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Environmental Health Association hosts free 2-day virtual conference on public health pests

With concerns about the Zika virus spreading, the national Environmental Health Association is hosting a two-day virtual conference on public health pests.

The April 13 and 14 event is free and open to everyone. The live presentations are “Zika in the U.S.: What Environmental Health and Pest Management Professionals Need to Know – Updates” on April 13, and “Clueless or Terrified? Helping People Understand Health Risks” on April 14. In addition, the conference features a virtual poster hall and discussion sessions. Continue reading

Measuring spotted wing drosophila impacts – Your help needed!

The recently funded USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) project Sustainable Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Management for United States Fruit Crops is surveying fruit growers with two goals:
1. To measure the impact of SWD throughout the United States, and
2. To guide our project activities over the next four years. Continue reading

NCPMA PestLine to Answer Consumer Pest Management Questions

For the fourth consecutive year, the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) will offer the NCPMA PestLine, a free electronic hotline that allows consumers to receive answers to their pest management questions directly from pest management experts. The NCPMA PestLine will be open throughout the month of April.

April is National Pest Management Month and also is Pest Management Month in North Carolina.

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EPA Recognizes National Healthy Schools Day

Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play is a top priority for the Environmental Protection Agency. Today, April 5, 2016, is National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children. Today and throughout the year, EPA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a safer, healthier and usually less costly option for effective pest management in schools.

Children in the United States face risks from unnecessary exposure to pests and pesticides in schools. EPA encourages the use of IPM, a smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest control that focuses on addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. Schools that practice IPM see fewer pests, use less pesticides, and may see a noticeable improvement in attendance and academic performance.  Continue reading

USDA Announces New GroupGAP Program for the Produce Industry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the official launch of GroupGAP, a new certification program that helps small and mid-sized growers and cooperatives meet retailers’ on-farm food safety requirements.

“We know that GAP certification can sometimes be cost-prohibitive for smaller farmers,” said AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer. “GroupGAP allows these farmers to demonstrate compliance with strong food safety standards and share the cost of certification across a group of growers. That means greater market access for farmers, more options for consumers, and strong verification of food safety practices. It is a true win-win. We’re proud to have developed this innovative solution in partnership with our stakeholders.” Continue reading

eXtension offers Impact Statement Reporting course

Spring is Impact Statement reporting season. eXtension now offers the new online Impact Statement Reporting Course created by Extension professionals, specifically for Extension professionals, to employees of member institutions for free. Requiring only 80 minutes to complete, all at one time or across modules, this course provides timely instruction or can serve as a refresher as impact statement reporting deadlines approach. Learn more…

Thousand Cankers Disease Survey Guidelines Available

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Plant Protection and Quarantine have published online the Thousand Cankers Disease Survey Guidelines for 2016. The guidelines provide standardized techniques for surveys of TCD. To view the guidelines click here.

Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a disease complex that threatens millions of black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) in forests and urban areas in the United States. The disease is the result of the combined activity of a fungus (Geosmithia morbida) and the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis).

For further information on TCD, refer to the Web site http://www.thousandcankers.com or contact William Wesela, National Policy Manager, 301-851-2229, William.D.Wesela@aphis.usda.gov; or, Bruce Moltzan, National Program Leader, Forest Pathology, 703- 605-5336, bmoltzan@fs.fed.us.

Methyl Bromide Transition RFA has been released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Request for Applications (RFA). The MBT program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives for commodities and uses affected by the methyl bromide phase-out. This program focuses on integrated projects that use a systems approach to deliver short- to medium-term solutions and economic analyses for all commodities impacted by the loss of methyl bromide. The following link includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=282730 . For programmatic questions, please contact Dr. Herbert Bolton (hbolton@nifa.usda.gov or (202) 401-4201).

Application Deadline:  May 31, 2016 

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