The goal is to develop products and procedures to reduce fire ant populations and eliminate this insect as a serious pest, in terms of economic losses and health threats. this plan differes from past plans because it is a corrdinated effort among various Texas organizations addressing the fire and problems throughout the research, education, and/or regulatory programs. The organizations involved are:
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
Texas Agricultural Extension Service
Texas Department of Agriculture
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas Tech University
University of Texas
Texas A&M University
Fire ants cause problems for people all across Texas. Fire ants have spread across the eastern two-thirds of Texas, approximately 56 million acres. Economic losses due to fire ants are estimated at $300 million annually.
Texas Tech University is involved in all aspects of the RIFA Initiative and has several faculty members who are actively working on the project.
The members are from many different departments across campus such as:
Plant and Soil Sciences
Agricultural and Applied Economics
Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries Mangement
Agricultural Education and Communications
Animal Science and Food Technology
Each of the different departments have their own specific projects and goals, which are highlighted in this website.
The plan proposes research and management strategies that will provide short-term relief and lead to long-term solutions to the fire ant problem in Texas. To accomplish these strategies, the following objectives must be met:
Implement Community-Wide Management Programs
Support Effective Quarantine and Survey Programs
Provide Strong Educational Programs
Coordinate Aggressive Research Programs
Reduce Overall Impact of Fire Ants
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