ARS scientist seeks honey bee disease controls

by Kim Kaplan, Agricultural Research Service

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Steven Cook will be leading a $1 million funded international consortium of scientists to seek new controls for Varroa mites, honey bees’ number one problem.

Cook, with the Bee Research Laboratory, a part of ARS’s Beltsville (Maryland) Agricultural Research Center, will be the principal investigator of a group that will include scientists from the United States, Canada and Spain. ARS is the in-house research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Continue reading

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP)

This program was designed to assist 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) in building institutional research capacity through applied projects that address student educational needs and meet community, reservation or regional challenges.  Awards are to be made on the basis of a competitive review process. Collaboration with 1862 or 1890 Land Grant Institutions, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA), or at least one forestry school funded under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program  is a requirement. Eligible institutions may propose projects in any discipline of the food, agricultural or natural resource sciences. Continue reading

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

Collaring the Mice that Carry Lyme Disease-Causing Ticks

White-footed mice in Howard County, Maryland are being collared as part of a study to improve control of the ticks that spread Lyme disease. The mouse collaring research, never before done in Maryland, is a partnership of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP), and University of Maryland (UMD).

The mouse tracking is part of a larger five-year ARS Tick Management Project evaluating the use of minimal pesticide or integrated pest management methods to lower the number of black-legged ticks. Some of those ticks carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria and are around single-family yards and gardens adjacent to large Howard County parks. Continue reading

Intercropping boosts vegetable production

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

The old ways could be the best ways when it comes to small-acreage vegetable production, according to a newly published article available through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Dr. Jose Franco, a U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service agroecologist, Mandan, North Dakota, conducted the two-year study of intercropping at the Texas A&M University Horticulture Farm in Bryan for his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Dr. Astrid Volder, former Texas A&M University faculty and current University of California at Davis plant physiologist; Dr. Stephen King, a former professor and vegetable breeder with Texas A&M department of horticultural sciences, College Station; and Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension small acreage horticulturist, Overton.  Continue reading

Graduate Research Assistantship in Stored Product Entomology | Entomological Society of America

One graduate research assistantship is available for a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. The research will focus on the development of behaviorally-based management strategies such as attract-and-kill and the use of long-lasting insecticide netting to prevent infestation by a range of stored product insects (e.g., red flour beetle, lesser grain borer, Indian meal moth) in mills, warehouses, and other facilities. This will include laboratory assays, semi-field experiments, and field trials.

The student will be co-advised by faculty from the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, KS. Successful candidates for this position should possess a M.S. in entomology, biology, or a related field. The student is expected to be supported for at least three years, which includes an annual stipend of $25,000, graduate student fringe benefits, and tuition and fees applied towards the Ph.D. program. The position will be available starting in January 2018, or until a qualified candidate has been identified. Interested individuals should send their curriculum vitae, a cover letter, and the contact information for three references to either Dr. Rob Morrison ( or Dr. Kun Yan Zhu ( by September 30, 2017 or as soon as possible. However, complete applications must be submitted online at