AFRI Foundational & Applied Science RFA Released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) Request for Applications has been released. The FAS program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this RFA. Please refer to the individual program area descriptions for either letter of intent deadlines or application deadlines.

NIFA’s funding opportunity page: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-applied-science-program

Grants.gov page: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=305681

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Exploratory Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded grants to support the initial development of innovative ideas in agriculture and food production through the Exploratory Research Grants (ERG) program. Funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The ERG program fosters the creation of transformative innovations that address plant and animal health and production, food safety and nutrition, bioenergy, natural resources and environment, agriculture systems, technology, agricultural economics and rural communities. AFRI is America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. Continue reading

APHIS Posts Plant Health Trade Directors’ Area of Coverage

APHIS has updated and posted its area of coverage list for Phytosanitary Issues Management Plant Health Trade Directors.

APHIS’ Plant Health Trade Directors work with importers and exporters to develop work plans that ensure imported foreign agricultural commodities and U.S. agricultural exports are free from potentially harmful plant pests and diseases. 
 
Plant Health Trade Directors are part of APHIS’ Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM) team. PIM facilitates and negotiates, through the use of transparent and science-based processes, the safe export and import of agricultural commodities. PIM serves as the primary point of contact for communication with foreign national plant protection organizations concerning plant health issues impacting agricultural trade.
 
For more information about PIM, please visit the APHIS Web site https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_international/ct_phytosanitary_management

APHIS Seeks Comments on several draft pest risk assessments

The governments of Swaziland, China and Brazil have asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of various commodities for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

These risk assessments include citrus, pomegranates and jujube. Continue reading

USDA Invests $17.7 Million in Plant Health and Production Workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 54 grants totaling more than $17.7 million for plant research that helps optimize crop production, mitigate disease, and increase yield. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Plants are the foundation of diet for both humans and animals,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is imperative to invest in research to stay ahead of the biological and environmental constraints, and develop new technologies to produce a secure, nutritious food supply for a growing population.” Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program

The AFRI Foundational Program supports grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. The program supports single-function and integrated research projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications for details). Continue reading

APHIS Adds Pale Cyst Nematode (Globodera pallida) Infested Field in Idaho

Effective December 21, 2016, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added a 150-acre field to the pale cyst nematode (PCN) infested area in Bingham County, Idaho. APHIS took this action based on the confirmations of PCN cysts in soil samples from a potato production field in Bingham County received on December 21, 2016. This action brings the number of PCN-infested fields to 27 and the infested area to 3,047 acres. The total area in Idaho under regulation remains at 9,540 acres. Continue reading