News

Displaying all news from 2015.

  • Prairie Fare: Beware of Weight-Loss Promises

    As 2015 begins to roll along, many of us are finding it hard to stick to our new year’s resolutions. The most common among these is weight loss, which has been adopted by mainstream media as a lucrative advertising tool. It’s easy to get seduced by the thrilling stories of people losing life-changing amounts of weight, but the North Dakota State University Extension Service cautions against buying in to false promises. The most difficult part of getting healthy is sticking to a realistic timeline, and not getting discouraged if you don’t see results right away. There is a plethora of helpful information out there, including online weight management resources, licensed nutritionists available by appointment, and community support programs. If you are dedicated to losing weight this year, make sure you don’t fall victim to “ads” or misinformation by spending some time vetting your sources. But above all, try to find people who are committed to helping you keep the weight off, not just lose it.

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  • NMSU Extension Program Helps Pre-Diabetics Make a Lifestyle Change

    The rate of diabetes in the U.S. has been steadily increasing, with 35 percent of the population now believed to have pre-diabetes. Since July 2013, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service has offered a National Diabetes Prevention Program dedicated to helping participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. For many, the emotional growth is the biggest reward from the program’s weekly sessions. “We’d talk about what we found hard, and how we overcome those challenges,” says Barbara Dutton, a high-risk Type 2 diabetes patient. “The input from classmates was really helpful.” To learn more about the NMSU program, follow the link below.

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  • Artisan Cheese Startups Face Six-Digit Costs, Finds OSU Study

    Oregon State University researchers have developed a tool for predicting artisan cheese startup and operating costs, and found that prospective business owners will need to shell out at least $250,000 to get started. “We wanted to give cheese entrepreneurs a realistic idea about what they’re getting into,” said Lisbeth Goddik, a food science and technology professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and co-author of the study. OSU’s model is adaptable, so cheese makers around the world can tailor it based on their location and any other associated costs. Despite this high barrier to entry, the industry is active, and cheesemakers have the potential to make great deal of money. Learn more about this study by following the link below.

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  • Big River, Big Data

    The University of Missouri is using existing Midwestern rivers research data to predict future problems that may appear due to climate shifts. This project will focus on the floodplains of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Despite the fact that there are over 85,000 acres of state and federally owned conservation lands in large-river floodplains, no one knows if the water will rise, how long it will stay flooded, and what the implications of the flooding will be. The University of Missouri team wants to change that. “In addition to conservation benefits, these lands have the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services like habitats, nutrient processing, carbon sequestration and flood-water storage,” says Craig Paukert, associate cooperative professor of fisheries and wildlife at MU’s School of Natural Resources. Paukert plans to formalize the understanding of the information needs for management of the floodplain conservation lands.

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  • Soybean Tests Yields Strong

    As the demand for soybean increases, so does the yield for the University of Missouri Extension program. MU Extension specialists have topped statewide averages of soybean bushel yield for 2014. Despite the emergence of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a fungal disease, in two tests areas this year, yields in the central and southeastern part of the state were much higher than expected. This new data bumps Missouri up to seventh in soybean production in the country. For more details on the tests and their subsequent yields, follow the link below.

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  • Top 4 Reasons to Shop at a Farmer’s Market

    Tired of strolling through the grocery store looking at bland, overripe vegetables under a flickering fluorescent light? Alabama Extension recommends you try a farmer’s market. The food is tastier and more nutritious, and it helps support and build your local community. By giving farmers the money directly, you are cutting out the middleman and ensuring they get the retail price that they deserve. Learn more about how a farmer’s market might be the perfect place for you:

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  • Is Effluent the Water of the Future? Scientists Invited to Discuss Issue in Rome

    Two New Mexico State University researchers may have found an answer to the turf irrigation and landscaping water shortage. Bernd Leinauer and Elena Sevostianova are suggesting that using effluent water would eliminate the need for additional mineral fertilizers. Typically, most of the water used for irrigation and landscaping has been cleansed to remove nitrogen. These NMSU scientists are suggesting leaving the nitrogen in, and using decentralized water treatment systems and subsurface irrigation systems instead of sprinklers. That way, we will eliminate a huge chunk of fertilizer production, saving money and reducing our carbon footprint. Find out more about their panel in Rome:

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  • A Healthy Lifestyle with Probiotics and Prebiotics

    The idea of food injected with microorganisms seems like a bad thing, right? Not always, says Julie Albrecht, Extension Food Safety Specialist. Probiotics and prebiotics, two forms of “good bacteria” have both been shown to have beneficial health effects for humans. Among other things, these benefits may include a reduction in allergy conditions, cancer risk, and stomach ulcers, as well as an enhancement of calcium absorption. To learn more about probiotics and prebiotics, and how they can help you, follow the link below:

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  • How to Harvest Dry, Edible Beans

    While the direct harvest of dry edible beans is not a new practice, producers in western Nebraska, northeast Colorado, and southeast Wyoming are still discovering the finer details that will make the system work well for them. In anticipation of this, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension has provided some helpful tips for harvesting in time for the bean growing system. These direct harvest practices include suggestions such as utilizing a disk drill with heavy openers to achieve proper planting depth, minimizing ridge size by using a wider pivot tire and directional watering, and leaving the soil surface as level as possible. To see the full list, click the link after the jump.

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  • UF/IFAS Study Shows Confusion Surrounding Added vs. Natural Sugar in Drinks

    A team from the University of Florida recently discovered that most people don’t know the difference between natural and added sugars. While “sugary” is usually a dietary guideline to refer to beverages with added sugars, many consumers were unable to distinguish between these and naturally sweet beverages like fruit juice. Even though consumers are shying away from sugar-heavy beverages, knowledge of the difference between natural and added sugar is key to dietary balance. Learn more about this survey, and how increased awareness can help, after the jump.

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  • ‘Rice-enomics’ in a Drought

    From an early age, George Tibbitts, a Colusa County farmer, has recognized the importance of cooperation between growers and researchers. Once George and his siblings bought out their old family farm, they implemented more modern practices and scientific innovation. In conjunction with the UC-supported Rice Experiment Station, George’s farm is now practicing sustainable rice farming. The key to this type of farming is water management, especially during the current drought. See what other type of modernization is happening on George’s farm, and how it is affecting the future of rice farming:

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  • On the Environmental Trail of Food Pathogens

    Cornell microbiologists are using big datasets to predict where the next outbreak of deadly food pathogens will be. To collect information for this, researchers are testing hundreds of bacterial samples from farms and forests across upstate New York to help identify locations that favor the bacteria. Traces of the lethal listeria bacterium have been found in about 33 percent of the samples taken from New York’s natural environments, and 34 percent of those taken from produce farms. Their next step is to combine large public datasets (digitized maps, weather data, etc.) with lab and testing data to minimize the presence of these bacteria strains, and ultimately improve food safety and quality.

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  • Using Prevention Methods to Fight Tree Diseases

    Since late winter is a good time to plant bareroot trees, the Oregon State University Extension Service is recommending implementing a preventative strategy now to hold off pest problems and fruit tree disease. It is important to be vigilant about removing dropped fruit and leaves that might be harboring pests, as well as spraying cracks and crevices to extricate pesky insects, fungi, and bacteria. Spraying in late fall to early spring has been shown to be more effective than waiting until the weather warms up and pests become active. Find out more about how to protect your trees from Oregon State University’s horticulturist expert Ross Penhallegon by following the link below.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Helping Those in Need Eat Healthy for the New Year

    In the state of Florida, recipients of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) now have access to a new program called Fresh Access Bucks. With this new program, SNAP recipients can double up to $20 of their assistance to buy healthy, Florida-grown fruits and vegetables. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Agent Robert Kluson is working hard to get farmers markets and low-income residents throughout Florida to participate in the Fresh Access Bucks program. As of now, there are 21 farmers markets in 12 Florida counties that are participating. The program began with the support of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block grant and Jane’s Trust, which is a non-profit agency. 

    Read more here!

  • $18.75 Million To Boost International Efforts

    Small farming households may be the key to fighting the widespread hunger problem. A new $18.75 million grant has just been awarded to UC Davis for their outstanding work in this field, particularly with optimizing small farming practices. In conjunction with the Horticulture Innovation Lab, UC Cooperative Extension has been working to solve agricultural problems and develop long-term relationships with other land-grant universities who provide research to the innovation lab. All the research is done under the umbrella of “Feed the Future”, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. This program supports a country-led approach to reduce hunger, poverty, and malnutrition by promoting growth in the agriculture sector. To learn more about “Feed the Future” and UC Davis’s contributions, click the link below the jump.

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  • UNH Scientists Successfully Grow Onions Overwintered in Low Tunnels

    As we get into the heart of a very cold winter, the demand for year-round produce is one thing that isn’t freezing over. Researchers with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station have developed an onion production model that is sustainable through the colder months, and will help farmers in more severe climates maintain productivity. The main components of the system are the low hanging tunnels that shelter the onion cultivars from the harsh conditions. Planted during the fall, these crops saw a survival rate between 65 and 100 percent. If growers are able to harvest and sell these onions during the winter, it would provide a great opportunity for direct-market sales. Learn more about the NHAES project below:

    Read more here!

  • NDSU Releases Two-rowed Barley Variety

    The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station has released a two-rowed barley line, dubbed ND Genesis. The high grain yield potential, increased resistance to net blotch, and good malt extract values of ND Genesis make it a viable replacement for the current barley type that is utilized throughout the craft brewing market. In addition, its large kernel size and low grain protein will be helpful in environments where moisture stress develops after heading. To learn more about ND Genesis, follow the link below:

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  • Eat More Carp

    If you can beat ‘em, then eat ‘em. That is the philosophy embraced by Mark Morgan, an associate professor at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri, in dealing with the spread of invasive carp in rivers throughout the Midwest. Mark and his team have identified and tested a commercially viable carp product, and are currently working on marketing it to grocers. It is important to prevent the spread of this invasive species as soon as possible, as it could very well choke out fish that are native to that area and collapse a multi-billion dollar fishing industry. To find out more about Mark’s work, follow the link below.

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  • Weighing Risks and Rewards, Pregnant Women Eat Less Fish

    Nowadays, most future mothers are aware of how certain foods can impact a pregnancy. Prevalent among these is the discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of eating fish. They are a primary source of omega-3 fatty acids, but certain types of contaminated fish have been shown to contain methylmercury, which is damaging during rapid brain development. When faced with conflicting information like this, researchers at Cornell University have discovered that pregnant women are more likely to focus on the potential risks than the benefits, and eat less fish. Changing the way the messaging is portrayed is the first step in encouraging pregnant women to eat more safe fish varieties. Find out more about Cornell’s research, after the jump:

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  • Walnuts Fight Cancer

    The fight against food fats has been gripping the nation lately. But we may be going a little too far. Researchers at UC Davis have been examining a food with a high fat content, walnuts, and have discovered that its benefits outweigh the risks. Paul Davis, a scientist and research nutritionist, has been testing the effect walnuts have on mice for some time now, and he has uncovered data that suggests walnuts may reduce cholesterol and slow prostate cancer growth. Even though results in mice don’t always translate to humans, Davis says his results suggest the benefits of incorporating walnuts into a healthy diet. Learn more about his research by following the link below:

    Read more here!

  • Oregon’s Working Landscape

    Everyone knows Oregon as one of the rainiest places in the United States, with some areas getting over 100 inches of rain annually. But did you know that all that rain gives Oregon the capacity to flourish as one of the most agriculturally productive states in the country? There are over 35,000 farms, 114,500 miles of rivers and streams, and forestland is responsible for 48% of the state’s land cover. It contributes greatly to the national output as its top agricultural commodities are greenhouse, cattle, and hay. To learn more about Oregon’s agricultural process and its working landscapes, follow the link below:

    Read more here!

