Register Now for the Integrated Pest Management Pollinator Habitat Promotion Webinar

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Register Now for the Integrated Pest Management Pollinator Habitat Promotion Webinar


EPA is offering a free webinar titled “Integrated Pest Management: Strategies for Pollinator Habitat Promotion and Conservation in Agricultural Areas” on August 28, 2018, from 1 –2:30 pm ET. This webinar is tailored for growers, pesticide applicators, agricultural land managers, and other interested stakeholders who work in crop production.

Our presenter will be Dr. Allan Felsot, professor and extension specialist from Washington State University. The presentation will cover land management topics such as cultural management practices, bio-economics, and integrated insect and weed management.

Register for the webinar here.

Learn more about integrated pest management and pollinator protection.


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Atrazine Human Health Risk Assessment Now Available for Public Comment

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Atrazine Human Health Risk Assessment Now Available for Public Comment


Today, EPA is releasing the atrazine draft human health risk assessment for public comment. The assessment identifies potential risks to children who crawl and play on lawns sprayed with atrazine and to workers who apply atrazine and/or enter treated fields after application.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. It is used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds on corn, sorghum, and sugarcane, and to a lesser extent on residential lawns and golf courses. In the assessment, EPA reviewed all available scientific data, including published toxicity and epidemiology literature. The assessment uses multiple lines of evidence and methodologies that reflect current science.

In addition to the atrazine draft human health risk assessment, EPA is also releasing the simazine and propazine draft human health risk assessments and a cumulative human health risk assessment on these three triazines. We assessed these three pesticides together for human health risks because they share a common toxicity mechanism.

Comments must be submitted to docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 at www.regulations.gov on or before Sept. 24, 2018.

After public comments on the human health and the 2016 ecological assessments are reviewed, EPA will determine whether updates or revisions to the assessments are necessary. EPA plans to propose risk mitigation measures, if necessary, in 2019.


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IPM Institute Seeks Coordinator for Sustainable Food Group

Coordinator, Sustainable Food Group

 Full-time coordinator position available with a growing independent non-profit organization working to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Responsibilities include coordinating the development and operation of sustainability programs for national food companies and their supply chains.

The individual in this position will work with project teams, project partners, clients and project scientists to research, develop, implement and verify standards focused on sustainability, IPM and pesticide risk reduction. The scope of work includes standards development, communications, training, program evaluation and reporting.

The ideal candidate will have excellent analytical skills, strong attention to detail, experience and knowledge in and demonstrated commitment to sustainable agriculture. Excellent organizational, verbal and written communication skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office are essential. Spanish language proficiency is a plus.

Flexible schedule, 30 – 35 hours per week, hourly compensation commensurate with skills and experience ($14 – $16 per hour). Our rapid growth provides for excellent opportunities for advancement. Benefits include health insurance, retirement plan, and paid vacation and holidays. Located on the near east side of Madison.

The IPM Institute of North America, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1998.  Our mission is to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities by using the power of the marketplace.Our team currently works on more than a dozen projects to increase adoption of IPM and other best practices that reduce risks to health and the environment from pesticide and nutrient use in agriculture and communities, improve working conditions, soil health, water and air quality.

Send a resume, cover letter, salary history and three professional references to Ariel Larson at 211 S. Paterson Street Suite 380, Madison, WI 53703, or email alarson@ipminstitute.org.

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Dry Rot Canker – Obscure, but Returning Rhizoctonia Disease

Bob Harveson – Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Nebraska, Panhandle Research and Extension Center

https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2018/dry-rot-canker

Dry rot canker in sugarbeet

Figure 1. Surface tissues of the dry rot canker rhizoctonia disease first identified in sugarbeet in 1920 are marked by a distinctive series of concentric circles. (Photos by Bob Harveson)

Last month I shared a brief synopsis of the rarely occurring root disease, violet root rot, its causal agent, Rhizoctonia crocorum, and its relationship with the root and crown rot pathogen, R. solani. This article will highlight an even more uncommon Rhizoctonia disease of sugar beets called dry rot canker. Although virtually unknown in sugar beet production, researchers recently determined it was caused by a largely uncharacterized species of Rhizoctonia, referred to as “binucleate.”

New Disease
B. L. Richards reported a previously undescribed root disease of sugar beet near Cornish, Utah in August 1920, calling it dry rot canker (DRC). The disease was characterized by localized, dry sunken lesions that penetrated deeply into the taproot interior, causing the decaying tissue to rapidly dry out as infection continued inward. Surface tissues of the cankers produced a distinctive series of concentric circles, like a target board (Figure 1). The lesions resulted in cavities filled with a dry pithy material consisting of both fungal hyphae and decayed host matter (Figure 2). These signs and symptoms were quite distinct from those of the well-known Rhizoctonia root and crown rot disease (RRCR) caused by R. solani.

