Food Security

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Researchers Ensuring Your French Fries are of the Highest Quality

    Do you ever wonder how safe your food actually is? Well, if you’re eating a potato that came from Wisconsin, you’ll be happy to hear about the process it undergoes before it reaches your plate.

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison grow their potatoes in a sterilized test tube with bacteria and virus-inhibiting chemicals, creating what is known as “seed potatoes.”

    The process continues as researchers turn up the heat to kill possible viruses which maintains the product’s quality and keeps you safe from foodborne illnesses. The team then clips up a portion of the shoot and replants the seed in a clean test tube, which means eight potato plants become 30. Then those 30 become 80. With this process, the program certifies 200 million pounds of potatoes every year, so it’s safe to say your next potato might be Wisconsin-approved.

    Learn more about how plant pathology researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are keeping your food safe.

  • Cornell University Works with Food Marketing Institute to Prevent Food Waste

    Have you ever been unsure whether food has gone bad or not? Did you throw it out anyway?

    The US Department of Agriculture estimates that about 30 percent of food is lost or wasted at the retail and consumer level, but there are ways to protect food safety and help your wallet.

    Along with the Food Marketing Institute and the USDA, Cornell University has developed the Foodkeeper app that will help consumers ensure they’re preparing foods properly and when to throw food away. With the app’s help, consumers will be able to keep food for longer and save money by preventing unnecessary food waste.

    Curious about tips on preventing food waste? Wonder what the Use By dates actually mean? Check out Cornell’s highlight in US News article here.


  • Secret Superheroes: Fort Valley State University Master Gardeners Battle Food Insecurity

    In low-income neighborhoods, access to grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and high quality food can be difficult; however, there’s an easy way to increase access to healthy foods in lower-income communities: Master Gardeners.

    Master Gardeners are volunteers with special horticulture training for research, teaching, and creating gardens in local communities, and Fort Valley State University Extension’s Master Gardener program in Lowndes County is working with local schools to bring local produce straight to the cafeteria. So far, eight schools participate in the program where students learn how to grow food. Lowndes County has an estimated 23,000 individuals experiencing food insecurity, and the Master Gardeners program will soon change that.

    Curious who a Master Gardener is? Meet two from Fort Valley Extension here.

  • University of Delaware Looks to Protect a Universal Food Source

    Rice is one of the most consumed crops in the world but did you know it contains arsenic? Arsenic is a known carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer, and traces of the chemical are found in rice. Rice absorbs arsenic through groundwater and soil, so if a region has water contamination, the chances of arsenic poisoning through rice consumption is higher.

    To date, no government authority has set up regulations on arsenic-related exposure in foods so the University of Delaware (UD) has teamed up with Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) to set the standard and keep rice safe for the world.

    See UD and BAU’s research methods to protect rice in action here.

  • Consumers Demand More Ready-To-Eat Food and Cornell University Answers

    As consumers continue to rely on convenience when it comes to food, ready-to-eat food has seen an increase in purchasing. What else is increasing? Foodborne illnesses.

    Cornell University has developed new technology to specifically treat ready-to-eat foods to prevent foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life. The answer is a high-pressure food processor, which surrounds food packages with water and then puts the package through 87,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. The processor will not only answer increasing consumer demand for ready-to-eat foods, but help ensure safer healthier choices.

    Want to see how the processor works? Click here.

  • University of California at Davis opens lab that will Safeguard Public Health and Food Supply

    The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, run by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has opened a fourth lab. This new facility will help bolster UC Davis as a leading animal health-food research university that will to protect animal health and performance, and safeguard public health and the food supply.

    “California is proud to be home to the largest and most diverse agriculture in the world,” said Karen Ross, secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture.”

    Once the lab is fully equipped it will provide rapid detection and response to both routine illnesses and catastrophic, emerging animal diseases.

    Read more here!

  • University of Georgia Researchers Discover a Natural Compound that will Increase the Milk Production of Dairy Cows

    University of Georgia animal and dairy research scientists Sha Tao and John Bernard think that feeding cows betaine, a natural chemical compound, can increase the milk production and metabolism of dairy cows.

    Through the first two-months of observation, Tao and Bernard found an increase in milk production and an increase in milk fat. Researchers also found that the cows that birth during the summer coped better with the addition of betaine.

    Read more here!

  • Washington State University Biologist Develops Soybean Nitrogen Breakthrough

    Washington State University biologist Mechthild Tegeder has developed a way to exponentially increase the quality and yield of soybeans using nitrogen. This may be a way to increase food in the world as the world population continues to grow.

    Nitrogen is a macronutrient essential for plant growth and with Tegeder’s manipulation of nitrogen, she and her graduate assistant, Amanda Carter, were able to find the rate of nitrogen in order to boost the plant growth into overdrive.

    Read more about the research here!

  • Cornell Leads a Nationwide Effort to Improve Food Safety

    The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act was the largest regulatory overhaul of the food safety system since the 1930s. It represents an important shift at the Food and Drug Administration from reacting to food borne illnesses to preventing them.

    Cornell’s Agricultural Experiment Station has been leading the nationwide effort to develop the new rules that will govern fresh produce. They work to help producers implement the new standards, and with an efficient “train-the-trainer” strategy, Cornell is training extension educators who will go out into the field and spread the new practices throughout the country.

    The net result will be a safer food supply and a healthier population. Read more about Cornell’s work here!

  • Food Pantries Need Quality Donations, Not Just Quantity

    People who rely on food banks to put meals on the table suffer from higher than average rates of obesity and diabetes. Part of the problem is that food banks are often overwhelmed with junk food: sugary sodas, refined grains, and high-sodium soups.

    The University of Wisconsin Extension is raising public awareness about the issue and working to narrow the gap between food that is needed at food banks and what is actually available. In June they published a landmark study on food insecurity, and program coordinator Karen Early recently took to the opinion pages of the Green Bay Press-Gazette to call for higher quality food donations, not just high quantity. She suggests donating cheap but nutritious items like canned fruit, whole grain pasta or cereals, and peanut butter.

    Read Karen’s article in the Press Gazette here!

  • Master Gardeners Support Local Food Pantries

    15.8 million American households are food insecure, meaning that they don’t have reliable access to nutritious and affordable food.

    Land-grant university programs like the Iowa State University Master Gardeners are doing their part to take on this serious problem by donating fresh produce to local food pantries. Heading into harvest season, the ISU Master Gardeners set a goal of donating 1,500 pounds of vegetables, which will provide roughly 30,000 individual portions!

    Read more at the ISU Master Gardener website and on Radio Iowa!

  • University of Kentucky’s Advice on Alternative Grain Storage

    As prices drop, producers look to store their grain until prices rise again, which has led to shortages of storage space across the country.

    A recent University of Kentucky Extension article offers advice on alternative storage options. Covered outdoor piles and grain bags can effectively protect crops and minimize spoilage if the proper steps are taken. The key steps are properly drying the grain beforehand and keeping it in a well-aerated space that is protected from pests.

    Read more about alternative grain storage options here.

  • UConn Fights Food Waste

    48 million Americans struggle with food insecurity, including 15 million children. The issue can be solved if we get better about reducing food waste. Currently, 40% of the food produced in the US is thrown away.

    The University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources is hosting a series of events over the month to educate students about how to reduce food waste at home and on campus.  

    UConn hopes to use these events to educate youth about the US Environmental Protection Agency’s “Food Recovery Hierarchy,” which lists how to minimize food waste and use recovered food in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.  One initiative is through the Department of Dining Services, which will prepare a free “Tasty Waste Lunch” from food that would otherwise be discarded.

    Read more about the UConn food waste program here!

  • Land-Grant Universities Bolster the US Potato Genebank’s Impact

    September 13, 2016

    Land-grant universities are collaborating to support the United States Potato Genebank in its endeavors to conduct potato research, support creation of new potato varieties, and conserve specimens to overcome future growing challenges, like droughts, natural disasters, or emerging pests and diseases.

    As the most widely grown and consumed vegetable in the US, improving potato varieties will impact everything from agricultural productivity, to jobs, to consumer health.

    “The Genebank is helping sustain one of the most universally affordable and nutritious crops for future generations,” says Dr. John Bamberg, Project Leader for the US Potato Genebank. “In addition, the benefits to consumers are extensive. For example, new varieties of potatoes with higher levels of essential nutrients can promote good health of U.S. citizens.”

    Developing new potato varieties also has a huge economic impact. The value of potato production in the U.S. was around $3.9 billion in 2015, with over $1.3 billion in exports, but those numbers could soar.

    “Potatoes with a strong resistance to disease can prevent crop losses and boost profits. Ultimately, this will increase our production and exports of the vegetable, as well as French fries, chips, and frozen potato products,” Dr. Bamberg states.

    Since 1947, researchers, breeders, and farmers have relied on the U.S. Potato Genebank to collect and preserve potato specimens. In 2015, over 11,000 genetic samples from the Genebank were sent to 34 different U.S. states and ten countries.

