USDA–APHIS Signs New MOU with Canada for Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program

The USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the finalization of a revised greenhouse-grown plant certification program with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The United States‒Canada Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program (GCP) is a bilateral export certification program for greenhouse-grown plants shipped between Canada and the continental United States.

The revised program continues to facilitate the movement of greenhouse-grown plants between the United States and Canada and allow authorized facilities to ship plants using a GCP certification label (GCP sticker) in place of a phytosanitary certificate. The revised GCP strengthens oversight of plant movement, ensures consistent implementation of the program, and reflects current business practices. Continue reading

Nanostructured Biosensors Detect Pesticide, Help Preserve Environment

By Selina Meiners, NIFA

When does too much of a good thing become a bad thing? That’s the question Dr. Jonathan Claussen, assistant professor at Iowa State University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and his team of researchers aim to help farmers answer when it comes to pesticide use. Underuse can harm farmers’ crops, while overuse can result in runoff into the soil or waterways.

Claussen and his team created a flexible, low cost and disposable biosensor that can detect pesticides in soil. This biosensor is made of graphene, a strong and stable nanoparticle, and provides instantaneous feedback, as opposed to the time and money it would otherwise take to send a sample to a lab and await results.

NIFA supported the project with an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant as part of the Nanotechnology Program.