NC State University leading national initiative on cover crops

In Southeast Farm Press

Scientists from North Carolina State University are joining with others across the country to promote soil health by developing and helping farmers adopt new cover crops.

Made possible by a $2.2 million grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the new $6.6 million research initiative aims to “to get new cover crop solutions into the hands of those who use them or will be using them,” according to Twain Butler, a research agronomist with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation who is leading the project. Continue reading

NC State project aims for better cover crops

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Scientists from NC State University are joining with others across the country to promote soil health by developing and helping farmers adopt new cover crops.

Made possible by a $2.2 million grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the new $6.6 million research initiative aims “to get new cover crop solutions into the hands of those who use them or will be using them,” according to Twain Butler, a research agronomist with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation who is leading the project. Continue reading

Have a red maple? Become a citizen scientist!

If you have a red maple (Acer rubrum) in your yard, and a few minutes of free time per year we would like your help in monitoring tree growth for A Tree’s Life, a citizen-science project.

Trees provide a suite of ecosystem services that improve human and environmental health. However, urban trees are subject to environmental stressors, including increased temperatures and drought, which reduce these services and make tree more susceptible to arthropod pests. The objectives of A Tree’s Life are to understand how climate and urbanization affect tree pests, growth, and health, and thus ecological services like carbon sequestration and air and water filtration. This project was recently funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Southern IPM Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Continue reading

Free Webinar: the ABC’s of Pest Control: Allergens, Baits and Cockroaches

Cockroach infestations can get out of hand quickly in multifamily housing. Best practices and treatments can turn things around to help maintain control. Join StopPests in Housing for a webinar on reducing asthma triggers in housing with effective cockroach control. 

On March 2nd, 2017, 2:00-3:30 EST, you’ll hear from Dr. Coby Schal, Ph.D, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University. He will speak about his research on effective baiting techniques, and ineffective controls like total release foggers (bug bombs). Cockroach allergens have been linked to the development and increase in symptoms of allergies and asthma in cockroach sensitive individuals. You’ll learn how allergen levels can be significantly reduced with cockroach control alone, the most effective approach being gel bait treatments. Dr. Schal’s work shows how an integrated pest management (IPM) approach with intensive, targeted cockroach control can lead to both dramatic reductions in cockroaches and clinically significant declines in cockroach allergens. You’ll get the information you need to advocate for and implement an IPM approach to cockroach control. Continue reading

New specialty crop project promises new, sustainable tools for BMSB fight

Specialty crop growers throughout the country will benefit from a new $3.7 million USDA grant won by NC State to find sustainable control options for the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

Now that BMSB is detected in 43 states and is adapting to new climates, more needs to be done to manage the pest from a national perspective, says NC State Extension Entomologist Jim Walgenbach, principle investigator in the project. The grant is sponsored by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crops Research Initiative Program, and includes the cooperation of scientists from 16 land grant universities across the country as well as the USDA-ARS. Continue reading

Study Highlights Diversity of Arthropods Found in Homes Across the United States

by Matt Shipman, NC State University

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado Boulder used DNA testing and citizen science to create an “atlas” that shows the range and diversity of arthropods found in homes across the continental United States.

Previous research found a significant diversity of arthropods in homes in one part of North Carolina – we wanted to use advanced DNA sequencing-based approaches to get a snapshot of arthropod diversity in homes across the country,” says Anne Madden, a postdoctoral researcher at NC State and lead author of a paper on the new work. “This work is a significant step toward understanding the ecology of our own homes, with the goal of improving our understanding of how those organisms in our homes may affect our health and quality of life.” Continue reading

NCSU Student Creates Campus Pollinator Garden

If you have played through NC State’s Centennial Campus disc golf course, the start of hole four probably didn’t stand out as much more than an eroded slope.

But now — thanks to a partnership between an NC State graduate student and the university’s Grounds Management department — a large pollinator-friendly garden is both managing stormwater and providing habitat on campus. Continue reading