Reducing the spread of boxwood blight

by Elizabeth Bush, Virginia Tech

According to records of the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force, to date boxwood blight has been diagnosed in over 70 locations and approximately 30 counties in Virginia. There are likely additional undocumented incidences of the disease, for example, if no sample was submitted for diagnosis through Virginia Cooperative Extension or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Continue reading

Texas A&M AgriLife experts discuss fumonisin contamination, possible avoidance practices

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife officials are offering some best management practices for producers to keep in mind as harvest continues and for next year after fumonisin contamination has been found in truckloads of corn across the Texas High Plains.

Dr. Tom Isakeit, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist in College Station, said this year nothing can be done to minimize fumonisin already present in the standing crop; however, producers can make a few changes during harvest to possibly reduce the amount of contaminated grain collected. Continue reading

APHIS Proposes Changes to the Protocol for Interstate Movement of Citrus Nursery Stock from Quarantined Areas

APHIS is proposing to make several changes to the protocol for interstate movement of citrus nursery stock. This protocol, originally published in 2013, contains standards and requirements that a nursery must meet in order to move citrus nursery stock interstate from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening, and/or Asian citrus psyllid. By meeting the standards and requirements, a nursery would be able to obtain a certificate or limited permit for the interstate movement of citrus nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening, or ACP.

A summary of APHIS’ proposed changes is provided below. The full text of the revised protocol is available on APHIS’ Citrus Health Response Program Web site. APHIS will accept comments on the revised protocol through November 10, 2017. Please email your comments to PPQ.Citrus.Health@aphis.usda.gov. Continue reading

Virginia Tech seeks aquatic entomologist

Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology seeks to attract a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the area of aquatic entomology, and priority will be given to applications at the Assistant Professor rank.  This position is a part of a robust and diverse cluster of faculty contributing to transdisciplinary research, teaching, and/or outreach initiatives that align with our Global Systems Science Destination Area.

The Global Systems Science Destination Area is focused on the transdisciplinary study of the dynamic interplay among natural and social systems.  Faculty working together in this area are collaborating toward transdisciplinary solutions to critical social problems emergent from human activity and environmental change. Work in this area also embraces equity in the human condition by seeking the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, respect for human dignity, and access to crucial material and social resources throughout the world’s diverse communities. Visit provost.vt.edu/destination-areas.html for more information about this initiative. This position will be based on the main campus at Virginia Tech, a land-grant university in Blacksburg, Virginia, situated in the scenic New River Valley. Continue reading

Corn growers and environmental advocate find ways to work together

In Delta Farm Press

The idea that the National Corn Growers Association would fall in line with the Environmental Defense Fund views seems far-fetched. However, when it comes to soil health, Chris Novak says the two organizations have a common purpose.

Novak, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, says the time has come for farmers and ranchers to have open dialogues with environmental advocates regarding climate change, soil health and sustainability. “We can fight things out in the courts, we can fight things out in Congress — or we can buckle down, sit down at the table together and talk together about the opportunity for voluntary solution, and we can make real progress for our land and farms at the same time,” he says. Continue reading