  • Celebrate Soup Month With Comforting, Satisfying Soup

    It’s National Soup Month! In celebration, NDSU Extension Service has provided a recipe for a nutritious lentil-kielbasa soup. Research has shown that eating soup prior to your main dish affects the number of calories consumed during the meal. On average, participants in an NDSU study who ate soup before a meal consumed 20 percent less calories than those who didn’t. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, “soup preloading” may be the way to go!

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  • NDSU Releases ND Henson Soybean Variety

    The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station has released their new soybean variety, ND Henson, just in time for Soybean Sunday. ND Henson is intended to replace the NDSU-developed cultivar Cavalier due to its delayed maturity and increased yield rate. “With the growing problem of glyphosate-resistant weeds, there is a potential for a conventional soybeans, such as ND Henson, to be a good fit with marginal land situations and save on seed costs,” says Ted Helms, and NDSU soybean breeder. To learn more about this development, follow the link below:

    Read more here!

  • No-Till Ag May Boost Crop Yields

    The largest meta-analysis ever done in agriculture is finally wrapping up for UC Davis. The study concerns no-till farming, a popular conservation agriculture strategy that has long been promoted worldwide in an effort meet global food demand. The results of this analysis revealed that no-till farming negatively impacts yields on a global scale. Long considered the most sustainable form of farming, researchers now have to reconsider when and where to implement no-till strategies.

    Read more here!

  • Avocado Production in the San Joaquin Valley Gets Closer

    UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Mary Lu Arpaia is conducting research to bring avocados to the San Joaquin Valley. Avocados have had success in areas of mild climate, like San Diego and Ventura counties. California consumers favor Hass avocados, but these avocados can’t tolerate heat in the valley. Arpaia is testing different varieties that are comparable to Hass in taste and that can take the place of citrus trees that once thrived. She said, “In the San Joaquin Valley, water is relatively cheap and we have better water quality than San Diego County. If farmers have property where they can grow lemons, they could try avocados.”

    Read more here!

  • OSU Makes Sure Fancy Foods Are Safe To Eat

    Oregon State University Extension food specialists have begun to work with makers of specialty, high quality foods to ensure that their product is safe. This industry is growing, and given that specialty foods are more prone to contain exotic ingredients, most experts believe this is an area that needs to be addressed. Using pH probes, pasteurization vats, and many other dedicated tools, OSU specialists and their students are working to fix this problem before it spreads.

    Read more here!

  • Study: Small Doses Of Resistant Starch Make Big Difference

    A recent study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln food scientists has revealed that resistant starch carbohydrates have a positive effect on the fermentation of dietary fibers in the human body. According to the research, fatty acids stimulated by resistant starch influence the release of appetite-suppressing hormones and ease the digestive process. Even though finding high concentrations of resistant starch in natural sources is difficult, small intakes can have an effect on those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

    Read more here!

  • UK Partners With Community-Based Programs Working To Improve Access To Healthy Food

    According to the US Department of Agriculture, almost 50 million Americans experience food insecurity. The University of Kentucky and the Community Farm Alliance are collaborating on a research project that will begin to target food insecurity in Eastern Kentucky. Their research represents a growing awareness about local, healthy over the last several years. Ultimately, this will serve as both an economic and a humanitarian effort to boost the quality of life in Eastern Kentucky.

    Read more here!

  • Bitter Food But Good Medicine From Cucumbers

    Did you know that wild cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon, and squash are extremely bitter? The compounds responsible, called cucurbitacins, have been tamed before they reach your grocery store. However, recent studies have shown that cucurbitacins can kill or suppress the growth of cancer cells. Chinese researchers and UC-Davis professors have come together to test these compounds with the goal of understanding exactly how the process of domesticating cucumber genetics works. Not only will this open up approaches to developing other food crops, but it could also make it much easier to produce large enough quantities of cucurbitacins to use in clinical trials and potentially in medicine.

    Read more here!

  • One Fish, Two Fish ─ Camera Counts Freshwater Fish, Which Could Help Combat Hydrilla

    Previously unknown fish behavior is now becoming a thing of the past thanks to UF/IFAS scientists. They have been using cameras to document fish behavior in dense and invasive plants like hydrilla, and their approaches will likely be very valuable in advising conservation plans. Hydrilla has been a big problem for Florida, which spent $14 million a year throughout the 2000s to manage it. Now, however, researchers and conservation managers can use these cameras to get hard data on which fish area doing in areas densely populated by plants like this.

    Read more here!

  • $6.9 M to Fund Milk Research

    UC Davis is looking at the possible benefits that cow’s milk can have for both humans and the dairy industry. Taking the cue from breast milk research, researchers are focusing on “glycan” compounds that help good intestinal bacteria and are naturally found in milk. The research has just recently added a $4.2 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as well as a $2.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to its already long funding history.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Professor Shares Experience on USDA Organic Certification Process

    The Student Research and Education Gardens at New Mexico State University have been awarded an organic transitions grant from the USDA. This makes the first land that has been awarded to NMSU since 1888. Mark Uchanski, a professor with the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, says “Organic production is the fastest growing sector of New Mexico’s agricultural production and our students now have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what organic is, including how it compares to other systems, and this makes our students more knowledgeable and marketable.” Dive into a Q&A with Mark below.

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  • Expanding California’s Water Supply

    It’s no secret that California is in a drought. However, they may have just gotten a big break. The recent approval of a $7.5 billion water bill is raising prospects as well as capacity. It might not all be good news however; researchers with UC Davis found that the state can’t have more than a 15 percent increase in surface water storage capacity because of lack of water to fill it. The report encourages a more integrated approach to surface and groundwater water storage in the hopes of developing more sustainable water management strategies. Find out more about their research below.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Mind Your Portions This Winter

    As we get into the heart of winter, the temptations to grab an unhealthy snack can be high. Experts at the NDSU Extension Service want to caution you that the more sedntary lifestyle that comes with colder weather can be harmful. Prediabetes is a very real thing for a good chunk of the population, but with portion control and exercise, we can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Read more here!

  • AMTek Microwaves Lends Equipment for Research in Rice Drying, Processing

    For years, rice in the US has been dried using natural air in-bin, and heated-air, high-temperature cross-flow drying systems. That may soon change. Researchers at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are testing the effects of AMTek microwave-dried rice to prevent cracking and maintain milling quality. If the results prove promising, this may cut down on breakage, which would increase milling yield. Researchers also see the potential for disinfestation and decontamination using this technology.

    Read more here!

  • Stewards of the Land

    Agriculture is one of the backbones of American culture. It is becoming increasingly important to know the history and formulate strategies for cultivating future generations of farmers. Presented by Oregon State University Extension Service, hear, in their own words, what these farmers have to say about sustainable agriculture.

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  • Creating Cookbooks a Fun Way to Preserve Family History

    Everyone has that secret family recipe that has been passed down through generations. It’s always delicious, and all your friends ask for it. Cydney Martin, a home economist at New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service encourages people to collect those recipes and create a family heirloom cookbook. “Creating a cookbook is fun,” she said. “You can add family memories and stories, pictures and letters. It can be any theme. It could be what we had for Thanksgiving since 1960.” Not only is this a great way to record our cultural history, but it’s a useful thing to have on a cold day like today!

    Read more here!

  • New UC Studies Outline Costs of Growing Tomatoes Under Furrow and Sub-surface Drip Irrigation

    Two new studies from University of California Cooperative Extension examined costs and returns for growing transplanted processing tomatoes under furrow irrigation and sub-surface drip irrigation in the Sacramento Valley. Each analysis uses a hypothetical farm operation, under which researchers are able to devise potential profits. This new data will be very helpful for farmers and corporations planning to conduct operations in this region.

    Read more here!

  • Summary of University of California Research on Irrigation Management for Almond Trees Under Drought Conditions

    As the California drought continues, new research from the UC System provides the best way to manage irrigation for almond trees. It is a challenge to manage any orchard when the climatic water demand exceeds the water absorbed by the roots. It’s important to measure tree stress, and decide whether to adopt a moderate, severe, or “staying alive” drought strategy.

    Read more here!

  • Even Those Who Know Better Find Junk Food Irresistible

    Eating healthy isn’t easy, even for people who have been doing it their whole life. UC Davis recently conducted a study in which they found that nutritionally knowledgeable individuals reacted more positively to images of junk food than healthy food. Even though they are willing to give up junk food, they biologically struggle with the concept. These findings are important in shaping healthy eating campaigns aimed at people who are prime candidates for eating behavior change. Experts say that the promotion of healthy eating doesn’t recognize the powerful, positive physiological response many people have to high-calorie food. This study is proof of that.

    Read more here!

  • Local Wineries Say it’s a Vintage Year

    Oregon winemakers have had a near-perfect year in 2014 thanks to ideal weather conditions, says Oregon State University Extension Service. Many vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley are anticipating the quality and yield of wines made this way to be higher than usual. The economy is expected to benefit from the great year, though more competition between wineries is predicted.

    Read more here!

  • UK Plant Disease Research Finding May Benefit Humans

    Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment have found that plant lipids play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They also found that these lipids might possibly play a role in humans’ ability to fight diseases. Lipids are fats, oils or waxes, but it is galactolipids, lipids containing sugar galactose, that allows the plant to fend off secondary infections. Pradeep Kachroo and his wife, Aardra, the researchers who have been working on this study, are still trying to find out if these galactolipids work the same way in humans when it comes to disease resistance. You can get galactolipids just by eating plants, like spinach.

    Read more here!

  • A Numbers Game

    The journey from baby potato spuds to a fiber-rich meal can take a minimum of 12 years with Oregon State University’s potato breeding program. Once creating a versatile and flavorful baby potatoes, called miniature tubers, the best-looking ones are shipped out for purchasing. In the last four years, Oregon State’s program released 12 new varieties of the 30 that have been released since 1985. These varieties are now worth an estimated $600 million to Pacific Northwest growers.

    Read more here!

  • UK Plant Disease Research Finding May Benefit Humans

    Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment have found that plant lipids play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They also found that these lipids might possibly play a role in humans’ ability to fight diseases. Lipids are fats, oils or waxes, but it is galactolipids, lipids containing sugar galactose, that allows the plant to fend off secondary infections. Pradeep Kachroo and his wife, Aardra, the researchers who have been working on this study, are still trying to find out if these galactolipids work the same way in humans when it comes to disease resistance. You can get galactolipids just buy eating plants, like spinach.

    Read more here!

  • Regional Farmers’ Market Vendor Workshops Planned

    Farmers’ markets in Kansas stimulate the local economy. Because the number of active farmers’ markets in the state has grown from 26 in 1987 to 130 today, Kansas Department of Agriculture’s From the Land of Kansas trademark program has decided to conduct workshops for current or prospective vendors. The workshops have been taking place since January and go through the end of this month. Workshops will go over topics like vendor best practices, safe food practices, and sales tax and Kansas webtax online.

    Read more here!

  • Water: The Nutrient

    Water is an essential nutrient and is a vital link to life. It not only serves as the body’s transportation system, but also acts as a lubricant, participates in the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates body temperature. The University of Nebraska reports that each day, adults are suggested to take in six to eight glasses of water each day. Water can come from certain foods such as lettuce or celery, though the consumption of fluid is a necessity.

    Read more here!

  • Ever Strong: Program Encourages Strength Training as Part of Overall Health

    Strength training is just as important in your younger years as it is as you age. This type of exercise does not mean that you will get “bulky” if you don’t want to; rather, strength training simply helps you to maintain muscle as you age. Kansas State has published training videos on the Walk Kansas website, which details the eight-week fitness program designed to promote activity and better health for Kansas. About 16,500 people participate each year.

    Read more here!

  • Undergraduates Lend Their Hands to Fruit Research

    This year, undergraduate horticulture students at the University of Arkansas participated in research efforts at the Division of Agriculture’s Fruit Research Station. The students’ work helped advanced division research and breeding efforts to improve fruit production in Arkansas. Their research helped find results that correlated bacterial spot disease in peaches with genetic markers, which can help breeders make crosses to improve resistance.

