IPM Implementation Plan for the Nebraska Cattle Industry
The planning grant was used to develop an Integrated Pest Management implementation plan for the cattle industry in Nebraska. Four million cattle are slaughtered every year in Nebraska and over 70 percent of the land is devoted directly or indirectly to raising cattle. The plan is based on a cradle-to-grave environmental management system that includes conformance to international standards (ISO 14000) and the use of life cycle assessment. It requires producers to reduce the use of high-risk pesticides on crops and animals through IPM (including post harvest grain storage and packing) and allows producers to track the reduction in toxic units of pesticides they apply. Participating farmers hope to achieve a 50 percent reduction in toxic units within 10 years. Project leaders expect the industry as a whole to reduce toxic units by 10 percent in the same period. Participating farmers will be eligible to receive a Type III eco-label for the beef they produce. IERE estimates that the label will allow producers to charge at least 40 percent more for their beef.
IERE completed an IPM implementation plan for the Nebraska Cattle Industry. They signed up 10 demonstration farms to build a baseline database on pesticide use and identify appropriate IPM strategies. Each farm has an ISO 14000 conforming environmental management system and two farms are currently on-line at www.iere.org/sustain.html. As a result, IERE was able to develop a science-based approach to measuring progress in reducing pesticide impacts. The approach calculates toxic units based on the toxicity, persistence and fate of pesticides in the environment. With interest in this type of approach expanding rapidly, IERE hopes to sign up more producers and continue to refine their ecolabel program in the years to come.