EPA Releases Neonicotinoid Assessments for Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing preliminary ecological and human health risk assessments for these neonicotinoid insecticides — clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran — and a preliminary ecological risk assessment for imidacloprid, assessing risks to birds, mammals, non-target insects, and plants. Preliminary pollinator-only risk assessments for these chemicals were published for comment in 2016 and 2017, and preliminary human health and ecological assessments (for aquatic species only) for imidacloprid were also released in 2017.

The Agency is also releasing new cotton and citrus benefits assessments for foliar applications of the neonicotinoids as well as its response to public comments on the 2014 Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatment to Soybean ProductionContinue reading

A Safer Way To Keep Schools Pest Free; Stop School Pests Launches Free Online Courses

Stop School Pests, a new online training program, is now available to school employees across the United States and beyond at www.StopSchoolPests.com. The training will help schools reduce pest complaints, pesticide use, and pest-related costs, and improve food and fire safety by teaching staff how to prevent pest problems before they occur.

Students spend a major part of each day in school – on average 30 hours each week. Exposure to pests and pesticides can create an unhealthy school environment. Mice and cockroaches can cause or trigger asthma attacks and allergies. Similarly, an over-reliance on pesticides can lead school employees and children to be exposed unnecessarily to dangerous chemicals. Continue reading

How wildlife biologists predict the deer rut

By Michael Anthony Foster, University of Georgia

Once again, it is that time of year when bucks start chasing does, and deer hunters hit the woods. You guessed it: It is time for the rut, or breeding, season. But the question to be answered is, “How do biologists predict when the rut is going to be?”

Rut season is when bucks furiously seek to breed. During this time, buck feeding activity severely decreases, and bucks’ primary goal is to breed as many does as possible. Throughout this period, bucks become aggressively territorial. With whitetail deer, this territorial behavior is not so much about defending a particular piece of land, but rather, excluding other bucks from breeding a receptive female. Continue reading

World Trade Organization signs statement regarding pesticide use

In Southeast Farm Press

The delegations of the United States, Uganda and Kenya are circulating a statement at the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires that calls on all members “to strengthen the implementation of the WTO SPS (Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) Agreement by reinforcing the work of relevant international standards organizations and ensuring the scientific basis of SPS measures is sound.”

The statement focuses on pesticide use and its impact on international trade of food and agricultural products. Continue reading

Research Specialist Crop Sciences Position, UIUC

Research Specialist Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community. Continue reading

EPA Initiates Rulemaking to Revise Certain Aspects of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and the Certification and Training (C&T) Rule; Implementation Dates for WPS and C&T Remain In Effect

Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

EPA has initiated a process to revise certain requirements in the WPS.  By the end of FY2018, EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones. The compliance dates in the revised WPS published on November 2, 2015, remain in effect; the Agency does not intend to extend them.

Certification and Training (C&T, or Certification of Pesticide Applicators) Rule

EPA has initiated a process to revise the minimum age requirements in the C&T rule. EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the rule by the end of FY2018. The implementation dates in the January 4, 2017, final rule, (1) for certifying authorities to submit revised certification plans and (2) for EPA to act on those plans remain in effect; EPA has no plans to change those implementation dates.

Learn more about the WPS

Learn more about the C&T Rule

NYS IPM positions open in Field Crops & Livestock

The New York State IPM Program at Cornell University is searching for 2 Field Crops and Livestock IPM positions

  -Western NY Field Crops and Livestock IPM Extension Educator, at the Extension Associate Level

  -Field Crops and Livestock IPM Coordinator, at the Senior Extension Associate Level

Applications for both positions are open until February 1, 2018, or until suitable candidates are found. Descriptions and application information are below. Continue reading