APHIS Adds South Carolina to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of South Carolina to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the detection of EAB in Greenville, Oconee, and Spartanburg Counties and because the state has decided to establish a full state quarantine.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from South Carolina. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from South Carolina is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

USDA Invests in Research on Next Generation of Agricultural Technology

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 17 grants for research on the next generation of agricultural technologies and systems to meet the growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Technology is front and center in agricultural production,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA is investing in research on precision and smart technologies to maximize production efficiencies, including water and fertilizer use, and to produce nutritious food, new biofuels, and bioproducts.” Continue reading

NIFA Honors Land-Grant University Partners, Announces Hall of Fame Inductees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today honored several land-grant university partners during its annual Day of Appreciation ceremony. Those honored were recognized for supporting NIFA’s mission to advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve significant societal challenges.

“NIFA is committed to supporting the research, education, and extension efforts of its land-grant university partners,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “We value the contributions of the teams of researchers, educators, and extension professionals whose scientific discoveries and educational efforts positively impact our nation’s food and agricultural systems.” Continue reading

Northeastern IPM Center Initiates Director Search

Steve Young will be stepping down as director of the Northeastern IPM Center on December 31, 2017, in order to take a faculty position at Utah State University. Steve has led the Center since 2014, guiding new initiatives and defining its five Signature Programs.

“It has been a tremendous opportunity for me to work with so many outstanding individuals and organizations both within and outside of the IPM community”, Steve wrote in a message to Advisory Council members. “The need for IPM has never been more important and the NEIPMC has continued to fund/support the diversity of projects that result in the adoption and development of sustainable pest management throughout the region.” Continue reading

NIFA Invests in Research on Organic Agriculture and Animal Health

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Research to Help Boost Organic Farming, Ranching

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to help farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic food, fiber, and other products. The grants are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG). Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

NIFA Invests in Research to Maintain Healthy Agricultural Animals

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to help maintain healthy agricultural animals. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

The North Central Consumer Horticulture IPM Working Group harnessed the power of the internet to reach gardeners with training modules

From the Connection, North Central IPM Center

The North Central Consumer Horticulture IPM Working Group harnessed the power of the internet to reach gardeners, including Extension Master Gardeners and garden center employees, in the United States and Canada with several webinars which were then enhanced into learning modules promoting IPM.

One online module, Process of Diagnosing Plant Problems, teaches the participant how to determine what is wrong with a plant through a series of questions and Extension resources. This step-by-step process is often a roadblock for Extension Master Gardeners as they help homeowners to diagnose what is wrong with their plants. Focusing on the process itself was a new approach to teaching. Continue reading

Webinar: Estimating Pesticide Risk to Improve Product Selection and IPM Program Evaluation

Pesticides are invaluable tools for food and fiber production, and undergo careful evaluation prior to registration and commercial availability. Post-registration risks remain, and can be managed through informed product selection, and use-specific mitigation measures. The Pesticide Risk Tool (PRT) is an innovative, science-based online software designed to help inform pesticide decision making. PRT can also be used to assess IPM program performance, comparing risk reduction over time, across program participants, and participants vs. non-participants. PRT addresses a wide range of concerns including risks to workers, consumers, birds, earthworms, small mammals, aquatic environments and pollinators; mechanics for estimating risks to each concern are described in peer-reviewed white papers available at https://pesticiderisk.org/about/materials. PRT is currently used in multiple certification and supply chain programs. This free webinar will introduce PRT including examples of how PRT is used by pesticide users and program managers to minimize risks. Certified Crop Advisors can earn 1 CEU (0.5 Integrated Pest Management, 0.5 Professional Development) just for watching. Continue reading