UK to host tall fescue pasture renovation workshop

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time around livestock or forages knows tall fescue is a double-edged sword. University of Kentucky forage specialists are teaming up with the Alliance for Grassland Renewal to host a workshop to teach producers how to renovate their old tall fescue pastures with a novel endophyte variety.

The Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop will take place March 9 at UK’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and UK Spindletop Research Farm. Continue reading

APHIS Posts New Weed Risk Assessments

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has posted Weed Risk Assessments (WRA) for the following three weed species:

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APHIS Establishes a Medfly Quarantine in the Arleta Area of Los Angeles County, California

Effective November 19, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) established a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine in a residential area of Los Angeles County, California. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area. Continue reading

Clostridium difficile – Guidance and Methods for Antimicrobial Efficacy Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability for public comment of two proposed test methods and associated testing guidance for evaluating the effectiveness of antimicrobial pesticides against Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

C. diff is an anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium and a frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections. EPA recognizes the potential public health implications of C. difficile and recommends specific laboratory methodologies to produce and store spores, apply the spores to a hard non-porous surface, and evaluate the effectiveness of antimicrobial products intended to treat these surfaces. Continue reading

EPA Prohibits 72 Inert Ingredients from Use in Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to remove 72 ingredients from its list of ingredients approved for use in pesticide products.

Manufacturers wishing to use these ingredients in the future will have to provide EPA with studies or information to demonstrate their safety. EPA will then consider whether to allow their use. Continue reading

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) (Joint NSF) Competitive Grants Program

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, reliability, and usability that will far exceed the simple embedded systems of today. CPS technology will transform the way people interact with engineered systems — just as the Internet has transformed the way people interact with information. New smart CPS will drive innovation and competition in sectors such as agriculture, energy, transportation, building design and automation, healthcare, and manufacturing. Continue reading

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG)

The purpose of the BRAG program is to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing into the environment genetically engineered organisms (GE), including plants, microorganisms — such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses — arthropods, fish, birds, mammals and other animals excluding humans. Investigations of effects on both managed and natural environments are relevant. The BRAG program accomplishes its purpose by providing federal regulatory agencies with scientific information relevant to regulatory issues. See RFA for details. Visit the NIFA website to access a factsheet on the Center of Excellence (COE) designation process, including COE criteria, and a list of programs offering COE opportunities in fiscal year 2016. You can also review a recording of COE outreach webinars held in February and March of 2015 from the site. The COE webpages will be updated throughout FY 2016 with additional information, such as a summary of comments received from stakeholders. Continue reading