Submit nominations for IPM Symposium Awards – deadline June 5

The IPM Achievement Awards recognize practitioners who have made outstanding achievements in IPM adoption, implementation, and program maintenance. In 2002, the USDA, along with its stakeholders, developed a national roadmap for IPM, which was revised in 2013. This roadmap has provided direction for practitioners who specialize in IPM for research, implementation of new technology, and measurement of success in management of all types of pests, including but not limited to agricultural, structural, veterinary, ornamental, forest and public health pests. The success of an IPM program depends on how well it follows the USDA NIFA IPM Roadmap, engenders stakeholder support, and increases IPM adoption and implementation. IPM practitioners who have achieved excellence fully support the IPM roadmap and garner stakeholders to help with program implementation and team building. Continue reading

Webinar: Weather Variability and Its Impacts on Forest Health

This webinar will discuss the impact weather and climate have on forest health and productivity. We will discuss short- and long-term impacts of droughts, floods, winds, and ice on insect and fungal populations and damage in southern forests. The webinar is sponsored by the Southern Regional Extension Forestry / Forest Health and Invasive Species Program.

Date and Time: This webinar is scheduled for May 15, 2017 1:00 pm US/Eastern. Continue reading

A Tree’s Life: Easy Citizen Science for Healthier Trees

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Red maple trees have important jobs to do – and so could you, if you happen to have one in your yard and just a few minutes to spare each year.

Through a new project called A Tree’s Life, NC State University researchers hope to recruit 250 people to help them learn more about how trees grow in cities compared to rural areas and suburbs. Continue reading

Webinar on Phragmites scale – Thursday April 27

In fall 2016, the scale Nipponaclerda biwakoensis (Kuwana) (Hemiptera: Aclerdidae) was discovered attacking Phragmites (roseau cane) in Plaquemines Parish. The native range of this scale includes China and Japan. The objectives of the webinar will be to describe the problem, present current knowledge on the biology and ecology of the scale, and propose short and long term management options.

Presenters: Drs. Jim Cronin, Blake Wilson and Rodrigo Diaz

 Continue reading

New forest health diagnostic resource available for Southeast

A new forest health diagnostic resource for county extension agents in the Southeast!  Dr. Jiri Hulcr (University of Florida) and Dr. Dave Coyle (Southern Regional Extension Forestry) have created the Southern Forest and Tree Health Diagnostics page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

This group seeks to harness the collective knowledge of forest health experts throughout the Southeast to answer questions and make diagnoses from users who upload their tree health issues.  Submitting a question or issue is free and easy – users need only to upload a few cellphone pictures and give a short description of the issue.  Experts generally get back within 1-2 business days.

 

NIFA Competitive Funding Opportunity Webinar

Join NIFA for the USDA NIFA Competitive Funding Opportunity Webinar.

This webinar provides an overview of the USDA NIFA competitive grant programs in order to enhance the application success rate of eligible institutions. The 2-part informational webinar is meant to enhance the application success rate of all, with a focus on tips for minority serving institutions, is divided into:

  • Session I (11 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT); and
  • Session II (1-2pm EDT).

Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program

The AFRI Foundational Program supports grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. The program supports single-function and integrated research projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications for details). Continue reading

Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE)

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE) is authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642) to award grants to eligible entities to conduct research and extension activities, technical assistance and development activities to: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive and including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid, which pose imminent harm to United States citrus production and threaten the future viability of the citrus industry; and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research and extension activities funded through SCRI/CDRE and other research and extension projects targeting problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests. Continue reading

UK entomologist offers tips on ticks

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A mild winter can have its downsides. One is that more ticks probably survived than normal. The result is more hungry ticks out earlier than usual, according to Lee Townsend, extension entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Typically, warm weather brings ticks out of hiding to find the blood meal they need to continue their life cycle. In the past two weeks, Townsend has received calls about ticks on both people and pets. Continue reading

NSF Graduate Research Fellow (NSF-GRF) via the Graduate Research Intern Program (GRIP)

Our fifteen-member USGS Powell Center working group of Federal and academic research ecologists and entomologists is studying the theoretical and applied aspects of insect invasion.  The working group’s goals are to: 1) develop a quantitative model that informs prediction of insect invasions that could be high-impact; and 2) refine our working hypothesis so that the relative contributions of the defense-free space hypothesis and the enemy release hypothesis are more fully developed and the role of evolutionary history more fully specified. 

We have developed the structure of a Traits and Factors Database (TraFac) for herbivory-specialist insects, and have provided its initial population with traits of conifer specialist invading insects.  TraFac will be populated with traits of other invading insects specializing on other plant groups and of target herbivory specialist insects not yet established in North America but with a high likelihood of introduction.  We will create a statistical model of species impact as predicted by the traits and factors coded in TraFac, and will extend our model to targeted herbivory-specialist insects that have not yet invaded.  Continue reading