    The land-grant universities cooperating with the U.S. Potato Genebank include:

    • Colorado State University
    • Michigan State University
    • University of Minnesota
    • North Carolina State University
    • Oregon State University
    • University of Wisconsin
    • North Dakota State University
    • University of Idaho
    • University of Arizona
    • University of Nevada
    • University of California
    • University of Florida
    • Virginia Tech
    • Washington State University
    • Texas A&M University

    About Agriculture Is America (AgIsAmerica)

    Agriculture is America is a national communications initiative to promote research and news from land-grant universities in the United States. The agriculture industry – sustained in large part by the American land-grant university system through Colleges of Agriculture, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Cooperative Extension – is integral to jobs, national security, and health. To learn more, visit

  • NMSU Students Find New Way to Use Tech to Monitor Livestock

    Ranchers are eager to meet increased consumer demand for free range meat, but this method of ranching also has unique challenges. How do you collect critical information on herds of roaming animals that are scattered over a large area? What are they eating, how much ground do they cover each day?

    Students at the New Mexico State University have come up with a clever high tech solution for ranchers. They developed an enclosure for a camera that allows it to be attached to cows’ neck harnesses, kind of like a GoPro. The project will allow them to gather important information and keep tabs on their cows with an unprecedented level of detail.

    Read more about the project here.

  • UMD Student Run Farm Teaches Economics Behind Local Food Movement

    Students who want to get involved in organic farming, farmers markets, or food trucks face a unique set of economic challenges. The skills needed to bring in a bountiful harvest don’t help when it comes to writing a business plan.

    The student-run farm at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is specifically designed to help build these commercial skillsets. According to the TerpFarm website, the project is “economically sustainable by closely following a strong business plan that transitions away from reliance on grant funds towards profitability.” The farm engages students with the economics and networks behind agriculture while supplying nutritious food to the UMD dining halls and food truck.

    Read more about how UMD students are learning on the farm in the latest issue of Edible DC.

  • Behold the World’s Largest Robotic Field Scanner

    Developing new crops, such as a drought resistant vegetable variety, is a time intensive and costly process. It is also critical work for regions with dwindling water resources like California. The Department of Energy has teamed up with the University of Arizona’s College of Ag & Life Sciences to build a big data solution to the problem – a giant robotic fieldscanner.

    The 30-ton steel machine moves back and forth over the 1.5 acre research field like a huge printer and generates a “extremely high resolution” data stream that fills 5 terabytes of hard drive space every day. By comparing data on different plant varietals growth, the scientists can conduct scientific investigations with more efficiency.

    Read more about the robotic scanner here!

  • Tips for Vegetable Vendors

    In addition to stocking top quality products, it is important for vendors to think about the best way to display their food. The Oregon State University Small Farms program offers advice specifically for vegetable vendors.

    For example, subconscious aesthetic principles like diversity of color and variation of depth can help your veggies stand out.

    Consumers are more likely to buy unfamiliar produce when they are accompanied by a recipe that calls for them. Try including recipe cards on your stand as a handout, which can also act as a promotional tool.

    Check out more tips here!

  • Farmers Market Week!

    In celebration of National Farmers Market Week we’re sharing a series of articles about the importance of these unique resources. There are over 8,000 farmers markets in the United States and they stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh food, and support healthy lifestyles.

    Farmers markets across the country receive assistance from their local land-grant partners. These resources run the gamut from business and marketing expertise, to assistance securing grants and permits.

    Farmers market vendors and land-grant educators are animated by a similar goal: to help support a thriving American food system.


  • Local Food Hubs Connect Communities And Producers

    Food consumers have a growing interest in learning about where their food comes from, and wanting to connect to the farmers who produced it. Several NIFA- funded projects have created new local food hubs to address this issue.

    The Molokai Food Hub (MFH) was established to address the heightened rate of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in that Hawaiian community. The food hub provides outreach and education on healthy choices when buying food. They suggest buying more local and fresh products versus processed foods.

    Fresh from Foley, a food hub in Foley, Alabama teams up with local producers and distributers  to collect, package, and ship locally grown produce to restaurants, schools, and grocery stores in the area.

    Farmers of Chicago program provides resources for urban farmers so that they can distribute locally grown produce year-round.

    Finally, Common Market Food, based in Philadelphia works with local farmers to provide alternative solutions to the mainstream distribution network.

    NIFA’s funding has allowed communities all over to become educated and make smarter, healthier choices by eating fresh produce.

    Read more here!

  • NCSU Extension Compiles Farmers Market Resources

    North Carolina State University Extension Service has a useful collection of resources about farmers markets. Consumers can locate their nearest market through the local food directory. Other marketing resources are aimed at vendors of all experience levels, from a getting started guide to a publication that will help you sell your whole truckload.

    Today there are over 8,500 farmers markets nationwide, a 50% increase in the last five years. They play a key role in our local communities, and benefit both producers and consumers.

    Read more here!

  • Eastern Potato Varieties & Farm Sustainability

    Potatoes are one of the top three vegetable crops in the Eastern United States. The NE-1031 research project aims to help potato farmers by fostering the development of improved potato varieties. The researchers facilitate collaboration between researchers, farmers, and bring the scientific innovations to the field.

    The NE-1031 project was supported by the Multistate Research Fund and USDA NIFA.

    Read more about the research project here!


  • Tap water and table salt may be safer and cheaper for milk production cleanup


    Researchers at Pennsylvania State University may have improved the safety standards of the milk industry while also creating a cost-effective solution.

    The current cleaning system used on dairy farms includes harsh, acid-based chemicals. The research team replaced these chemicals with electrolyzed oxidizing water, otherwise known as EO water.

    EO water cleaned the pipes and facilities on dairy farms just as effectively as the existing methods.

    A switch to the EO system could save dairy farmers money and reduce the chance of hazardous waste spills during transportation.
    To read more about the research done at Penn State concerning milk safety, click here!

  • CSU-Led Team Highlights Ways to Address Global Food System Challenges

    Megan Schinpanski, an assistant professor at Colorado State University is exploring how to increase food production for a growing global population.

    Schnipanski’s research looked at food access disparities where the problem is less about the amount of food and more on poverty and the access of resources.

    Read more here!

  • Clemson Scientist Takes the Fight to Southern Blight on Tomatoes

    Clemson University produces results to combat Southern blight and save farmers’ crops.

    Anthony Keinath, a vegetable pathologist at the Coastal Research Education Center at Clemson, conducted research to investigate Southern blight’s reactions to fungicides.

    Southern blight attacks a range of plants beneath the soil, resulting in root rot. Methyl bromide, a fumigant, could be used on the plants to control the disease, but the EPA determined in 2009 it was harmful to the ozone layer and removed it from the market.

    Keinath researched environmentally friendly combatants to the disease to discover effective solutions for farmers.

    Read more here!


  • Auburn: Technology Ensures Food Safety, From Farm to Table

    Auburn College of Agriculture researchers look to find a cost-efficient system to monitor pathogens through the food supply chain.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded 11 universities grants to look into nanotechnology. As one of the institutions that received funding, Auburn has taken a biological approach to its research.

    The goal is to create a biosensor in the form of a handheld monitor that will be affordable and easy to use. Another objective is to allow the system to detect multiple strands of pathogens at once.

    Read more here!


  • New Cantaloupe, Pumpkin, and Acorn Squash Seeds Developed at UNH Now Available

    A researcher at the University of New Hampshire develops new seeds for cantaloupes, pumpkins, and acorn squash.

    Brent Loy, working as a NH Agricultural Experiment Station researcher, has created more than 70 new types of pumpkin, squash, melon, and gourd seeds. These seeds are can be purchased throughout the world through seed catalogs.

    Among his creations include two new cantaloupe varieties, and a Naked Bear pumpkin, which is a hull-less pumpkin, resilient to powdery mildew disease. Two other white pumpkins were released to the market in conjunction with Seneca Vegetable Research. The team at UNH also released three strands of acorn squash with higher starch content than standard squash.

    The National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S Department of Agriculture jointly fund this research at UNH.

    Read more here!



  • UC Davis Studies the Effects of a Grapevine’s Environment

    Dr. Dario Cantu joins the Viticulture and Enology Department at UC Davis in order to study how the environment is causing diseases on grapevines.
    The Cantu Lab has discovered how these diseases lead to noble rot, eventually impacting grape metabolism and disrupting the flavor development in winemaking. Dr. Cantu hopes to detect these diseases faster, develop immunization procedures to protect the vines, and control our fruit ripening.
    Read more here!
  • UF / IFAS Researchers Expand Muscadine Grape Market

    University of Florida researchers aim to increase demand for muscadine grapes by building awareness.

    Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences studied the public’s knowledge of muscadine grapes. The respondents familiar with muscadine grapes were more open and creative with food selection and preparation.

    Researchers at IFAS also reported the high concentration of nutrients and antioxidants in muscadines make them the next potential “super fruit”.

    Read more here!

