Grant promises Georgia blueberry farmers more weapons in fight against spotted wing drosophila

By Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

A tiny fly is having a huge impact on American fruit farmers. Known as spotted wing drosophila, the insect is costing famers more than $700 million a year in lost produce and prevention costs.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture tasked University of Georgia researchers with developing a long-term management plan for the flies. The $2 million NIFA grant will be led by Ashfaq Sial, a national leader in spotted wing drosophila management and an entomologist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Continue reading

USDA Announces $21 Million in Organic Research and Extension Funding

by Amanda Hils

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced more than $21.3 million in grants for research and outreach projects that will help growers, producers, and processors improve their organic operations’ success and ability to innovate.

“Research, education, and extension gives the organic agriculture industry the opportunity to expand on best practices, implement more efficient techniques, and develop new approaches to distributing its products,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “With today’s grants, USDA’s university partners are better positioned to help ensure the continued success of organic crops and growers.”

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IPM grants help peach and strawberry growers thwart resistant crop diseases

In 2006 an Extension plant pathologist from Clemson won a $115,000 Regional IPM grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (then CSREES) to develop a kit that would help peach growers in Georgia and South Carolina choose an effective fungicide to fight resistant brown rot disease. That initial investment spurred at least three additional grants that refined the kit and has since benefited both the peach and strawberry industries at an estimate of $12 million.

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Methyl Bromide Transition RFA released

The FY 2015 Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) RFA is now available for public viewing.

DEADLINE: May 4, 2015

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/methyl-bromide-transitions

Grants.gov Page: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=275311. This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package.

Crop Protection ARDP Request for Applications released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2015 Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Request for Applications (RFAs).  The following link includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package:  http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=274745.

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Webinars on FY 2015 Centers of Excellence Implementation

The 2014 Farm Bill requires that NIFA give priority in competitive research and extension funding to Centers of Excellence in the food and agricultural sciences.

As part of its outreach effort, NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management will hold two educational webinars to present information on the FY15 implementation of the Centers of Excellence Provision. The webinars will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. EST, Feb. 26 and March 5. Webinar access.

NIFA will be announcing a separate series of webinars to solicit stakeholder input on FY 2016 Centers of Excellence Implementation.

RFAs for AFRI released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the following Requests for Applications (RFAs).  Please refer to the RFAs for letter of intent deadlines (if requested) and application deadlines.

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Vilsack Announces $30 Million to Fight Citrus Disease

USDA Targets Citrus Greening with Promising Tools and Long Term Solutions

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $30 million in funding today for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, a devastating citrus disease that threatens U.S. citrus production. The money will fund promising projects that could offer near-term solutions as well as research funding that may develop long-terms solutions. The promising near-term tools and solutions are funded through the HLB Multiagency Coordination Group while the research projects are funded through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Education (CDRE) program, which is made available through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

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USDA Announces the Availability of $16 Million to Support Food Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of more than $16 million in funding to support research, education and Extension efforts to improve food production and increase food security, defined as regular access to affordable, nutritious food. NIFA is funding the grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security program.

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RFA for AFRI Food Security Program has been released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2015 Request for Applications (RFA) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Program.  AFRI is a competitive grant program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension projects in food and agricultural sciences.  The goal of the Food Security program is to invest in agricultural production research, education, and extension programs for more sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems.  In FY 2015, applications are sought in the following priority areas: Continue reading