NIFA seeks a biological science specialist

The following vacancy announcement is now open:

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Institute of Food Production and Sustainability

Division of Plant Systems – Protection

Biological Science Specialist (National Program Leader (Plant Pathology))


Promotion potential:  GS-15

Closing date:  Friday, July 1, 2016

Vacancy Announcement Number:  NIFA-S16N-0027 is open to all U.S. Citizens.

You may use the following link to view/apply for this position:

Webinar announcement – AFRI Foundational

Webinar Announcement

June 16, 2016 at 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

Plant Health and Production and Plant Products (PHPPP)

FY 2016 Request for Applications

Program Priorities, Deadlines and Contact Information

The conference begins at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on June 16, 2016; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1:

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required.

If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0741669# or Find an Alternate Number

If you need technical assistance, call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

APHIS Changes Requirements for Movement of Soil from Phytophthora ramorum Quarantined Areas for Analysis

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is revising the conditions for the interstate movement of regulated soil from Phytophthora ramorum quarantined areas when the soil is moving to an APHIS-approved soil laboratory for physical or chemical analysis. This action removes the certification requirement and authorizes movement under a compliance agreement. The movement of bulk soil for other purposes (e.g., disposal, landscaping, use in potting media) is not included in this action and will continue to require certificates per the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR 301.92). This action does not include soil to be moved for the isolation of plant pests, which is regulated in accordance with 7 CFR, Part 330. Continue reading

Part 3 of tick series: what to do if you’re bitten

In Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Oklahoma State University

Ticks are expected to be troublesome this summer, and that means it is important to be familiar with preventive measures as well as what to do if someone is bitten.

The most effective front line defense against ticks is a repellant containing DEET, but no repellant is 100 percent effective. In the event one – or a few – ticks slip past the barrier of protection, proper first aid involves a pair of tweezers. Continue reading

Part 2 of tick series: protecting the family

In Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Oklahoma State University

With spring in full bloom and summer well on the way, Oklahoma families heading outdoors to enjoy the warmer temperatures should take extra care to protect themselves against ticks.

Though ticks are active year-round throughout the state, from now through the end of summer, hard ticks will be a main concern, said Justin Talley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock entomologist. Continue reading

Tick season could be bad in Oklahoma – and elsewhere

This article, part of a 3-part series published in Southwest Farm Press, focuses on the tick risk in Oklahoma. However, because many parts of the eastern US experienced a mild winter and an early spring, the points raised in this series are applicable to residents in other states. Continue reading

Clemson University scientists think outside the box for organic peach growers

In Growing Produce

With some bags and a bit of elbow grease, sustainable and organic peach production may soon be a reality in the Southeast.

Currently, California, Oregon, and Washington account for most of the organic peach market in the U.S. Peaches in South Carolina are a $64 million industry, with the state being second only to California in national peach production.

Guido Schnabel bags peaches. Photo Credit: Juan Melgar

Guido Schnabel bags peaches. Photo Credit: Juan Melgar

Consumer demand for high-quality fruit with no pesticide residue is on the rise, but the hot, humid conditions, in addition to the lack of disease-resistant cultivars, make peach production in the Southeast challenging, and organic peach production almost impossible. In fact, only one grower in South Carolina grows organic peaches.

Read the rest of the story in Growing Produce.

New handout on Zika virus by OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are monitoring the Zika virus outbreak spreading through Central and South America, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, including U.S. territories. For the most up-to-date information, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zika website frequently. Some U.S. states have mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus, and travel-associated Zika virus infections in U.S. states may result in local spread of the virus. Visit the CDC Areas with Zika website to learn where there is current transmission. Workers who are exposed on the job to mosquitoes or the blood or other body fluids of infected individuals may be at risk for occupationally acquired Zika virus infection. This interim guidance provides employers and workers with information and guidance on preventing occupational exposure to the Zika virus. The guidance may be updated as additional information becomes available.

osha-niosh_fs-3855_zika_virus_04-2016 (Link to handout)

Research Assistant position open at Texas A&M AgriLife

A Research Assistant position is available in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University. The successful candidate will join a research lab studying diverse vector-borne disease systems. Duties will involve molecular diagnostics for mosquito-borne viruses and other pathogens, mosquito and kissing bug colony care and experiments, and general laboratory management. Continue reading

Research Technician position open at Texas A&M AgriLife

A Research Technician position is available in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University. The successful candidate will join a research team focusing on biosurveillance of mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue viruses in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Projects will involve working with local jurisdictions and community engagement to address research questions related to the risk of human exposure to mosquito-borne viruses along with enhanced biosurveillance in the region. The candidate will lead the field sampling and collections of mosquitoes. Continue reading