EPA Seeks Public Comment on Pesticide Applications for Hemp

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the receipt of 10 pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp. The 10 requests are the result of the December 2018 Farm Bill provisions that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing hemp for commercial use and production.

“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Agency is announcing a 30-day public comment period on ten existing pesticide product applications for industrial hemp. We hope this transparent and public process will bring hemp farmers and researchers increased regulatory clarity in time for next growing season — something they have asked for since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of commercial hemp.”

To ensure transparency and improve EPA’s process for considering pest management tools for the emerging American hemp industry, EPA is seeking public comment on these applications. The list of pesticides can be found in prepublication copy of the Federal Register notice. Comments are due 30 days after the notice publishes in the Federal Register.

Once public comments are received, EPA anticipates deciding about the possible use of the specified products on hemp before the end of 2019 to help growers make informed purchasing choices for the upcoming growing season. Moving forward, EPA will review, approve or deny applications for use on hemp as the agency would for any other use site.

The enacted 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Thus, the 2018 Farm Bill allows for expanding cultivation of hemp but not marijuana.

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Newly Available Data to be Incorporated into Pyrethroid Proposed Interim Decisions

Based on a thorough review of recent data, EPA concluded that there are reliable data to support reducing the current threefold (3X) Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safety factor for pyrethroids to 1X, and that margin will be safe for infants and children. This reduced safety factor will be incorporated into the upcoming pyrethroid proposed interim decisions for registration review.

EPA is required to apply a 10X margin of safety, or safety factor, to human health risk assessments to account for potential prenatal and postnatal toxicity of infants, children and pregnant women when exposed to pesticides. The law allows a different margin of safety only if the Agency has reliable data supporting a conclusion that the revised safety factor would protect infants and children. 

The Agency considers the FQPA safety factor to have two components: one assigned to pharmacokinetic (PK) differences and another for pharmacodynamic (PD) differences. The PK component refers to the process of chemicals being absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted from and in the body. The PD component refers to how a chemical affects the body’s tissue.

In 2010, EPA reviewed the data relevant to assessing the health risks of pyrethroid exposure to infants and children and found that they supported the removal of the safety factor for PD. However, the data were insufficient to change the PK portion of the uncertainty factor, thus leaving a 3X safety factor

More recently, EPA has performed a new evaluation of available guideline and literature studies, as well as data generated by the Council for the Advancement of Pyrethroid Human Risk Assessment. The Agency concluded that the FQPA safety factor for pyrethroids should be reduced to 1X for all populations (1X for PD and 1X for PK) because the data indicate that there is no increased sensitivity, or in other words, there are no PK differences between adults and children.

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are insecticides widely used in and around households, including on pets. They are also used in treated clothing, mosquito control, and agriculture.

We invite stakeholders to review the methodology and EPA’s conclusion to lower the FQPA Safety factor. EPA will be accepting comments on the white paper once the Federal Register notice announcing availability of the pyrethroid Proposed Interim Registration Review Decisions is published later this year. Once the Proposed Interim Decisions are published, comments should be submitted towww.regulations.gov under docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0331.

For more details, read the “Re-Evaluation of the FQPA Safety Factor for Pyrethroids”.

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Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) RFP Open

The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:

  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency,handling and processing of specialty crops

Who is eligible to apply: 

1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, For-profit Organizations Other Than Small Businesses, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status, other than Institutions of Higher Ed, Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS status, other than Institutions of Higher Ed, Other or Additional Information (See below), Private Institutions of Higher Ed, Small Business, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, State Controlled Institutions of Higher Ed

More on Eligibility:

Pre-applications may only be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations, foundations, or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.

Request for Applications

Apply for Grant

Posted Date: Monday, August 12, 2019

Closing Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-SCRI-006810

Estimated Total Program Funding: $80,000,000

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New Faculty Position in Specialty Crops Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We seek an outstanding scientist and communicator who will lead a nationally recognized research and extension program that develops new solutions for managing insect pests and promoting the health of pollinators of specialty crops in Illinois. Illinois growers produce a wide variety of specialty crops including apples, peaches, pumpkins, and others that are worth approximately $500 million annually. The successful candidate will have a strong research record in entomology and other disciplines relevant to integrated pest management of specialty crops. The selected candidate will also possess the ability to develop extension and education tools and content for both specialty crop growers in the Midwest and students enrolled at the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. A Ph.D. in entomology, plant or crop sciences, or related disciplines is required. Post-doctoral experience demonstrating leadership of independent or team-based research is preferred. The successful applicant
must also demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communications skills, ability to collaborate, interest in engaging with industry stakeholders and the public, and the ability to obtain extramural funding in support of their program. Prior experience with extension and public outreach is preferred.

