialty Crops Strategic Planning Committee (funded by USDA/CSREES/SCRI) is engaging industry, government, agriculture and industry in the region to study changes in the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables. Environment and Natural Resource Institute ensures that IPM is a part of conservation policy and programming. TARGET AUDIENCES: Agricultural audiences in Pennsylvania are served by Extension specialists and county agents for the majority of crops grown in the state. The PA IPM program staff particularly targets audiences include rural and urban clientele and groups that are not being fully served by extension faculty and educators. These underserved communities include row-house residents in major cities, schools/day cares and Amish/Mennonite vegetable growers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Through the high tunnel project, growers were able to almost eliminate the use of pesticides in their high tunnels. PA IPM conducted surveys that concluded grower confidence in sustainable methods increased as they regularly interact with the IPM specialist, leading to the growers' independent use of the methods. In the Christmas tree project, researchers began to develop a Christmas tree manual customized for Pennsylvania conditions that describes pests and their management. Fruit growers have been the most successful adopters of IPM practices with an estimated 100 grower contracts in Adams, Franklin, Cumberland and Centre counties fulfilled since 2005. Payments to growers for these contracts is estimated to be about $1.5 million on about 25,000 acres. The most successful programs adopted by fruit growers have been a biological mite control program conserving a predator mite that reduces the need for miticides by over 90 percent saving growers approximately $1 million/year, reducing about 1 ton of miticide active ingredient and about 40,000 gallons of horticultural oil in the environment each season, and which is sustainable with no pesticide resistance problems. In addition, reduced risk IPM with EPA certified environmentally and consumer safe insecticides has been adopted on about half of Pennsylvania apple acreage with an 80-90 percent reduction in pesticides per acre. Also, the higher cost of pheromone mating disruption over conventional pesticides was offset by the NRCS program allowing over half of PA fruit growers to adopt the practice. Pesticide reductions of over 30 percent have been documented where it is used. As a result of IPM training workshops and outreach activities, an estimated 500 educators participated in workshops and another 850 were introduced to IPM concepts and display materials at educational venues. PA IPM also began to develop a "train-the trainer" module on IPM and green cleaners in child care for extension agents to deliver to childcare staff. Additionally, trainings for IPM in multi-family housing in the Northeast region were conducted, affecting a minimum of 3,000 residents. In addition, ten "Street Team" residents were mentored in how to speak to residents about IPM issues. Over 2,000 Philadelphia residents were reached through door-to-door and/or health and community events. Fifty IPM kits were also distributed to partnering organizations and peer educators for their use in demonstrations of IPM protocols and tools. Two 20-minute online trainings were developed to explain the concept/goals of the PA-PIPE and Pestwatch, how to navigate the PA-PIPE and Pestwatch, and what types of information are available. For those unable to attend or others who are interested in more extensive PA-PIPE training, the training was adapted into an Adobe Presenter format and made available on-line. In addition, two sentinel tomato and sweet corn (multiple planting dates) and cucurbit plots were established at the Russell E. Larson Research Farm in Rock Springs, PA and at the Southeast Research and Extension Center at Landisville, PA and scouted weekly for the development of early and late blight and insect pest density.


  • Auman-Bauer, K. 2008-09. PA IPM News. Quarterly. Promote effective pest management that is profitable, safe and environmentally compatible.

Progress 07/15/09 to 07/14/10

OUTPUTS: Outputs of Pennsylvania IPM Program included developing IPM education materials and instruction in English and Spanish for daycare centers; development of an emergence model for white pine weevil as part of developing an overall IPM program for Christmas tree growers; IPM demonstration and education for Amish and Mennonite high tunnel and field vegetable growers; continuation of Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership, an association of local NGOs and city agencies to promote IPM in underserved communities; development and delivery of IPM components of Health Homes Programs in PA and other states; creation of IPM modules for PA public schools (500 educators); participated in nationwide IPM in schools project managed by the IPM Institute; development and implementation of specialty crop IPM guidelines for NRCS cost share under EQIP and CSP; creation of the Centre Region Bed Bug Coalition, an association apartment owners, campus housing directors, local government and the pest control industry to address the bed bug problem as a community. Ten Amish and Mennonite vegetable growers participated in an IPM demonstration program in Lancaster County that included field and high tunnel crops. A project was started to introduce Trichogramma releases against European corn borer in sweetcorn. Other outputs include four news letters and numerous press releases; redesigned web site; development of a Christmas tree IPM manual with more than 300 color photos. PARTICIPANTS: IPM Coordinator: Dr. Edwin G. Rajotte, Professor of Entomology, Admin contact: Dr. Dennis Calvin, Director Penn State Cooperative Extension, Project Staff: The following are core PAIPM program staff. Some specialize on certain emphasis areas. Others work across all program components. Lyn Garling Associate Program Coord (full time), Kristie Auman-Bauer Communications specialist (half time), Catherine Nardozzo Web master (half time), Amber Gray IPM education specialist (full time), At the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: Cathy Thomas, PDA IPM Coordinator Sarah Pickel, IPM education specialist Wade Esbenshade, Vegetable IPM implementation specialist Brian Schildt, Christmas tree IPM specialist At the Philadelphis PAIPM office: Michelle Neidermeier, IPM education specialist Dion Lerman, Healthy Homes trainer. TARGET AUDIENCES: Amish and Mennonite vegetable producers, Underserved communities in Philadelphia and elsewhere Christmas tree growers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Surveys of urban IPM clients showed increases in knowledge about pest management after educational sessions. Attitudes about pesticide use also changed showing increased knowledge about human health impacts, especially on children. In the vegetable demonstration, on average, growers were able to eliminate one to two pesticide applications per crop and were able to eliminate all restricted-use pesticides and FQPA priority pesticides (e.g. organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids) on their farms. Although the reduction in the number of pesticide applications reduced pesticide costs, the switch from high risk pesticides to reduced risk pesticides and biocontrols was more expensive in some instances. However, project growers with a direct market were able to sell their produce at a premium price. NRCS collaboration to date has resulted in almost $2 million has been spent by NRCS to incentivize IPM adoption; Pre-school IPM education is being expanded nationwide under the Better Kid Care Program. PA Healthy Homes training being expanded to other states as far away as Texas.


  • Thomas, C. et al. 2010. Integrated Pest Management for Christmas Tree Production: A guide for Pennsylvania Growers. AGRS-117. Penn State University. (In Press).