Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Applications to the FY 2018 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) Request for Applications (RFA) must focus on approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system within the next 25 years. NIFA seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy through novel animal, crop, and forest products and supporting technologies. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Additionally, the outcomes of the work being proposed must result in societal benefits, including promotion of rural prosperity and enhancement of quality of life for those involved in food and agricultural value chains from production to utilization and consumption. See AFRI SAS RFA for details. Continue reading

Pollinators are important to water and soil conservation

In Southwest Farm Press

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Texas Wildlife Association are joining other state agencies and organizations in a statewide campaign to highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas. Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 29 through May 6, 2018, and the focus this year is “The Importance of Pollinators to Soil and Water Conservation in Texas.”

Pollinators include the birds and the bees (butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, and even small mammals) and are vital for production agriculture, our food supply, and the preservation of our natural resources. Many Texas farmers, ranchers, foresters, and urbanites recognize the importance of these insects and animals, and are attempting to regenerate pollinator populations by implementing voluntary conservation practices on private and public lands. Texans have been working with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) for over 75 years to voluntarily implement conservation practices that protect and enhance our soil and water resources.  Continue reading

NIFA Announces New Funding Opportunity for Sustainable Agricultural Systems

NIFA has announced the availability of up to $80 million in funding for integrated projects to increase sustainable production of food and agricultural products. Funding is made through a new program in NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)  Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. AFRI is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which aims to address challenges in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. Continue reading

May 3 webinar to focus on mesquite, mixed brush herbicide treatments

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Mesquite and Mixed Brush Herbicide Treatments will be the topic of the May 3 natural resources webinar conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service ecosystem science and management unit.

The webinar is part of the Texas Range Webinar Series scheduled the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, AgriLife Extension webinar coordinator in Corpus Christi. Continue reading