The Department of Crop Sciences and College of Consumer, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences offers world-class laboratory, greenhouse, and field research facilities, http://cropsciences.edu. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity for close interactions with the Department of
Entomology and the Illinois Natural History Survey.

The Department is committed to promoting a diverse workplace and inclusive excellence in our programs. Individuals from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. This is a 9-month, 100% time academic (65% research, 35% extension), tenure-track position with
opportunity for summer appointment. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes a comprehensive benefits package. The position will be available August 16, 2020.

Please create your candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a cover letter, statements of goals and philosophy with respect to this position for research, extension, and diversity and inclusion, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for 3 professional references. Letters of recommendation and transcripts may be requested at a later date. The closing date for receiving applications is September, 1.

All applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration. For further information regarding the application procedures, you may contact Linda Kemplin, kemplin@illinois.edu. For additional information about the position, you may also contact: Dr. Nathan Schroeder, Search Committee Chair, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61801. Telephone: (217) 244-6128, e-mail: nes@illinois.edu.

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Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP)

This program was designed to assist 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) in building institutional research capacity through applied projects that address student educational needs and meet community, reservation or regional challenges.  Awards are to be made on the basis of a competitive review process. Collaboration with 1862 or 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA), or at least one forestry school funded under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program  is a requirement. Eligible institutions may propose projects in any discipline of the food, agricultural or natural resource sciences.

Who Is Eligible to Apply:1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Other or Additional Information (See below)

More on Eligibility:Please see the RFA for additional details.

Posted Date:Wednesday, June 5, 2019

For More Information Contact:Erin Riley

Closing Date:Friday, August 9, 2019

Contact for Electronic Access Problems:electronic@nifa.usda.gov(link sends e-mail)

Funding Opportunity Number:USDA-NIFA-TCRGP-006773CFDA number:10.227

Abstracts of Funded Projects:Read the Abstracts(link is external)Previous fiscal year(s) RFA:

application/pdf

FY 2018 Tribal College Research Grant Program.pdf (568.26 KB)Estimated Total Program Funding:$3,700,000Percent of Applications Funded:80%Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:Matching is not requiredRange of Awards:$60,000 – $500,000

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EPA Seeks Nominations for the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee

EPA is accepting nominations for membership on the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). Established in 1995, the PPDC is a diverse group of stakeholders chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide feedback to EPA on various pesticide regulatory, policy, and program implementation issues.

To maintain a broad representation of members for the PPDC, nominees will be selected from among the following:

  • Federal, state, local and tribal governments;
  • Pesticide industry and trade associations;
  • Pesticide users;
  • Grower and commodity groups;
  • Environmental and public interest groups;
  • Farm worker organizations;
  • Public health organizations;
  • Animal welfare groups; and
  • Academia.

Nominations must be emailed or postmarked no later than June 27, 2019, and can be submitted by email to the Designated Federal Official (DFO) listed below with the subject line “PPDC Membership” or by mail to:

Shannon Jewell

PPDC Designated Federal Officer

Office of Pesticide Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (7501P)

Washington, DC 20460

For additional information, read the Federal Register notice on nominations for the PPDC or contact the DFO, Shannon Jewell, at (703) 347-0109 or jewell.shannon@epa.gov.

Learn more about the PPDC at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-advisory-committees-and-regulatory-partners/pesticide-program-dialogue-committee-ppdc.

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PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Is June 1–8, 2019

Outdoor Recreation Plays Key Role In Spreading — and Stopping — Invasive Species

Milwaukee, WI – The first-ever PlayCleanGo Awareness Week will take place June 1–8, 2019, with events occurring across North America. PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is part of a national campaign focused on getting outdoor enthusiasts to take action to avoid spreading invasive plants and pests, while enjoying the activities they love .

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is sponsored by PlayCleanGo , Don’t Move Firewood , and Hungry Pests. The campaign hashtag is#PlayCleanGoWeek .

