Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Nitrogen fertilizer workshop planned for London in June

The International IFA and IFDC are holding a workshop 26-30 June in London.
“Nitrogen Fertilizer: Advances in Technology, Products, Safety and Global Impact” is open for registration at the event webpage.

Since 2001, through biennial events, IFA and IFDC have been conducting the Nitrogen Fertilizer Technology workshops to share knowledge and exchange information with representatives of the nitrogen fertilizer industry regarding different production technologies. At first, these workshops were designed for engineers working in the fertilizer industry, but the workshops attracted other socio-professional categories such as C-level executives, senior managers and those involved in areas of marketing, agronomy, environment and research, as well as private sector entrepreneurs investing in the fertilizer industry. (more…)

FAO database offers access to millions of ag reference materials

The FAO’s information team is holding a webinar about how to use the agency’s free database of agricultural research materials on 11 May at 16:00 Rome Time. (Click here for a time zone converter.)

The Agricultural Information Management Standards Community launched a profile system for the AGRIS (International System for Agricultural Science and Technology) database a year ago, after a survey showed that users wanted that type of system.

AGRIS  is a global public database on agricultural science and technology; content is provided by participating institutions across the world that form the network of AGRIS centers.

One of the main objectives of AGRIS is to improve the access and exchange of information serving the information-related needs of developed and developing countries on a partnership basis. AGRIS contains more than 8 million bibliographic references on agricultural research and technology and links to related data resources on the Web, like DBPedia, World Bank, Nature, FAO Fisheries and FAO Country profiles.

The webinar will be presented by Thembani Malapela of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, who is responsible for  AGRIS user-support and communication.

The session is open to anyone but places are limited. Go to to register, or email with your name, affiliation, email and country to register.

Funding opportunities open to U.S. scientists through USDA

(This is cross-posted from the American Peanut Research and Education Society)

RFPs came out last week for the USDA’s 2017 NIFA Agriculture Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants. The purpose of the AFRI is to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants to solve key problems of local, regional, national, and global importance in sustaining conventional, organic, and urban agricultural systems.

Included in this year’s RFP are three specific topics submitted by the National Peanut Board on behalf of funding partners — The Peanut Foundation, The Peanut Institute and Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative. Each topic is highlighted and bookmarked in the full RFP (here), so that they are easy to find. Below is a brief description of each area and their deadline:

Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems
Closing date: July 12, 2017
Develop Innovations in management of diseases and pests that are costly to and are major deterrents to achieving sustainable yields and high quality in peanut productions.

Plant Breeding for Agricultural Productions
Closing Date: July 19, 2017
Develop and implement genetic and genomic tools to breed for improvements in aflatoxin resistance, disease resistance, size and shape, flavor, nutrient content, or drought tolerance, etc.

Critical Agricultural Research and Extension
Letter of Intent Deadline:  May 24, 2017
A NPB co-funding area of opportunity: Identify bioactive compounds within peanuts that may improve cognition in humans

Ozias-Akins honored for distinguished research

Peggy Ozias-Akins, the lead scientist on the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab’s translational genomics project, has been recognized by the University of Georgia as a Distinguished Research Professor for 2017. Only five scientists from across all disciplines received the honor.

UGA’s Office of Research did a short video to highlight Ozias-Akins’ work.

Ozias-Akins, a professor of horticulture, has applied advanced biotechnology and molecular biology tools, in some cases those that she developed herself, to improve crops like peanut. As an integral member of the International Peanut Genome Initiative, she helped with the sequencing of the commercial peanut, which will jumpstart the ability for breeders to identify genes or areas of genes that convey particular advantageous traits, such as disease resistance or oil chemistry. Dr. Ozias-Akins’ work on building the platform for identifying these genes and selecting crosses from the DNA analysis will speed up the rate of genetic improvement by improving the selection process and avoiding the need to physically grow and evaluate each cross. Under the PMIL project, she and her colleagues are seeking genetic markers for resistance to aflatoxin, which could be a game changing find for the global peanut industry.

“Her decades-long focus on peanut improvement has had significant scientific, agricultural and economic impact,” UGA’s Office of Research said in granting the award. (more…)

IFDC training in Accra set for May 15-19

The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has a training program scheduled in Accra next month.

This seventh edition of “Linking Farmers to Markets in Africa” will be conducted in English.

The training is for producer organizations and trade associations; government officials; service providers such as financial institutions, insurance companies, transporters, and mobile phone services; agribusinesses dealing with farmers: processors, exporters and importers; and national and international organizations involved in funding agricultural development and enterprise projects.

More information is posted on the event page.

APRES taking award nominations

The deadline is approaching to nominate someone for a 2017 APRES Award.

Winners will be announced during the 2017 Annual Meeting held July 11-13 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM.

Eligibility rules and nominating guidelines can be found on the APRES website under the Member tab.

Nominations with supporting documentation should be sent to the Chairman of the Award.

Here’s a look at some of the awards:


Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award

Emily Cantonwine, Chairman,

The award recognizes an individual who best emulates Dr. Coyt T. Wilson who contributed freely of his time and service to APRES during its formative years. Active members with five years of membership and service to APRES in the area(s) of committee appointments, officer duties, editorial boards, or special assignments are eligible. Award: $1,000 cash and recognition plaque



Offer advice on USAID research to achieve growth, resilience, nutrition goals

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are holding a three-day online symposium for development practitioners, researchers, and others working in food security.

Aligning Research Investments to the Global Food Security Strategy: A Three-Day AgExchange on Nutrition, Resilience and Agriculture-Led Economic Growth will be held 18-20 April.
The three-day facilitated online discussion which will explore three core themes from the GFSS Results Framework: Agriculture-led economic growth, resilience, and nutrition.

Dr. Brady Deaton, BIFAD Chair and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Missouri will start the event at 9 a.m. (GMT-4 hours) on April 18.

Check out the framing papers and visit the FAQs page for further details.

To register:

  • If you are an Agrilinks member and you are logged in, click the “Register today” button on the right of the page.
  • If you are not an Agrilinks member, click on “Join Agrilinks” link in the black banner at the top of the page. Return to the event page and click on “Register Today” to the right of the page.


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