USDA ARS seeks stakeholder input on priorities

The mission of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Veterinary, Medical, and Urban Entomology National Program 104 (NP 104) is to improve the protection of humans and livestock from blood-sucking arthropods, and from stinging, or otherwise damaging insects. NP 104 research is divided into three components: (1) Medical entomology for the public and military; (2) Veterinary entomology; and (3) Fire ants and other invasive ant pests. The ultimate goal is to protect humans and livestock from these arthropod pests, through the development of safe and effective methods of management and control.

We are interested in obtaining stakeholder input on research, education and extension priorities to be addressed in our program over the next five years.  The first step in this process is collecting vital information and expert opinions from you, our stakeholders, customers and partners, on how Federal investments can best address current needs and challenges. This information will be incorporated into the next ARS National Program 104 Action Plan.  Continue reading

USDA awards five grants to combat citrus greening

In Southwest Farm Press

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded five grants to combat citrus greening disease. The funding is made through the emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE). CDRE was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The need to advance research and extension to develop management strategies for huanglongbing (citrus greening disease) has reached a critical juncture,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Severe damage to the Florida citrus crop from 2017 hurricanes further exacerbates the pressure on the industry and the need for new strategies to address the disease.” Continue reading

Assistant Director of NCARS & Director of UFL & NCSU Research Stations

This position is expected to provide leadership to upgrade and modernize NCSU Research Stations and Field Laboratories. This position will work directly with the six NCSU research stations, developing proposals and budgets, research plans, and budget justifications. In addition to the responsibilities related to research stations, this position has direct supervisory responsibility for university field laboratories. As such, this position will ensure that both research stations and field laboratories operate effectively and in parallel. This position will advise the NCARS Director and the NCARS team on the best use of research stations and field laboratories to achieve the research mission of NCARS. The individual will provide reports, data and statistics regarding research stations and field laboratories upon request. As part of the NCARS team, this position will interact with commodity or agribusiness group meetings and support the activities of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). As Assistant Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, this position will partner with the Director of the Research Station Division (a position funded by both NCDA&CS and NCSU) to facilitate the success of agricultural research and outreach programs on all research stations in North Carolina. In North Carolina, both NCSU research stations and NCDA&CS research stations operate cooperatively within the Research Stations Division (a Division with NCDA&CS). Continue reading

USDA research finds conservation tillage works better after first year

In Southeast Farm Press

An onslaught of the weed Palmer amaranth in the southeastern United States has left many farmers wondering if they should continue using environmentally friendly cover crops and conservation tillage or switch to conventional tillage.

Palmer amaranth is aggressive, drought tolerant, a prolific seed producer, and capable of developing resistance to glyphosate, known as Roundup. Because of that, thousands of acres in Alabama and elsewhere are at risk of being converted to conventional tillage, which may better control the weed, but increases soil erosion and threatens long-term soil productivity.  Continue reading

Corn gene associated with disease resistance

from North Carolina State University via EurekAlert!

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a specific gene in corn that appears to be associated with resistance to two and possibly three different plant leaf diseases.

In a paper published this week in Nature Genetics, NC State researchers pinpoint the gene – caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase – that seems to confer partial resistance to Southern leaf blight and gray leaf spot, and possibly to Northern leaf blight, a trio of diseases that cripple corn plants worldwide. Continue reading

Cornell University scientists sequence genome for whitefly

In Delta Farm Press

A tiny insect that feeds on some 1,000 plant species and transmits more than 300 plant viruses, causing billions of dollars in crop losses each year worldwide, is now about to be subjected to new depths of research that could lead to more effective control.

An international team of researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University has sequenced the genome of the whitefly, termed “a formidable threat to food security.” Continue reading

Permanent scientist position available with USDA ARS in Manhattan KS

A Research Ecologist (quantitative) position is available with the USDA ARS Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research Unit at the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Center in Manhattan, KS.  This is a permanent research position.  

Deadline: January 13, 2017 Continue reading