Auburn University Entomologist Henry Fadamiro and a multi-disciplinary team of scientists have been awarded a four-year, $881,829 grant by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop and demonstrate successful integrated pest management, or IPM, strategies for the organic production of cabbage, collard, broccoli and other high-value cruciferous vegetable crops in Alabama and surrounding states.

The ultimate goal of the research and outreach project, titled “Development and Participatory Implementation of Integrated Organic Pest Management Strategies for Crucifer Vegetable Production in the South,” is to increase the production and profitability of organically grown crucifers in this region of the country.

“Crucifers are perhaps the most difficult vegetables to produce organically in the South due to high susceptibility to pests,” said Fadamiro, who, in addition to research and academic responsibilities, serves as state coordinator of integrated pest management for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

“Organic producers and small farmers in Alabama and surrounding states cite insects and diseases as their major challenges in growing these crops.

“In our work, we will identify and develop effective, affordable and sustainable pest management tactics for reducing these risks and then encourage farmers to adopt them,” he said. “In addition to boosting organic vegetable production and farm income in the region, this grant will result in reduced human-health risks due to pesticide residues in foods.”