A Tree’s Life: Easy Citizen Science for Healthier Trees

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Red maple trees have important jobs to do – and so could you, if you happen to have one in your yard and just a few minutes to spare each year.

Through a new project called A Tree’s Life, NC State University researchers hope to recruit 250 people to help them learn more about how trees grow in cities compared to rural areas and suburbs. Continue reading

New forest health diagnostic resource available for Southeast

A new forest health diagnostic resource for county extension agents in the Southeast!  Dr. Jiri Hulcr (University of Florida) and Dr. Dave Coyle (Southern Regional Extension Forestry) have created the Southern Forest and Tree Health Diagnostics page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

This group seeks to harness the collective knowledge of forest health experts throughout the Southeast to answer questions and make diagnoses from users who upload their tree health issues.  Submitting a question or issue is free and easy – users need only to upload a few cellphone pictures and give a short description of the issue.  Experts generally get back within 1-2 business days.

 

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).

Continue reading

University of Florida study helps farmers find best fields for sweet potatoes

Wireworms won’t dampen the spirits of Florida’s sweet potato growers, thanks to ongoing research by scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Wireworms took center stage in Florida after some major sweet potato growers converted fields previously dedicated to grain crops to the sweet potato crop. Some acreage was initiated by a farm that had actually relocated to Florida after leaving California because of prolonged drought, hopeful to take advantage of Florida’s warm weather, abundant water resources and sandy soil. Continue reading

Research detects five major plant viruses of wheat and reveals two new viruses in Oklahoma

A 2015 research project revealed the most prevalent viruses on wheat in Oklahoma, along with detecting two new viruses in the state. These findings will help wheat growers better scout for wheat viruses, identify viruses quickly and understand how to treat specific viruses, leading to more efficient and economical virus management in wheat.

Wheat is the leading crop in Oklahoma, bringing an income of more than 600 million dollars to the state. Plant viruses are one of the major causes of yield losses in wheat and other crops, since lack of knowledge about symptoms can lead to rapid spread. Often virus symptoms look like symptoms of other issues, so growers do not treat before damage is done. Continue reading

USDA Announces $1.2 Million to Support Aquaculture Research Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1.2 million in available funding for aquaculture research projects in the areas of genetics, disease, production systems, and economics. Funding is made through NIFA’s Aquaculture Research Competitive Grants Program, authorized by the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act.

“Sustainability of the aquaculture industry is important both from the perspective of nutritional security and the creation of jobs,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “We’re committed to investing in science and education to ensure that our nation’s aquaculture industry thrives.” Continue reading

RSVP for a CAST Seminar “Crop Protection Contributions Toward Agricultural Productivity”–April 5 or 6 in Washington, DC

If you plan to be in Washington, DC for the CAST seminar on Crop Protection Contributions Toward Agricultural Productivity on April 5 or 6, please use this link to register.

If you need to contact someone from CAST regarding the seminar, please contact Melissa Sly at: msly@cast-science.org or (515) 292-2125 ext. 232.

For more information on the seminar, see our blog post from April 3.