Alabama Vegetable IPM program receives funding to help underserved farmers

From the Alabama IPM Communicator

By Ayanava Majumdar, Extension Specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension

Without a consistent commercial vegetable production education program for many years, Alabama was ranked at the bottom when it came to production levels in sustainable agriculture and organic small farms. Alabama small producers needed up-to-date pest management information and constant training for preventing significant yield losses. Early grants (since 2009) from the Organic Agriculture Research and Education Initiative, Extension IPM, and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program helped specialists create an IPM educational campaign that they delivered to the entire state. Regional Extension Agents and County Extension Coordinators worked hard to organize training events, distribute training materials, and spread the word. With this solid start, Alabama is now on the path to increasing fruit and vegetable production on small farms. Impacts of the first five years of the IPM project have been tremendous. Continue reading

EPA Opens Public Comment Period on the First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened the 60-day public comment period for its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, in a Federal Register notice published today. After the comment period ends, the EPA may revise the pollinator assessment based on comments received and, if necessary, take action to reduce risks from the insecticide.

The preliminary risk assessment identified a residue level for imidacloprid of 25 ppb, above which effects on pollinator hives are likely to be seen and below which effects are unlikely. These effects may include reduction in numbers of pollinators as well as the amount of honey produced. Continue reading

Dealing with herbicide issues when rotating crops

In Southeast Farm Press

It’s a question Alan York gets every year: “I lost a crop, what can I plant there next year?”

For the most part, the question comes from cotton and corn producers, explains York, professor of crop science at North Carolina State University. “The tobacco people are going to reset tobacco, and peanut guys are going to want to plant peanuts, and soybean people are going to replant soybeans,” York says. Continue reading

EPA Announces Revisions to Worker Protection Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing updates and revisions to the existing worker protection regulation for pesticides. This final rule will enhance the protections provided to agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, and other persons under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) by strengthening elements of the existing regulation, such as training, notification, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, use of personal protective equipment, and the provision of supplies for routine washing and emergency decontamination. Continue reading

Removal of Oriental Fruit Fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) Quarantine Area in Covina, Los Angeles County, California

Effective December 7, 2015, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed the Covina area of Los Angeles County as an Oriental fruit fly (OFF) quarantine area. Continue reading

More information on Using Repellent Products to Protect against Dengue

A recent outbreak in Hawaii of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral illness, has raised questions about the use of insect repellents to protect against the mosquitoes that transmit dengue (Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti). Insect repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency can be expected to repel these mosquitoes, provided the EPA-approved labeling says the product is for use to protect against mosquitoes in general or against Aedes mosquitoes in particular. EPA must have reviewed and accepted data to support these claims.  Continue reading

Florida researchers try to attack citrus greening on all fronts

In Southeast Farm Press

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, University of Florida

Although current methods to control the spread of citrus greening are limited to aggressive psyllid control and the removal and destruction of infected trees, researchers are working to defeat it on a number of fronts, including suppressing the psyllid, breeding citrus rootstock that shows better greening resistance and testing chemical treatments that could be used on trees.

International researchers, including ones at the University of Florida and Florida State University, are sharing in a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to attack the problem of citrus greening, a disease that has devastated citrus crops in Florida. Continue reading