Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Grants’ Category

UVM WINS GRANT TO HELP IMPROVE PRODUCTION OF HOPS

Connoisseurs of local beer have reason to celebrate this month, thanks to a $130,000 grant to the University of Vermont to study how to increase yields on hops farms in the Northeast while reducing pesticide use. The University of Vermont received the Integrated Pest Management grant this month from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Heather Darby, of University of Vermont Extension, is the principal investigator for the grant. She said hops are a new crop for farmers in the Northeast.

UVM Extension agronomist and hops expert Heather Darby, left, talks about the key ingredient in beer with visitors at the hops yard in Alburgh. Photo by UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Team

UVM Extension agronomist and hops expert Heather Darby, left, talks about the key ingredient in beer with visitors at the hops yard in Alburgh. Photo by UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Team

“There’s a really strong local food movement,” said Darby, “and that local food movement spans into the beverage industry as well. There’s a lot of interest from brewers to buy local hops, especially for microbrews.”

And though she estimates only about 70 farmers are growing hops in the Northeast, Darby expects that number to rise, “and with new crops come new pests. New learning curves and new practices need to be developed to help farmers deal with the issues associated with them.”

Plus, many of the people growing hops are new farmers.

“The industry is growing fast,” Darby said. “There are lots of fledgling farmers. My hope is that we can develop practices that not only protect the environment, but also help those farmers be economically viable.”

The three-year grant will fund research into which hops varieties are most resistant to the crop’s numerous pests. That research, which will take place at UVM Extension’s experimental farm in Alburgh, is applicable not just to Northeastern hops farmers. Darby estimates the research could affect hundreds of growers in the main hops-growing regions of the U.S., including the Midwest and South.

Because hops are plagued by many pests, including insects, spider mites and fungi, Darby says it’s important to educate farmers about how to reduce pesticide use while maintaining and even increasing crop yields.

“We start by teaching farmers how to avoid those pests,” she said. That includes learning how to identify pests and beneficial insects, the pest life cycle, and how various pests respond to treatments. Darby’s team at UVM Extension will also show farmers how to prune hops to reduce fungal pests that spend the winter in branch tips.

Their hope is that by providing new hops farmers with pest-resistant varieties, and then teaching them how to manage pest populations, farmers will be able to use less pesticide.

Integrated Pest Management combines multiple methods to reduce pests while minimizing pesticides, so they are used only as a last resort.

Pennsylvania State University and Louisiana State University were also recipients of part of the $500,000 grant. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University will study how to reduce the use of neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides particularly toxic to bees. The project at Louisiana State will focus on reducing the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes.

Read Full Post »

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded nearly half a million dollars in agricultural grants Jan. 8 for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research to reduce the use of pesticides and lower risk to bees.

IPM relies on easy-to-implement, environmentally sensitive practices that prevent pests from becoming a threat. These practices involve monitoring and identifying pests and taking preventive action before pesticides are used. If pesticides are needed, methods such as targeted spraying may be used.

The Pennsylvania State University will receive $159,632 for a project to protect bees and crops by reducing reliance on neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatments and exploring the benefits of growing crops without them.

IPM in no-till grain fields will be used to control slugs and other pests that damage corn and soybeans.

The Louisiana State University received $167,874 for a project to minimize impacts to bees from insecticides used in mosquito control. Practices and guidelines resulting from the project will be distributed to mosquito control districts and beekeepers throughout the U.S.

The University of Vermont received $131,758 for project to reduce pesticide use and improve pest control while increasing crop yields on 75 acres of hops in the Northeast.

The awardees will also develop and distribute outreach materials to help farmers adopt these practices.

The project’s goal is to reduce herbicide and fungicide applications by 50 percent while decreasing downy mildew, a plant disease.

Read Full Post »

Three Universities Take On EPA Grants for Pest Management Research

Environmental Protection Agency offers funding for integrated pest management research
Compiled by staff
Published: Jan 9, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced it is continuing to focus on further development of integrated pest management practices through three new awards in a recurring grant program.

Louisiana State University, the University of Vermont, and Pennsylvania State University IPM projects were selected for the latest round of the program. Two of the proposals include research on minimizing pesticide exposure for bees.

IPM refers to the practice of combining several environmentally sensitive control methods to foster pesticide risk reduction in agriculture. These practices involve monitoring and identifying pests and taking preventive action before pesticides are used.

Environmental Protection Agency offers funding for integrated pest management research

Environmental Protection Agency offers funding for integrated pest management research

James Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said promoting the IPM grants will positively affect pesticide use.”Initiatives such as these will encourage others to adopt promising technologies and practices across the nation to reduce pesticide risks while maximizing crop production and protecting public health,” Jones noted in an EPA statement.

 The nearly half a million in agricultural IPM grants will be awarded to:

 The Louisiana State University project to minimize impacts to bees from insecticides used in mosquito control.

Mosquito control is critical for public health; however, insecticides can be hazardous to bees, EPA said. Practices and guidelines resulting from the project will be distributed to mosquito control districts and beekeepers throughout the U.S.

 The University of Vermont project to reduce pesticide use and improve pest control while increasing crop yields on 75 acres of hops in the Northeast.

The awardees will develop and distribute outreach materials to help farmers adopt new pest control practices. The project’s goal is to reduce herbicide and fungicide applications by 50% while decreasing downy mildew.

 The Pennsylvania State University project to protect bees and crops by reducing reliance on neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatments and exploring the benefits of growing crops without them.

IPM in no-till grain fields will be used to control slugs and other pests that damage corn and soybeans, EPA said. Researchers will share their findings with mid-Atlantic growers and agricultural professionals.

Protection of bee populations is among EPA’s top priorities, the agency said. According to a May, 2013, joint report from the USDA and the EPA, the U.S. is suffering from a pollinator decline due to loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.

In response, EPA introduced a new pesticide label in August which includes a bee advisory box and icon. The box reminds users to be cautious when using the pesticide where bees are present.

Though not in effect in the U.S., a ban on certain neonicotinoid pesticides was recently implemented in Europe. The EPA has reviewed conclusions of the European Safety Authority’s conclusions regarding neonicotinoid studies, noting on Dec. 20 that it found “both (acetamiprid and imidacloprid) pesticides are safe for humans when used according to the EPA-approved label.”

For more information on the EPA’s Regional Agricultural IPM Grants, click here.

Read Full Post »


Announcing the 2013 Travel and Study Grant Awards Deadline for application is August1 ! 
$3500 for work on any subject related to rice in the developing world

 ARFUSA will grant up to $3500 for travel, scientific research, education or artistic work (including plant protection subjects) about rice in developing rice-producing countries.  You must be a student registered at an accredited institution of higher education or a faculty member at such an university and have a letter of support from your national rice foundation or a US university faculty member.  Creative artists must illustrate their qualifications.  

 Applications that involve travel and study of US-based scholars at IRRI or other developing country locations are encouraged, but you must provide a full project budget and tell us where you will get the rest of the money you need.

 Submit your application by email to Freed@msu.edu

Evaluation of the applications will be based on quality, likely contribution to knowledge or ability to cause people to think, potential contribution to resolving issues related to rice in Asia, and leadership potential of the applicant.

Applications must be submitted by August 1, 2013

 Successful applicants will be notified by September 1, 2013.

For full details please see:  http://www.asiariceusa.org/Contact_Us.html

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts