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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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The Life and Vision of Edward F. Knipling Concerning the Eradication of the Screwworm
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1 - Presented by Dr. E. B. Knipling
2 - Life and Family
3 - USDA Career
4 - Sterile Insect Technique
5 - Influential Colleagues and Collaborators
6 - Eradication of the New World Screwworm
7 - Awards
8 - Post Retirement: Beyond Screwworm
9 - Area-Wide Pest Management
10 - Relevant USDA Research
11 - E.F.K's Vision and Legacy
12 - Leading America towards a better future through agricultural research and information
Area-Wide Pest Management


 In particular my father promoted, in his books and other writings, the use of nature’s own tools, such as host-specific parasites or other natural biological agents, to suppress pest insect populations. Much like the sterile insect technique, host-specific parasites would be reared in large numbers and released into the environment over a large geographic area to augment parasites already present and more importantly to overwhelm the wild pest insect population and reduce it to low numbers.
 
Furthermore, use of parasitoid technology, coupled with the sterile insect technique, would be highly synergistic and have a powerful effect on reducing or even eliminating the pest insect populations within several generations more effectively than either technology would achieve alone. Additional efficiencies could be achieved by integrating other technologies to suppress the total insect population, such as attractants, baits, resistant crops, and the like.
 
Again, the key to success of these approaches would be to apply them on an area-wide basis, as was done with the screwworm program. Broad-scale cooperation and coordination among governments, agencies, producers, and other organizations also are essential to the success of such programs, as we all know.
 
If my father had any regrets in his retired professional life, they were related to his frustration and disappointment that these area-wide principles and approaches were not being adopted and supported by the scientific community or agricultural leaders and policy makers to the extent he felt they should be.
 
However, he was also comforted by a feeling of optimism that some day they would be embraced and supported as the world faces ever increasing human population, food security, economic, and environmental pressures.
 

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Last Modified: 1/10/2005
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