    Read more here!

  • Date Labeling Confusion, Food Safety, and Food Waste

    Would you consume an expired product? While the answer to this question may be an easy one, the steps we take to get there are riddled with uncertainties. According to Alabama A&M Extension, the USDA has no standard uniform system for food dating. “Sell by”, “Best if used before”, and “use by” are three of the most common terms, but it can be difficult to separate the coding for each label. Fortunately, Alabama A&M Extension offers some helpful tips for preserving your food. Check them out below.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Experts Provide Guidance at Western Pecan Growers Conference, Trade Show

    This year, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service is set to lend their knowledge of pecans as they host the 2015 Western Pecan Growers Association conference and trade show. Topics such as interpreting soil and water analysis reports and lessons learned from the almond, walnut, and pistachio industry of Australia will be presented. “Pecans are very important, especially to Dona Ana County,” said John White, director of the association. We need to continue to build those international markets and it is important that our growers are knowledgeable on these marketing practices.”

    Read more here!

  • Alternative Uses Explored for Culled Sweet Potatoes

    Students as Mississippi State University are finding new ways to use culled sweet potatoes in the first Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge. These potatoes that never make it to market create a loss in income for farmers, but they are being given a second chance. Eleven of the 23 projects that were presented to judges will receive funding in order for the students to continue to develop their ideas.

    Read more here!

  • Snooze Your Way to Better Health

    North Dakota State University Extension Service has tips on how to get enough sleep each night, but they’ve also found research on how naps can offset the negative effects for when you can’t get enough sleep. Blood pressure, heart rate, and the immune system can all be negatively affected by sleep deprivation. Taking just a 30-minute nap can offset those effects.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Awarded Funding to Fight Citrus Greening

    Four studies aimed to help fight citrus greening at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have been awarded $13.4 million through the Specialty Crop Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Education (CDRE), made available through the Farm Bill. Citrus greening is a devastating disease for the $10 billion citrus industry in Florida. Some examples of the research that will take place include development of an environmentally safe, systematic bacteriacide and targeting the use of field trials.

    Read more here!

  • International Year of Soils Celebrates a Life-sustaining Natural Resource

    The USDA and the United Nations have named this year the International Year of Soils. Of the limited areas of productive soil available on earth’s surface, many are being threatened by urban development, poor soil management practices, and overgrazing. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is using the year to bring soil the recognition it deserves, as well as help promote policies to protect it.

    Read more here!

  • March, National Nutrition Month, is a Good Time to Learn How to Develop a Healthful Diet

    It’s National Nutrition Month! And to help prevent the spread of obesity, North Dakota State University Extension Service has provided some helpful tips for eating healthy. Even simple rules like including whole grains and adding lean protein can go a long way. See them all by clicking the link below.

    Read more here!

  • How Much Protein Do You Need?

    How much good are those protein shakes really doing you? North Dakota State University Extension Service recommends getting your protein in food form. It’s far tastier and packed with additional nutrients.Protein shakes are beneficial, particularly right after a work out, but once you get to a certain point, you body stops processing it.

    Read more here!

  • UK Soil Scientists Begin Cover Crop Research Project

    2015 is International Year of Soil! And what better time to rediscover an old practice than the 21st century? New studies have unveiled the forgotten value of cover crops. There is evidence that they have the potential to suppress weeds and keep nitrates out of the soil supply. As the project progresses, it will become clear what adjustments farmers need to make to maximize crop yields and returns.

    Read more here!

  • Drs. Angela Myracle and Renae Moran Have Been Awarded a State Agricultural Development Grant

    Plum production could soon be increased in the state of Maine thanks to the work of Dr. Angela Myracle and Dr. Renae Moran from the University of Maine. The two researchers were awarded an Agricultural Development Grant, which will help fund their project “Increasing Local Plum Production for Farm Market Diversification.” The project seeks to identify climate viable varieties of plums and to aid in diversifying tree fruit production.

    Read more here!

  • Another Reason to Drink Wine: It Could Help You Burn Fat

    A new study has shown that drinking red grape juice or wine could help people burn fat better. Neil Shay of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences was part of a team that exposed human liver and fat cells grown in the lab to extracts of four natural chemicals found in a dark-red grape variety. The team found that one of the chemicals boosted metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells, which could potentially improve overall metabolic function.

    Read more here!

  • Seed Treatments can Reduce Pest Battles as Crops Grow

    With all of the insects that feed on recently planted crops, it can be difficult for corn, cotton and soybean producers to achieve profits each year. Increasingly, seeds are being pretreated with insecticides. Don Cook, an entomologist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn and soybean insecticidal seed treatments have been used routinely in the state for the last decade. The question used to be whether or not producers treated their seeds; it is now about which one they want. Some people will buy corn with low rates of treatment; others will go to a midrate treatment. Regardless, seed treatments stabilize yields to some degree and minimize the amount of replanting.

    Read more here!

  • UC Scientists Helping Farmers Reduce Water Needs

    A team of UC researchers has helped the agriculture industry make do with less water by growing alfalfa, sorghum and corn under a center pivot irrigation system. The primary focus of the study is comparing regular irrigation levels with regulated deficit irrigation. Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and the project lead, predicts a 25 percent reduction of water used and an overall improvement of future water management strategies in California.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Research Helps Keep Seafood Safe and Sustainable

    Researchers at OSU have found ways to keep seafood fresh, safe, and abundant. First, they studied how to kill the group of organisms found in raw shellfish that can cause gastroenteritis. The method: subjecting oysters in the shell to very high pressure for about two minutes. Second, the team developed a coating to increasing the shelf life of fresh fillets and adds nutritious omega-3 fatty acids to less oily fish. The team also found a type of tuna with notably lower mercury levels than the rest. 

    Read more here!

  • New Mizzou Radar Will Improve Missouri Forecasts, Advance Climate Research

    A new Doppler weather radar will be raised at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ South Farm Research Center. The new radar will help Missouri’s central communities and provide forecasters an earlier look at developing weather. The project is funded by the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a program initiated to support fundamental research, education in science, technology, and engineering. With dual-poll technology, predicted precipitation amounts will be more accurate, as will the detection of tornados.

    Read more here!

  • Exercise for Dessert: Activity can Reduce Cardio Disease Risk for People with Diabetes

    A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology has found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal. The researchers at the University of Missouri found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood; however, participants who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels. The best results, however, were found in those who exercise daily. 

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Hosting One World Summit to Address Feeding the World’s Growing Population

    Through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Challenge 2050 Project, University of Florida Professor Tony Andenoro wants to help solve the problem of feeding the world’s population when it grows to 9 billion in 2050. Challenge 2050 utilizes research, leadership and education, and will be presented at the upcoming One World summit at UF and via the web. The summit is designed to bring together innovative thinkers to discuss new ideas that might, literally, save the world.

    Read more here!

  • MU Extension Offers Educational Grain Marketing Game

    For the second year in a row, University of Missouri Extension is hosting a “Show-Me Market Showdown” game that encourages farmers to improve their knowledge of grain marketing strategies and marketing plans. It is essentially a simulation in which players are provided a 10 week window to increase the value of their grain. “It is a risk-free opportunity to experiment with grain marketing tools and strategies,” says Mark Jenner, MU Extension agriculture business specialist. Hopefully this program will raise awareness about the difficulties of grain farming and stimulate support around the industry.

    Read more here!

  • Take Steps to Better Health: Walk Kansas

    Winter is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to lace up your running shoes and go outside! Kansas State Research and Extension is hosting “Walk Kansas”, and eight week program designed to promote better health and activity levels. With a total of 203,250 participants over the first 13 years, “Walk Kansas” is considered one of the most successful Kansas State Research and Extension programs in its history.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Do You Sit Most of the Day?

    How bad is sitting most of the time? Extensive research on the subject says it may be a lot worse than you think. North Dakota State University Extension Service published a paper that goes over stretches you can do while sitting at your desk that will prevent your heart from growing accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. 

    Read more here!

  • A Good Breakfast Every Day

    Don’t you hate that feeling when you know you’re going to be late to work? Even though you’re stressed, it’s important to try and grab breakfast before you run out the door. Research done by the University of Missouri suggests that those who habitually skip breakfast are more prone to developing cardiovascular problems as well as diabetes when they get older. Eating breakfast will also help regulate consistent glucose levels, which can affect your body’s ability to process protein. 

    Read more here!

  • Tomatillos Add Mexican Flavor to California Gardens

    Tired of your same old garden? The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources recommends you try growing tomatillos. They can add spice to every dish, and are vital to making salsas, pico de gallo, and traditional sauces like chili verde. They also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium, and are naturally low in calories. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Read more here!

  • Nine Arkansas Discovery Farms Demonstrate Impact of BMPs on Environment on Working Animal and Crop Operations

    In the past, Arkansas farmers have faced several environmental issues that inhibited their ability to do business. Now, with the implementation of Discovery Farms, farmers are more involved in resolving farm related environmental issues including water quality and quantity, irrigation water use and soil health, among others. These nine Discovery Farms are becoming increasingly central to best agriculture practices across the state.

    Read more here!

  • Tomato, Heal Thyself

    A University of Missouri research team has uncovered regulations that could lead to plants like tomatoes more ably fight off certain bacteria.It was originally thought that a plant used a specific, several-step process process when protecting itself against a bacterial attack. However, Mizzou’s research team found that these plants activate their immune system using three separate mechanisms. This discovery could help future researchers develop new ways to aid plants in their ongoing fight against bacteria.

    Read more here!

  • Subsurface Drip Irrigation Aims to Combat Water Resource Constraints

    More than 82 percent of the population in the Central Great Plains region could lose their primary water source if an alternative irrigation method is not found. Research on the issue that began in 1989 is now directed by researchers at Kansas State University. The project aims to increase water conservation, maintain water quality, and further develop subsurface drop irrigation technology. If irrigation trends continue to decline and an alternative method is not found and utilized, the Ogallala Aquifer could decrease by 69 percent in the next 50 years. 

    Read more here!

  • New Knowledge on Conservation Tillage Systems for California Tomatoes Indicates Cost Savings and Resource Conservation Benefits

    The tomato production industry in California is looking for new ways to cut rising fuel and labor costs. University of California researchers have been comparing standard till (ST) and conservation tillage (CT) systems in terms of economics, profitability, soil properties, and dust emissions through a tomato-cotton rotation. The study found that the CT system reduced the total number of passes over the field by an average of nine per year and showed an increase in profitability. In addition, the value of the savings from reducing labor and fuel prices will increase and greenhouse gas emissions will lower.

    Read more here!

  • Prevalence, Growth, Survival, and Control of Listeria Monocytogenes in Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Meat

    Listeria monocytogens are the pathogens that cause listeriosis, which, in mortality terms, is the second leading bacterial illness. The University of Maryland is doing research on these pathogens. The USDA and the FDA have published a risk assessment for L. monocytogens where they have found data gaps when it comes to ready-to-eat food, including crab meat. By studying how this L. monocytogens affects crab meat and creating a model to understand this pathogen’s behavior, crab processing plants could improve sanitation protocols to target the problem.

    Read more here!

  • Nutrition Classes Help Kansans Improve Health, Manage Disease

    Kansas State Research and Extension and Master Food Volunteers provided programs and workshops to educate Kansans on good nutrition. Programs included classes such as: Emotional Eating, Cook Once – Eat for a Month, and Dining with Diabetes. Following the program, 97 percent of a survey of 516 participants indicated that they had gained knowledge on eating healthy and improving their health.

    Read more here!

  • Workshop Set for Water Quality Professionals and the Public

    The University of Arkansas is hosting a five-day workshop reserved specifically for water quality modeling professionals. Researchers at the university have developed a modeling program to measure water quality and will use software created by the Centre for Water Research (CWR). The CWR hopes to optimize water quality, publish impact papers and produce quality post graduate students, and establish and maintain links with the industry through incorporated, transferable tools.

