NIFA Announces $1.85 million for Potato Breeding Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $1.85 million in funding for regional potato breeding research to support the development of superior-performing varieties that can be brought to market as soon as possible. The United States is one of the top potato producers worldwide, and industry sales estimates topped $3.6 billion in 2015.

“Potatoes constitute a significant proportion of our diets, and there’s urgent need to continue to develop varieties with value-added traits, including a nutrient profile that promotes growth and development in children,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of NIFA. Continue reading

USDA Announces $8.8 Million Available to Support Agriculture Programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture today announced availability of $8.8 million in funding to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens HSI programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force.

“Hispanic students earn only eight percent of the degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering and math,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These investments help Hispanic-Serving Institutions promote STEM education and agricultural industry careers to all their students, including Hispanic students.” Continue reading

USDA Announces $18.9 Million Available to Support Agricultural Education at 1890s Land-grant Institutions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $18.9 million in funding for eligible 1890 land-grant colleges and universities to obtain or improve agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment. The 1890 Facilities Grant Program helps the eligible institutions educate the future workforce in the food, agricultural and human sciences job sectors.

“This funding signals our ongoing commitment to create future leaders and skilled professionals in the field of agricultural innovation,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “By building adequate facilities we help 1890 land-grant universities and institutions sustain their programs in agriculture, food and human sciences.” Continue reading

USDA Invests $13.6 Million in Citrus Greening Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation’s citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The economic impact of citrus greening disease is measured in the billions,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in research are critical measures to help the citrus industry survive and thrive, and to encourage growers to replant with confidence.”  Continue reading

Cotton variety trial results reflect season’s ups, downs in East, South Texas

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The 2016 Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation or RACE trial results from South and East Texas are in and reflect the extremes of the past season, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

“We had many regions with superb yield and quality, while other regions suffered tremendously from excessive late-season rainfall,” said Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension state cotton specialist in College Station. Continue reading

Options discussed for farmers battling cotton root rot

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

Cotton root rot disease continues to be a major threat to Texas cotton, but there are options available to farmers to fend off potential threats or lessen the potential economic hardship, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist in College Station.

Dr. Tom Isakeit gave an update on cotton root rot research at the recent Blackland Income Growth Conference in Waco. Continue reading

Special Research Grants Program, Potato Breeding Research

The purpose of this grant program is to support potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) research programs that focus on varietal development and testing and potato varieties for commercial production. As used herein, varietal development and testing is research using conventional breeding and/or biotechnological genetics to develop improved potato varieties. Aspects of evaluation, screening and testing must support variety development.

Read more about this opportunity.

EPA Releases Final Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its final biological evaluations (BEs) for effects of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion on threatened and endangered species and their designated critical habitat. We have also released a separate document that addresses the comments submitted during the public comment period.

Under the Endangered Species Act, for those species and designated critical habitats where registered uses of the three pesticides are “likely to adversely affect” the species and/or their habitat, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service will incorporate the analyses and data from EPA’s biological evaluations into their final Biological Opinions for each of the three chemicals.  Continue reading

Pigposium III to be held February 28

In Delta Farm Press

The first Pigposium was held in 2010, after one of the worst pigweed years growers have experienced.

“Glyphosate resistance had become an issue for everyone it seemed and growers were desperate for solutions,” says Tom Barber, University of Arkansas weed scientist. “That meeting drew around 800 attendees and as far as I know still holds the unofficial record for the most highly attended meeting conducted by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, at least in recent years.” Continue reading

APHIS Adds Pale Cyst Nematode (Globodera pallida) Infested Field in Idaho

Effective December 21, 2016, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added a 150-acre field to the pale cyst nematode (PCN) infested area in Bingham County, Idaho. APHIS took this action based on the confirmations of PCN cysts in soil samples from a potato production field in Bingham County received on December 21, 2016. This action brings the number of PCN-infested fields to 27 and the infested area to 3,047 acres. The total area in Idaho under regulation remains at 9,540 acres. Continue reading