Richards mentions that he learned through correspondence with G. L. Peltier (early UNL plant pathologist) that a similar disease was also observed from Nebraska in 1920. Furthermore, based on preserved herbarium specimens, the disease’s presence could be traced to Utah as early as 1915. DRC has since occurred infrequently throughout other irrigated production areas of the western U.S., and until recently, little else was known about this disease, primarily due to its rare occurrences.

Pithy interior of dry rot canker of sugarbeet
Figure 2. Dry rot canker is characterized by dry sunken lesions that create cavities of dry pithy material.

Pithy interior of dry rot canker of sugarbeet
New Appearances
In mid-September 2011 a field near Bridgeport in Morrill County was found to have a high incidence of plants (10-15%) exhibiting wilting and yellowing symptoms suggestive of RRCR. However, root symptoms were different, consisting of sunken lesions with concentric circles and a rot penetrating deep into root tissues like those described by Richards for DRC.

Between 2013 and 2015 more than a dozen additional sugar beet fields in Morrill and Scottsbluff counties in western Nebraska were identified with plants displaying identical symptoms. Isolations from diseased root tissues all yielded fungal cultures strongly resembling Rhizoctonia solani.

Diagnostic and Field Studies
Molecular analyses of DNA sequences revealed that the DRC isolates had high degrees of similarity (96% identity) with sequences of a binucleate Rhizoctonia species. This is a group of Rhizoctonia species that possess two nuclei within their cells in contrast to the more familiar, multinucleate root and crown root rot pathogen (R. solani). We confirmed this characteristic with microscopic examinations. All subsequent DRC isolates examined to date (more than 20), possess near identical DNA sequences. Based on the different symptoms, unique nuclear condition, and DNA sequence similarities with binucleate Rhizoctonia species, we have demonstrated that the DRC isolates were distinct from the R. solani pathogen associated with RRCR.

We have also conducted recent field studies demonstrating that the DRC pathogen is sensitive to current fungicides and disease-tolerant cultivars in the same manner as R. solani, which is good news for us in future disease management efforts. However, this work also discovered that the DRC isolates actually caused significantly greater yield reductions and disease severity compared with those induced by R. solani when employing cultivars lacking disease resistance.

Concluding Remarks
Richards, the original investigator, presumed that the Rhizoctonia isolates inducing the dry rot canker disease were different than typical R. solani isolates based on different symptoms. This remarkably prescient observation was made long before the availability of our current, more sensitive molecular tools. Our studies have confirmed those suspicions, proving that the pathogen is a distinct Rhizoctonia species, and documented the reemergence of DRC for the first time in almost 100 years.

References
Harveson, R. M. 2015. The bacterium of many colors. APS Press, St Paul, MN, 288 pp.

Harveson, R. M., and Bolton, M. B. 2013. First evidence of a binucleate Rhizoctonia as the causal agent of dry rot canker of sugar beet in Nebraska. Plant Disease 97: 1508.

LeClerg, E. L. 1939. Studies on dry-rot canker of sugar beets. Phytopathology 29: 793-800.

Richards, B. L. 1921. A dryrot canker of sugar beets. Journal of Agricultural Research 22: 47-52.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY USDA-NIFA Foundational and Applied Science Program

USDA-NIFA Foundational and Applied Science Program

Program AREA Priority A1102

Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems

 

In 2016, the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program initiated a new competitive Program Area Priority (PAP) A1102 focusing on fundamental research in agricultural production systems. This program area priority supports research to advance our knowledge of agricultural production systems, including croplands, rangelands, and managed forests across the rural urban continuum from conventional/organic open-fields to protected built environments, using experimental manipulations of system components, technological interventions, system analyses, and modeling including agroecological approaches.

A full description of the A1102 PAP can be found on page 7-9 of the 2018 AFRI Foundational and Applied Science RFA, which is available at https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-applied-science-program.

In 2018, Standard, Conference, and FASE proposals (Strengthening Standard, New Investigator, Strengthening Conference, Seed, Equipment, and Sabbatical) are welcome.

Abstracts of previously funded projects are available at: A1102 2016 and 2017 Awards.

