Outcrossing between johnsongrass, sorghum studied

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, Texas A&M AgriLife

Johnsongrass and sorghum might be considered “kissing kin,” but a Texas A&M AgriLife Research team wants to know if there is more going on in the grain sorghum production fields and bar ditches of South and Central Texas than meets the eye.

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, weed scientist; Dr. Bill Rooney, sorghum breeder; and Dr. Patricia Klein, sorghum geneticist and molecular biologist, all with AgriLife Research in College Station, have teamed up to study gene flow between sorghum and johnsongrass. Continue reading

Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Program

NIFA’s Agriculture in the Classroom Program (AITC) serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours, and other educational activities. AITC programs include working with state AITC activities engaged in a variety of issues relating to agricultural literacy. Other programs emphasized by the NIFA AITC office include:

  • Science literacy
  • Agricultural careers
  • Nutrition
  • Pre-service and professional develop opportunities for teachers.

Continue reading

Four USDA NIFA funding opportunities

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support to Strengthen Hispanic-Serving Institutions

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for higher education programs in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences (FANH) at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Funding is made through the HSI Education Grants Program, which aims to strengthen the ability of the institutions to recruit, retain, train, and develop the next generation of scientists, leaders, and highly-skilled workforce.

The purpose of the HSI Education Grants Program is to encourage innovative teaching or education proposals with the potential to impact institutions that serve underrepresented students. Projects supported by this program attract and support undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups, prepare them for careers related to the FANH sciences in the U.S., and enhance the quality of postsecondary instruction at institutions within these disciplines. Projects also provide opportunities and access to FANH careers in the public and private sector, and align the efforts of HSIs and other non-profit organizations in support of the academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups. 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

Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have established a joint funding opportunity to support the development of breakthrough technologies that will enable significant advances in crop breeding. This opportunity aims to make high impact changes in the ability to translate basic knowledge of plant genomics to practical outcomes in crops of economic importance to the participating countries. Continue reading

Three Funding Opportunities Announced: Organic Ag., Collaborative Robotics, and Crop Breeding

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced three new funding opportunities: Organic Transitions, the National Robotics Initiative through AFRI, and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program.

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming.

The deadline for applications is March 29, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program.

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming. Continue reading