SERA3: Southern Region Information Exchange Group for IPM

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Active

SERA3: Southern Region Information Exchange Group for IPM

Duration: 10/01/2022 to 09/30/2027

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Non-Technical Summary

Statement of Issues and Justification

Statement of Issues and Justification

Losses due to pests and the economic and environmental costs associated with their control are major obstacles to cost effective crop and livestock production in the Southern Region. In addition, the cost of controlling pests in recreational areas, home landscapes, public and commercial facilities, schools, and households combined with the environmental concerns associated with pesticide-dependent control tactics makes integrated pest management (IPM) a high priority in the Southern Region and the U.S. This multitude of pest situations combined with the numerous pest disciplines makes the coordination of all aspects of IPM critical. Historically, IPM has centered on entomology and row crops with less emphasis on plant pathology, weed science, nematology, and other related disciplines and in areas other than crop production. However, for IPM to be truly effective, all aspects must be integrated. SERA3 originated with the Experiment Station and Extension Directors naming individuals from each state to provide recommendations on coordination of the IPM activities in the region. Since its original concept, coordination of IPM activities has become more complicated due to changes in Federal, State, Local and Private funding opportunities for conducting pest management research and education programs. Continued development and implementation of IPM strategies under current funding will increasingly depend on effective coordination at the regional, institutional, and disciplinary levels. This need for coordination is as great or greater today than when this SERA-IEG was formed.

SERA3 provides a venue for assembling research and Extension professionals together on an annual basis to discuss research and education projects related to IPM programs. Since its formation, this group has consistently provided leadership and input for funding priorities to the various Southern IPM Center grants programs and on inducements to encourage participation by representatives of all pest management disciplines and from all southern region states. SERA3 has developed a forum for reporting accomplishments of previously funded IPM grants. To this objective, the group has hosted principal investigator presentations at annual meetings providing a regional overview of successes and outcomes from project funding. The group meeting provides an annual forum for the state IPM Coordinators and interested research scientists to meet with the NIFA IPM Program Leaders to review progress in each state, discuss reporting mechanisms and make plans for future programs. SERA3 has a reciprocal and collaborative relationship with the Southern IPM Center. Southern IPM Center personnel are important members of SERA3 and our membership provides significant input as to policy, procedures and methods in operations of the center. SERA3 provides leadership in developing up-to-date IPM priorities relevant for the Southern Region based on stakeholder-identified issues of economic, environmental, and/or human health concern. In addition to other resources such the National IPM Roadmap, these priorities provide strategic directions for grant applicants and for highlighting key needs in research and Extension related to IPM in the region. IPM priorities include a comprehensive list of emerging and established pest/pest issues, as well as a list of top regional priorities ranked by state IPM Coordinators.


  1. To draw together, on an annual basis, research scientists and extension specialists of diverse disciplinary backgrounds that hold responsibilities and interest in IPM, to provide a forum for reporting findings from projects funded from Smith Lever 3d funded and Southern IPM Center grants, and exchanging innovative research and Extension information related to IPM.
  2. To collaboratively develop and distribute educational materials and educational training modules for Extension Agents and end users of IPM.
  3. To provide a forum for developing multi-state collaborations that lead to expanded sources of funds for research, Extension, and integrated programs.

