Walnut caterpillars hit West Central Texas pecan trees

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Is your nut-laden pecan tree suddenly developing  a “bald spot?” The culprit is probably the walnut caterpillar, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist.

Dr. Charles Allen of San Angelo said he and his colleagues from Central and South Texas have been getting a number of reports over the past few weeks of pecan trees suddenly being denuded. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces up to $8.6 Million in Available Funding for Community Food Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced up to $8.6 million in available funding to assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and self-reliant food systems. This funding is available through NIFA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Community food projects enable low-income communities to address food insecurity and hunger by creating and strengthening local food systems,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Recent USDA data shows that because of programs like this, we are making progress addressing food shortages, decreasing food insecurity and promoting healthy diets and nutrition education.” Continue reading