“Nearly 50% of endangered or threatened species are at risk due to invasive species, which people unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses , and more,” said PlayCleanGo Campaign Manager Belle Bergner. “ But the good news is, by taking a few easy steps while enjoying the great outdoors, you can be part of the solution, reducing the spread of invasive species.”

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is for hikers, campers, trail runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, gardeners, pet owners, birdwatchers, backpackers, paddlers, anglers, boaters, horseback riders, ATV / OTR riders, explorers — anyone who loves spending time outdoors.

Recreationists can take easy steps to protect the places they love, including these 10 Things You Can Do To Stop Invasive Species :

1. Clean your footwear with a boot brush

2. Remove invasive plants and dispose properly

3. Pick seeds and burrs off of clothes and gear

4. Clean mud and seeds from your dog

5. Don’t move firewood: buy it where you burn it

6. Hose your bike or ATV with water or compressed air

7. Boaters: clean, drain, dry, dispose

8. Feed your horse weed-free certified hay

9. Clean your horse’s hooves, mane, and tail

10. Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge at www.playcleango.org/pledge

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to join together in projects, events and activities that promote stopping the spread of invasive species — everything from hosting an awareness-raising event event , to participating in a weed-pull project , to simply buying local firewood or using a boot brush after hiking.

Organizations across North America are participating, including PlayCleanGo Partners, the North American Invasive Species Management Association, The Nature Conservancy, USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA – Forest Service, Leave No Trace, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Canadian Council on Invasive Species, state parks, other federal land management entities, state and county land managers, outdoor retailers, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA), County Weed Management Associations (CWMA), and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).

June 1–8 was chosen for PlayCleanGo Awareness Week in part to coincide with National Trails Day (June 1), World Environment Day (June 5), and National Get Outdoors Day (June 8).

Dozens of campaign materials for the public and the media are at www.PlayCleanCo.org/awareness-week , including animated explainer videos , a mega-infographic combining data with how-tos, a 5-page PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Toolkit , social media posts and graphics, a radio PSA , and more.

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NIFA Update for Stakeholders and Partners on Indirect Costs

At the FY 2019 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers’ Conference (NERAOC), NIFA provided information regarding the 30 percent indirect cost limit established by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e., 2018 Farm Bill), (Pub. L. 115-334) for many of NIFA’s competitive programs (see NIFA’s Indirect Cost Chart for program applicability). Given the information provided, NERAOC participants requested that NIFA seek further clarification on the application of the new 30 percent indirect cost limit; NIFA committed to doing so and then providing updated and expanded guidance. NIFA received clarification and is pleased to report that for several scenarios, this clarification provides a less restrictive application of the indirect cost limit than what was originally described at NERAOC.

NIFA updated the previously published indirect cost calculation to provide further clarity and prepared Frequently Asked Questions that include scenarios in response to requests of NERAOC attendees. These resources are available on the NIFA Farm Bill webpage. Additionally, available is the 2018 Farm Bill Matching Requirements Frequently Asked Questions

NIFA values the partnership with stakeholders and partners, and the result of these interactions demonstrates the importance and benefit of that relationship.

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AFRI Foundational and Applied Sciences — Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity Webinar

NIFA will hold an informational webinar to provide information regarding the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program’s new cross-cutting priority Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity (Program Code A1181), Fiscal Year 2019 Request for Applications. No need to register, just follow the AFRI-TSAB webinar link (link is external) to join.

Call-in number: 888-844-9904 and access code: 1104416
Email Biosecurity@nifa.usda.gov (link sends e-mail) for more information.
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Time: 1-2pm ET

The Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity program area priority focuses on increasing our national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and respond to biological threats to the U.S. agriculture and food supply. Supported activities will be aimed at increasing agricultural biosecurity at the regional and national levels, and across the public and private sectors. A well-designed agricultural biosecurity system is supported by resource management, relevant research, balanced regulations, and effective collaboration among scientific experts, policy-makers, and consumers. Addressing the vulnerabilities of our nation’s food and agricultural system requires a concerted effort, sustained investment, and a coordinated strategy that protects the U.S. food and agriculture system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters.

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Coordinator, Sustainable Food Group and Pesticide Risk Tool

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 client use of on-line software tool and implementation of sustainability initiatives to ensure state-of-the-art programs to meet customer requests and improve sustainability in the supply chain.

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 database management, software tool and 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 ($15 – $17 per hour). Our growth provides for excellent opportunities for long-term 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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