Application Deadline is August 9, 2018 (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time)

 

For more information on the program contact us at:

Mathieu Ngouajio (202) 401-4895 or mngouajio@nifa.usda.gov

Robert Nowierski (202) 401-4900 or rnowierski@nifa.usda.gov

Vanessa Lester (202) 401-6466 or vanessa.lester@nifa.usda.gov

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EPA Solicits Proposals for a Cooperative Agreement to Conduct the National Pesticide Information Center

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EPA Solicits Proposals for a Cooperative Agreement to Conduct the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)


EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement to run the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), which provides the public with objective, science-based information on pesticide-related subjects. EPA expects to provide up to $1,000,000 annually, depending on the Agency’s budget, for a total of 5 years (2019-2024).

As in the past, the cooperative agreement will carry out the NPIC through a website, toll-free telephone service and outreach. Trained experts will respond to questions on the risks associated with pesticide use, restrictions on pesticide use, who to contact for regulatory enforcement, and how to report information on incidents. It will also collect information on suspected incidents that callers give voluntarily.

EPA must receive proposals through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2018. For more information on this Request for Applications, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/request-applications-support-national-pesticide-information-center. To apply, go to grant opportunity EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-001 at Grants.gov.


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National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) Request for Applications

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s AFRI Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) Request for Applications has been released. The FAS program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this RFA. Please refer to the individual program area descriptions for either letter of intent deadlines or application deadlines.

NIFA’s funding opportunity page: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-foundational-applied-science-program

Grants.gov page: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=305681

 

 

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Mosquito Control Biologist Position

Lee County, Florida, Mosquito Control District has posted a Biologist position:

Mosquito Control Biologist

After successful completion of an extensive training program, this full-time field position will lead to a supervisory role in an assigned geographical area performing aerial control and overseeing marine and ground mosquito control operations.

Minimum Qualifications • Bachelors Degree in a biological science from an accredited college or university • Must have a valid Class E Florida’s driver’s license and a clean driving record • Must have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office and have the ability to learn and operate internal programs including GIS systems and databases • Must be able to work a varied schedule including working on weekends and nights • Ability to ride in helicopters and boats and operate a variety of small equipment • Must be able to communicate effectively in English and be able to read and understand chemical label instructions in English • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Florida Public Health Pest Control License within six months of hire Preferred Qualifications •
Previous mosquito control experience, preferably in Florida • Supervisory experience • Current Florida Public Health Pest Control License and/or Advanced Public Health Pest Control License • Bachelors Degree in Entomology from an accredited college or university • Course work in Biology 1 and 2 w/lab, Chemistry 1 and 2 w/lab, Physics 1 and 2 w/lab, Ecology, Genetics, Organic Chemistry, Statistics 1, and Calculus 1

Compensation The pay range to which this position is assigned starts at $22.14 per hour but final offer will depend on experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits package including Florida Retirement System, medical, dental, life/long/short term disability and generous paid time off package.

About Us The Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) is an independent special taxing district, with an operating budget of 24 million dollars, which is overseen by seven elected Commissioners. Our facility occupies the Buckingham Airbase of WWII located in Southwest Florida near Ft. Myers. It is the largest single county mosquito control program in Florida and probably in the United States. Lee County contains 56,000 acres of salt marsh, the most prolific breeding habitat for mosquitoes in Florida. In addition to salt marsh, LCMCD is responsible for controlling mosquitoes in approximately 900 square miles of intermixed urban, residential, rural and freshwater wetland habitats.

To Apply: Submit a resume to merris@lcmcd.org or follow the application instructions on the Job Information Page on our website www.lcmcd.org no later than June 1, 2018. EOE/DFWP. Veterans’ preference will be given to eligible veterans and spouses of veterans.

 

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Natural Resources Manager Position

HIGHLANDS COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Does Not Discriminate on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, Religion, Age,
or Disability in Employment or the Provision of Services.

We are proud to be a drug free workplace.  Screening tests for illegal drug use may be required as a condition of employment.

Date: 4/2/2018 Department: Road & Bridge (6303)
Title: Natural Resources Manager (0981) Reports To: Road & Bridge Superintendent
Pay Grade/Salary Range: PG- 115 $50,649.49 – $78,506.67 Closing Date: Until Filled

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Completed applications for employment with Highlands County may be submitted in one of two ways: 1) a printed job application submitted to our Human Resources department located at 600 S. Commerce Ave, Room B233, Sebring, FL 33870 (either in person or by mail; or 2) fax a printed application to 863-402-6508.  Any qualified employee of the Board (see job description below for MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS) may request consideration for this position by submitting to Human Resources an approved Bid form. Employee bids and applications for this position may not be received after five o’clock (5) p.m. on the closing date stated above without the specific permission of Human Resources.