  • UF / IFAS researchers: Florida Sees Dramatic Increase in School Gardens

    Florida students and teachers reap the benefits of school gardens. A recent study by the University of Florida claims school gardens introduce fresh produce to the classroom as well as giving students real-world experience with science and nutrition concepts.

    The gardens also allow teachers to introduce lessons in a interactive manner to reach students who might not perform as well in traditional classroom settings. There are approximately 1,300 school gardens in Florida.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS Research May Help Expand Avocado Production

    A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has identified the true hybrids of the Hass and Bacon avocado variants. The project suggests that Hass-like avocados can thrive in Florida’s climate.

    A particular focus was placed on selecting hybrids that are resistant to laurel wilt, which kills avocados and has been causing concern in Florida.

    Read more here!

  • UNH Finds Benefits of Growing Peppers in High Tunnel Greenhouses

    Researchers at the University of New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station recently concluded trials to determine which varieties of bell peppers do best in the unheated environment of a high tunnel greenhouse.

    “Growing peppers in unheated high tunnels permits the production of very high quality colored fruit,” said UNH’s Becky Sideman. “Colored bell peppers have the potential to be a profitable, alternative crop for New Hampshire farmers, although a number of factors such as infrastructure costs, marketable yield, and market prices need to be considered.”

    Sideman and the UNH team saw pepper yields ranging from 46,000 to 66,600 pounds per acre, which is more than double the typical field-pepper yield.

    Read more here!

  • UF: Avocado Tree-Destroying Pathogen Spreading

    University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences warns that laurel wilt has been reported in all but 6 of the state’s 67 counties, and is expected to spread. UF experts recommend maintaining the health of your avocado trees with proper fertilizer and irrigation. If you suspect that some of your trees are infected with laurel wilt contact the Florida Division of Plant Pathology. Do not attempt to move infected trees unless burning / burying them at a local landfill.

    Read more here!

  • VSU Receives $1.6 Million to Assist Virginia Farmers

    Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture has received seven federal and state grants totaling over $1.6 million. The grants included four federal, two from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and one grant from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

    The funding will be used in the university’s land-grant outreach and research missions. Research projects consist in a variety of diverse fields. Included in the research is both the studies of crops and meat production.

    Crop research includes the study of hops for beer, soybeans, hemp, and berries. Livestock research will be used to identify safer, more humane slaughter methods for sheep and goats. Other funds will be used to study genomes for farming and to develop new education techniques.

    Read more here!

  • NC Cooperative Extension Guide: Getting Started At A Farmers Market

    Getting started as a first time vendor at a farmer’s market can be a daunting challenge. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension compiled some helpful resources that can make the process a little easier. Expand your business, and provide new markets with healthy and nourishing food.

    Read more here!

  • Implications of Corn and Soybean Planting Progress

    As Spring arrives, a University of Illinois agricultural economist predicts how successful will this year’s corn and soybean market be!

    Learn how much time and planning goes into harvesting corn and soybeans.

    Read more here!

  • USDA Grant Expands UNH Research on Managing Parasitic Roundworms

    University of New Hampshire researcher Rick Cote has received a grant from the USDA to expand his research on roundworms. Cote and his team are hopeful that their research will lead to the discovery of pesticides that will combat these agricultural pests. The work will be in collaboration with Valerie Williamson, professor of entomology at UC Davis.

    Parasitic roundworms infest 2,000 species of plants and are one of the most damaging groups of roundworms to crops. Crops like corn, cotton, wheat, soybean, rice, and potato are particularly vulnerable to the pest.

    Research by Cote, Williamson, and their research teams will discover new nematicides to eliminate the roundworms without adverse effects on the agricultural ecosystem.

    Read more here!

  • UVM’s goCrop Software Improves Farm-Based Nutrient Management Planning

    The University of Vermont Extension has developed new software that helps farmers produce high-yield, high-quality crops. GoCrop allows farmers to track a field’s soil fertility and nutrition. This easy-to-use app can be accessed online and all information is stored in a cloud database system.

    Over 200 Vermont farms have been using the app since its 2012 release. The app also helps farmers save money and maintain high water quality. UVM also launched a series of courses for farmers that, in conjunction with the app, allow farmers to learn about nutrient management and the impact of water quality on crops.

    Read more here!

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Pasta can be a Healthy Dish

    If you’re looking for a meal that is healthy but won’t break your bank, take a look at a college student’s kitchen.

    According to Helen Jones, a regional agent in human nutrition, diet and health with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, microwavable Mac and Cheese as well as Ramen Noodles have nutrition often overlooked. “You have to eat them in moderation. You can add vegetables or lean meats to make it healthier.”

    Read more here!

  • MSU Promotes National Nutrition Month: Nutritious Meals are Worth the Time, Money

    This National Nutrition Month is the perfect opportunity to set new health habits as explained by Ginger Cross, assistant research professor at Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center, promoting the ‘WannaBee Healthy’ campaign that is sponsored by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health.

    The campaign challenges the misconception that healthy eating is too costly and time-consuming by giving hints and tips on how to incorporate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendation of making each meal 50% fruits and vegetables.

    A little forward planning in terms of meal preparation and carrying healthy snacks can help both families and individuals protect against food choices that can add up to larger health issues.

    Read more here!

  • UNH Research on Growing Spinach in Winter Going Strong

    An ongoing study into the production of spinach during winter months is filling the void in research that could help New Hampshire growers tackle the area’s short growing season and boost the local economy.

    The study is being conducted at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of New Hampshire’s original research center, and is funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Eight different spinach varieties are being tested in terms of yield, sugar content, ease of harvest and average leaf size measurements across six different time points in order to create recommendations and even target planting dates to help growers make the most of their resources.

    Read more here!

  • Penn State: Fruits, Vegetables, ‘Farm-to-Fork Continuum’ Vital to Cancer Prevention

    Research for decades has focused on boosting yields, and improving the appearance of fruits, vegetables and grains. A cancer researcher at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Ag Sciences says it’s time to focus on ways to boost the health benefits these foods can provide.

    Read more here!

  • Auburn/ Alabama A&M: Farmers Wait for Warmer Soil Temperatures

    As spring approaches,  Alabama Extension is offering tips to take advantage of prime planting season. Recent warm temperatures might make it tempting to begin planting early, but Alabama Extension encourages waiting until warm weather settles in before starting your garden.

    The disadvantages of planting in cool soil include low yields, slow growth, and higher susceptibility to insect and weed damage. Because of these risks, the safest time to plant is generally mid-March-April or May in most places.

    Alabama Extension encourages planters to check soil temperatures by placing a meat thermometer 2″ below the soil. Using the temperature and a warm 7-day forecast, the best planting decisions can be made.

    Read more here!

  • OSU Bean Tips for National Nutrition Month

    It’s National Nutrition Month, and the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Ag and Environmental Sciences Chow Line blog has some great tips on how to incorporate beans into your diet.

    Adding a bean-based meal or two to your weekly menu is an easy way to get a quick health boost.

    Read more here!

  • UW-Madison: Even Cows are “Texting”

    Automatic milking technology has been around for a number of years, but newer systems are able to do much more to keep farmers updated about their livestock.

    Douglas J. Reinemann, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at UW–Madison and a milking equipment/energy specialist with UW–Extension, explains that new mobile apps allow the computer milking the cow to send updates to farmers, like if a cow produced less milk than expected, if a cow didn’t show up to be milked, or even if a milking machine isn’t working properly, and so much more.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS to Hop Into Hops Varieties for Microbreweries

    With the explosion in popularity of craft beer and micro-brewing, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers hope to take advantage of the trend by cultivating hops in Florida.

    ​Currently, more than 2 million pounds of hops are imported from places like Washington, Oregon and Germany. With hops grown in Florida, the resulting beer would have a unique flavor generated from the state’s special soil and climate.

    ​Read more here!

  • Why are my Grape Vines Stunted? OSU Smartphone App has the Answers

    With grape growing season approaching, Oregon State University (OSU) has developed a new, free smart phone app to help grape growers have a successful yield. One of the best aspects of the app? You don’t need to be a professional grape grower to take advantage of this new technology. Its uses are beneficial to winemakers and home growers.

    The app’s purpose is to manage and identify issues with vines. It provides pictures and in-depth information to help growers identify vine issues. Once the issue is identified, it also gives resources to manage the problem and maximize yields. Among the issues this diagnostic tool helps identify include early frost, herbicide drift, water stress, nutrient deficiency, and disease.

    Read more here!

  • UNL-IANR: Maximize Yields With New Program

    An assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources (UNL-IANR) has developed a free, web-based program that condenses the latest climate, soil and crop modeling technologies into an interactive tool farmers can use to help plan their business. Guillermo Baigorria, in his role as a Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow, has launched CropClimate which allows users to input the data of different environmental situations and so maximize yields.

    With CropClimate’s potential to increase production, reduce risk and conserve resources, this launch will be of great interest to a number of groups, from farmers and policymakers through to seed agrochemical and insurance companies.

