News

Submit Pest Priorities to IR-4 by August 31st for 2016 Biopesticide and Food Use Workshop

Come help shape the future of the IR-4 Project’s efficacy grant program in all fields of crop production in both conventional and organic agriculture at the 2016 Biopesticide and Food Use Workshop, September 21-23, 2016 at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, FL. This event was attended by over 180 participants last year from research, extension, USDA and industry. All members of the plant health community are invited to share ongoing research interests, pest management tactics and strategies, and address emerging issues.  Members of the public are invited to submit priority pest management needs to IR-4 by August 31st to help develop a list of biopesticide priorities for the workshop.  Click here to visit the pest problem submission form.

Check out the workshop event flyer, register, check out the agenda and view lodging information here.


NIFA Biological Science Specialist Positions Available

Biological Science Specialist Positions are available with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

NIFA is the Federal component of a nationwide extramural research, educational, and outreach system which supports the global, science-based agricultural enterprise and accomplishes its missions in partnership with land-grant universities and other academic and scientific organizations. To learn more about NIFA, please visit http://www.nifa.usda.gov.

These positions are located within NIFA, Headquarters, Program Staff, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Plant Systems-Production; and NIFA, Headquarters, Program Staff, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Food Safety, and Division of Nutrition.

If selected, the position applicants will work with the National Program Leader(s) to establish and coordinate, program objectives, policies, and schedules. This involves being familiar with related research, education, and extension activities (both government and private endeavors); evaluating the model on which a project is based; and assessing the value of the project’s objectives.

The application deadline is August 24, 2016.  For more information and to apply, please visit NIFA’s job posting.

Graduate Research Assistantships, Post-Doc Position Available at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Several job opportunities are currently available for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers interested in cover crops.

M.S. and Ph.D. research assistantships are available in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for students interested in specialty crops. Graduate research assistants will work as part of Dr. Sam Wortman’s research team to explore the effects of local conditions and management on horticultural crops and the environment. Research efforts will contribute to the development of novel management tactics for local, urban, and organic specialty crop farmers that increase yield and reduce labor without jeopardizing environmental quality.

Position responsibilities will include: 1) scientific literature review, 2) designing and executing research protocols, 3) managing horticultural crops and maintaining research plots, 4) collecting, analyzing, and interpreting field and lab data, and 5) preparing results for publication in refereed journals. This is a field-based research team, but there will be opportunities to develop laboratory skills in the areas of soil microbial ecology, crop physiology and quality, soil nutrient cycling, and water chemistry.

Also available in the same department is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in horticultural cropping systems. This is a 12-month, non-tenure leading position established for a period of one year. Continuation of the position beyond one year is dependent upon satisfactory performance and availability of grant funds.

The incumbent will work as part of Dr. Sam Wortman’s research team to explore the effects of local conditions and management on horticultural crops and the environment. Research efforts will contribute to the development of novel management tactics for local, urban, and organic specialty crop farmers that increase yield and reduce labor without jeopardizing environmental quality.

Review of applications for all positions will begin September 15, 2016 and continue until all positions are filled. For full details and instructions on how to submit, visit our job board to read the full job postings.


Oak Wilt Detected on Long Island

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) recently announced that oak wilt has been detected in the Central Islip area of the town of Islip, Suffolk County on Long Island in New York. The disease was identified by the Cornell University Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic after samples from a symptomatic oak tree were submitted by a concerned tree care professional. Oak wilt is a very serious tree disease in the eastern United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots and home landscapes. It is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus grows in the water conducting vessels of host trees causing the vessels to produce gummy plugs that prevent water transport. As water movement within the tree is slowed, the leaves wilt and drop off, and eventually the tree dies.

NYDEC will utilize the eradication protocols from the Schenectady County occurrence to control the Islip infestation. An emergency order has been issued establishing a protective zone that prohibits the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps or roots, green oak lumber and firewood (of any species) out of the immediate area unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions. The order also creates a 150 foot “red oak free zone” around the specific location where the infected trees were discovered. All red oak located in these zones will be removed by DEC and destroyed in order to protect the remaining oak trees in the area.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any occurrences where an oak tree suddenly loses its leaves during the month of August to the Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652. For more information about oak wilt or the emergency order, visit DEC’s website.  For more on the detection of Oak Wilt in Long Island, read the press release here.


New Translations of EPA’s “Read the Label First” Factsheets Now Available

EPA’s “Read the Label First” fact sheets are now available in six new languages: Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Chinese (simplified and traditional).  The “Read the Label First” factsheets are a series of brochures that aim to promote safe pesticide use and hazard reduction for kids, pets, the garden and the household.  They provide information about the importance of keeping pesticides in their original containers, how to protect one’s family and prevent harm to the environment, why one should buy the right product in the right amount to match current needs, and more.  The newly translated fact sheets are available online here at the EPA’s site.