Register for October 25 Webinar on Best Practices for Pesticide Ground Application

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a webinar titled “Best Practices for Ground Application” on October 25, 2018, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET. This webinar is tailored for growers, pesticide applicators, pest management professionals, and other interested stakeholders who work in crop production.

The webinar will be presented by Dr. Greg Kruger, a weed science and application technology specialist from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The presentation will cover different methods of ground application, best practices for reducing pesticide spray particle drift when using ground application equipment, and a discussion of the optimization of weed control. Continue reading

Evaluating soil health

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), which is charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement, has released the initial methods cooperating scientists will use to assess soil health indicators as they move toward standardization of soil health measurements.

According to Dr. Steven Shafer, Chief Scientific Officer of SHI, the lack of widely-applicable measurements and methods for assessing soil health are significant barriers to adopting soil health practices and systems. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Research on the Implications of Gene Editing Technologies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced awards to advance research on public engagement and the implications of gene drive and other gene editing technologies. The funding is made possible through the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies initiative within NIFA’s Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC)’s program area.

“Recent advances in gene editing technologies promise opportunities for meeting challenges that come with a rapidly growing global population,” said NIFA Acting Director Tom Shanower. “However, these advances also raise important questions about their acceptability and potential unintended impacts, so NIFA created the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies program in 2017 to fund research on stakeholder and public engagement with gene drive and other gene editing techniques for agricultural use.” Continue reading

Redesigned website provides farmers with useful information

With the growing season just around the corner, farmers and agribusinesses have a new tool to help them tackle crop management challenges in the Crop Protection Network’s redesigned website.

The website http://www.cropprotectionnetwork.org features timely videos, newsletter and blog articles, featured articles and Twitter updates from CPN partners on important management issues for a variety of field crops as well as the network’s corn and soybean publications. The website also includes an encyclopedia of crop diseases to help farmers identify diseases in their fields using extensive image galleries and keywords to filter results. Continue reading

NIFA Invests in Research on Organic Agriculture and Animal Health

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Research to Help Boost Organic Farming, Ranching

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to help farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic food, fiber, and other products. The grants are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG). Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

NIFA Invests in Research to Maintain Healthy Agricultural Animals

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to help maintain healthy agricultural animals. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

Meeting to decide priorities for tomatoes Jan. 11

by Inga Meadows, NC State University

The Pest Management Strategic Plan (PMSP) for Tomato in the Southeast outlines priorities for research, regulation, and outreach to guide activities such as EPA registration of pesticides, government and other agencies allocation of funds for research, scientists in their research endeavors, and other activities related to solving pest management issues. The most recent version (2007) is critically out of date as practices and pests have changed since that time. Growers, industry representatives, specialists, regulators, and processors are strongly encouraged to participate in this event to update this important document. States included in this workshop: MS, AL, AR, GA, FL, SC, NC, TN, KY, VA. Limited funding is available upon request in order to encourage attendance. Contact Inga Meadows (inga_meadows@ncsu.edu) for more information. Continue reading

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