    Find out more here!

  • UF/IFAS Scientists Present Plant Diagnostic Data at D.C. Conference

    Researchers met recently at the 4th National Plant Diagnostic Network in Washington, D.C. to help shed light on potentially devastating plant issues.

    Researcher Jason Smith of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Plant Diagnostic Center shed light on the importance of this issue and discussed ways to control the spread of the pathogen Laurel Wilt, as it could severely impact Florida’s $100 million-a-year avocado industry.

    Read more here!

  • New Research from UF for World Kidney Day

    Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are taking a closer look at the foods we love to eat and are finding great health benefits.

    UF Assistant professor Wendy Dahl and other researchers studied minerals, nuts, herbs, prebiotics and probiotics to explore the link between food and health conditions.

    Read more here!

  • UNL Researchers Identify Target of Disease-Causing Plant Pathogens

    A team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers led by Jim Alfano at the Center for Plant Science Innovation and Department of Plant Pathology have published their findings into the work of the bacterial pathogens that target a plant’s immune system. Their study centered on the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and its method of injecting the protein HopE1 into plant cells which through a series of reactions ultimately compromises the plant’s immune system.

    The research into HopE1 is part of the team’s larger work to identify new components in plant immunity. An improved understanding of the defense mechanisms of plants would pave the way to improved disease resistance of crops and therefore increase crop quality and yield.

    Read more here!

  • UMES: Faculty Receive $1.2M in Grants

    University of Maryland Eastern Shore has recently received $1.2M in grant money from the USDA’s NIFA. The grant will be divided between UMES faculty members Robert Dadson, Anugrah Shaw and Eric May to fund their research projects.

    Dadson’s research helps farmers bring safe and nutritious salad greens to market.

    May’s research addresses environmental concerns about the cause of Urea in aquatic ecosystems, which poses a threat to human life.

    Shaw is founding the International Center for Personal Protective Equipment for Pesticide Operators, which will focus on worker safety by developing new standards and clear communications.

    Read more here!

  • Happening Today: Congressional Hearing on Citrus Greening

    A group of Congressional lawmakers are holding a forum today to investigate the status of USDA research on citrus greening. The Congressional Citrus Caucus has invited USDA officials including Mike Gregoire (associate administrator of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), Mary Palm (national coordinator for Citrus Pest Programs), and Sonny Ramaswamy (director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture).

    Reps. Tom Rooney (FL), David Valadao (CA) and Filemon Vela (TX) chair the Citrus Caucus. The forum will take place at 1:30 pm in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill.


    Read more here!

  • National Almond Day: UNL: 5 Ways to Make a Healthier Trail Mix

    Tackle health issues like lowering your blood pressure and fueling your body with the nutrients it needs,by making a healthy trail mix that fits you!

    Simply add any whole grains, dried fruit and protein like; cashew, almonds, or pumpkin seeds. With portion control, you can also add sweets to your trail mix.

    A healthy severing can help supply your body with proteins and essential vitamins.

    Read more here!

  • UC Davis: Cracking the Walnut Genome

    Scientists at the University of California – Davis, along with researchers from the University of Connecticut and Johns Hopkins University, have mapped the genome for the commercial walnut. This new discovery will help accelerate the rate of breeding and increase the variety amongst walnuts, allowing breeders to select disease, insect, and drought resistant traits. These genomics are added to the traditional breeding.

    For California, this will have an enormous impact, as it produces 99% of the United States’ commercial walnuts. Walnuts are also the state’s fourth largest agricultural export. To assure the project’s continuity, The California Walnut Board has established a $2.9M endowment.

    Read more on UC-Davis’ walnut genome project here!

  • Montana State: Developed Wheat Seed Fighting Pest

    Montana State University’s Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) has been working with scientists at the Northwestern Agricultural Research Center to fight a major pest that has been destroying wheat yields throughout Montana.

    The tiny orange Wheat Midge has had devastating consequences for Montana farmers, destroying crops and costing producers millions of dollars. In 2007, most farmers had stopped growing spring wheat and by 2009, Wheat Midge was detected throughout the state.

    MSU has developed a new breed of Spring Wheat, Egan, to fight the Wheat Midge’s destruction. Egan has high grain protein, strong yield potential, and is resistant to wheat disease. Because of its SM1 gene, Egan is blended with 10 percent of a non-resistant variety to prevent the Wheat Midge from developing resistance. Egan is now available to producers in a certified blend.


    Read more here!

  • University of California – Davis: Endive Farmer Attributes Success to Ag College

    Rich Collins graduated from UC Davis in 1983 and now operates a successful business, California Endive Farms. In a recent profile, Collins attributes part of his success to the start he got at the California agricultural college.

    In particular, Collins remembers a feasibility study he undertook his freshman year that focused on the farming operation he dreamed of one day creating. Today, Collins is the only commercial grower of the Belgian variety of endive in the U.S. His farm employs 65 people year round.


    Read more here!

  • University of Nebraska – Lincoln: January is National Egg Month

    In honor of January and National Egg Month, this article has helpful tips about egg safety.

    Julie Albrecht, a UNL Extension food safety specialist explained some best practices to remember when eating eggs.

    Eggs should always be …

    • Kept refrigerated until they are used
    • Thoroughly cooked
    • Promptly consumed after cooking

    According to federal food safety information, keeping eggs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature your refrigerator should be at), prevents any salmonella from growing in your eggs.

    Read more here!

  • University of Nebraska – Lincoln: Freezing Peppers for Future Meals

    These tips from UNL will help you freeze your different types of peppers for future meals:

    • Wash, cut, and remove seeds and stem
    • Freeze peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet for one hour or longer
    • Store in a sealable bag, and enjoy your frozen veggies within eight months

    Read more here!

  • University of Maryland, College Park: Reflecting on 2015 and Food Preservation

    2015 was a fantastic year for Dr. Shauna Henley and her “Grow it Eat it Preserve it” class for the UMD extension. Dr. Henley taught 27 food preservation workshops across Baltimore County, Harford County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City.

    Offerings included public and private workshops, and a revived interest in canning attracted a diverse group of participants.

    Looking forward at the year ahead, Dr. Henley will host workshops from April to November.

    Read more here!

  • University of Delaware: UD Research May Lead to New Control for Devastating Rice Disease

    University of Delaware plant researchers are making scientific progress towards combatting a fungus (Magnaporthe Oryzae) that can devastate rice plants.

    The work is being lead by Harsh Bais, associate professor of plant and soil sciences in University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

    The findings were recently published in Frontiers in Plant Sciences and in Current Opinion in Plant Biology.

    Read more here!

  • Family & Consumer Sciences Extension: Making a Difference

    The North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) has released a new study, prepared in conjunction with the research organization Battelle, that showcases the importance of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension.

    FCS Extension offers programming by Cooperative Extension, which provides non-formal education from the nation’s land-grant universities to help Americans develop skills to live healthier and more productive lives.

    Read more here!

  • Auburn University: New Soil Measurement Could Boost Production, Conservation

    What’s your SQI? Auburn University researchers are working to ensure that this is a common question among the state’s farmers.

    Charles Mitchell, a professor in the College of Agriculture Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department and an Alabama Extension agronomist, explained that Alabama’s SQI (Soil Quality Index) —the first of its kind in the South—is a new measurement of soil health that can help farmers improve their crop production and help conserve natural resources.

    “We want our soils to be healthy enough to grow row crops, fruits and vegetables and forages,” said Mitchell. “This index can be reviewed every few years to ensure that your soils are improving.”

    It’s a great project, and a fantastic closing note on the 2015 International Year of Soils.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State University Researcher Seeks New Ways to Battle Johnsongrass

    Noxious weeds can be an irritable part of daily life for many farmers, but what if that weed is closely related to one of the most important crops grown in the United States? Johnsongrass fits this profile, and it is closely related to the important grain Sorghum. The close relationship between the two plants complicates the eradication of Johnsongrass.

    Kansas State University’s Michael Smith, a professor of entomology, is leading a five year research project supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to find genetic material in Johnsongrass to help fight the noxious weed.

    The program is called “Principles underlying the success of the weedy invader Sorghum halepense (‘Johnsongrass’) toward its containment and mitigation.”

    Read more here!

  • Delaware State University Awarded Almost $900,000 in USDA Grants

    Delaware State University’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences was recently awarded almost $900,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding to help support research, teaching and cooperative extension programs. 

    The funding to DSU was part of a larger package of more than $18 million that the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has recently distributed through 53 competitive grants to support research, teaching, and extension activities at 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities.

    The grant awarded to DSU will go toward three specific projects:

    • “The Development of Epigenomic Tools in Legumes – Global Understanding of Biotic Stress Methylomes and Transcriptomes in Common Beans.”
    • “Nanomaterial Detection in Food, Water and Environmental Waste by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry.”
    • “Collaborative Initiative to Assess and Develop Intervention Programs to Combat Obesity among Low-Income Families.”

    Read more here!

