Organic grain, soybean study establishes early production recommendations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

After one year of studying organic grain and soybean cropping systems, Texas A&M AgriLife scientists say they know more about what not to do moving forward.

Three Texas A&M researchers are using a $475,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to study organic grain and soybean cropping systems over a three-year period. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Education, Mentoring, and Technical Assistance Programs to Help New Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $17.7 million in available funding to support the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs that help beginning farmers and ranchers in the U.S. and its territories. Funding is made through NIFA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2018, at 5 p.m. Eastern time. See the funding opportunity for details.

USDA/NIFA Invests in Programs to Increase Crop Productivity, Profitability, and Stewardship of Three Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to increase the productivity, profitability, and natural resources stewardship of canola, potato, and alfalfa production systems. The grants are funded through three NIFA programs: Alfalfa and Forage Research, Supplemental and Alternative Crops, and Potato Breeding Research.

“For American farmers to continue to prosper and help feed the world, research serves as an accelerator for discovering innovative ways to increase farm productivity and profitability,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These programs help sustain and expand the acreage and use of alfalfa, potatoes, and canola for long-lasting impacts through collaborations between universities, federal agencies, and industry organizations around the country.” Continue reading

There is still time to submit comments to NIFA about priorities

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting input from stakeholders regarding research, extension, and education priorities in food and agriculture. A series of four in-person listening sessions hosted in different regions across the country and submission of written comments will offer two ways to share your thoughts and ideas. Stakeholder input received from both methods will be treated equally. Written comments will be accepted through Friday, December 1, 2017.

This listening opportunity allows stakeholders to provide feedback on the following questions:

  • What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension, or education that NIFA should address?
  • What are the most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and agricultural sciences?

Continue reading

FY 2018 Methyl Bromide Transition RFA Released

The methyl bromide transition program (MBT) addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Research projects must address commodities with critical issues and include a focused economic analysis of the cost of implementing the transition on a commercial scale. Continue reading

USDA Invests in Integrated Pest Management for Increased Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to bring safer, more effective pest management approaches to farms and communities.

“Insects, weeds, and diseases are ever-evolving challenges for U.S. agriculture,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA is making investments to develop sound scientific approaches to increase production and provide continued food security in the face of these threats.”  Continue reading

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG)

The purpose of the BRAG program is to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing into the environment genetically engineered organisms (GE), including plants, microorganisms — such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses — arthropods, fish, birds, mammals and other animals excluding humans. Investigations of effects on both managed and natural environments are relevant. The BRAG program accomplishes its purpose by providing federal regulatory agencies with scientific information relevant to regulatory issues. See the Request for Applications for details. Continue reading