USDA IPM Seminar

        I had the privilege today of appearing as the speaker at a new,
monthly "IPM Seminar Series" USDA has started in an effort to build momentum
behind the "National IPM Initiative".  The seminar will occur the last
Friday of each month at 10:00 at USDA/D.C. headquarters.  In Dep. Sec.
Rominger's opening remarks today, he explained that one of the purposes of
the seminar is to build momentum for constructve change in response to the
June, 1993 pledge by the Admin. to get IPM onto 75% of the nation's cropland. 

        I used the occasion to announce the IPM funding effort/coalition
several of us have been working to put togehter in D.C. The text of my
speech is posted on the PMAC web page, go to
<http://www.pmac.net/ipmtalk.htm>.  Please feel free to post, pass around,
get to reporters, etc the text of this speech.  Andy, others managing web
pages -- you have permission to place the text, or part of it on your pages,
just accurately identify the occassion/place.  

        We are hoping to broaden our coalition working to support a $25
million increase in biologically based IPM research and education -- twice
the increase proposed in the FY 1998 budget.  The case for this increase,
and how it would be spent are explained in some detail in the 2/28 speech.
Any ag, commodity, food industry, IPM practitioners, sus ag, or
environmental or consumer groups wishing to sign on to the coalition should
send me e-mail at <benbrook@hillnet.com>.  

        There will be discussion of whether the Sus Ag Coaliton should
support this effort at the upcoming mid-March Washington gathering.  I hope
they will decide -- YES -- since this effort has a good chance of
succeeeding and will generate perhaps another $5 million for systems-based
IPM via SARE.  As I see the budget realities, this is the best shot SARE has
for a significant increase in funds.


Charles Benbrook                         202-546-5089 (voice)
Benbrook Consulting Services             202-546-5028  (fax)
409 First Street S.E.                    benbrook@hillnet.com   [e-mail]
Washington, D.C.  20003                  http://www.pmac.net