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eXtension Seeks Part-Time Chief Operating Officer

The eXtension Foundation, a part of the Cooperative Extension System, is seeking an outstanding individual to serve as Chief Operating Officer on a part-time (.5 FTE) appointment. Experience working virtually is a plus because eXtension operates as a virtual organization. The person in this position can work from anywhere in the United States. This individual will have an overall strategic and operational responsibility for eXtension Foundation programs and services and will manage key staff leaders. The COO provides leadership for the Foundation’s strategic planning process and implements strategic initiatives. The eXtension Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization supporting Extension professionals nationwide. Deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

A detailed position description can be found here: https://extension.org/coo-position-announcement.

New turfgrass handbook available through AgriLife Extension

Homeowners and professional turfgrass managers now have a new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service publication available to help them when selecting herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to control common turfgrass pests.

Weed, Insect, and Disease Control in Turfgrass was authored by AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialists Dr. Casey Reynolds, College Station; Dr. Matt Elmore, Dallas; and Dr. Young-Ki Jo, College Station; as well as Diane Silcox Reynolds, a postdoctoral research associate. Continue reading

Register for Upcoming Webinars on School Integrated Pest Management

EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is excited to offer two upcoming webinars:

On Tuesday, May 10 − Stop School Pests and iPest Manager – School IPM Educational Programs, highlighting two new, free, online school IPM resources:

  • The Stop School Pests program, a standardized, peer-reviewed, national IPM training program for school communities, and
  • iSchoolPest Manager, an online hub for school IPM materials. These new resources, developed through EPA grants, are intended to help schools initiate and grow their IPM programs, thereby providing students, faculty and staff with healthier learning environments.
  • Featuring Dr. Dawn Gouge and Janet Hurley

Continue reading

Insects, diseases are up this year, wheat acreage is down in Louisiana

In Delta Farm Press

by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter

Wheat acreage in Louisiana is at an all-time low of 58,000 to 60,000 acres, LSU AgCenter experts said at the April 20th wheat and oat field day at AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station.

Low prices, scab disease in 2015 and wet weather at planting are the reasons, said Boyd Padgett, AgCenter wheat specialist. In particular, scab disease “left a bad taste in growers’ mouths.” Continue reading

Clarification on Registration Instructions for May 5, 2016, Endangered Species Assessments Webinar

The Environmental Protection Agency has heard from a number of people who are having trouble registering for the upcoming Endangered Species Assessments webinar. The issue seems to be coming from a password prompt for those who have already used the EPA Adobe Connect system.

If you registered for the webinar prior to 2:00 PM (ET) on April, 26, 2016, you will need to register again at https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/esapilotbioevals/event/registration.html.   Continue reading

Alabama researchers find pest exclusion system that allows for natural enemies

by Ayanava Majumdar, Alabama Cooperative Extension System

The concept of High Tunnel Pest Exclusion (HTPE) system has been explained in many other articles listed at the end. Basically, pest exclusion is a feasible IPM strategy where a sturdy structure can be modified with fabric to serve as a barrier between insect pests and host plants. HTPE can be very an effective strategy for organic and conventional high tunnel producers that aim at preventing insect pests. However, the HTPE system raises questions about the unintended consequences of this technology, such as the exclusion of natural enemies. With this in mind, we conducted laboratory-based assays to evaluate natural enemy exclusion using HTPE models fitted with 30, 40, and 50 percent shade cloths sold by Poly-Tex (MN), Grainger (IL), Green-Tek (WI), and Farmtek (IA). HTPE models were covered in glass cages during the tests. Farmtek shade cloths have fine openings (knitted monofilament) whereas the shade cloths from other vendors have wide (v-shaped) openings.  Continue reading

Draft Risk Assessments for Five Pesticides, Including Aldicarb and Coumaphos, Available for Public Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency is releasing draft risk assessments on five pesticides for public comment as part of our open and transparent registration review process, a program mandated by FIFRA that re-evaluates all pesticides on a 15-year cycle. The draft human health and ecological risk assessments will be available for 60 days for public comment. Two noteworthy pesticides – aldicarb and coumaphos – are included.  Continue reading

Save the Date & Register for Technical Webinar on Recently Released Endangered Species Assessments

On May 5, 2016, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern Time, EPA will hold an online technical briefing on the first-ever draft biological evaluations analyzing the nationwide effects of chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion on endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitat. Register for the webinar at https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/esapilotbioevals/event/registration.html. Continue reading

USDA WEBINAR: Benefits of Habitat to Support Biocontrol

Join this webinar to learn about the benefits of creating on-site habitat to support conservation biological control. The webinar will emphasize the most current scientific research on enhancing native beneficial insects and why maintaining habitat is so critical to these insects. Learn how adding diversity into agricultural cropland can provide the basic requirements to support these insects and how other farm management practices may have an impact.

Date and Time: May 25, 2016, at 2:00 PM ET

Learn More

‘War of the plants’ being studied by AgriLife Research scientists

Two Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are studying the virtual tug-of-war that takes place when a pathogen attacks a plant.

In mid-battle, both aggressor, the pathogen, and the defending plant undergo dynamic changes to improve their chances of victory. Better understanding those changes could unlock new ways to improve plants by making them more disease-resistant, they say. Continue reading