APHIS Adds Portions of Fort Bend and Harris Counties in Texas to the Domestic Citrus Canker (Xanthomonas spp.) Quarantine Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the area quarantined for citrus canker in Texas to include additional portions of Fort Bend and Harris Counties to prevent the spread of the disease.

On July 20, 2017, APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker in one sample collected during a delimiting survey around the existing Richmond Citrus Canker Quarantine area. TDA removed and destroyed the positive citrus canker tree. APHIS completed delimiting surveys around the location and found no other citrus trees positive for citrus canker within the survey area. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has established an intrastate quarantine area for citrus canker that parallels the federal citrus canker regulatory requirements as specified in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §301.75. Continue reading

New biopesticide available for bollworms and budworms

A host-specific virus is being used to control bollworms and budworms in Arkansas crops.

Helicoverpa nucleopolyhedrovirus, or just NPV, does not affect humans, plants or other insects, including those that are beneficial. Continue reading

Root chemicals can affect soil health

From the American Society of Agronomy

As the growing season progresses, you might not notice much about what’s happening to plants under the soil. Most of us pay attention to new shoots, stems, leaves, and eventually the flowers and crop we intend to grow. We might think of roots as necessary, but uninteresting, parts of the crop production process.

Paul Hallett and his team disagree. They focus on what’s going on in the soil with the plant’s roots. Continue reading

International Plant Protection Convention approves standards on pests

The body charged with keeping global trade in plants and plant products safe has adopted several new phytosanitary standards aimed at preventing destructive agricultural and environmental pests from jumping borders and spreading internationally.

The standardized norms developed by the International  Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) cover a range of strategies and techniques used to prevent the introduction and spread of plant diseases and pests to new environments, thereby avoiding their often-devastating impacts on biodiversity, food security and trade. Continue reading

SARE State Summaries and Grants Lists Available

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has been a go-to USDA grants and outreach program for farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators who develop innovations that improve farm profitability, protect water and land, and revitalize communities. SARE has awarded over $251 million to more than 6,300 projects. Learn more about funded grants, project highlights and a breakdown of funding in your state using NIFA’s newly updated portfolio summaries and grant lists.

Researchers Develop First Gene Drive Targeting Worldwide Crop Pest

From UC San Diego News Center

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.

Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of Omar Akbari, a new UC San Diego insect genetics professor, describes the world’s first “gene drive” system—a mechanism for manipulating genetic inheritance—in Drosophila suzukii, a fruit fly commonly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. Continue reading

Register for EEK Virtual Conference

The Environmental Health Knowledge (EEK): Vectors & Public Health Pests Virtual Conference is designed to enhance the knowledge of environmental health professionals to help them respond to events of public health concern, as well as bring professionals together to exchange information and discover new solutions to issues in vectors and public health pests. Anyone who is interested the field of vector control or public health pests is encouraged to attend. Continue reading