    Read more here!

  • Extension Programs Have Prevented the Establishment of High Priority Invasive Plants, Such as Yellow Starthistle, in Montana

    Thanks to a new program in Montana, thousands of dollars are being saved. The program seeks to detect and prevent invasive plants, and to inform Montana residents about what they should do if/when they find a new invader. Efforts are being made to spread the programs to managers and users of public lands. For every one dollar spent in preventing an invasive plant from becoming established, 17 dollars are saved that would have been spent in future management.

    Read more here!

  • Extension Website Encourages Oregonians to Eat Healthier

    OSU Extension Service created the website Food Hero. When OSU surveyed about 1,200 Oregonians eligible for federal food assistance, over 80% said they wanted to more balanced meals and nearly half wanted to find healthy food information online. As a result, Food Hero was created as a resource for affordable and easy recipes as well as cooking tips. The website is hugely popular with nearly 327,000 visits in 2013.

    Read more here!

  • USDA Partners with UK to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center

    The University of Kentucky will be partnering with the USDA to build the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center. Over 26 percent of children live in poverty in Kentucky alone and 85 percent of persistently poor counties in the US are in rural areas, making children one of the most vulnerable groups for food insecurity. The center’s purpose is to use solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in some of the poorest rural counties throughout the country.

    Read more here!

  • Development of Ethnic Vegetable Crops as Niche Market Cash Crops to Sustain Small Farms in Alabama

    New ways to stay ahead are constantly being developed, and in this case, it is all about ethnic vegetable crops. Non-traditional customers are looking for vegetables they grew up consuming in their home countries, and they are willing to pay premium. Some farmer groups have already begun featuring and growing these crops, many from India and China. Though production potential has been determined at the Alabama A&M University, there is still a need for determining the production economics and cost. Outreach strategies for this project will help improve the financial status and small- and medium-sized family farms.

    Read more here!

  • Grasscycling Can Help Californians Conserve Water

    Horticulture advisors at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources recommend “grasscycling” to conserve water. Grasscycling is the process of leaving grass clipping on the lawn, instead of removing them. Leaving the clippings reduces water evaporation and helps to cut down the need for fertilizer. It’s an easy way to help Californians meet their conservation goal.

    Read more here!

  • Montana 4-H STEM Programs

    Montana is one of the fastest growing states in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. However, middle and high school 4-H students often lack exposure to research and awareness of STEM careers. Montana State University created the BioScience Montana project in 2012 to bring science programs and mentors to students all over the state. Focusing on the development of STEM related career skills, the year-long program includes an intensive campus visit and online lab meetings. Following the program, participants’ interest in STEM increased.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Enjoy Spring With Regular Outdoor Walks

    Walking is an easy way to stay healthy, says a Food and Nutrition Specialist at NDSU Extension Center. Taking a walk can reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as many other diseases. A walk at lunch has also been seen to improve mental health in adults, and it allowed them to come back to their jobs more enthusiastic and relaxed. Walking doesn’t need any special equipment, but make sure you are wearing good walking shoes!

    Read more here!

  • K-State Supporting Local Food Efforts in Kansas Communities

    Gardening trends are on the rise, especially in Kansas communities. Agents and specialists from K-State Research and Extension play a key role in developing the 110 farmers markets and provide expertise to growers through classes, workshops, and conferences. Many individuals and families are improving their diets, trimming grocery budgets, and having fun thanks to vegetable, fruit, and herb gardening. 

    Read more here!

  • Alcorn State School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences Holds Seminar on History of African-American Farmers in the Mississippi Delta

    The Alcorn State University School of Agriculture looked back at the history of African-American farmers this past February. The presenter for the event was history instructor Donald W. Miller, who stressed that agriculture is the basis of our community and that historically, African-Americans have always understood its importance. Miller believes that proper education for African-American students at historically black colleges and universities will create the blueprint for the future. He emphasized that he wants his students understand that intelligence can go a long way.

    Read more here!

  • CSU’s International Center for Water Resources Management Participates in Ohio Research Project Concerning Algal Blooms on Lake Erie

    The arrival and toxicity of algal blooms on Lake Erie could be a thing of the past thanks to Central State University’s International Center for Water Resources Management. A series of research projects will use a dedicated $2 million in research funds. A number of researchers participating in the projects represent a number of University System of Ohio campuses. The Lake Erie group is hoping to find the best model to be able to predict the onset of the bloom—how soon, how late it will happen and at what level.

    Read more here!

  • Breakfast Skippers Should Gradually Increase Morning Protein Intake

    Researchers at the University of Missouri Agriculture Experiment Station did a study on young women who habitually skip breakfast and found that when they ate a high-protein breakfast, their metabolic responses were different than women who do habitually eat breakfast. Breakfast skippers experienced poorer control of their glucose throughout the day. High-sustained glucose levels can contribute to poor glycemic control, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Read more here!

  • Soil-based Recycling of Organic Waste for Crop Productivity and Environmental Health

    Chicken litter produced in Delmarva Peninsula is being used as an organic fertilizer. However, due to the high levels of Phosphorus it contains, local bodies of water are facing water degradation. The Delaware State University Agriculture Research Station has partnered with other groups, including Delaware Department of Agriculture, to develop better application rates of the fertilizer to avoid too much runoff into water bodies like Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.

    Read more here!

  • Farmer-to-Farmer Program Provides Agricultural Mentorship in Haiti

    Eight volunteers from Florida A&M University traveled to Haiti to train local small farmers on best agricultural practices and market development. FAMU’s Office of International Agricultural Programs donated seeds, fertilizer, and hand tools to stimulate growth for small farms. While farmers had not previously taken advantage of the opportunity for increased income through production of high-value vegetable crops, FAMU’s contributions now gives them a chance.

    Read more here!

  • Dial Up Food Safety Information With Free App

    If you’re still wondering if last week’s leftovers are still good or if that meat is cooked all the way through, you can now find out through a newly-developed app: FoodKeeper. Meant for those looking for food safety information, FoodKeeper is now available for free on Android and Apple devices. Developed by Cornell University, the app has a searchable database for more than 400 foods and includes storage timelines, cooking tips and other practical advice for those interested in learning about the keeping quality of their foods.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Feast Your Eyes on Eggs

    Though an egg a day is considered okay for your health, it is still important to consider the facts before consumption. Fortunately, eggs do not contain trans fat, the “nutrition villain” these days because it is linked to an increased risk for heart disease, more so than any other food component, according to NDSU. Not only are they without trans fat, but they are also an excellent source of protein, low in sodium, and they have been shown to reduce our risk for macular degeneration. Overall, eggs are a good decision for those worried about their health. 

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Be the Grill Master This Spring

    This spring and summer, be sure to be careful when cooking outdoors. Using a grill can be dangerous if not done right; fires can start, bacteria can remain in food, and unwanted guests can make camp during the winter. North Dakota State University warns us to be aware of the recommended cooking temperatures: burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and chicken and other poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Add plenty of fruits and vegetables (which are great grilled!) to your menu and make sure to thank your cook.

    Read more here!

  • Understanding Adolescent Health Needs

    The Kansas Adolescent Health Project Team at Kansas State University completed a study to discover health needs in adolescents and identify any barriers when it comes to adolescents receiving health care. The online survey and focus groups throughout the state, representing both youths and adults, showed that top issues included obesity, substance abuse, and overall stress. Barriers of receiving healthcare included: cost of services and adults being unaware of adolescent needs. The report is already being used to implement community initiatives and has been submitted to KDHE in hopes of receiving funding.

    Read more here!

  • FVSU Students Participate in Food Sustainability Symposium

    Professors and students from Fort Valley State University attended and participated in the 12th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium. This year’s theme of “Hungry Nation, Hungry: Engendering Healthy Sustainable Food Systems” examined the impact of race, class, and socioeconomics globally. It was also the symposium’s goal to discuss solutions to providing nutritious and safe foods to different cultures around the world, while keeping the foods culturally appropriate.

    Read more here!

  • Kentucky State Aquaculture Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

    Kentucky State University College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems Aquaculture Division’s Fish Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is saving the state a lot of money when it comes to the aquaculture industry. Healthy fish and high quality water are both needed to make a profit, and the Kentucky State University lab is there to diagnose fish pathogens and water quality problems. Immediate savings for Kentucky residents who benefit from the services the lab provides most likely exceeded $155,000.

    Read more here!

  • Mississippi State University Extension Professor Selected for National Project

    An assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Extension Service will serve as the chair of the chronic disease prevention and management action team for a larger, nationwide effort to improve health factors in the U.S. David Buys’ role as the Extension state health specialist gives him important insights to share with national leaders eager to address America’s growing health crisis. Action items include health literacy, positive youth development for health, health insurance literacy and health-policy issue education.

    Read more here!

  • Irrigation Research Delineates Tradeoffs in Fruit Quality and Yield

    In the southern San Joaquin Valley of California, minimum harvest standards for juice sweetness and fruit color for naval oranges are preventing production to reach their full potential. Advisors at the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources have developed and implemented a series of carefully monitored irrigation treatments that demonstrated that late season irrigation can save water, increase development of early fruit color and increased the concentration of soluble solids, such as sugar; however, water stress can generally reduce fruit size and yield.

    Read more here!

  • USDA and Tuskegee University Awards Langston School of Agricuture and Applied Science With Research Grant

    The Langston University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences has been awarded a $22,000 grant by the USDA and Tuskegee University for swine research activity. This is in response to a recent breakout of feral swine risks and damages to property, agriculture, natural resources, and human health. The USDA is hoping that Langston’s research will help our understanding of feral swine as well as provide outreach materials to farmers and ranchers.

    Read more here!

  • Vermont, Bread Basket of New England?

    Although Vermont used to be a place of high wheat production and indigenous knowledge needed to produce the crops, farmers are now requesting information about local grain production and seeds that can adapt to Northeast climatic conditions. The University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils program is working to focus on seeds and resurrecting wheat varieties. The program hopes to release a new commercial wheat variety in 2015 and will hopefully be able to diversify and market their products locally. 

    Read more here!

  • West Virginia State University Natural Resources Management

    New research at West Virginia State is focusing on identifying and developing remedies for the condition of local agricultural economies and environmentally friendly use of soil, water, and renewable resources in the Appalachia region. This research has uncovered the potential to mitigate the impact of storm water runoff on water quality, divert selected waste streams into valuable products to improve soil fertility, and improve productivity of disturbed areas and reclaimed land, among others.

    Read more here!

  • Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

    Numerous surveys conducted by the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) program have shown that pest management is one of the biggest problems facing vegetable growers in Missouri. LUCE’s Integrated Pest Management Program has developed several new tools to deal with this problem, including a method called trap cropping, which protects the more valuable crops from insect infestation. This tactic has already gained some traction among Missouri vegetable growers, and is showing tangible savings and reductions in operating time.

    Read more here!

  • Examining Dietary Habits of African American Families to Reduce Obesity

    North Carolina A&T researchers did some work within a church in Halifax County, which has the fifth highest obesity rate in the state, to find out how the availability of nutritious foods affect healthy behaviors. Using focus groups, they found the demographic factors and community play a large role in physical activity and eating patterns in children and families. The community is very small, poor, and predominantly African American. The research project has helped the community gain a greater awareness of healthy behaviors to reduce obesity.

    Read more here!

  • Adolescents Eat Better When Setting Guided Goals

    With almost eight hours spent on electronic media a day and less than two hours being physically active, today’s adolescents can have a harder time keeping a healthy lifestyle. UC Davis and Cooperative Extension researchers say that by using a behavioral strategy known as goal setting, eating and physical activity behaviors are expected to improve. Student choose personal motivators, then decide which of their weakest dietary areas they want to improve, based on a needs assessment. With this strategy, adolescents can develop lifelong healthy behaviors.