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

This is a professional position responsible for supporting planning and implementation of preservation, management, and maintenance programs dealing with natural resources project management, surface, lake water, storm water flow and pollution abatement. This position oversees a variety of environmentally sensitive projects which focus on water management activities and provides support for local, special benefit, regional and state agencies regarding water management issues.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

The following statements describe the principal functions of the job and its scope of responsibility but should not be considered an all-inclusive list of work requirements.  Individuals may perform other duties as assigned.

  • Provides professional management assistance in planning and implementing surface water and lake management programs and activities.
  • Educates County agencies and the public on federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and rules regulating the quality and conservation of County lake water.
  • Provides input and comments concerning development plans in conjunction with County Land Development Regulations.
  • Provides County support for the local, special benefit, regional and state agencies as needed regarding water management issues.
  • Serves as County staff for TMDL development.
  • Provides technical expertise for storm water and watershed related issues.
  • Identifies, pursues, and manages grants and other cooperative funding to support lake water and watershed quality improvement.
  • Procures permits and supervises contractor work.
  • Serves as project manager for environmental restoration projects.
  • Prepares agenda items for public meetings.
  • Investigates water quality complaints and concerns.
  • Coordinates and monitors ongoing water quality surveys, sample collection, and data reduction.
  • Analyzes survey results and informs County agencies and the public on the problems discovered and likely corrective action.
  • Attends meetings on surface and lake water management and environmental restoration projects.
  • Interacts with County, district, state, and federal agencies, and other organizations.
  • Maintains a professional and safe unit and work area adhering to established safety policies and the image desired for the organization.
  • Follows consistently the Board policies and procedures.
  • Responds productively to change and performs all other related tasks as directed.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

  • Thorough knowledge of modern principles and practices of environmental resource management as applied to surface and lake water preservation and maintenance including planning and implementing short and long-range programs.
  • Thorough knowledge of federal, state, local, and other agency permitting processes relating to surface water and lakes.
  • Knowledge of pollution sources detrimental to the extended life cycle of surface water areas and lakes.
  • Ability to analyze and computer model data for the purpose of evaluating watersheds.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, managers, directors, Elected Officials, vendors, regulatory agencies and the general public.
  • Ability to prepare and disseminate written reports and technical information.
  • Ability to conduct meetings with local, state and federal agencies as well as members of the public.
  • Understands the surface and lake water resource elements of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations.

PHYSICAL SKILLS:

The individual in this position:  Must be able to remain in a stationary, reaching, bending, pulling or stooping position for up to 50% of the time.

Use of both hands and feet with dexterity.  Use of both near and far vision.  Agility sufficient to operate watercraft and other equipment.  Ability to operate a motor vehicle on road and off road with trailer for up to four hours continuously.  Ability to understand and exchange accurate information.   Ability to swim.  Frequently moves materials and equipment weighing up to 40 lbs.  Consistently works in outdoor environments.  Occasionally works in inclement outdoor weather conditions.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college/university in environmental or civil engineering, limnology, hydrology, biology, or related science. Two (2) years’ experience in supervision plus two (2) years’ experience in the planning and implementation of preservation, management, and maintenance programs dealing with lakes, storm water abatement systems, or other environmental programs preferred.

  1. LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, OR REGISTRATIONS:

Must possess a valid Florida Driver’s License while employed.

  1. OTHER JOB RELATED REQUIREMENTS:  Disaster Essential.

For more information contact:

 

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Pollinator Conservation Project Webinar

 The USFWS – U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Project: Soaring with the Air Force

Date and Time June 27, 2018 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET 

Who Should Attend Anyone interested in pollinator conservation or education 

Length 

45 – 60 minutes, on-line webinar using Adobe Connect 

Tuition 

No cost. 

No registration! Join Us: 

http://nctc.adobeconnect.com/monarchwebinar/ 1-866-732-8654; Participant passcode: 18374033# 

Contact 

Michelle Donlan: 304-876-7685
Michelle_Donlan@fws.gov  

Description: The goal of this webinar series is for participants to learn about various pollinator resources and to choose one that applies to their site and/or meets their audience (s) needs and implement it. Dr. Dolores Savignano, Chair of the USFWS Pollinator Work Group and Headquarters Office biologist, will share information on a recent pollinator conservation project with the U.S. Air Force, and the new resources available as a result of the project. The project included development of a strategy, technical handbook, training, and pilot projects. The technical handbook, U.S. Air Force Pollinator Conservation Reference Guide, is available at: https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/PollinatorPages/USAF_Ref_Guide.html 

Dolores will discuss the information in the Reference Guide of interest to the military, other land managers, restoration biologists seeking to conserve pollinators, home gardeners, and students and educators interested in pollinators. Learn how the web links throughout the document will bring you to additional information on topics of interest. 

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