[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20005-20006]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7987]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the Proposed 
Crop Protection Competitive Grants Program

AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for stakeholder input.

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SUMMARY: The President's budget proposal for FY 2013 consolidates six 
funding lines addressing pest management and integrated pest management 
(IPM) issues into a single budgetary line, called the Crop Protection 
Program (CPP). The six budgetary lines being consolidated are Expert 
Integrated Pest Management Decision Support System, IPM and Biological 
Control, Minor Crop Pest Management/IR-4, Pest Management Alternatives, 
Smith-Lever 3(d) Pest Management, and Regional Pest Management Centers. 
The new program is described broadly to encompass all of the functions 
of the existing programs. A listening session was previously announced 
in the Federal Register on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 to be held on 
March 29 to guide future Request for Applications (RFAs) of the 
Extension of IPM Coordination and Support Program (EIPM-CS), one of the 
programs affected by this realignment. That session has been redefined 
to collect stakeholder input on the broader Crop Protection topic. 
Additional opportunities for comment are also being scheduled. By this 
notice, NIFA is designated to act on behalf of the Secretary of 
Agriculture in soliciting public comment from interesting persons 
regarding the future design and implementation of this proposed 
program.

DATES: Four public meetings will be held to collect stakeholder input. 
The first of those meetings will be on Thursday, March 29, 2012 from 2 
p.m. to 5 p.m. Central time. Successive meetings will be held on 
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time; Monday, 
April 16, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time; and Tuesday, May 1, 
2012 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. All comments not otherwise 
presented or submitted for the record at one of the meetings must be 
submitted by close of business Thursday, May 31, 2012, to assure 
consideration in the development of the proposed FY 2013 Crop 
Protection RFA.

ADDRESSES: The March 29, 2012 meeting will be held in the Nashville 
Meeting Room, Memphis Marriot Downtown Hotel, 250 North Main Street, 
Memphis, Tennessee 38103, phone--888-557-8740 (toll-free in USA); 901-
527-7300 (outside USA). The April 11 and May 1, 2012 meetings will be 
held by conference call (audio) and internet (visual only). Connection 
details for those meetings will be posted on the National Institute of 
Food and Agriculture Web site (www.nifa.usda.gov) or by contacting the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION (below). The April 16, 
2012 meeting will be held in room 1410A-D, Waterfront Centre Building, 
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of 
Agriculture, 800 9th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. Attendees will 
need to provide photo identification to be admitted in the building. 
Please allow sufficient time to go through security.
    You may submit comments, identified by NIFA-2012-0006, by any of 
the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: CropProtection@nifa.usda.gov. Include NIFA-2012-0006 in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: (202) 401-1782.
    Mail: Paper, disk or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to Crop 
Protection comments; Division of Plant Protection, Institute of Food 
Production and Sustainability, National Institute of Food and 
Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP 2220, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2220.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Crop Protection; Division of Plant 
Protection, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, National 
Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Room 
3105, Waterfront Centre, 800 9th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and the identifier NIFA-2012-0006. All comments received will be posted 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Elizabeth Ley, (202) 401-6195 
(phone), (202) 401-1782 (fax), or CropProtection@nifa.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Additional Meeting and Comment Procedures

    Because of the diversity of subjects, and to aid participants in 
scheduling their attendance, the following schedule is anticipated for 
the March 29, 2012, meeting:
    2-2:20 p.m. Introduction to the proposed CPP.
    2:20-5 p.m. Stakeholder input on general administration of the 
proposed CPP, including: solicitation of proposals, types of projects 
and awards, length of awards, evaluation criteria, and protocols to 
ensure the widest program participation, allocation of funds including 
protocols to solicit and consider stakeholder input, determination of 
priority areas, and determination of activities to be supported.
    5 p.m. Adjourn.
    Persons wishing to present oral comments at the March 29, 2012, 
meeting are requested to pre-register by contacting Elizabeth Ley, 
(202) 401-6195 (phone), by fax at (202) 401-1782, or by email to 
CropProtection@nifa.usda.gov.
    Participants may reserve one 5-minute comment period. More time may 
be available, depending on the number of people wishing to make a 
presentation. Reservations for oral comments will be confirmed on a 
first-come, first-served basis. All other attendees may register at the 
meeting.
    Written comments may also be submitted for the record at the 
meeting. All comments not presented or submitted for the record at the 
meeting must be submitted by close of business Thursday, May 31, 2012, 
to be considered in the development of the proposed FY 2013 CPP. All 
comments and the official transcript of the meeting, when they become 
available, may be reviewed on the NIFA Web page for six months. 
Participants who require a sign language interpreter or other special 
accommodations should contact Ms. Ley as directed above.

