EPA Extends Comment Period for the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion on Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion

In response to numerous requests, EPA is extending the public comment period on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion on chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. Please submit comments by July 23, 2018, to the docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0141 at regulations.gov. EPA will share all public comments received on this Biological Opinion with NMFS, and EPA will evaluate them before determining how to proceed.

EPA is seeking comment on the NMFS’s Biological Opinion for chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion in accordance with EPA’s public stakeholder process for ESA consultations – an open and transparent process supported by the Services, EPA, and USDA. Stakeholder input is critical to the development of any measures EPA may implement to address risks to listed species and designated critical habitat.  Continue reading

Preventing and controlling wireworms

Wireworms are a common cotton pest which feed on germinating seeds and emerging seedlings. Two types of wireworms feed on cotton: true wireworms and false wireworms. True wireworms, commonly called click beetles, are members of the Elateridae family, while false wireworms, or darkling beetles, are from the Tenebrionidae family.

Overwintering larvae inflict the most damage as they become active in the spring. The larvae damage cotton by feeding on the root, hypocotyl (stem of the germinating seedling), and cotyledon (seed leaves) of plants before emerging from the soil. Root feeding can kill plants and reduce plant stand but usually results in stunting. Continue reading

Integrated Pest Management Tip Sheet Helps Keep Gophers Under Control

Gophers are more than simple nuisances. The burrowing rodents that can cause significant damage on agricultural operations.

“Gophers: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet” by NCAT Agriculture Specialist Martin Guerena briefly discusses management options, including habitat modification, exclusion, repellents, predators, traps, baiting, and crop rotation. Continue reading

Evaluating soil health

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), which is charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement, has released the initial methods cooperating scientists will use to assess soil health indicators as they move toward standardization of soil health measurements.

According to Dr. Steven Shafer, Chief Scientific Officer of SHI, the lack of widely-applicable measurements and methods for assessing soil health are significant barriers to adopting soil health practices and systems. Continue reading

Have you Checked your Trees Lately? A Routine Check-up of Trees Saves Lives & Property

You are invited to attend the latest Live Webinar sponsored by: Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

Title: Have you Checked your Trees Lately? A Routine Check-up of Trees Saves Lives & Property    Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Research on the Implications of Gene Editing Technologies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced awards to advance research on public engagement and the implications of gene drive and other gene editing technologies. The funding is made possible through the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies initiative within NIFA’s Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC)’s program area.

“Recent advances in gene editing technologies promise opportunities for meeting challenges that come with a rapidly growing global population,” said NIFA Acting Director Tom Shanower. “However, these advances also raise important questions about their acceptability and potential unintended impacts, so NIFA created the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies program in 2017 to fund research on stakeholder and public engagement with gene drive and other gene editing techniques for agricultural use.” Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Education and Workforce Development

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Education and Workforce Development (EWD) (formerly the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative, or ELI) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In FY 2018, EWD invites applications in four areas: professional development opportunities for K-14 teachers and education professionals; training of undergraduate students in research and extension; fellowships for predoctoral candidates; and fellowships for postdoctoral scholars. See EWD Request for Applications for specific details. Continue reading