IPM Institute seeking Coordinator, Sustainable Food Group

Full-time, mid-level position available with a growing independent non-profit organization working to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Responsibilities include providing audit and administrative support to several supply chain sustainability programs with food retailers and coordinating the development and implementation of a new sustainability certification for agricultural producers.

The individual in this position will work with project teams, project partners and clients to coordinate program development and verification, which supports growers and businesses around the world as they improve their sustainability performance. Responsibilities include coordinating calls with project partners, ensuring tasks are completed in a timely manner, providing consistent and accurate review of information reported by growers and other clients against established program criteria, providing support to growers and clients, scheduling evaluation visits with auditors and producing detailed and accurate reports. Continue reading

Silicon amendments may provide sustainable control for rice water weevil

A Masters student at Louisiana State University is seeking a more sustainable way to manage rice water weevil, by amending soils with silicon to strengthen the plant. He is also this year’s winner of the Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student award in the Masters category.

Rice water weevil is a tiny insect that feeds on the rice plant’s leaves as an adult. After mating, females lay their eggs at the base of the plant. Larvae feed on the roots. The larval feeding on the roots potentially interferes with the nutrient uptake, thereby, weakening the plant. Root damage can cause yield losses through decreasing panicle densities, number of grains, and grain weight. Rice growers use insecticides to control rice water weevil. Continue reading

NIFA announces partners for SARE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced partners to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) and as the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE). NIFA’s SARE program supports farmer-focused solutions that boost production, increase profitability, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance quality of life in rural communities.

The NRCCO for the SARE program and the four regional SARE host institutions will serve for five years from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through 2022. The NRCCO works with NIFA and the national SARE Operations Committee to administer national reporting, coordination, and communications. Each regional host institution collaborates with NIFA to implement regional competitive grant and outreach programs as guided by the Regional Administrative Council (AC). Continue reading

Find Indicators of Soil Health in New Video

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s short video, Soil Aggregate Stability: Visual Indicators of Soil Health, shows the dramatic differences in aggregate stability that result from different management practices of the exact same soil type. The narration by NCAT California Regional Office Director Rex Dufour explains why aggregate stability is so important as an indicator of soil health, and how soil health can be supported.

View it for free at the NCAT YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giDduFw1Ybo.

The video is also available in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVgpVIm6bE8&feature=youtu.be.

 

UTIA research finds cover crops benefit no-till cotton systems

by Doug Edlund, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

It isn’t often that researchers have the luxury to examine data from a long-term research project. While most research projects last from three to five years, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently published a study that covered a 29-year period to find the benefits of cover crops on no-till cotton fields.

After harvesting cotton there is very little residual biomass. Without a crop covering the ground, there is an increased amount of soil exposure that can lead to erosion from winter rains and runoff. Continue reading

Cover crop choices must be well-planned

In Delta Farm Press

Producers who plant winter crops with no intention of harvesting them reap the benefits of soil conservation, weed control and nutrient retention.

On the flip side, however, the practice of almost constant production in a field creates issues with pest management. Farmers who “plant green” have to balance these challenges to best prepare the way for good crops each year. Continue reading

“Our Farms, Our Futures” Conference Explores Sustainable Ag

On April 3-5, NCAT and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will bring the nation’s leading farmers, ranchers, researchers, and educators to St. Louis to take on that question during the Our Farms, Our Future Conference.

They will address major food sustainability trends with presentations by a diverse group of farmers and ranchers using a wide range of innovative systems to sustainably produce vegetables, grains, fruit, cattle, hogs, poultry and other livestock.

The conference will feature plenary sessions and workshops for grain, livestock and specialty crop producers, along with cutting-edge material for researchers, educators, agency leaders, and non-profit representatives.  Continue reading