iPiPE Supports Positive Outcomes for Agricultural Producers
Data-sharing platform supports food-system security and productivity
The Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (iPiPE) is an agricultural data-sharing program founded on the premise that our food systems are the most secure and productive when agricultural professionals have timely access to information about agriculturally important organisms.
The iPiPE platform facilitates sharing of pest and beneficial-insect observation data into a public network to track the location and spread of key crop pests and create real-time maps, alerts, and forecasts, enabling producers to limit yield loss and make fewer pesticide applications.
iPiPE’s long-term goal is summarized by its motto, “progress through sharing.”
iPiPE’s long-term goal is to maintain a widely used, comprehensive resource that farmers and advisors use to access precise science-based information on agriculturally important organisms to enhance yield, profit, and sustainability. This is summarized nicely by iPiPE’s motto, “progress through sharing.”
History and Successes
iPiPE has been funded since 2015 by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Food Security Challenge Area.
In 2018 alone, iPiPE participants shared 261,094 observations, including over 2,000 observations of pollinators. In addition, 93 extension publications associated with iPiPE became available to over 75,000 readers.
iPiPE by the Numbers
observations shared by iPiPE
participants, including over
observations of pollinators
available to over
presentations made by crop-pest-program
coordinators to almost
Expertise on Specific Crops and Their Pests
Crop-pest programs (CPPs) are sub-programs within iPiPE focused on one or more crops and associated pests in a specific growing region. There are 28 CPPs, and their coordinators made an estimated 300 presentations to almost 10,000 stakeholders last year alone.
Dr. Mahfuz Rahman, coordinator of the West Virginia Tree Fruit CPP said about his involvement, “This project created ample opportunities to work with extension professionals involved with tree-fruit pest management in the Mid-Atlantic region. It also opened an opportunity to interact with commercial as well as backyard growers, and learn their approaches on pest management and their expectations from extension professionals.”
Opportunities for Students
iPiPE also offers internships for students, who spend their summer scouting, contributing pest observations to iPiPE, and conducting research, which they present at the annual meeting.
Intern research projects have focused on, for example:
- Mitigating solar radiation damage in cranberries
- Tracking sugarcane aphid in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
- Using drone imaging to detect stem blight in blueberry crops
Describing the benefits of the iPiPE network, summer 2018 intern Loni Askew said, “Based on my experience, people can most effectively collaborate using iPiPE . . . by looking at the maps, which allow growers and extension to see where a disease has been found and track the disease as it shows up in more growers’ fields. Since the website allows you to view data collected from previous years, the grower can easily view which diseases were in a field and which crop they were affecting and make better decisions for the next year.”
“Since the [iPiPE] website allows you to view data collected from previous years, the grower can easily view which diseases were in a field and which crop they were affecting and make better decisions for the next year.”
– Loni Askew,
summer 2018 iPiPE intern
By joining the iPiPE network and contributing observations for the crops and regions in which you work, you are helping build a culture of information sharing and a dataset to help enhance farm profitability and sustainability and national food security, for the benefit of farmers and all who rely on them for food.