Background and Purpose

    Current grant programs associated with this consolidation and their 
current funding authorities include Expert Integrated Pest Management 
Decision Support program (EIPMDSS)--(7 U.S.C. 450i Section (c)(1)(B)); 
Minor Crop Pest Management Program (IR-4)--(Section 2(c)(1)(B) of the

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Competitive, Special and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 
450i)); Pest Management Alternatives Program (PMAP)--(Section 
2(c)(1)(A) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant 
Act, (Pub. L. No. 89-106), as amended (7 U.S.C. 450i(c)(1)(A)); 
Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program (RIPM)--(Section 2(c)(1)(B) of 
the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (Pub. L. 
No. 89-106, as amended (7 U.S.C. 450i(c)(1)(B)) and Section 3(d) of the 
Smith-Lever Act (7 U.S.C. 343(d)); Extension Integrated Pest Management 
Coordination and Support (EIPM-CS)--(Section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever 
Act (7 U.S.C. 343(d) as amended by Section 7403 of the FCEA) (Pub. L. 
110-246), and the Regional IPM Centers--(Section 406 of the 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 
(AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626), as reauthorized by Section 7306 of the FCEA 
of 2008) (Pub. L. 110-246)). The Crop Protection Program, as proposed, 
would be authorized under Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626), 
as reauthorized by Section 7306 of the FCEA) (Pub. L. 110-246). This 
funding authority will allow eligibility for four-year degree granting 
institutions and provide for the recovery of indirect costs. The intent 
of the listening sessions is to gather stakeholder input on program 
focus, function and design. Additional detail can be found in the 
explanatory notes to the President's budget, found at http://www.obpa.usda.gov/17nifa2013notes.pdf. USDA-NIFA suggests the following 
questions be addressed in drafting comments on the program. Prior to 
the listening session, National Program Leaders presented stakeholders 
with the following questions:
    1. What conceptual elements are needed in the new CPP to address 
research education and extension in pest management to ensure global 
food security and other major societal challenges are addressed?
    2. Is regionalization a sound concept for coordination of IPM 
programs? Why or why not?
    3. What administrative functions are needed to adequately manage 
elements of the new program?
    4. Should the program be delivered through a state, regional, or 
national structure or should there be a blend of elements to address 
regional and national interests?
    5. How should resources be apportioned across the functional areas 
and across regions if regionalization is an element of the program?
    6. If regional program delivery is a part of the concept, what 
critical benefits does this approach provide?
    7. If a regional structure is deployed, what should it look like?
    8. Should the CPP be limited to short-term projects or should 
longer-term ongoing programs also be supported?
    9. What size should the awards be for research, education or 
extension? What scope should projects encompass?
    10. What portion of the Crop Protection Program budget should be 
dedicated to each of the five IPM program areas: (a) Plant Protection 
Tactics and Tools; (b) Diversified IPM Systems; (c) Enhancing 
Agricultural Biosecurity; (d) IPM for a Sustainable Society; and (e) 
Development of the Next Generation of IPM Scientists.
    The March, April and May 2012, Listening Sessions are scheduled to 
assist NIFA leadership in more fully addressing stakeholder needs and 
assuring that the CPP has influence on the discovery of new IPM 
knowledge, IPM principles are adopted, and end users are best served.

Implementation Plans

    NIFA plans to consider stakeholder input received from these public 
meetings as well as other written comments in developing the FY 2013 
program guidelines, dependent on Congressional appropriation. NIFA 
anticipates releasing the proposed FY 2013 RFA(s) by winter 2012-13.

    Dated: Done at Washington, DC, this 23rd day of March 2012.
Chavonda Jacobs-Young,
Acting Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2012-7987 Filed 4-2-12; 8:45 am]
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