USDA Awards $20 Million in Grants for Citrus Greening Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $20.1 million in grants to university researchers for research and extension projects to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. This funding is available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Continue reading

USDA to Host Listening Sessions on Public Access to Scholarly Publications and Digital Scientific Data

NOTE: The comment period is extended to Saturday, January 9, 2016.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comment on the development of a policy to increase access to the results of federally-funded agricultural research. Dr. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) announced today that USDA will receive comment at two live teleconferences and via email through Dec. 9, 2015.

“Our goal is to help stakeholders understand and participate in planning for an increase in public access to scholarly publications and scientific data funded by USDA,” said Dr. Woteki. “We see this increased access as an opportunity to raise the profile of the field of agricultural research, highlighting its many contributions to scientific innovation and its value to society. Stakeholder insights are vital to planning this new era of open access so we can best meet the needs of society and of scientists.” Continue reading

With organic rice in demand, scientists help farmers improve production

Organic rice is increasingly desired by U.S. consumers, but farmers know that growing the grain chemically free can mean providing a feast for insects, diseases and weeds.

That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture has put $1 million on a multi-state team of scientists with a track record of battling pests toward the goal of making organic rice profitable for farmers and more available for consumers. The grant also establishes the first Center of Excellence for organic rice research in the U.S.

“Organic rice is important to the U.S., and most of the organic rice acreage is located in the southern growing region and California,” said Dr. Xin-Gen “Shane”” Zhou, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Beaumont and project leader. “Organic rice acreage has increased to about 50,000 acres in the nation. In contrast, conventional rice acreage is on the decline. Continue reading

Northeastern IPM Center hiring two positions

Two positions are open:

Extension Educator (Extension Support Specialist II – Northeastern IPM Center; Ithaca, New York)

The extension educator will contribute to the goals of Cooperative Extension to strengthen communities and address housing conditions that threaten human health; support the growth of interest in IPM for low-income housing; partner with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Regional IPM Centers and State IPM programs.

Program/Evaluations Specialist (Extension Support Specialist II – Northeastern IPM Center; Ithaca, New York)

The Program/Evaluation Specialist will enhance connections with existing stakeholders and build rapport with underserved audiences. Contribute to the strategic planning for the NEIPM Center. Serve as a liaison to IPM working groups, assess the status of and need for IPM courses and certification programs.

The Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center (NortheastIPM.org) supports Integrated Pest Management (IPM) projects in agricultural and community settings that promote environmental, human health, and economic benefits.  Based in Ithaca, New York, the Center encourages multistate, cross-disciplinary connections that build partnerships and strengthen public and private IPM programs in a 12-state region. Seven staff members work as a team on IPM training, outreach, networking, proposal writing and documenting impacts.

http://neipmc.org/go/hiring

Ozone can eliminate pests and pathogens for honeybees

In ARS News

Sometimes even honey bees need help with “housekeeping,” especially when it comes to cleaning their honeycombs once the honey’s been removed. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research has shown that fumigating honeycombs with ozone gas can eliminate pests and pathogens that threaten honey bee health and productivity. Now, ozone fumigation may also help reduce pesticide levels in honeycombs.

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USDA Grants Support Organic Agriculture Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded five grants to support research, education and Extension programs that will improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers.

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Fungus May Offer Natural Weed Control

From ARS News

A naturally occurring fungus may prove useful in the fight against Palmer amaranth, an aggressive southern weed that can grow at the rate of two inches a day and outcompete corn, cotton, soybean and other crops for resources, potentially reducing their yields.

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