  • Multistate Project Manages Invasive Weeds in Wheat

    The multistate Research and Extension Project WERA 77 was formed to find sustainable and economical ways to combat weeds in wheat. Coordination of the research and extension efforts has facilitated the rapid transmission of new knowledge to growers.

    The project has provided the tools for quicker identification of weed species and this has allowed more targeted herbicide applications that prevent outbreaks.

    Read more here!

  • Holiday Foods: Heeding the Labels on Food Gifts

    The holidays are a time of gifts and good food, and sometimes a combination the two! If you receive food, either as a gift or as a mail order delivery, there are a few things you should do to make sure it is safe. Londa Nwadike, an assistant professor at Kansas State, recommends measuring the temperature of any arriving food that needs to be refrigerated. If the food arrives at a temperature higher than 40 degrees it may be unsafe to eat. Foods that has been cured, fermented or dried are probably safe at any temperature, but if uncertain you can check the labels on the food. Soft cheeses must be refrigerated but harder cheese may be ok if shipped at room temperature but should be chilled on arrival. To save the cheese for future use, cut and then freeze pieces. Nuts, jams and jellies all should be refrigerated and nuts can even be frozen to keep them from going rancid. If anything appears even slightly unsafe don’t risk it, don’t eat it and try to return it.

    Read more here!

  • Holiday foods: Homemade and mail order gifts are welcome

    A popular gift to send over the holiday season is food, either homemade or specially ordered. Food safety experts at Kansas State want to make sure that you don’t send your friends and family spoiled or unsafe food. One of the most important things is refrigeration. Londa Nwadike recommends freezing items that need to be kept cold and then packing it with an ice pack or some dry ice. Additionally, she suggests labeling the outside of the box with “keep refrigerated” and ensuring that someone will be at the delivery location to collect the delivery. Sweets oftentimes don’t need as much extra care, because sugar can keep the food from spoiling, but cheesecakes need to be kept below 40 degrees at all times.

    Read more here!

  • Cost Effective Solution Found For Weeds in Onions

    Perennial Sow Thistle is a weed that interferes with onion growth in muck land areas. Researchers at Cornell University Cooperative Extension ran a project to test ways to protect valuable onion crops in New York. They found that one herbicide, Stinger, if applied at the right time in the thistle’s growth can eliminate its ability to survive the winter. The discovery gives growers a cost effective and practical technique to protect their crops through the winter. Read more here!

  • Sustaining Our Salad: UC Davis Wins Specialty-Crop Grant For Lettuce Project

    UC Davis has received a grant from the USDA-NIFA to study how new technologies can help sustain and increase the world’s lettuce supply. The researchers are looking at every level of the lettuce production chain including isolating stress resistant traits for breeding and developing imaging technologies for producers. The project brings together researchers from across the state with breeding companies and the California Leafy Greens Research Board.

    Read more here!

  • Grant Promises Blueberry Farmers More Weapons In Fight Against Spotted Wing Drosophila

    The spotted wing drosophila, a small insect that targets berries and stone fruits, costs farmers more than $700 million a year. The insects lay their eggs in ripe fruit, particularly blueberries, which makes them unfit to be sold. Blueberries are a huge industry in the state of Georgia, where in 2013 farmers produced $313 million in the fruit. To help reduce the loss from these pests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently gave the University of Georgia a $2 million grant to research ways to stop the spotted wing drosophila. The effort is led by Ashfaq Sial, an expert on the insect and an entomologist at the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. 

    Read more here!

  • International Chefs Learn from Nebraska Extension

    Chefs from Jordan traveled to Nebraska to learn more about where they get their beef. The Nebraska Beef Council and NebraskaExtension program gave tours of their packing plant as well as a cooking tutorial. the Jordanian chefs often just grind their meat into burgers and cook them well done. The NBC and extension program wanted to show them how to prepare other cuts of meat and increase demand for beef around the world.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State University Researchers Target Inflammation To Help Dairy Cows

    Animal Scientists at Kansas State University are researching how to increase dairy cow milk production over their lifetimes. A prominent issue with dairy cows is inflammation after giving birth. The cows require substantial energy to begin milk production after giving birth and they need to eat to replenish that energy. Unfortunately, most cows tend to have diminished appetites immediately following the birth of their calves. This lack of nutrients puts them in the metabolic state of keotosis, which reduces the need for glucose in brain function. While this is not immediately harmful for the cows, it reduces their productivity in the long-term. Researchers found, however, that giving the cows one simple anti-inflammatory pill after birth helped increase milk production 7-10% in the following year without any side effects for the cow’s health.

    Read more here!

  • UGA Cooperative Extension Pecan Specialist Lenny Wells Optimistic About This Year’s Crop

    The University of Georgia’s pecan specialist believes that the state’s trees have finally overcome the struggles of a wet 2013. Wet years are known to cause increased pecan scab disease which stress a tree and can infect nuts. This year, farmers were more able to protect their trees and as a result stand to make more profit due to increased yields and steady prices. Georgia is the nation’s leading pecan producer, with over 145,000 acres of pecans being grown in 2013.

    Read more here!

  • Creative Programs in Food Deserts Teach Valuable Lessons

    The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension along with the Boys and Girls Club have started combating food deserts by cultivating community gardens with the help of school-age children. The purpose of the program is to help students understand where healthy food comes from and explain to them that it may be cheaper to grow their own food than to go to the store. Additionally, they hope to interest students in fresh alternatives to pre-packaged and processed meals.

    Read more here!

  • 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.

    Read more here!

  • 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!

  • 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.

    Read more here!

  • 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.

    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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

    Read more here!

  • 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!

  • 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.

    Read more here!

  • 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:

    Read more here!

  • Large Grain Crop May Call for Alternative Storage

    Many large grain producers in west Kentucky are reporting near-record yields of corn and soybeans. In September, National Agriculture Statistics Service estimated that the state’s corn crop is around 215 million bushels and 77.7 million bushels of soybeans. The crops prices are lower than previous years; producers will therefore be looking for short-term storage options. Farmers will plan to store their crops in machinery sheds, reinforced silos, or grain bags to preserve the quality.

    Read more here!

  • Sweet Potato Crop Appears Average at Harvest Midpoint

    The sweet potato season in Mississippi had a dry month in September, which could result in a loss of quantity. The bulk of Mississippi’s sweet potato planted acreage has increased 22 percent to 22,500 acres since 2013. Along with the sweet potatoes, many farmers began to grow sorghum, which is not a huge moneymaker, but it does control nematodes that benefit sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes from Mississippi, including different varieties and grades, have been sold at an average wholesale price of $21.60 per 40-pound carton, Alba Collart, Extension agricultural economist, said 2014 Mississippi sweet potato prices are up from last year’s. In 2013, sweet potatoes from Mississippi, including different varieties and grades, were sold at an average wholesale price of $16.30 per 40-pound carton.

    Read more here!

  • Demand for Local Produce, Markets Continue to Grow

    Locally grown produce has been on the rise lately, and it’s not hard to see why. Through farmers markets and co-ops, small-scale producers are finding ways to venture into the farm-fresh scene to the applause of local consumers. Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station says, “This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years.” Farmers markets offer a place for the community to gather and exchange knowledge, especially from the farmers to consumers, about why only certain offerings are available compared to the grocery store where one might find all sorts of out-of-season produce. Learn what other benefits this growing trend brings with it, after the jump.

    Read more here!

  • Oregon’s Artisan Cheese Industry Ages Well with OSU’s Help

    Lisbeth Goddik, the dairy-processing specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, provides training for all levels of artisan cheese makers, including assistance with improvements in product quality, shelf life and safety. She consults closely with them to solve specific challenges, and she serves as a technical liaison with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Division. Establishment of an artisan cheese industry gives dairy producers the opportunity to earn greater returns for specialty products they make on their farms.

    Read more here! 

  • NHAES Scientists Tackle Climate-Related Challenges of Northeast Apple Growers

    In anticipation of National Apple Month in October, the University of New Hampshire has revealed their latest foray into preserving one of the most valuable fruit crops in the country. Scientists with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture are working to circumvent diseases that can damage apples using sophisticated weather models. The erratic weather patterns throughout the country are making crops susceptible to a changing epidemiology of present diseases, as well as the arrival of new diseases. In order to combat this, Kirk Borders (assistant professor of plant pathology) and his team have been working with RIMpro Cloud Service, allowing them to use real-time weather data to predict an incoming disease outbreak. Tests have been promising so far, with reductions in both the number of organic fungicide sprays as well as the number of outbreaks. If everything goes according to plan, the preventative measures implemented will result in more successful management of these diseases, and will significantly cut down on orchard costs.

    Read more here!

  • AAMU Scientists Use Standoff Laser Technique to Detect Food Contaminants

    Researchers at Alabama A&M University have been awarded a $98,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to conduct food contamination research. This funding will help to combine the minds of gifted food scientists with the University’s leading physicists to work on the most cutting edge research stemming from lasers that are being used to detect food contamination. The team is working on developments on a laser technique that has the potential to find toxic elements and biological pathogens in commonly used food. If the research is successful, the laser technique could open new doors for monitoring food supplies.

