2016 OREI RFA has been released! Due March 10

The FY 2016 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative Request for Applications (RFA) is now available for public viewing. 

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/organic-agriculture-research-and-extension-initiative.

Grants.gov Page: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=280448.  This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package.

USDA Grants $3 Million to Address Food Security and Hunger through Improved Plant Health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3 million in grants designed to mitigate crop losses by arthropods and diseases. The awards to support research, education, and extension efforts were made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“These grants will increase our knowledge of plant systems and the various biological factors, such as arthropods and diseases, that affect plant productivity,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “This will enable the U.S. agriculture industry to mitigate critical challenges in areas such as food security, sustainability, bioenergy, climate change, and an increasing global competition.”

NIFA made the awards through the AFRI Food Security challenge area, which seeks to increase sustainable food production. Priority was given to projects that will improve prevention, early detection, rapid diagnosis, or recovery from new, foreign, or emerging plant diseases, arthropods, or nematodes that have the potential to cause major impacts on food security. NIFA made additional awards in April 2015 through the AFRI Food Security challenge area that focuses on minimizing livestock losses to pests. Continue reading

USDA NIFA asks commodity groups to inform grants programs

Official commodity groups could have a process to propose ideas and priorities to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). These ideas and priorities would go into NIFA requests for applications (RFAs). The commodity groups would contribute funds to NIFA to pay for ideas and priorities that were added and recommended for funding.

NIFA will hold an informational webinar on Thursday, August 6, at 2:30 p.m. (EST) for its partners and other interested parties. For webinar access and call-in information, http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards.

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University of Florida scientists find brown dog ticks resistant to major pest control treatment

For several years the brown dog tick has been eluding homeowners and pest control professionals after treatment, leading many homeowners to drastic measures to get rid of the pests. After years of studying the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), University of Florida entomologists are learning why some chemicals are no longer effective against the pest, and which ones still work.

In 2009, University of Florida entomologist Phil Kaufman received a USDA Southern Regional IPM grant to study whether the brown dog tick was developing resistance to permethrin and fipronil, the two major active ingredients in spot treatments for pets. Kaufman said that he would get calls from people whose houses were overrun with ticks after they tried unsuccessfully to get rid of them.

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