Time for Kentuckians to take mosquito protection measures

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky entomologists have captured Asian tiger mosquitoes in the Central Kentucky area during the past few days and are encouraging Kentuckians to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

“The Asian tiger mosquito is the most common mosquito in Kentucky. We are seeing it earlier than normal this year,” said Grayson Brown, entomologist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “What’s different this year is this mosquito is implicated as a possible carrier for Zika. Kentuckians who are concerned about Zika should start taking precautions.” Continue reading

USDA Awards More Than $14.5 Million to Support Plant Health and Resilience Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $14.5 million in grants to support research into plant health, production and resilience. These grants were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“As global temperatures rise, we are already seeing that our crops and native plants are increasingly threatened by pests, diseases and invasive species,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Research into growing more resilient, stress tolerant crops that use water and nutrients more efficiently will offer farmers new tools to produce crops sustainably, and will benefit consumers with food security in the face of climate change and the loss of agricultural land.” Continue reading