    Read more here!

  • More Nutrient-Dense Foods for Everyone, From K-State

    K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialists are examining how farmers markets are reaching out to a broader audience. More local stands are accepting electronic payments as well as SNAP vouchers for their fresh foods to better accommodate consumers. This new policy pairs well with a recent nutrition education and obesity prevention program that was built into the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP helps Kansans with limited resources improve on the daily food choices they make and local farmers markets prove to be a cost effective option.

    Read more here!

  • Oregon State is Bringing Barley Back

    Researchers at Oregon State University have been busy with developing new varieties of barley to help growers diversify production and satisfy a growing interest in microbrews and whole-grain diets. Between 1993 and 2012, the University has released 12 new barley varieties. Researchers place a strong interest in identifying genes which allow the cereal to withstand temperatures, resist disease and survive on limited resources. On the commercial end, scientific studies are also taking note of genes responsible for malting quality, nutritional properties and flowering time.

    Read More Here!


  • K-State Researcher Educates Families on Nutrient-Dense Food for Everyone

    A Kansas State nutrition specialist is urging families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to get educated about the benefits of redeeming their SNAP benefits at local farmers markets. More than half of the farmers markets in the US now accept SNAP benefits, which were formerly known as “food stamps.” The nutrition specialist, Sandy Procter, offers a Family Nutrition Program in Kansas that helps families who benefit from SNAP learn about and understand the importance of fruits and vegetables. As June, the National Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month, comes to a close, she urges families to use their food dollars at farmers markets.

    Read more here!

  • UF Study: Some Consumers Confuse ‘Local’ with ‘Organic’ Food

    A University of Florida study has revealed that one in five consumers confuse the words “local” and “organic.” In partnership with three other universities, UF aims to help local and organic food producers better target their marketing messages to dispel consumers’ confusion. Experts at the University clarify the two terms by saying that organic produce is not always local. Sometimes, organic food can travel a long way before it reaches consumers’ plates, increasing its environmental footprint. With the organic food industry spending billions of dollars each year to build brand awareness, UF researchers hope to eventually educate consumers and dissolve confusion.

    Read more here!

  • K-State Helps Keep Kansans Safe From Foodborne Illness

    Kansas State research reports that over 48 million people in the US are infected with foodborne illness every year. Their research claims that there are a few things that will help in avoiding these diseases. Kansas State food specialists provide education programs throughout their area to inform food processors, food service employees and consumers about proper food safety and practices. These specialists also claim that one of the most effective methods in avoiding foodborne diseases is by educating children about food preservation and preparation. By taking small steps, K-State research hopes to affect large change.

    Read more here!

  • Clemson University Guides New Food Entrepreneurs Through Food Safety Laws

    Kimberly Baker, a food safety associate at Clemson University Cooperative Extension teaches new food entrepreneurs the ins and outs of food safety via Clemson’s Food2Market program. New food entrepreneurs bring creativity to the marketplace. However, this new creativity can also come with some confusion about the technical food safety laws that food entrepreneurs must abide by. Baker’s goal is to help them to share that creativity while also staying in accordance with state and federal food safety laws.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State Discusses Latest Trends in U.S. Foodborne Illness Cases

    Food-borne illness has gone up this past year, a concerning trend to consumers and researchers alike. Researchers at Kansas State offer examples of pathogens causing sickness, and subsequently suggest tips to remain safe. Kansas State’s Research and Extension food safety website compiles lists of tips and tricks to protect yourself and your family from contracting unpleasant and dangerous food-borne illnesses.

    Read more here!

  • UNL Says Follow Food Safety Tips This Summer When Grilling

    Grilling season is here, and with that comes a whole new set of precautions to take into account before diving into the (steak) sauce. Julie Albrecht, a food specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is an expert on the matter of food safety, and works to keep the armchair grill-masters safe come the summer months.

    Read more here! 

  • UK Students Help Fight Hunger

    Food insecurity in Kentucky may be a bigger issue than some might think. Students in the University of Kentucky Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition took matters into their own hands by raising enough money to host a meal-packing event. The students were inspired to start their own event after attending the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit at Auburn University. Partnering with Meals of Hope, an organization dedicated to providing food to local food pantries, the students fundraised to cover all the costs of packing and shipping meals. After only two hours, the students had packaged enough meals to feed 10,000 Central and Eastern Kentuckians.

    Read more here! 

  • ISU to Work on Herbicide Resistance Strategies with USDA Research Grant

    Iowa State University received a grant from the USDA to study how increased food security could improve overall global food production.  The research will focus on crop and pest management systems, in particular herbicide resistance in weeds.   “As a leader in agriculture production, the United States plays a critical role in feeding the world. This funding is critical to finding new solutions that will enable us to feed, clothe and shelter all people.” As the number of people continues to grow worldwide, the need to improve crop security and increase access to healthy, safe food for everyone has never been higher. ISU will be working in conjunction with other universities across the United States to help remedy this issue.

    Read more here! 

  • Certifiably Safe: Home micro processing done right via University of Kentucky

    Since 2004, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment has been helping Kentuckians create their own jam, jelly, and other processed foods in compliance of food safety regulations.

    The college offers a free online resource, along with local workshops, to help people improve the quality of home based micro processing. Many people have the fruit, veggies, and equipment to make their own processed and canned foods, but don’t have access to the information they need to actually accomplish their goals. The University of Kentucky continues to improve upon this program, so that local home based microprocessors can meet regulation and actually sell their products in stores.

    Read more here!

  • Food safety practices for fresh produce at farmers markets target of U of Arkansas research project

    Researchers at University of Arkansas will conduct market research to determine the safest, most efficient, and most sustainable practices for handling fresh produce at farmers markets. “The end goal of this study is to equip vendors and market managers with both scientifically-based and practical educational material that will reduce the likelihood of a foodborne illness outbreak” said Kristen Gibson, assistant professor of food science at the university.

    While food production is not a problem for many people in rural Arkansas, food safety is often an unknown territory. Ignorance of the science behind foodborne illness could cause serious problems for the public at large, who may become less inclined to purchase local produce if they feel that their food is not safe. The University hopes that this research will make farmers markets safer and more productive.

    Read more here!

  • Cold snap could chill start of watermelon season, says Clemson

    Tony Keinath, Clemson University’s disease plant specialist, talks about the late harvest for watermelons due to the spring we are encountering. This spring is a cool and wet one, which means more disease problems for young plants. “ Disease problems put a dent in $30 million plus crop and also means higher costs. Fungus is the biggest problem. Fungi cause five serious plant diseases,” said Keinath.

    Read more here!

  • How Many Acres of Soybeans are needed?

    Last month, a USDA survey on crop revealed that soybean production is increasing at an unexpected rate. There is an expected 81,493 million acres of soybeans to be planted this year, which is over 3 million more than last year and almost 5 million more than the year before. Agricultural economist Darrel Good from the University of Illinois credits this rise in production on the high global demand for soybeans and the resulting high prices of soybeans relative to other crops, particularly corn. 

    Read more here!

  • Scours in Beef Calves Prevalent this Spring, says Kansas State

    Contrary to popular belief among most beef producers, scours is the number one neonatal calf disease producers deal with. It is important for farmers to identify and treat the problem to prevent from calf, and financial, loss. K-State veterinarian Gregg Hanzlicek says that there are certain bacteria that cause scours, but dehydration is what ultimately kills the calf. “When we’re talking about scours in calves, what kills the calf is dehydration,” he says “it is important that they consume colostrum from their mother in that first two to six hours after birth to be protected from a lot of diseases.” 

    Read more here!

  • Special Field Day at NMSU’s Clovis Science Center explores winter canola as alternative crop

    NMSU will be holding a free field day on April 22 to discuss whether or not winter canola can be considered an alternative crop. “Winter canola has good potential in the region,” said Sangu Angadi, a crop stress physiologist at the Clovis Science Center. “It is well adapted, requires less water and produces multiple products that are in demand locally.” Research has shown that canola meal, which is what canola is referred to after the edible oil is extracted from the seed, is a great source of protein for dairy cattle. Research is still being done at the Clovis Science Center to develop winter canola into an economically and agronomically feasible alternative crop. 

    Read more here!

  • Catfish producers keep close eye on trematodes, says Miss State

    Catfish producers are warned to keep a close eye on their fish to prevent from pests that could cost them profits. The ramshorn snail is a major player in spreading catfish parasites, parasites such as the trematode. The treamatode can prevent growth of the catfish, make them vulnerable to diseases and death. The parasite has been spreading from the Delta to east Mississippi ponds, raising cause for concern. “People think they have trematodes under control, so they let their guard down and don’t treat again until they have problems with their ponds,” said Lester Khoo, veterinarian and director of the aquatic diagnostic lab at the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “If farmers don’t take care of the situation, we could have more cases this year. If they are not as vigilant as they should be, trematodes can become a problem in ponds rather quickly.”