    Read more here!

  • Activity After Eating Can Reduce Cardio Risk for People with Diabetes

    Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease by exercising after a meal. Participants in a study performed resistance exercises before and after dinner on different days. Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, researchers found that the participants who exercised before dinner were only able to reduce the sugar levels in their blood, while those who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels.

    Read more here!

  • Ultra-High Resveratrol Specialty Peanut Seeds

    Who doesn’t love a nice salty bag of peanuts? The peanut industry is $4 billion conglomerate in the United States, but the barriers of entry limit production and trade to mega-farmers. Research scientists at Prairie View A&M University are looking to open up new avenues for more farmers by creating specialty peanuts with other nutritious added values. By using Resveratrol, the anti-oxidative nutritious constituent of peanut seeds, these researchers are furthering their work in sustainable cost-effective crop yield improvement.

    Read more here!

  • MSU Organic Farming Study Finds Diverse Benefits Using Sheep

    An MSU professor of land resources and environmental sciences is part of a research team working to enable farmers who grow organic crops to save money, reduce tillage, manage weeds and pests, and reduce the risk of soil erosion. The team placed sheep at the heart of the project, and by doing so, the MSU scientists were able to find out that an integrated cropping system that uses domestic sheep for targeting grazing is an economically feasible way of reducing tillage for certified organic farms.

    Read more here!

  • North Dakota Children are Banking on Strong Bones

    Thanks to the North Dakota State University Extension Service, the “calcium crisis” among children in elementary classrooms is finally being addressed. The program, Banking on Strong Bones, is based on MyPlate recommendations and is a multi-week effort that includes classroom nutrition lesson, educational materials, supplementary activities and taste testing. Following the program, about 51 percent of parents reported positive changes in their child’s eating habits as a result of this program.

    Read more here!

  • University of Maryland Extension Produces Award-winning Wines

    The University of Maryland’s College of AGNR’s viticulture (grape growing) and enology (winemaking) research has finally paid off. Out of the nine Extension wines that were entered in the 2014 American Wine Society Amateur Wine Competition, University of Maryland wines received five bronze medals, three silver medals and one “Double Gold” – the highest honor awarded by the judges. The Research and Extension program works with existing vineyard and winery owners to increase productions and improve the quality of wine throughout the state of Maryland.

    Read more here!

  • 1890 Research Awards University Faculty for Summer Research

    In order to further the cause of South Carolina State’s research mission to improve the quality of life in South Carolina, the Research and Extension program has awarded $30,000 in grant funding to faculty. The projects that this year’s funding focused on included examinations of African Americans attending secondary schools, inadequate study habits of post-secondary students, and environmental health hazard settings in child care facilities.

    Read more here!

  • Combating Childhood Obesity with Caregivers as Change Agents

    Louisiana is home to some of the unhealthiest youths in the nation, with 36% of 10-17-year-olds overweight. Also in Louisiana, 40.5% of African Americans are considered overweight or obese. Southern University Ag Center’s Nutrition and Health Program received a grant to combat childhood obesity. They conducted a study with 26 African Americans participants, in which the 15 participants in the treatment group drank Whey Protein shakes for breakfast for 24 weeks and lost a total of 190 pounds. This study shows promise in decreasing health risks and medical expenses related to obesity.

    Read more here!

  • Growers Find Perfect Fit With Farmer’s Markets

    For growers looking to find the ideal channel for small-scale producers to sell their crops, farmers markets are the way to go. Those who enjoy insect- and pesticide-free vegetables should turn to farmers like Leon Eaton, who sells his crops at farmers markets. Eaton grows tomatoes and other vegetables hydroponically on his Mount Olive, Mississippi farm without soil in a greenhouse. The interest in naturally grown produce has increased demand for locally grown crops, according to a Mississippi Extension specialist, and more local farmers are getting on board with the trends.

    Read more here!

  • UC to Study the Fate of Street Trees Grown in Increasingly Popular Bioswales

    To keep pollution out of the ocean and natural creeks, California city planners are building bioswales, shallow roadside basins designed to hold water as it slowly percolates into the soil can be delivered to waste water treatment plants. The UCANR California Institute for Water Resources this month announced a $25,000 grant to fund the performance of trees in bioswales and their potential damage to facilities from repeated removal and replanting. Data collection for the project will begin this month. 

    Read more here!

  • Eliminating Food Deserts

    Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. And one of the biggest factors behind this wave is the limited access to affordable, healthy foods. Food environments in Davidson County, the second largest “food desert cluster” in Tennessee, is being researched by Tennessee State University scientists. Their goal is to identify the most telling factors among availability, accessibility, and socioeconomic characteristics when determining the impact of the environment on the demand for healthy foods. If all goes according to plan, this research will help reshape behavior, affordability and availability of healthy foods.

    Read more here!

  • Nutrition, Fitness and Childhood Obesity

    Progression in the fields of health and wellness, consummate concerns for experts and the masses alike, is gaining traction at Tuskegee University. The Tuskegee University Nutrition, Fitness, and Childhood Obesity program is zeroing in on to promoting healthy lifestyles, while aiming at several distinct subsets. Among others, these include increasing awareness of health risk factors, prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, and reducing health disparities. The widespread nature of this program is just one of the many ways TU is making significant contributions to Alabama.

    Read more here!

  • MSU Extension Integrated Management of Agricultural Weeds

    The costs of weed management across Montana is rising. To raise awareness, Montana State University’s Extension program developed 23 outreach presentations related to agricultural weed management. The topics addressed included sustainable agriculture, cropping system diversification, pest management, and farmer networks. The evaluations of the presentations have been very positive.

    Read more here!

  • Area Commercial Vegetable Production Clinic Set for April 10 in Marianna

    Recently, a local vegetable clinic from Arkansas educated local commercial farmer about crop disease risks, weed and insect control in vegetables, U.S Department of Agriculture agencies’ updates and production information for various crops. This was one of a number of programs the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension has hosted lately; the hope is that events like this will help stimulate the local agriculture economy and raise interest in gardening in general.

    Read more here!

  • Towards Environmentally Conscious Precision Agriculture

    After extensive research and testing, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore has adopted a new farm input management system on their research complex. It utilizes precision agriculture, yield monitoring, and remote sensing. A cost-benefit analysis showed that the conjunction of these three practices yielded an optimum management strategy to increase efficiency and reduce environmental effects. Researchers have since developed a set of procedures for farm operators to utilize these platforms for day-to-day activities.

    Read more here!

  • Edamame to the Rescue?

    Before the tobacco quota buyouts of 2002 and 2004, tobacco had been a big pillar of Virginia agriculture. Now, researchers at Virginia State University have identified vegetable soybean (edamame) as a potentially profitable option for former tobacco farmers. Similar to tobacco, edamame can potentially, with proper marketing, emerge as a lucrative cash crop. With help from VSU and the Virginia Tobacco Commission, tobacco is emerging as a specialty crop in Virginia.

    Read more here!

  • MSU Extension Integrated Management of Agricultural Weeds

    Montana is experiencing increased costs associated with weed management techniques. MSU Extension’s cropland weed specialist has devised numerous ways to raise awareness of the need for collaboration on this effort. At the Montana USDA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Professional Development Program, attendees discussed crop system diversification, ecologically-based pest control, and farmer networks. These means of communication could improve weed management state-wide in the future.

    Read more here!

  • Growing Figs in Alabama

    In Alabama, home grown figs are no longer a thing of nostalgia. More and more residents are growing fig trees and making preserves, just like Grandma’s. Fig trees can produce three crops a year on the Gulf Coast. They do not require cross-pollination and are self-fruiting, making for very low maintenance plants. Fig trees should be planted in late winter or early spring and require full sunlight and lots of space, say Alabama Extension experts. They can grow anywhere from 5 to 10 feet tall.

    Read more here!

  • UMD Researchers Help Develop Open-Source ‘Plant Library’

    Researchers at the University of Maryland recognize that the threat of endangered plant species is a growing problem. To combat this, they are pushing for an open-source online database of nearly 600 plant species and research. One UMD student contributed data on 217 species. This database will allow scientists to make comparisons across species and regions to tackle global-scale issues.

    Read more here!

  • Improving Access to Healthy Food

    Michelle Worosz, an associate professor at Auburn University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, is working to solve problems affecting food access, nutrition, and education across the state of Alabama. She is helping students understand how the American food system functions and changes due to social processes. Students complete a semester-long project that teaches them how complicated it is to get food from farm to table. Worosz and her coworkers are also addressing the system’s shortcomings. They learned that the matter of how much food is available and how easily people can get it is one of Alabamians’ main concerns. Knowing this strengthened Worosz’s desire to increase food security and and provide economic opportunities to rural communities. Worosz was one of a small group who established the Alabama Food Policy Council in 2012. She has been conducting extensive research with colleagues and students, but still thinks she has a long way to go.

    Read more here!

  • UC Researchers Awarded Nearly $2 Million For Childhood Obesity Prevention Project

    The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Berkeley School of Public Health have been awarded $2 million to create technology that can be used in public middle and high schools to prevent childhood obesity. The San Francisco Unified School District will be using “SmartMeal,” a virtual menu filled with healthy options that students can order on iPads for lunch. Sixty percent of the district’s students are eligible for the free lunch program. Improving the diets of these low-income youth is essential in reducing the risk of childhood obesity, and school meals are a critical part of their overall nutrition. The program will be using mobile food carts and vending machines stocked with healthy options, and an app that can be used to pre-order meals to increase convenience. These practices are expected to improve student participation.

    Read more here!

  • Getting Down With Soil Scientists

    Oregon State University soil scientists are looking below the surface to find out more about soils. James Cassidy, one of OSU’s soil detectives, led a team of students in soil judging. The group stood in a six-foot deep hole the size of a car and had less than an hour to decide what the soil would be best used for. There are layers, colors, textures, smells, and even tastes. Soil can be used just like DNA in crime investigation with one billion types of bacteria per teaspoon. Looking this closely at soils can give farmers better insight into the best type of soil for specific crops. Bacteria found in soil may be able to generate electricity, degrade pollutants in the air, and even make antibiotics.

    Read more here!

  • Foaling Fearless

    University of Maryland animal science students spent all night waiting for the birth of a filly in the Campus Barn on March 30th. When they noticed the mare going into labor, they raced to her side, and luckily so, because the filly was unable to breathe. Students and faculty jumped into action just as the filly began having seizures. They administered oxygen while they waited for an equine veterinarian to arrive on the scene. With the help of a professional, the students were able to stabilize the foal and transport her to an intensive care unit at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Medical Center. The filly experienced neonatal maladjustment syndrome, which cannot be diagnosed before birth. She received the necessary treatments and therapies and will continue to be cared for by the students.

    Read more here!

  • New Olive Disease in Italy Concerns California Researchers

    Olive trees in southern Italy are experiencing quick-decline syndrome, which has California olive farmers very worried. The symptoms include leaf scorching, twig and branch dieback and, ultimately, tree death. The plant pathogen thought to be responsible, Xyllela fastidiosa, was found in Europe for the first time in 2013. Researchers in California are worried because this bacteria has been found in California olive trees for the past 100 years, but has not caused disease. Xyllela fastidiosa was found in diseased Italian olive trees, but the cause cannot be identified yet. There are many subspecies of this bacterium that cause a wide range of different diseases. This particular strain of Xyllela fastidiosa has different affects on olive trees in California and Italy. In California, the symptoms are much more subtle than in Italy. However, similar symptoms are being reported in California olive trees with no trace of Xyllela fastidiosa. The constant movement of plants across international borders will make finding the answer difficult, but Elizabeth Fichtner, an olive crop expert UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, is working closely with the USDA to facilitate early detection.

    Read more here!

