Two positions open at USDA ARS working with pollinators

Two different USDA-ARS positions are included below, one for an “assistant-professor” level position on nutrition and the other a postdoc position in bioinformatics. Continue reading

USDA Provides Almost $70 Million in Fiscal Year 2018 to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases through the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating almost $70 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 494 projects in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. These projects prevent the introduction or spread of invasive plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.

“Through the Farm Bill Section 10007, the USDA strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” said Under Secretary Ibach. “Getting these funds into the hands of our cooperators around the country helps us to keep U.S. plants, crops, and forests safe from invasive pests and diseases, enhances the marketability of our country’s products, and makes American agriculture and natural resources thrive.” Continue reading

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