Procedures and Activities

This group will meet yearly at a selected location within the Southern Region, or in conjunction with the National IPM Symposium for the purpose of exchanging ideas and discussing common issues related to coordination of IPM research, Extension and education activities in the region. The Chair, Chair-elect and Secretary for the SERA3 are currently in place. Annual meetings will be arranged by the Chair and Chair-elect, working with the Administrative Advisors, and minutes of the meetings will be distributed by the Secretary. The Southern IPM Center Director(s) will be invited each year and will report to the SERA3. Members of the group shall be comprised of two representatives from each eligible land grant institution in the Southern Region, the Program Leader for CPPM - EIP, the Director(s) of the Southern IPM Center and administrative advisors from the Experiment Station and Extension Service Directors. From each of the eligible Southern Region Land Grant Universities, one representative should be appointed by the respective Director of the Cooperative Extension and one by the Director of the Experiment Station. It is recommended that the Cooperative Extension Service representative be the Cooperative Extension IPM Coordinator designated by each state’s eligible land grant institution. Other participants should be encouraged and may represent entomology, plant pathology, weed science, nematology, economics, engineering, wildlife science, sociology, and other appropriate disciplines. Furthermore, SERA3 leadership (Chair and Secretary) will reach out to administrators at the 1890 and 1994 Land Grant Universities to nominate one IPM research and Extension faculty member from each of those institutions located in Southern Region as a representative of their IPM program to SERA3. Those official representatives of the 1890 and 1994 Land Grant Universities to SERA3 will be invited to join SERA3 by submitting Appendix-E and then participate in all of the SERA3 activities as regular members including providing updates on IPM-related activities and submitting annual reports. SERA3 leadership will specifically reach out to weed scientists and other new IPM research and Extension specialists to officially sign up by filling out Appendix E and increase their participation in SERA3 activities.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • Exchange of current information on new research findings and Extension programs dealing with IPM will foster generation of new ideas, programs and interactions among the group.
  • Information from report of projects funded from Smith Lever 3d and NIFA grants within the Southern Region will provide insight into successful projects and/or failures in the design of the RFP for the IPM grants program and the ability of a competitive grants program to achieve results in research and Extension goals and will encourage similar programs in other states.
  • Meeting with the Southern IPM Center Director(s) and exchange of information regarding regional IPM programs and strategies and will provide input into programming priorities at the Pest Management Center. An annual working group format interaction among the IPM coordinators, significant IPM research scientists and the Pest Management Center staff will allow the exchange required for the Center to effectively assist the advance of IPM in the region. These exchanges will result in recommendations for an RFP for the Southern IPM Center grants programs, ancillary grants programs with oversight from the Pest Management Center and for priorities for the Center operations.
  • Educational information, including web-based and printed materials, and training modules for Extension Agents and others that can be shared across states will be developed.
  • SERA3 meetings will foster multi-state and interdisciplinary collaborations that lead to enhanced funding for research, Extension and integrated programs.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

The Chair and Chair elect, will serve on the Southern IPM Center Advisory Council and provide input from the SERA3 to the Center annually. Additionally, one member of the SERA3 will be elected to serve on the steering committee of the Center and therefore be involved in policy decisions for the Center. The members of the committee will provide information from the meetings to members of their institutions: Research members will provide annual reports to their respective Directors of Experiment Stations and Extension members to respective Directors of the Cooperative Extension Service; members will assist in circulating RFAs for IPM related programs including the SR-IPM. The group will work with the Southern IPM Center communication specialists to distribute information about activities, opportunities and accomplishments, using newsletters, websites, and other mass media outlets. The group will work with the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network to facilitate its mission and to disseminate information on pest alerts, training and other resources. The group will develop educational materials and training materials for Extension Educators and for the Extension Project.


Chair 2021: Ash Sial, University of Georgia, Chair-elect/Secretary 2021: Francis Reay-Jones, Clemson University. A standard governance format will be used including election of a Chair, Chair-elect/Secretary. A Chair-elect/Secretary shall be elected each year at the meeting and serve as such for one year. The Chair-elect/Secretary will then automatically become the Chair in the second year of service. Administrative guidance will be provided by an assigned Administrative Advisor and a NIFA Representative, generally the IPM Program Leader. The SERA3 web site will reside on the Southern Region Pest Management Center server at North Carolina State University and will be maintained in collaboration with the executive committee of the SERA3 and Director of the Center. The SERA3 will meet annually and/or in conjunction with the National IPM Symposium.Every year, three SERA3 members including Chair, Secretary (Chair-Elect), and Past-Chair will serve as representatives of SERA3 to the National IPM Coordinating Committee. Contact: Ash Sial, University of Georgia.

Literature Cited


Land Grant Participating States/Institutions


Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

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