Coastal Landscapes temporary position NC State

North Carolina Sea Grant is hiring a horticulture industry engagement specialist to work 10 hours/week on the Coastal Landscaping Initiative. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 21.

The primary job duties are the following:
● Identify horticulture industry sourcing barriers and solutions for environmentally beneficial coastal plants
● Consult with nursery growers, wholesalers, and retailers to improve availability of environmentally beneficial coastal plants
● Identify existing and needed trainings on environmentally beneficial coastal plants for the horticulture industry
● Develop an environmentally beneficial coastal plant sourcing guide
● Create communication materials on environmentally beneficial coastal plants for the horticulture industry and public
● Assist with coordination of CLI partners and meetings as needed.

NC State Makes Strides Toward Regulatory Science Center

by Dee Shore, NC State University

NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is moving closer to its goal of setting up a Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture, and a three-year gift from Bayer Crop Science is making a difference.

The proposed center – part of the college’s Plant Sciences Initiative – would bring together efforts at NC State related to the complex world of regulations governing agriculture and the science behind them. Continue reading

NC State University graduate students win weed science awards

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Commonly referred to as pigweed, Palmer amaranth is one of the biggest production challenges farmers in the Southeast face. At NC State, scientists and graduate students are making progress toward lessening the weed’s impact in a range of crops.

Two of those students, Cole Smith and Nicholas Basinger, were recognized recently at the Weed Science Society of North Carolina for research they’ve conducted on Palmer amaranth and other destructive weeds. Smith won the society’s M.S. outstanding graduate student award, while Basinger won the Ph.D. student award. Continue reading

Bed Bug Histamines Are Substantial, Persistent in Infested Homes

From NC State News

New research findings could turn perceptions of the already despised bed bug from nuisance pest into medically important threat. A study from North Carolina State University shows that histamine levels are substantially higher in homes infested by bed bugs than in pest-free homes, and that these histamine levels persist for months – even if the bed bugs have been eliminated from the home.

NC State post-doctoral researcher Zachary DeVries and colleagues from NC State and the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services conducted a Raleigh-based study to compare histamine levels in homes with and without bed bug infestation. The researchers also evaluated the extent to which treatment and time affect those histamine levels. Continue reading

Venus flytraps don’t eat insects that pollinate them

by Matt Shipman, NC State University

While most people are familiar with Venus flytraps and their snapping jaws, there is still a lot that scientists don’t know about the biology of these carnivorous plants. Researchers have for the first time discovered which insects pollinate the rare plants in their native habitat – and discovered that the flytraps don’t dine on these pollinator species.

Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) are in a genus all their own, and are native to a relatively small area, restricted to within a 100-mile radius of Wilmington, N.C. 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

New apiary on Centennial Campus teaches bee management

by Carla Davis, NC State University

The newest buzz at NC State is emanating from nearly 150,000 honeybees that now call Centennial Campus home.

On the day before Earth Day, a new community apiary with seven honeybee hives was inaugurated on Main Campus Drive between the Hunt Library and Lake Raleigh. Under the high noon sun, leaders from university offices and local businesses donned beekeeping jackets, veils and gloves to release the bees on campus. Continue reading

New thrips forecasting tool helps cotton growers with pre-plant decisions

NC State researchers have created a thrips forecasting tool to make pre-plant decisions for cotton.

To manage thrips, most cotton growers know that they need to treat before planting, either by using an insecticidal seed treatment or an insecticide in-furrow. However, many growers aren’t sure which one will be more effective, or whether a foliar spray will do the trick. Continue reading

Study Provides Evidence on Movement of Potato Famine Pathogen

by Mick Kulikowski, NC State University

New North Carolina State University research delves into the movement and evolution of the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s, which set down roots in the United States before attacking Europe.

To track the evolution of differing strains of Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen responsible for the Irish potato famine and a major cause of late-blight disease on potato and tomato plants around the world, NC State plant pathologists studied 12 key regions on the genomes of 183 pathogen samples – historic and modern – from across the globe. Continue reading

Education is vital to protect weed management toolbox

In Southeast Farm Press

by John Hart, Southeast Farm Press

Education over regulation is vital for developing and maintaining a sustainable tool box to manage weeds, said Stanley Culpepper, returning to Williams Hall on the campus of his alma mater, North Carolina State University.

“We as weed scientists need to be much more aggressive with education over regulation,” Culpepper said in his Williams Hall lecture to students, faculty and others. “The EPA does not educate; they regulate. But we can use education if we’re creative to prevent regulations. This will be critical to long-term sustainability in keeping the tool box that we have intact.” Continue reading