Scouting is critical in areas with a lot of rain

In Delta Farm Press

by Olivia McClure

Recent wet weather has been conducive to disease problems in Louisiana rice, and frequent rains are hampering plants’ recovery from issues that normally are not considered serious.

Farmers heard the news at a field day held June 14 at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station South Farm in Crowley. Continue reading

NIFA-Supported Researchers are Finding Solutions to Bee Losses

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue declared this week as “National Pollinator Week” to help call attention to these losses, which are caused primarily by biological and environmental stressors. On June 6, Secretary Perdue joined Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, to announce the installation of a honey beehive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence in Washington, D.C.

NIFA has supported researchers to halt the declining bee population and address the threat it poses to our nation’s long-term agricultural productivity. Through a coordinated effort across USDA and with land-grant university partners, NIFA has funded a number of projects seeking to find solutions. Continue reading

New Resources Released for National Pollinator Week

From Growing Produce

How can growers help bees and ensure they get reliable pollination for their crops? That question is being addressed by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, which is celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, by highlighting new training videos, crop pollination fact sheets and series of recorded webinars that are available for farmers.

The Integrated Crop Pollination Project aims to improve the sustainability of specialty crop pollination across the U.S. The project is a partnership of 15 different institutions working to identify how best to achieve effective and economical crop pollination. Continue reading

EPA Announces FIFRA Science Advisory Panel Meeting on PBPK and Asks for Nominations for Panel Members

On June 6, 2017, the EPA published a Federal Register Notice (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0180) for both the meeting and seeking nominees to serve as ad hoc expert members of the FIFRA SAP on  physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling at www.regulations.gov.

The FIFRA SAP serves as the primary scientific peer review mechanism of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) and is structured to provide scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. Continue reading

New Bee Better Certification for Farmers and Ranchers Who Help Bees

From the Connection

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with conservation partners like the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to help farmers plan and implement conservation practices that benefit bees and other pollinators. Through a new certification program – Bee Better Certified – agricultural producers can inform consumers that they are farming in ways that benefit bees. Continue reading

More precautions needed when spraying with dicamba and 2,4-D

From the Weed Science Society of America

New resistant soybean and cotton cropping systems based on the synthetic auxin herbicides give farmers new options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant to glyphosate. But scientists with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) say special precautions are necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to cause harm to sensitive, off-target broadleaf plants.

“Concerns about drift led the U.S. EPA to issue time-limited registrations for the auxin herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D of two years and five years respectively,” says Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., past president of WSSA and associate professor at the University of Missouri. “The approved product labels have considerable detail on management of drift and other risks and must be carefully followed to reduce off site movement. Unless growers show they can use these herbicides as labeled, the registrations could easily be revoked.” Continue reading

Scientists use bacteriophages to fight fire blight

in Science Daily

 

The plant disease fire blight, caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is dreaded by fruit growers. It affects apple and pear trees and other plants in the rosacea family, and if a tree becomes affected it usually has to be cleared and burned.

The pathogen that causes fire blight is difficult to control. In exceptional cases, farmers can use the antibiotic streptomycin, but even this cannot prevent the pathogen from disseminating via pollinating insects. Continue reading