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Three New England Projects Get Total of Nearly $100,000 to Reduce Risks of Pesticides
Release Date: 01/31/2005
Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865
For Immediate Release: January 31, 2005; Release # sr050116
BOSTON: Three projects that support New England farmers have received nearly $100,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the risks to people and the environment from pesticide use. These grants, which are targeted to apple, corn and cranberry growers, were given by EPA New England under its Strategic Agricultural Initiative aimed at supporting farmers that produce small acreage crops.
The grants were given to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, based in East Wareham, Mass.; Red Tomato, a not-for-profit organization based in Canton, and the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association for a project in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
"These projects are all working to reduce the risks posed by both pests and the pesticides manufactured to reduce pests,” noted Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “We applaud these efforts to carry out environmentally responsible farming and to support regional agriculture.”
Since the agricultural initiative began in 2001, EPA New England has awarded more than $330,000 to producers.
The new grants will be used for the following purposes:
- Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association ($36,168). The Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association, a 117-year-old organization with more than 450 members, will build on a previously funded project that focused on flooding to control dodder, a parasitic weed. The flooding greatly reduces and in some bogs, eliminates the use of some herbicides. This project also involves revising the “Best Management Practices Guide for Cranberries.”
- Red Tomato ($49,600). Red Tomato does marketing and education to help family farms, particularly those with locally and ecologically grown produce. This project involves a network including apple producers from four New England states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont) and the Hudson Valley area of New York; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Cornell University and the non-profit group, the IPM Institute of North America, based in Wisconsin. The project will develop apple production guidance to help reduce the risk of pesticides and promote less toxic pesticides. It will also create packaging, messages and other marketing devices to help growers using these strategies market their product.
- New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association ($6,989). The New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, the oldest commodity association in the country, will use grant funds to add pest monitoring sites to several farms growing sweet corn in Massachusetts and New Hampshire where monitoring now is not occurring. New England ranks eleventh in the country for sweet corn production, and the value of sweet corn production was $35.8 million in 2003. Results of the increased monitoring will be shared electronically with other growers in the area so they can make informed decisions about pesticide use and other production practices. At the end of the season, growers will be asked to evaluate changes that the pest information had on pesticide use or on the type of pesticides used. Partners from the New England Extension Consortium will use the information to tailor outreach and other educational sessions for growers, in addition to sharing the data with EPA Office of Pesticide Programs.