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).

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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