Florida researchers conduct surveys on public acceptance of genetically modified crops

Whether the term is “GMO,” “genetically modified,” “gene editing” or the like, people in the general public distrust any word or phrase associated with the modification of food crops. To determine what the public knows and try to educate them, University of Florida researcher Brandon McFadden and three of his colleagues will use a new Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct focus groups and create educational materials.

McFadden and his team, University of Florida researchers Kevin Folta, Joy Rumble and Katie Stofer, will use the results of focus group surveys to prepare web-based national surveys. The surveys will try to gauge consumer preferences for regulations and consumption of gene-edited crops. Ultimately they will also help the team develop communication strategies and outreach materials. Continue reading

AFRI Foundational & Applied Science RFA Released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) Request for Applications has been released. The FAS program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this RFA. Please refer to the individual program area descriptions for either letter of intent deadlines or application deadlines.

NIFA’s funding opportunity page: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-applied-science-program

Grants.gov page: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=305681

Florida working group takes a big bite out of conehead termites

An invasive termite in southeastern Florida is losing its grip on the area, thanks to successful eradication efforts by a multi-agency working group.

Sue Alspach, an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), used funding from a Southern Integrated Pest Management Center IPM Enhancement grant to gather experts from many agencies in Florida to form a working group to deal with the pest. Continue reading

Deadlines are soon to register for ESA field tours on invasive species and pollinators

The Entomological Society of America is planning two field tours in August focused on important insect issues: invasive species and pollinators. Deadlines to apply for the tours are in June.

The Invasive Species Security Field Tour will be held August 20-22 in southeastern Pennsylvania, and the deadline to apply to attend is June 1. The tour will visit the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone to view the damage and spread of this new invasive, and also discuss the significance and management of other invasive species. The tour seeks to understand the resources needed to improve prevention, early detection, rapid response and the potential for eradication. Additionally, the  tour will try to leverage public education and outreach strategies to inform the public about the impact of invasive species and actions that can slow their occurrence and spread.​ Continue reading

How does the Southern IPM Center use your information?

We have a blog, a listserv, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and a newsletter. Each one of those uses your e-mail address and possibly your name so that we can send you communication about what’s happening at the Center and with IPM in general. You’ve probably noticed some updated privacy policy notices, thanks to the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation. Read more about that here.

At the Southern IPM Center, we use your personal information only for our communication. We do not, and never will, sell any of your private information to a third party, nor will be enter into an agreement with a third-party mail service that might do that.

If you ever want to unsubscribe from a listserv or newsletter, there are links at the bottom of the communication that describe how to do that. If you can’t find the link and would like to unsubscribe, you can also contact us at it@sripmc.org.

Eradication Program Announces 2018 Plans for Fighting the Asian Longhorned Beetle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing 2018 Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication plans. APHIS, together with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is making steady progress towards the elimination of this destructive tree pest from the United States.

“We want to remind the public that program officials are going door-to-door conducting tree inspections in areas quarantined for the beetle,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ ALB Eradication Program national operations manager. “You can help us by allowing our program officials access to the trees on your property.” Continue reading

eXtension Technologies webinar

eXtension is changing platforms to WordPress. This webinar will apprise users of the changes. If you have a Community of Practice in eXtension, consider attending this webinar.

As eXtension grows the Impact Collaborative, it continues to offer technology that supports its members and the Cooperative Extension Service. We are upgrading our tools in ways that will ensure the future of content for communities of practice (CoPs), and provide CoPs greater flexibility and control of their content.  It also expands our services to other multi-institutional teams of Extension educators as well as ECOP projects which need a neutral web presence to communicate their work.  As eXtension has changed its focus toward the Impact Collaborative and equipping Extension educators to make a more visible and measurable local impact, the tools it provides to its members and to the Cooperative Extension Service are being upgraded for increased flexibility and efficiency.

Continue reading