USDA Awards $4 Million in Research Grants for Integrated Pest Management Solutions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced nearly $4.2 million in grants to support research projects and extension programs that will provide pest management solutions and advancements. This research aims to increase food security by further protecting agricultural resources and improving pest mitigation practices.

“Ensuring a safe, quality, and abundant food supply is an essential facet in preparing to feed a growing population,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “The programs funded today will contribute to the future of food production with new techniques and improvements on tried-and-true methods.”

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Managing bacterial spot

From Growing Produce

By Bill Shane, Michigan State University

Bacterial diseases can be some of the biggest headaches for fruit growers, and this is particularly true for bacterial spot of stone fruit. This column will focus on prospects for ways to better manage this disease.

Bacterial spot, caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni — Xap for short — is responsible for leaf and fruit spots on peach, nectarine, apricot, and plum. In years with severe bacterial spot, losses due to fruit spots can easily exceed 20%. Defoliation can be severe enough some years to predispose trees to winter damage. This disease is favored by warm wet conditions and sandy soils. Like most bacterial diseases, blowing sand will make nicks in plant tissue, helping the bacteria to gain entrance.

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