  • Getting On The Hummus Bandwagon

    Virginia State University Agriculture students are investigating better ways to make, package, and store hummus. Hummus is a growing industry in the US with sales reaching nearly $530 million over the past couple years. Students began research into the best ways to process chickpeas into hummus. Their research concluded that pressure-cooking was the best production method because it kept the highest nutritional quality and the most functional properties in the chickpeas. The use of modified atmosphere packaging is also undergoing experimentation. This new process could extend the shelf life of hummus.

    Read more here!

  • A Better Understanding of Plant Immune Response Could Lead to Better Crops

    Students at the University of Missouri have discovered new regulations of defense pathways for plants. Their findings could lead to plants like pear trees, roses, soybeans, and rice being able to fight off certain bacteria. The MU researchers found that if the plant is exposed to a bacteria, it activates three separate parts of its immune system. Each part must have the right amount of immune receptors in the right place in order to respond correctly. The plant can only administer the appropriate immune response if the combination is perfect. This new information could allow researchers to develop stronger strategies for plants to fight off diseases.

    Read more here!

  • New Problems on Parsley Studied by UC Researchers

    Recently, California parsley plants have been experiencing unfamiliar diseases. Parsley growers do not have the resources to address these issues, so the UC Cooperative Extension in Monterey stepped in to help. Through collaborations with farmers and pest control specialists they obtained samples and began experiments. The lab was able to identify several pathogens that were responsible for the damage to parsley crops. With the help of the USDA, researchers characterized the discovered pathogens. Bacterial leaf spot, Stemphylium leaf spot, and Apium virus Y disease were all found in the California parsley. These findings will help growers to manage field problems in the future. The UC Cooperative Extension was able to help parsley growers farm smarter while stopping the use of ineffective chemicals and saving costs on proper prevention and treatments.

    Read more here!

  • New Study Focuses on Food Safety Practices on Small and Medium-Size Farms

    University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources students are conducting a 12-month study on small and medium-sized commercial farms in order to identify food safety best practices. These organic and conventional farms sell directly to consumers at farmers markets and farm stands. Raising livestock and growing produce on the same farm presents certain challenges from a food safety perspective. The study was conducted to formulate and implement scale-appropriate approaches to reduce the risk of pathogen contamination in family farms, while still keeping them efficient and economically viable. UCANR researchers will visit the California farms and collect samples of produce, water, compost, and livestock waste for bacteria testing. The findings will be posted anonymously and shared with agricultural community through workshops and training sessions.

    Read more here!

  • New American’s Integrate their Culture to Vermont Farming

    Vermont is currently experiencing an influx of migrant workers. The draw to Vermont is the availability of land and access to healthy, inexpensive food that they can eat themselves and sell for a profit. The University of Vermont has created a New American Farmer program to meet the demand for the new refugees’ farming needs. The program conducted a survey to identify future needs for land and technical assistance. Interpreters were hired to improve communication and increase access to support. Workshops and discussion groups were implemented to identify best marketing strategies and niche markets. New American Farmer has led to more than 50 farmers being able to adapt to Vermont’s climate and establish productive farms. These farming communities let migrant workers stay in touch with their culture and community, while also continuing their trade and saving money.

    Read more here!

  • Cows Fed Flaxseed Produce More Nutritious Dairy Products, Says OSU Study

    Typical dairy cow feed is made up of corn, grains, hay, and grass. While inexpensive, this mix leads to a fairly innutritious dairy. Oregon State University students conducted a study that involved feeding flax seed to cows to improve dairy content. The cows were fed varying levels of flax seed to find the sweet spot – not too much and not too little. At six pounds of seed per day, saturated fat dropped and poly-unsaturated fat and omega-3 levels rose. Cows produced the same amount of milk during the feeding and refrigerated butter got softer. While this may raise dairy prices slightly, research shows that consumers are already willing to pay more for vitamin-enriched foods. The best part? Cows ate the flaxseed like it was candy.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Included in Three-State Initiative to Reduce Childhood Obesity Along U.S.-Mexico Border

    New Mexico State University is teaming up with two other schools to find an end to childhood obesity. They are going into the community level to find out what is causing the alarming numbers. The students’ research will lead to education programs on safe outdoor spaces and healthy food practices and options for families in low-income Hispanic neighborhoods. Discussion groups will be implemented to find out how families believe they can best prevent childhood obesity. By looking at their research along with other successful obesity prevention programs, New Mexico State University students will be able to intervene and educate about proper nutrition, physical activity, and decreased screen time among children.

    Read more here!

  • Grilled Asparagus Adds Variety, Nutrition to Menu

    Food and Nutrition Specialists from North Dakota State University Extension encourage you to add more asparagus to your diet while the vegetable is in season. Asparagus is rich in B vitamins and folate, which can prevent birth defects, and potassium, a vitamin muscles need to contract properly. A cup of asparagus yields only 25 calories, but it contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, vitamins C, K, and A, and thiamin. The vegetable can be prepared by steaming, microwaving, or stir-frying, but grilling this healthy green during the summer months is recommended.

    Read more here!

  • Mechanism Outlined by Which Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

    A team from Oregon State University has found that a diet deficient in Vitamin E may cause neurological damage. In work conducted on zebrafish, they found that a Vitamin E deficiency robs the brain of key substances needed for sufficient brain health. Without the help of Vitamin E, the body is at a higher risk of neuronal death, cellular membrane damage, and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Although Vitamin E can be found in dietary oils, such as olive oil, the most Vitamin E-rich foods, such as avocados or sunflower seeds, are not a regular component of the American diet, resulting in a mass Vitamin E inadequacy among the U.S. population.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU’s College of Ag Outstanding Senior is Paving Her Path to Success

    New Mexico State graduate student Jacqueline Alford has proven that hard work and dedication will not go unnoticed. Named last year as an Outstanding Senior of the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Alford is now a graduate student studying ruminant nutrition, aiming to expand on her undergraduate animal sciences education. Alford explains that she ran into some challenges in her undergraduate years, but she feels that they’ve all helped her get to where she is today.

    Read more here!

  • Keep Stored Grain Cool and Dry During Summer

    As the summer begins, a North Dakota State University Extension Service grain expert says that stored grain needs to be kept cool and dry over these next few months. Keeping the grain cool will help reduce both insect infestations and mold growth. Grains should never be warmed to average outdoor air temperature; insect infestation can occur quickly and in less than a month you could have a major infestation. Reducing grain temperature below 70 degrees will lessen insect reproduction and activity. During the hot and humid summer, it’s important to regularly check the grains and make sure they are stored at the right temperature.

    Read more here!

  • Milk Provides Great Taste, Good Health Benefits

    Turns out your parents weren’t lying to you all those years they made you drink milk for “healthy bones.” According to Mississippi State University Extension Service, milk is, in fact, a fantastic source of protein. The protein in milk provides nutrients that your body needs to support healthy bones along with necessary carbohydrates the body needs for energy. For those who are lactose intolerant or looking to eliminate dairy for health reasons, there are many options. Goat milk is a healthy alternative as it contains similar nutritional benefits to cow milk. For those health conscious consumers, looking at fat content and added sugar provide important selling points. Simply buying skim milk reduces calories to only 80 per cup while eliminating all fat. And as we all know, the nutritional benefits of milk are imperative to a healthy body.

    Read more here!

  • After a Flood, Think Food Safety

    Kansas State Research and Extension experts commented on the Olathe flood by advising the importance of food safety. The water is often contaminated, which could lead to sickness. In an interview, K-State researcher Londa Nwadike suggested throwing out all damaged food, with the exception of commercially produced products such as cans or retort pouches, unless they are damaged as well.

    Read more here!

  • Baby Boomers Dance and Cook Their Way to Health in New OSU Program

    Nourishing Boomers and Beyond is a four part program created by Oregon State University Extension services. Extension family and community health educator, Glenda Hyde, started the course and has high hopes of the program developing in other countries. The program was created to help Baby Boomers take preventative action against chronic disease. It helps rejuvenate parts of the brain, skin, digestive system and heart, by activities such as dancing, cooking, and creating theraputic facial masks.

    Read more here!

  • UK Helps Study Troublesome Insect in Oman

    The University of Kentucky has been awarded a grant to help solve the dubas bug outbreak in Oman. They use their high-tech gut content analysis lab to figure out the bug hierarchy. This way, they can then control and effectively prevent the dubas bug from ravaging the date palm plantations of Oman. Research conducted on infestation preventation is a great tool for agriculturists to have at their disposal.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Aggies Go Global Students Learn About Water Issues in India

    Aggies Go Global funded a trip for 10 New Mexico State University students to travel to India and research water-based issues. Most of the students were drawn to the case due to interest in the field of water conservation. NMSU is pointedly attempting to secure valuable experiences for their students, particularly in regards to detrimental agricultural issues.

    Read more here!

  • Protein: Essential Nutrient Needed Daily

    Alabama Extension’s regional nutrition agent, Helen Jones, has reached out to the public with some helpful nutrition tips. Protein is essential for your health and is significantly improved when consuming the correct amount daily. Serious health issues arise when you have a deficiency of protein. Everyday food, including grains, eggs, and dairy products will give you a sufficient amount to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Proteins will greatly increase your energy level and give you strong bones, but most importantly, it will help your body maintain optimal health.

    Read more here!

  • Eating Breakfast Increases Chemical That Regulates Cravings

    University of Missouri researchers have devoting some time recently to exploring the causes of obesity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided information on the chemical dopamine in relation to obesity control. People who eat a protein-rich breakfast do not usually have the tendency to overeat. However, in a recent study conducted by Mizzou, the results show that people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat, have immense sugar cravings, and cannot easily activate dopamine in the brain. All of these factors may eventually lead to obesity. In their research, it was found that eating breakfast would help prevent obesity.

    Read more here!

  • Center for Diversified Farming Systems

    The University of California at Berkeley has developed a center for diversified farming systems. They research how different forms of agriculture affect society and the enviornment. Right now they are researching how to diversify food systems. The Berkeley Food Institute has also conducted research on ecology and agricultural sustainability while comparing it to governance institutions and policys. It’s evident that they are striving to improve the agriculture industry by developing the most efficient food and farming systems.

    Read more here!

  • Prairie Fare: Is it Time For an Oil Change in Your Recipes?

    North Dakota State University’s Julie Garden-Robinson calls for a higher use of oils. She explains that using oils in cooking and baking is a healthier alternative to using shortening or other solid fats. Oils are, however, more likely to become rancid quicker, so she explains that the most effective way to use them is to buy it only in quantities that will be used within a few months. There are different types of oils, but monounsaturated oils are the most heart healthy. She also includes a recipe for a homemade olive oil baed salad dressing.

    Read more here!

  • Chesapeake Bay Visitors Credit Arkansas Research With Moving Water Quality Science Forward in U.S.

    Ann Swanson, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and Rona Kobbell, environmental reporter with the Cheseapeake Bay Journal, visited Jeff Marley on an Arkansas Discovery Farm, to learn about the most effective management of phosphorous. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is listed as one of the nation’s leading experts in phosphorous regulation research.

    Read more here!

  • UK Receives Grant to Empower Urban, Homeless Youth

    A team of University of Kentucky researchers aiming to reach out to homeless or unstable youth have received a five-year grant on behalf of the Children,Youth and Families at Risk program in the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The team will collaborate with YMCA’s Safe Place Services to offer housing, food, transportation, counseling, and other rehabilitative services to local youth in need.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Scientists Invent Rain-Resistant Coating That Cuts Cherry Cracking in Half

    Oregon State University researchers have developed a new bio-film to be sprayed on cherries to prevent cracking during the rainy season. Half of an entire crop of cherries can crack if it rains an unusual amount during growing season. The SureSeal film can cut 50% of the breakage, which would save an entire crop every season.

    Read more here!

  • Moving Levees Can Increase Groundwater Supply

    Researchers at UC Davis have shown that removing some levees or rebuilding aging ones some distance away from riverbanks will allow California to store more groundwater and fight against drought. California currently endures yearly droughts, and storing groundwater will likely be an important factor in fighting back. Installing setback levees could be a costly resolution, but it might be necessary given the current state of water in California.

