Signature Program: Advanced Production Systems

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We promote the use of advanced technology in IPM—and IPM in high-tech production systems.

Sensor technologies, global positioning systems, and robotics have transformed our ability to detect and target pests. Our production systems may soon operate in new locations, such as on rooftops, in skyscrapers, and in high-tech greenhouses. We are keeping up with these changes through our own networks and connecting with others to promote IPM and technology.

Food production systems are changing with technology. The principles of precision agriculture are being used not only in crop fields, but in vertical skyscraper farming, rooftop gardens, and high-tech greenhouses, yet none are exempt from pests. Regardless of whether organic, conventional, or sustainable, all food production systems could benefit from the incorporation of automation, sensors, and micro-scale technologies to better apply IPM.

In the United States, production agriculture is contributing to meeting the needs of a growing population, but the methods for growing food must get better faster or there could be a significant shortfall. One way to do this is by being more precise in the management of pests, which will result in increased production, lower inputs, and reduced environmental contamination that in many ways is more sustainable. Whether weeds, insects, diseases, or other pests, technologically advanced equipment can now identify pests even before they become a threat.

In urban or enclosed food production systems, technology could be used not only to identify and control individual pests, but prevent their entrance using sophisticated devices, such as electronic noses that detect volatiles released by pathogens, acoustic detectors for identifying insects, and portable PCR units for real-time identification of fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases.

Our Center is keeping up with the latest developments in advanced production systems and sharing information through organized sessions, articles, and conference presentations. Our Center is interested in adding fundable projects to broaden one of the most rapidly changing Signature Programs that requires a high level of “outside-the-box” thinking.

News and Information

A Systematic Review of the Literature Reveals Trends and Gaps in Integrated Pest Management Studies

Source: Pest Management Science / Northeastern IPM Center, March 20, 2017.

Trichogramma Dropping by Drone to Fight Sweet Corn Borer in Canada

Source: Anatis Bioprotection, February 21, 2017.

New Paper on Integrated Weed Management (IWM) and Advanced Technologies

Source: Weed Research, January 4, 2017.

White House Announces Public and Private Support for Safe Integration of UAS

Source:, August 2, 2016.

What's New and What's Next in Remote Sensing in Texas

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, June 1, 2016.

Swale - A Floating Food Forest in New York City

Source: Kickstarter Project, funded May 25, 2016.

This Modular Cricket Pod Lets You Create an Urban Insect Farm

Source:, April 29, 2016.

Are Wind-Powered Vertical "Skyfarms" the Future of Sustainable Agriculture?

Source:, April 11, 2016.

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