EPA Wants Consumers to Look For the Safer Choice Label When Selecting Spring Cleaning Products

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22 and in celebration of the spring weather, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today launched its Safer Choice spring cleaning campaign at the Weis Supermarket in Conshohocken, Pa. to encourage consumers to buy home care products that will help protect public health and the environment.

“EPA has developed its new Safer Choice label so that it will be easier for shoppers to choose cleaning and home care products that are safer for families, pets, communities and the environment,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Our Safer Choice program empowers consumers to protect their health and minimize the impact on the environment through everyday purchasing decisions.” Continue reading

Syngenta suspends sale of propiconazole due to EU limits

In Southeast Farm Press

by Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension Pathologist

The fungicide propiconazole, sold under tradenames Tilt, PropiMax and Bumper, has been used to fight leaf spot diseases in peanuts for years. Unfortunately, use of propiconazole and products containing propiconazole, including Tilt/Bravo, Echo-PropiMax, Stratego and Artisan, is in doubt for 2016.

Policymakers within the European Union have decided the methodology used years ago to determine maximum residue limits, or MRL, for propiconazole is inappropriate today, therefore those levels are no longer valid. Continue reading

Wild pigs are still a problem in Texas

In Southwest Farm Press

by Adam Russell, Texas AgriLife

Wild pigs continue to plague farmers and ranchers across much of Texas.

They are a year-round nuisance to producers, said Dr. Billy Higginbotham, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist in Overton, but farrowing, the birth of new litters of pigs, typically peaks in the spring. Continue reading

New funding opportunity from USAID for combating Zika

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched Combating Zika and Future Threats: A Grand Challenge for Development, calling innovators around the world to submit groundbreaking ideas to enhance our ability to respond to the current Zika outbreak and generate cutting-edge technologies and approaches that better prepare the world to address the disease threats of tomorrow. Continue reading

Attracting pollinators to your yard

In North Carolina Field and Family

by Carol Cowan

If you ate today, you might want to thank a pollinator. From bees to butterflies to birds, pollinators are directly responsible for one out of every three bites of food we consume. They also facilitate the reproduction of roughly 80 percent of all flowering plants, including trees. In fact, pollinators contribute an estimated $217 billion to the global economy, supporting food and fiber production, clean air, and stable soil. These tiny creatures play a huge and vital role in sustaining the ecosystems on which life on earth depends.

But native pollinator habitat has been disappearing, and as a result, their populations are on the decline. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) is working with N.C. State University to remedy the situation by establishing dedicated pollinator plots at all 18 agricultural research stations throughout the state. Project leaders hope homeowners and farmers will follow suit and aspire to grow pollinator habitat on their own property. Continue reading