USDA Announces $7.2 Million for Research on Plant-Biotic Interactions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 10 grants totaling $7.2 million for research on the interactions of plants, microbes, and invertebrates. This is the first round of grants awarded through the Plant-Biotic Interactions program, a joint funding opportunity established through a partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NIFA funding is made possible through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The research to be supported by these grants will help reveal the mechanisms that govern how plants interact with the world around them,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The expectation is that NIFA investments will result in tools for growers to help plants thrive in the face of pest and environmental constraints, along with other challenges.”  Continue reading

USDA Invests $7.6 Million for Research on Pests and Beneficial Species

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 21 grants totaling $7.6 million for research to help manage pests and beneficial species that affect agricultural crops. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“There continues to be a critical need to develop new ways to defend our crops against pests,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments will also help to develop better strategies to foster the beneficial insects and microbes that have potential to combat pests.” Continue reading

Alfalfa and Forage Research Program RFA is open

Alfalfa and Forage Research Program (AFRP) will support the development of improved alfalfa forage and seed production systems. Proposals submitted to AFRP should address one or more of the following priorities: (1) Improving alfalfa forage and seed yield through better nutrient, water and/or pest management; (2) Improving persistence of alfalfa stands by lessening biotic or abiotic stresses; (3) Improving alfalfa forage and seed harvesting and storage systems to optimize economic returns; (4) Improving estimates of alfalfa forage quality as an animal feed to increase forage usage in animal feeds; and/or (5) Breeding to address biotic and abiotic stresses that impact forage yield and persistence and the production of seed for propagation.

Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2017 Continue reading

NIFA Announces Funding Opportunities in Food Safety and Crop Pest Management

NIFA Announces $11 Million to Support Antimicrobial Resistance Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $11 million in available funding for projects that mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a growing public health issue that affects more than 2 million people annually. Funding is made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Read the full press release at the NIFA website. Continue reading

Spring Landscape Irrigation Short Courses offered in Texas

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

A series of landscape irrigation short courses for licensed irrigation professionals will be held February through May with stops in College Station, Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

Licensed landscape irrigators are required to have 24 hours of continued education every three years to renew their licenses, while licensed irrigation technicians need 16 hours every two years, said Charles Swanson, short course instructor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in College Station. Continue reading

Georgia Organics conference includes sessions from the industry’s best

by Sharon Dowdy, University of Georgia

More than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, health advocates and organic food lovers are expected to attend the 2017 Georgia Organics Conference and Expo. This year’s schedule includes farm tours, 10 in-depth workshops, 32 educational sessions, three daylong intensive workshops, two keynote addresses, one-on-one consulting sessions and a trade show.

Registration ends on Monday, Feb. 6, for this year’s conference. The two-day annual event, one of the largest sustainable agriculture expos in the South, is set for Feb. 17-18 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.  Continue reading

Career Opportunities: Scientist II, Bayer

Supporting the Professional Pest Management & Vector Control businesses in North America, the primary responsibilities of this role, Scientist ll, are to:

  • Provide technical leadership in developing new products and label expansions, new formulations and alternative control methods. Participate in project teams, utilizing process optimization, project management and technology tools to ensure strategies are technically sound;
  • Develop research programs, write trial protocols, and administer grant-in-aid funding, so as to quickly identify the value of innovative concepts, and efficiently advance new ideas through development process. Prepare summaries for each trial season, and prepare bioefficacy dossiers for regulatory submissions;
  • Work independently to analyze and interpret trial data from all sources, provide technical summaries to enhance sales effectiveness and make biological recommendations serving as a basis for investment decisions in new development opportunities;
  • Identify and reduce to practice innovative concepts, through interaction with field development, technical directors, university researchers, etc;
  • Preparation of trial programs &/or project workloads for up to 10 FTEs in field development, development station biologists, and in formulation development.

Continue reading