    Read more here!

  • Devastating Citrus Greening Disease Targeted by USDA Grants

    Thanks to a $30 million grant from the USDA, research at UC Davis is looking in to ways to prevent citrus greening disease. This disease has the potential to disrupt the current citrus market. UC Davis, in collaboration with other schools, is making serious progess to eliminate one of the biggest threats to this industry.

    Read more here!

  • Interest in Canola Increasing in Kentucky

    A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scientist and a consultant agronomist have been working hard with farmers and consultants throughout Kentucky who are interested in canola farming. It is important to do thorough research on canola, as the process is much different from the corn, soybeans and wheat rotations farmers are more accustomed to. The reserachers are ensuring that interested farmers grasp how to make the most out of their production, both agronomically and economically. As Kentucky is a no-till state, they are actively researching a solution to grow canola without the tilling process.

    Read more here!

  • Be a Smart Water User During the Summer

    Mississippi prides itself on their beautiful landscape. However, what they hold in higher regard is their ability to conserve water during hot summer days. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that approximately 29 billion gallons of water is used or wasted daily. Almost 30 percent of that water goes toward outdoor usage. Mississippi State University Extension Services suggest several easy ways to protect your plants and soil, and stop pollution in streams, rivers, or lakes. The effort towards saving water is gaining popularity among the public. Among other things, it reduces the need for fertilizer, pesticides, and maintenance.

    Read more here!

  • New UK Certification Program Targets Wine, Brewing, Distilling Industries

    At the University of Kentucky, students can now take a course related to wine, brewing and distilled spirits. The students will learn and apply the concepts of the brewing, wine and distilled products industry. The program’s objective is not just to offer an education on the current concepts, but also to instill key technical methods and analytical skills in their students. They will be well versed in the history of wine, beer, and distilling, particularly in relation to human culture.

    Read more here!

  • Actions, Inactions Impact Soil Health

    A soil specialist from Mississippi State University Extension Service tells us that soil must be kept healthy to make efficient use of inputs like fertilizers. It is an organism, above all, to be kept alive. Soil scientists from the MSU Agriculture and Forestry department agree. If we keep soil healthy, it will reduce the use of fertilizer and other processed chemicals used to grow a successful crop, as well as reducing the cost. A more efficient use of nutrients in the soil and improved use of soil water should improve profitability and ultimately keep the soil healthy.

    Read more here!

  • High-Density Planting of Avocados Boosts Yield

    The University of California helped grow the the avocado industry this season. The UC Agriculture and Natural Resource department conducted a study on high density planting by increasing per-acre yield of avocados, with promosing results. Not only is avocado production increasing, but now more farmers are staying in buissness. The success of the study increased avocado production for most farmers from an average of 7,000 pounds per acre to 13,000 pounds per acre.

    Read more here!

  • With a Little Care, Blueberries Sweeten The Garden for Decades

    Not only do blueberries have a sweet flavor, but they are high in antioxidants and help protect your body against free radicals and disease, as well. If you plan on adding blueberries to your garden this year, berry specialists from Oregon State University’s Extension Service have some tips. For example, it’s always best to plant more than one variety of blueberry. Also, when choosing a site, avoid areas surrounded by trees. Berries grow best in well drained, light, sandy loam that is high in organic matter. Blueberry plants also need a lot of sunshine and have specific requirements, but if properly treated can live up to 50 years. That’s half a century of blueberries!

    Read more here!

  • Don’t Look to Crickets to Feed the World Just Yet, Study Cautions

    What do you crave when you’re hugry—fries, pizza, chocolate? What about crickets? Most people would say no, but many studies have been done to prove the nutritional benefits of crickets. Agronomists at the University of California Davis Cooperative Extension have research in this same vein. Some have hypothesized that one day crickets could globally replace livestock as sources of protein for the human diet, but UC Davis believes this is a long way off, seeing as new innovation is necessary before this could be a realistic alternative. The ultimate goal is to develop a cost-conscious solution to feeding insects off of organic waste and side streams—something concluded by agronomists and UC Davis entomologists after conducting a study to test different dietary options and the subsequent ability to harvest the crickets for human food.

    Read more here!

  • Farmers Market Resource Available

    Farmer’s Markets are a tradition marking the beginning of spring and summer in most states. Thanks to the Kansas State Research and Extension service along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, an updated “Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices” is now available for new and veteran farmers market vendors of Kansas. The purpose of this guide is to ensure the safety of the food being bought and consumed as well as the reputation of the vendors and the farmers market as a whole. The updated guide is available for free download at Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices.

    Read more here!

  • New UNH Summer Camp Teaches High School Students About Agricultural Science

    New England area high schoolers who are interested in learning about agricultural science can attend a new summer camp offered by UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. The camp runs from August 2-8, and participants must be between the ages of 15 and 17. This camp will educate students about agriculture and its relationship to the natural and human-impacted environment . “Our goal is to expose high school students to the exciting worlds of agricultural and environmental sciences. Students will learn a great deal about their local food system and what processes are in place that enable food to arrive to their plates each day,” says Andrew Ogden, a horticulture expert at UNH and organizer of the camp.

    Read more here!

  • 4-H Members Tour 3 Countries Without Leaving MSU Campus

    50 youth Mississippi State University 4-H members taking part in the State 4-H Congress toured Kenya, India and Japan without leaving their campus. The 4-H pledge includes commitments for the club, communities, country, and the world. Representatives from each of these countries hosted tour groups in three separate rooms. In each room, the representatives were dressed in outfits from those countries and offered samples of authentic foods and teas. MSU students responded positively to this cultural experience, especially since most of them said they have an interest in traveling the world. 

    Read more here!

  • Understanding Gluten

    The gluten free diet has been all the rage the past couple of years, and many of those who maintain it do so without fully understanding the benefits and consequences. A human nutrition, diet and health specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service spoke to the health benefits and consequences of gluten. Many Americans are forced to abide by gluten free diets due to allergies and intolerance to the substance, and as a result, many have trouble getting the proper nutrients as well as meeting dietary recommendations regarding wheat intake. In addition, gluten free foods also happen to contain a much higher content of saturated fat, calories and sodium, making them not as healthy as many might think. So, when looking to get healthy by taking on a new diet sans gluten, take a minute and do your research—understanding the benefits and consequences are just as healthy of a decision as deciding to cut gluten out in the first place.

    Read more here!

  • Mulching Tips for Shrubbery in the Home Landscape

    During the hot and dry summer, mulching not only retains soil moisture; it will suppress weeds and prevent crusting of the soil surface. A regional grounds agent with Alabama Extension suggests that mulching material should be applied to provide a three inch depth after settling. However, depending on the texture of the soil, this depth may vary.

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Researchers Demonstrate Winter Greens can be Grown in New Mexico

    The demand for nutritious and affordable local food is rising in New Mexico. The main cause of this is their traditional scarcity during the winter. NMSU Extension’s agricultural agents are promoting the extension of growth season by using economical heated hoop houses. The hoop houses have given farmers up to four more months for their growing season.

    Read more here!

  • Stem Counts Help Assess Alfalfa Stand Potential

    Every spring, alfalfa producers experience winterkill to their crop – particularly in stands that are older, and less winter hardy. NDSU reports on how to tell whether a stand will be good enough to keep. The article explains that one can assess stand yield potential by measuring stem density by square foot. Over 55 stems indicates that density will not be a limiting factor, between 40-55 stems indicates that some yield reduction is likely, and under 40 stems suggests that the stem may need to be terminated. It also offers short and long-term solutions, such as planting a fast-growing annual forage, or inter-seeding with perennial grasses.

    Read more here!

  • On Planes, Savory Tomato Becomes Favored Flavor

    Cornell reports that loud environments may affect sense of taste. They conducted a study that tested whether airplane food compromised passengers’ palates. The research found showed that louder volumes, such as those on an airplane, result in a preference for umami-flavored foods. The study may result in airlines adjusting their food options to enhance the umami flavors and result in better on-board food.

    Read more here!

  • Farming for the Future

    Noe Noe Lwin, a graduate student at Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences is conducting extensive research on innovative aquaculture practices. She is researching a new feed and diet practice for farm-raised mangrove crabs, hoping to eventually test several popular aquaculture ingredients to ensure that her new formulations meet the crab’s dietary needs. Her long-term goal is to manufacture the feed, and conduct trials to determine which formula results in the fastest growth and survival rates.

    Read more here!

  • Soybean Yield Calculator: A New Mobile App from K-State

    Kansas State University has released a mobile Android app for estimating soybean yields before harvest. Users input plant population, pods per plant, seeds per plant, and seed size for the app to calculate the predicted yield. Downloads are free, and available on the Google Play website.

    Read more here!

  • MU Extension Offers to Help Reduce Atrazine Runoff

    Water quality specialist Bob Broz says that corn farmers may want to look into reducing atrazine runoff after this spring’s heavy rainfall. Some of the tips he offers are to consider applying atrazine at lower rates, take note of the weather so that atrazine can be applied at least two days before rainfall, and to understand the soil type. MU Extension also created and released a DVD and Powerpoint presentation that helps farmers learn ways to reduce runoffs.

    Read more here!

  • New UK Certification Program Targets Wine, Brewing, Distilling Industries

    At the University of Kentucky, students can now take a course related to wine, brewing and distilled spirits. The students will learn and apply the concepts of the brewing for the wine and distilled products industry. The program’s objective is not just to offer an education on the current concepts, but also to instill key technical methods and analytical skills in their students. They will become well versed in all of these areas, particularly in their application to human culture.

    Read more here!

  • Ripe on Time

    UMD Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture professor, John Lea-Cox, is leading a team of researchers from 12 land-grant universities in developing ways to overcome the difficulties involved with farming strawberries. They have placed wireless sensor networks in three Maryland farms, which will collect data on weather conditions, soil moisture and temperature, and fertilizer concentration. Farmers can access the data in real time from their computers or smartphones. The goal of the project is to conserve resources, reduce costs, and improve sustainable production practices.

    Read more here!

  • Weighing Yourself Daily can Tip the Scale in your Favor

    A two-year Cornell study, recently published in the Journal of Obesity, found that frequent self-weighing and tracking results on a chart were effective for both losing weight and keeping it off, especially for men. David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell and the paper’s senior author, said the method “forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight.” Researchers believe that tracking one’s weight acts as a reinforcement for some behaviors, such as eating less, and it strengthens others such as going for a walk in order to maintain body weight.

    Read more here!

  • Farming in the City

    University of Maryland Extension is providing the technical expertise to build a thriving urban agricultural community in Baltimore. The initiative is helping to feed city residents, promote healthy living and improve the environment. Most of the food is donated to help to overcome Baltimore’s food deserts, which are low-income areas where supermarkets are distant and automobiles are few. If the food can’t be donated, it’s put into a compost pile to help enrich the city soil. The Extension personnel also provide technical expertise, like nutrient management, to help boost yields and also help to connect growers so they can work collaboratively and provide training so they can think entrepreneurially.

    Read more here!

  • UC Berkeley’s Student-Run Garden Offers Urban Oasis

    UC Berkeley is giving students the chance to take their agricultural education outside of the classroom. Berkeley has what they call the Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA) garden, which places students in charge of the university’s 44-year-old urban garden. The garden, which grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers, helps students to “build off the lecture-based education we receive and get their hands in the dirt with hands-on experience,” according to one of SOGA’s managers. The garden has also served as a source of produce for locals in the community, during occasional harvest giveaways, as well as food pantries in the Berkeley area.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Study: Muscadine Grape Seed Oil May Help Reduce Obesity

    A new University of Florida study has found a new product that can help fight obesity. Muscadine grape seed oil has been revealed to contain a type of vitamin E, called tocotrienol, which can prevent the formation of fat cells. Tocotrienol has also been found in red palm and rice bran oil, but scientists consider Muscadine grape seed oil to be a superior source, especially once they can figure out an efficient way to increase production of the grapes. Marty Marshall, a professor of food science and nutrition at UF has suggested that salad dressings may be an easy way of integrating the new oil into a consumer’s diet and that consuming foods with the oil could “…curtail weight gain by reducing obesity.”

