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In 2023, we received $8.1 million in funding from the USDA for a 4-year project titled “Enhancing integrated insect pest management strategies for U.S. potato production systems“.

This proposal responds to a key crisis threatening potato production in the U.S. regarding insect management. The U.S. potato industry commonly uses neonicotinoid insecticides to target insect pests, but this group of pesticides is under scrutiny by food/nursery retailers and regulators. As the continued use of neonicotinoids is in jeopardy, the potato industry needs robust and enduring alternatives that are sustainable and address consumer concerns; these alternatives will need to rely on biological, ecological, and environmental information. Our project will develop and test such new strategies while also addressing social and economic impacts to facilitate the adoption of novel tactics. Most of our objectives are focused on short-term deliverables that respond to the U.S. potato industry’s current crisis. Our long-term goals are to continue the adoption of strategies developed in this proposal by the U.S. potato industry long into the future.