New tool predicts risk of plant disease

A newly developed technique can predict the risk of plant disease or infestation across the globe. Described in open-access journal Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, the technique considers pest-host interactions and the geographical distribution of vulnerable plants to provide maps of potential disease hotspots. This could help governments to understand the risk of outbreaks before they happen.

Diseases and pests can have a devastating impact on plants, the surrounding ecosystem, and food supplies. These effects can be particularly damaging when a pest or pathogen invades a new territory, in which native plants have little natural resistance and the destructive invader has few native predators or competitors. Continue reading

Xerces Society seeks Pollinator Conservation Specialist / Agronomist

Location: Preference is to locate this position at a home office in Minnesota or North Dakota. For the right candidate, we may consider additional location options.

Start Date: Hiring preference will go to candidates available to start in early to mid-January; some flexibility of start date exists.
The Xerces Society manages the largest and most advanced pollinator conservation program in the world and we offer unparalleled career opportunities for participating in some of the most cutting-edge wildlife conservation happening today. Continue reading

NC State University student spotlight on pollinator protection

In NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News

by Chelsea Kellner, NC State University

As pollinator gardens grow in popularity, Marisol Mata wants to make sure they are giving North Carolina’s native bees the nutrition they need to thrive.

Her work can also help us glimpse the future — how changes in global weather patterns could affect nutrition for one of our smallest but most important eco-partners. Continue reading

Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education Annual Research Symposium: Turf Trends for Changing Times

The turf industry is facing many challenges in terms of changes in climate, regulations, pest populations, technology. The objective of this symposium is to present and discuss what these challenges will be in the future and how the industry is positioning themselves to overcome them. Speakers have been chosen to represent a broad range of disciplines.

In the afternoon, research conducted by graduate students and post-docs associated with the Center for Environmental Research and Education at NCSU to address some of these issues will be presented. See the website for more information. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Carrots for Consumption from South Korea

The government of South Korea has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of carrots for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead us to revise the draft assessment before we identify pest mitigations and proceed with official rulemaking. Continue reading

New Organic Management Resource Available from SARE

Increasingly aware how food purchases affect their health and the environment, consumers are changing the way they eat. Sales of organic products in the United States totaled $47 billion in 2016, an increase of nearly $3.7 billion from 2015. But demand for many organic staples continues to outstrip domestic supplies, despite record growth in the number of new organic operations. Continue reading

Free invasive plants tool kit for teachers

by Beverly James, University of Florida IFAS

Science and agriculture teachers across the nation now have a new tool to teach students about invasive plants, thanks to researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) has partnered with The Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS) to produce a 16- minute video presentation, “Silent Invaders,” for teachers to introduce students to the concepts of invasive aquatic plants and their management with examples from across the United States. “Silent Invaders” provides a basic introduction to invasive plants, along with the key concepts of aquatic versus terrestrial and also native, non-native and invasive plant species, said Dehlia Albrecht, UF’s Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative coordinator. Continue reading