    Read more here!

  • Hurt: WASDE report eases fear of low crop prices Purdue University

    Purdue Extension’s agricultural economist, Chris Hurt, says that there will be a more optimistic outlook on price increases for crops compared to last year, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Supply and Demand Estimates. Soy bean prices have increased as well to about $15 a bushel. Hurt says, “The closer those national corn prices come to $5, the less downward adjustment is needed in land values and cash rents.” 

    Read more here!

  • Swine Virus Will Impact Production, Prices in 2014, says OSU

    According to experts at Ohio State University, a virus referred to as PED has caused significant losses inswineherdsacross the country and is expected to impact the availability of pork productsand prices in 2014. There is little information on how the disease spreads or how it can be thwarted, and it is currently threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10% or more. The end result of this issue will ultimately affect the consumer with the rise in prices continuing through the summer. 

    Read more here!

  • NMSU studying 30 Chinese varieties of jujube fruit new to U.S.

    Fruit farmers face many financial issues from late frosts in Northern New Mexico with not only apple trees, but other fruits such as apricots or peaches. With these fruits being early bloomers, late frosts will stop them from producing fruit. But fruit specialists at New Mexico State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde have discovered a fruit that has shorter growing seasons. The jujube, also known as the Chinese date, blooms later in the spring, causing it to be a better choice for farmers. Fruit specialist Shengrui Yoa has surveyed many jujube trees in New Mexico, trees of which the owners were unaware that the jujube was edible and high in vitamin C. She believes that these fruits could prosper in New Mexico. “This climate is really good for jujube fruit to grow, and it is a nice alternative crop for the growers,” Yao said. “We just need to find a wider selection of cultivars that ripen at different times and can be used for different purposes, such as fresh eating, drying or both.” 

    Read more here!

  • International scientists spend time in AgCenter labs, says LSU

    For the past three years, LSU has been trying to increase the interaction in their AgCenter on an international level. Scientists from eleven countries have taken advantage of the LSU AgCenter primarily to increase food security and economic growth. “We are looking for ways to develop other products from rice. In my country, we do rice processing, drying and milling, but it’s a totally different environment,” said Usman Ahmad, an agricultural engineer from Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia. 

    Read more here!

  • High beef prices make great time to own cattle says MU

    University Missouri has recently come out with research that shows a $250 return on each cow versus last cycle when it was only $100. This 2014 and 2015 are shown to have $350 projections, prices are high and the cattle business is good. “Before you go home and double the size of your cow herd, remember the cattle cycle. When cow numbers go down, prices go up. However, when numbers go up, prices go down,” said Scott Brown, from MU. 

    Read more here!

  • Nitrogen loss suspected in wheat, says University of Kentucky

    Wheat field operators who applied nitrogen to their frozen fields in January and February may experience a decrease in nitrogen according to the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton. “Though the soil was frozen enough to support sprayers, significant precipitation fell after the application was made. The nitrogen likely was not able to penetrate the soil and could have been lost to surface runoff,” said Edwin Ritchey, extension soil specialist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. UK specialists suggest that growers who applied nitrogen back in January or February change their second application rates to make up for the lost nitrogen. “Although a substantial amount of the first nitrogen application might have been lost if applied to frozen ground, the yield potential has not been compromised,” specialist Carrie Knott said. “There is still time to adjust nitrogen rates with the second application so that wheat yields are not limited.” 

    Read more here!

  • NMSU unique research program works to breed a better onion

    New Mexico State University is trying to work on developing resistance to pests and diseases in regards to onions. NMSU has an Onion Breeding Program directed by Chris Cramer that has worked on developing 29 cultivars. “The thrips are attracted to the leaf color and wax, and tend to reproduce more in drier conditions. Higher temperatures with more thrips equal bad signs for the plant,” says Cramer. 

    Read more here!

  • New poultry litter application method holds promise in corn, says UK

    Researchers from the University of Kentucky have successfully tested a new subsurface application method for poultry litter in Western Kentucky. Farmers often use poultry litter as an alternative to chemical fertilizer in pasture and row crop production, as it provides nutrients and organic matter for plants and soil. This new method of how to apply poultry litter has multiple environmental and agronomical benefits. 

    Read more here!

  • NMSU Extension program focuses on feral hogs, cattle health, drought

    New Mexico State University will be releasing its Cattleman’s Current Issues Program. This program will keep cattle producers up to date with information regarding how to take care of cattle in the instance of a drought or wild hogs. “Timely information is vital to good decision-making when it comes to raising cattle,” said Tom Dominguez, program director and agricultural agent at NMSU’s Otero County Cooperative Extension Service.

    Read more here!

  • Kansas State Researchers Developing Wheat Resistant to Yield-Robbing Mites, Diseases

    Wheat crops in Kansas have fallen prey to the wheat curl mite, which destroys wheat through diseases and viruses. But researchers from Kansas State are now developing new wheat that is resilient to these mites. They have found wheat that already carries a natural resistance to the mite and are working on creating different varieties of it. K-State entomology professor Mike Smith has a team of researchers that are working on these new varieties of wheat. “This is not GMO wheat,” he said, “this is done with genes that already exist in wheat. There is nothing transgenic or GMO about this.” By developing these different varieties, the need for pesticides may be eradicated, which could in turn increase profits for wheat producers.

    Read more here!

  • Winter is the best time to trap wild hogs, says MSU

    Mississippi State University has released some tips on how to catch those hogs! Wild hogs have a large growth rate, a rate that exceeds any other large mammal in the North American region. Hogs are omnivores which means they mostly consume plants and then about ten percent of meat.

    Read more here!

  • Predators delay pest resistance to Bt crops, says Cornell

    Cornell University has recently released research regarding Bt crops and how it could potentially affect plants in the future. Genetically modified plants produce proteins that kill pests, also known as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). “To delay or prevent insect pests from evolving resistance to Bt crops, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promotes the use of multiple Bt genes in plants and the practice of growing refuges of non-Bt plants that serve as a reservoir for insects with Bt susceptible genes,” said Krishna Ramanujan, free lance writer at Cornell University.

    Read more here!

  • A Closer Look at PEDv and Feed Sources in the Swine Industry, from KState

    Researchers from Kansas State University Research and Extension are looking into the cause of a recent outbreak of a disease that affects pigs. Known as PEDv, the disease can cause widespread stomach issues, particularly for young and newborn pigs, and even lead to severe injury or death. The disease is new to the US this year, so researchers have been trying to figure out how it’s spreading and why. The conclusion has been that the likely perpetrator is a common feed ingredient: plasma protein. While more research is necessary, some farmers are changing their pigs’ diets so as not to include this potentially problematic protein.

    Read more here!

  • UF Researchers Find Genetic Cause For Citrus Canker, Putting Them A Step Closer To A Cure

    A team of researchers from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are closing in on a possible cure to citrus canker disease. The bacterial pathogen causes pustules on fruit, leaves and twigs, and is a highly contagious plant disease that spreads rapidly. This condition continues to be a problem in citrus-growing areas of Florida, posing serious threats to the $9 billion dollar industry. By identifying the susceptibility gene in citrus plants, researchers say they are closer to a cure for the disease.

    Read more here!

  • UF/IFAS researchers demonstrate improved appeal of sterile flies that save crops

    University of Florida has discovered a way to save food crops and millions of dollars in infestations. Daniel Hahn, associate professor of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Giancarlo López-Martínez, assistant professor at New Mexico State University having been working on this research together. They found that a low-oxygen treatment versus SIT, sterile insect technique which uses pesticides, is more cost effective and has higher performance.

    Read more here!

  • New Wheat Variety from KState Offers Many Benefits

    Researchers from Kansas State University’s Agricultural Research Center have bred a new variety of wheat that is performing well in its trials. “Oakley CL” has “high yield potential, Beyond herbicide tolerance, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and good quality for milling and baking.” While it will continue to be studied throughout 2014, researchers are optimistic that farmers, millers, and bakers can soon reap its benefits. Oakley CL has gained its advantageous characteristics from its 3 wheat parent varieties.

    Read more here!

  • Mississippi State University holds workshop on Produce markets’ growth spurs food safety learning

    Mississippi State University held an all day workshop on February 17th. The workshop touched on best practices regarding produce as well as food safety. Extension specialists discussed several topics at the workshop including: site selection, pest control, cooling, packing and storing produce and managing worker health and hygiene. The second workshop will be held on March 11th. 

    Read more here!

  • University of California Releases New Cost Studies for Bell Peppers, Celery and Cabbage Production

    The University of California has released four new studies regarding costs for vegetable products. The study is based on hypothetical farm operations using practices familiar in Ventura County. UCCE farm advisors, supply and equipment dealers, growers and agricultural institutions created the data dealing with inputs and prices, as well as production practices. Overall the studies explained the assumptions used to recognize material inputs, current costs for the crops, cash and non-cash overhead and profitability analysis. 

