For more than 50 years, the use of a pesticide called methyl bromide has been common throughout the food and agricultural industries. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of funding to research new, environmentally-friendly pesticides, tools and strategies to replace methyl bromide.

The use of methyl bromide is now considered an outdated method of pest control as the chemical is not deemed safe for the Earth’s ozone. For decades, it has been used in farming, storage, shipment and other points of food supply chain.

Known as the Methyl Bromide Transition, NIFA’s funding program is meant to “discover and implement practical and safer pest management alternatives.” NIFA plans to award grants totaling $1.9 million for this pesticide research.

“NIFA is making investments to ensure America’s agriculture sector is able to rely on sound scientific approaches to increase production and ensure continued food security,” says NIFA director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is critical that we have the most practical, safe alternatives and that we educate stakeholders on best practices.”

The funding is being made available to research foundations run by colleges and universities. Applications must be submitted by January 30, 2018. To apply for the grant, visit NIFA’s official website.

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