    Read more here!

  • Drought Tames California’s Wildflowers

    A study from the University of California, Davis finds native wildflowers in California are losing species diversity after multiple years of drier winters. This provides the first direct evidence of climate change impacts in the state’s grassland communities. “Such diversity losses may foreshadow larger-scale extinctions, especially in regions that are becoming increasingly dry,” said lead author Susan Harrison, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. The future grassland communities of California are expected to be less productive, provide less nutrition to herbivores, and become more vulnerable to invasion by exotic species, the study said.

    Read more here!

  • Food Scientists Find That Victory Tastes…Oh, So Sweet

    A Cornell University study has revealed how emotions can impact the way a person eats. By using sports as a basis for creating emotional responses, researchers tested different foods on hockey fans following both wins and losses. The results indicated that less enjoyable flavors become even less enjoyable when coupled with negative emotional stimuli, such as losing a game, whereas more enjoyable tastes remain pleasurable no matter the result of the game. This result can be used to explain the tendency to eat unhealthy foods, such as ice cream, when in a time of emotional distress.

    Read more here!

  • Corn Irrigation in West Tennessee

    Center-pivot irrigation is a farming technique that is growing in popularity – but is it profitable? Researchers at the University of Tennessee have determined that there are specific criteria required in order to successfully utilize this technique. Center-pivot irrigation can only remain profitable if corn prices remain at a high level and a farmer’s land exceeds 125 acres, and even then still involves risks, mainly involving the price of corn. Transitioning to center-pivot irrigation is no easy task and requires significant investment and a tough, long-term decision.

    Read more here!

  • Research in Action: Small Salmon, Big Threat

    Juvenile salmon and trout are balancing on a “knife-edge” of survival. The pools in which they grow up have been known to dry up almost completely and recent drought conditions are making it even worse. Researchers at UC Berkeley are trying to find out how much water these fish need to survive in the streams and pools that they have lived in for thousands of years. “We hope our research can help assure their survival into the future while still providing water for other uses,” said head researcher Stephanie Carlson.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Researcher Growing 1,500 Types of Peanuts as Part of USDA’s Genetic Resources Unit

    Researchers at the University of Florida are growing 1,500 different types of peanuts in order to help feed starving children. By growing all 1,500, Greg MacDonald and his researchers can do a side-by-side study of yield, grade, biochemical components and genetic background of the different varieties. Eventually, the results will be used via a partnership with USAID to create a peanut paste that can provide all of a child’s nutritional needs from a meal in one pouch. MacDonald is also hoping to combat aflatoxin, which is produced by mold in peanuts, which has caused cancer and other health issues in humans.

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  • Invasive Asian Carp Pose Double Threat

    The Mississippi River is facing a problem with invasive species. More specifically, silver carp have moved into the area and are overtaking a particular niche in the ecosystem. MSU and its Extension program are working with CRHWC on outreach and education programs to teach both the public as well as government officials at all levels about the dangers of invasive species. Silver carp are known to consume large quantities of plankton, preventing other fish from getting enough as well as harming one of the area’s largest industries in recreational fishing. Silver carp have also been known to injure boaters due to their tendency to leap out of the water as a result of noises from boat motors.

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  • Cucumbers to Pickles: Pickling Basics 101

    Turning an excess of a fruit or vegetable into something that will last beyond its peak of freshness is quick and simple, and saves what could be wasted food. The Alabama Extension Home Food Preservation Cookbook lays out canning basics and the essential ingredients to turn produce, like cucumbers, into their pickled form. Cucumber pickling starts with 6 simple ingredients—tender cucumbers, salt, vinegar, sugar, spices and water—that met with proper techniques outlined in this cookbook.

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  • Fact Sheet Available on Wheat Disease New to Kansas

    Typically the No. 1 U.S. wheat-producing state, a recent finding in Kansas may upset the state’s grain yields. Wheat flag smut is a fungal disease that was recently found in a Rocks County field during routine crop monitoring by Kansas, and it has since been confirmed in dozens of other Kansas locations. While the percentage of infected tillers found in those fields have been low and the disease is relatively easy to manage, the Kansas Department of Agriculture is taking this discovery very seriously because of the potential trade implications. A working group has been formed to look at long-term solutions to address the issue.

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  • Keeping It Fresh

    The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center works to educate people about the importance of the postharvest stage. In a video produced by the Center, CA&ES’s Dean Helene Dillard talks about the importance of such education and professional opportunities for those who study postharvest technology.

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  • Mulch the Soil Surface to Save Water in Home Landscapes

    Mulch may do more for a a garden than make it look nice. Missy Gable of the UC Master Gardener program says that mulch may also help to conserve soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and inhibit weed growth. Gable recommends coating a garden in two to four inches of fine-to medium-shred bark mulch. Mulches are often available for purchase by the bag or in bulk at home improvement or landscaping material suppliers. For a cheaper option, use yard waste such as plant or grass clippings to enhance and protect soils. Just be sure to leave enough space around the base of the plants to prevent rotting.

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  • Research Finds Soil Microbes Across the Globe Behave Similarly to Fertilizer Additions

    Despite different locations and environments, soils located around the world may be more closely related than previously believed. A new global study has found that despite having different microbial compositions, the responses of the soil to nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers were similar. Understanding this fact is important for “improving the sustainability of agricultural and forage production practices,” according to the University of Kentucky’s Rebecca McCulley. Microbes have been shown to impact soil fertility, health and the function of ecosystems.

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  • Drip Irrigation With Fertilizer Boosts Citrus Tree Growth

    The citrus fruit industry is Florida’s top agricultural commodity, bringing in $10.7 billion each year. In recent years, citrus greening disease has posed a real threat to this productivity as farmers have to replant trees at a higher rate. Luckily, University of Florida Professor Kelly Morgan’s five-year study on drip irrigation brings good news for farmers. The drip irrigation method helps young trees grow more than 30% faster than usual and with greater fruit production.

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  • Extension Master Gardeners Teach Children

    Family and Consumer Science Extension Staff at the University of Kentucky are working with Master Gardeners to empower youth in Kentucky to make smarter food choices. The staff held a “Try-A-Thon” to encourage students to consume fruits and vegetables. Master Gardeners also offered a variety of educational activities to teach children about parts of seeds, composting, planting, watering, weeding, and looking for insects.

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  • 2015 Applying integrated pest management

    Alaska imports much of its food and horticultural products, which causes a problem with invasive species in the state. Agents and integrated pest management staff at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service worked with producers to help identify and combat these pests. There has also been work on an app which will aid in the identification of pests, as well as traps put in place to help eradicate them. These programs have so far been very successful. After a conference put on by UAF, 70% of attendees said they had used information from previous conferences and 95% of attendees indicated they would use information learned at the conference. 

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  • Look to Protein Breakfasts to Make a Dent in Child Obesity

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A study conducted by Jamie Baum of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture indicated that children who ate protein-based breakfasts felt less hungry and expended more energy throughout the day. The results showed that the increased energy expenditure demonstrated by the children who had the protein-based breakfast could contribute to a reduced obesity rate. Baum recommends egg-based breakfasts as well as the inclusion of breakfast meats such as ham or turkey bacon, or even Greek yogurt as high sources of protein. 

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  • Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat

    In a new technique to try to decrease water pollution from agricultural runoff, Mississippi State developed a program to work with a network of farms to monitor the impact of certain conservation policies. The program, titled REACH, has enlisted the help of 51 farms mainly from the northwest region of the state, where agriculture is more widespread. The pollution is a result of fertilizer use on farms when nitrogen and phosphorous are carried downstream by draining water, encouraging algae growth in the Gulf of Mexico, and removing oxygen from the ecosystem. The project is designed to give policymakers more information to implement conservation strategies.

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  • Increase Algae Growth in Springs May be Connected to Declining Snail Populations

    Florida has more coastline than any of the other 48 connected states and one of the largest collections of freshwater springs on the planet. However, many of Florida’s springs are facing excessive algae growth. An UF/IFAS research team believes that rather than being caused only by compounds in agricultural runoff, decreased amount of snails also may be a factor. At 11 different springs, a lower population of snails indicated higher concentrations of algae. State officials announced they will continue to investigate this connection.

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  • Putting Locally Raised and Processed Meat on the Table

    Oregon is home to many smaller and less commercialized farmers looking to sell their locally raised and processed meats. Lauren Gwin of Oregon State University Extension plays a big role in helping these smaller farmers increase their profits and get information they need. Gwin offers consulting and workshops that focus on both starting a business or expanding one. Gwin has also helped connect members of this market via the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network and enable them to communicate with each other via a listserv to help solve each other’s problems. Her contributions have been recognized, and she has been invited to legislative hearings to provide technical expertise.

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  • NDSU Using Sensors to Identify Weed Infestations

    A North Dakota State University project received an $85,500 research grant to identify which weeds are infesting specific crops, which parts of fields the weeds are infesting, and the degree of the weed problem. NDSU has teamed up with Sentera, a company that designs sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and software technologies. Project personnel will collect data on plants growing in university greenhouses as well as outdoor plot and field weed patches. Project results will help producers spot weed problems early in the growing season to ensure reduced weed competition and higher yields.

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  • Throw out Excuses When It Comes to Eating Greens

    Green vegetables really are super foods. Janet Jolley of the Mississippi State Extension says that leafy greens are good sources of Vitamins A & C, calcium and folate. Greens have many health benefits including skin, eye and gum health as well as red blood cell development. Additionally, Vitamins A & C have been linked to a reduction in certain cancers. These greens are also important for children and Jolley recommends such as adding them to foods your child already likes or even making them into smoothies as a way to get these healthy veggies into a child’s diet. Jolley also recommends sautéing rather than boiling your greens to be sure that the nutrients don’t get leeched out in the cooking process.

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  • Study: Spring heat more damaging to wheat than fall freeze

    Kansas produces around 15 percent of U.S. wheat per year, earning up to $3 billion annually. Kansas State agricultural economist, Andrew Barkley, has been studying wheat for close to 30 years and found that spring heat is more damaging to wheat than freezing temperatures. Research also suggests that pest-resistant strains of wheat are less able to handle temperature changes.

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  • Sweet Potato as an Alternative Agriculture Enterprise in Delaware

    Research from the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and the Cooperative Extension at Delaware State University has led to new advances with sweet potatoes crop, and may be the key to unlocking a cheaper source of valuable nutrients. Because of its drought resistant nature, sweet potatoes can be used as an alternative enterprise for farmers with limited resources. Four different varieties have been shown to grow well in Delaware’s climate. Read more here!

  • NDSU Celebrates 42 Years of Excellence in Agriculture and Bison Athletics

    On November 6 and 7, North Dakota State University will host the 42nd annual Harvest Bowl program. The event honors agriculturalists and student athletes for their achievements and dedication. The program begins with event honorees participating in educational sessions around the NDSU campus. The event culminates on November 7 with the Harvest Bowl football game where the NDSU Bison will take on Western Illinois. Each year, the event honors a distinguished agribussiness professional doing great work in North Dakota and beyond. This year’s award goes to Lynden Johnson, executive vice president of CHS Country Operations. 

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  • MSU Experts Help Growers Fight Aphids in Sorghum

    Researchers at Mississippi State have found a way to help farmers protect their grain sorghum crop. In other states, sorghum had been destroyed by aphids but researchers at MSU found that a combination of insecticides has protected the $33 million crop. Additionally, the researchers were able to reach out to the Environmental Protection Agency to make the use of insecticides more affordable for local farmers. Overall, the early numbers of this year’s harvest could reveal a record-breaking yield.

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