    Read more here!

  • Mummy berry could spook your blueberries, says OSU Extension

    Oregon State University Extension wants to warn the public about a spooky fruit disease: mummy berry. Blueberries are the most common target and can become shriveled up, “mummified” versions of themselves when infected with the disease, which runs rampant when the weather is especially warm and wet. “The gardener’s best defense against this ruthless fungus is to regularly pick up shriveled fruit off the bush and ground and dispose of it as soon as you first see it.” If mummy berry has caused a lot of damage, sometimes it is best to start over and plant new berries. 

    Read more here!

  • UK researcher finds molecular markers for common woody plant disease

    One of the most vexing and difficult to diagnose plant diseases just became an easier foe, thanks to new research from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Unique characteristics of the fungal DNA were amplified to serve as molecular markers for plant pathologists” to help identify Verticillium wilt. These new markers will make it faster and easier for plant scientists to accurately diagnose and treat their plants. This could also impact the future for how the disease is studied and could one day lessen the spread.

    Read more here!

  • Blueberry tree research could help growers branch out

    Oregon State University is hoping to lower production costs for growers by engineering a new breed of blueberry that develops as a tree opposed to the traditional bush. Blueberry agents from the university have tested a grafted blueberry “tree” that grows on a single stem on a research plot at OSU’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora every year since 2009. The blueberry industry contributed $107.5 million in sales to Oregon’s economy in 2012, and this research could boost one of the state’s top economic industries. 

    Read more here!

  • U.S. Pecan Crop May Be the Shortest Since 1998

    Specialists from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System worry that this year may not yield good results for pecan producers. Experts attribute one of the rainiest growing seasons on record as a limiting factor for the crops. Desirable pecan variety crops were devastated by scabs, which affected nut size, quality and volume. This forecast implies that crop shortage means higher prices for consumers. 

    Read more here!

  • Texas A&M researchers to study cowpea drought and heat tolerance

    Researchers from Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will soon be applying knowledge of DNA sequencing in a small legume to a much broader spectrum of crops within the agricultural industry. New cowpea (also known as a black eyed pea) varieties have been created to better withstand heat, droughts, and phosphorous levels. “This will help researchers design tools to effectively combine multiple traits into new cultivars adapted to the globally changing climate in this and related crops, thus supporting the long-term genetic improvement and sustainability of U.S. agriculture and food systems.” The information gleaned from studying cowpeas can be applied to other crops such as corn and cotton.

    Read more here!

  • UGA Suggests Crop Rotation and Cultural Practices to Reduce Disease in Seasonal Color Beds

    New information from the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences illustrates the importance of preventing disease in seasonal plants. In order to reduce the risk, it is important to understand how the plant itself, its environment, and the pathogen relate to each other. UGA suggests rotating crops, planting them in proper conditions, and maintaining cultural practices to avoid disease. In particular, “Applying crop rotation to seasonal landscape color beds will lead to lower disease incidence, lower replacement needs, lower pesticide applications and higher profit margins.” 

    Read more here!

  • Producers Offered Valuable Insight at Multistate Beef Conference Hosted By Iowa State

    Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting a Beef Conference on January 14 in collaboration with Extension specialists from Missouri and Nebraska as well. Topics will range from “the potential benefits of using cover crops as an alternative forage” to “the decision-making process of moving pasture land to crop production.” Beef is an important commodity in these three states, making this conference relevant to a large number of people in the agricultural industry. 

    Read more here!

  • Poultry Remains No. 1 for 19th Straight Year, says Mississippi State University

    Poultry can’t be beat in Mississippi, according to Mississippi State University’s new report on agricultural production. For the 19th straight year, chicken held the highest value, thanks to prime conditions in 2013 and an increased demand. The weather cooperated and producer costs dropped, both of which led to a steady year in poultry sales. “As beef and pork producers face challenges that will likely decrease production,” it seems that 2014 is set to follow as another year in favor of the poultry industry. 

    Read more here!

  • University of Georgia: Pecan Crop in Worse Shape than Originally Feared

    The state of Georgia usually produces around 90 million pounds of pecans, but for some reason the past year only produced about two-thirds of that. Researchers from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have stated that in addition to the low numbers of the crop, international demand (especially from China) has fallen, creating hard conditions for pecan farmers. It is likely that the “wetter than usual weather… led to higher than normal incidences of the fungal disease pecan scab, interrupted harvest activities, and deteriorated the quality of the nut.” 

    Read more here!

  • University of Georgia: Pecan Crop in Worse Shape than Originally Feared

    The state of Georgia usually produces around 90 million pounds of pecans, but for some reason the past year only produced about two-thirds of that. Researchers from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have stated that in addition to the low numbers of the crop, international demand (especially from China) has fallen, creating hard conditions for pecan farmers. It is likely that the “wetter than usual weather… led to higher than normal incidences of the fungal disease pecan scab, interrupted harvest activities, and deteriorated the quality of the nut.” 

    Read more here!

  • U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Releases 3 breeding Lines of Upland Cotton

    Three new cotton breeds developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have been introduced to both the private and public spheres. The new breeds “are resistant to common cotton diseases… [and] show at least moderate resistance to tarnished plant bug.” The importance of having hearty and disease-resistant cotton strains cannot be understated. Due to the role a changing climate has in the cotton industry, and in agriculture more generally, it is critical to develop these stronger cotton breeds that can stand up to the changing elements. 

    Read more here!

  • OSU Expert: Extreme Winter Weather May Mean Extra Feed for Livestock

    As cold, icy, harsh winter weather sets in, OSU experts urge producers to be vigilant towards the increased needs of livestock to ensure their ability to withstand the extreme outdoor conditions. Cold temperatures, cold rains and muddy conditions can significantly increase the energy required by livestock metabolism to provide enough heat for the animal to maintain its body temperature. Extension at Ohio State University offers helpful tips to help producers shield livestock from the elements. 

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  • Cornell Researchers Use Aeroponics to boost NY potato production

    A system developed in Lima, Peru has been adopted by Cornell University scientists to hasten the process of growing potatoes. By utilizing aeroponics (in which plant roots grow in the air as opposed to the ground), tubers can be grown more quickly and at a higher volume. This could greatly decrease the amount of time necessary to get potatoes on consumers’ tables, a process that traditionally takes several years. Increasing efficiency will lighten the load for farmers and allow them to “remain self-sustaining.” 

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  • Mississippi State University researchers find rice seed treatments work

    After five years of research, scientists from MSU have come to the conclusion that seed treatments for rice crops significantly improve insect pest management. The number of rice water weevils decreased in the crop grown with seed treatments, allowing for a higher yield than untreated rice. The scientists also studied whether various water treatments (especially flushing fields) affected the efficacy of the seed treatment. This research is important to the future of rice management, as farmers can benefit from the use of such seed treatments and increase their overall crop yields. 

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  • Kansas State establishes multimillion-dollar global food security program

    Thanks to an $8.5 million award from USAID, KSU will be able to set up its third iteration of a Feed the Future Innovation Lab. The Lab aims to solve problems caused by postharvest loss, an issue that affects up to a third of all worldwide harvests. “This newest lab will focus initially on helping the countries of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Guatemala…” As populations continue to increase and economies grow, the demand for grain will also rise. It is crucial to the success of these economies to increase crop yields through preventative and other measures. 

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  • Cow Herd Nutritional Adjustments for Winter from Kansas State

    Research and advice from Kansas State University experts illustrate the importance of maintaining proper nutrition and management for cows during the harsh winter months. In order for cows to maintain their health and ability to gestate successfully over the winter months, they need to eat higher percentages of certain forages proportional to their weight. It is also critical to time feedings correctly and ensure the availability of barrier protections from high winds. This information is very relevant to cow farmers as the temperatures drop so they can take needed measures to protect their livestock. 

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  • Purdue, Ohio State partner to help farmers control marestail

    Purdue has partnered with Ohio State University Extension to publish a fact sheet that offers farmers help in battling herbicide-resistant marestail. Marestail, or horseweed, is a hinderance to soybean harvest, competing with soybean plants for soil nutrients, space and water. This university resource includes information on marestail biology, soybean yield loss, herbicide resistance and management techniques. 

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  • Purdue, Ohio State partner to help farmers control marestail

    Purdue has partnered with Ohio State University Extension to publish a fact sheet that offers farmers help in battling herbicide-resistant marestail. Marestail, or horseweed, is a hinderance to soybean harvest, competing with soybean plants for soil nutrients, space and water. This university resource includes information on marestail biology, soybean yield loss, herbicide resistance and management techniques. 

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  • Coaxing Super Veggies From Tuned LED Light

    Kale has become quite the trend among health-food enthusiasts. Researchers from the University of Florida suggest that they are able to modify the levels of antioxidants and other healthy compounds in sprouts, including kale. Applying LED technology, scientists hope to manipulate wavelengths in order to produce higher quality plants and vegetables. The primary goal is to figure out how to control aspects of a sprout’s nutritional content.

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  • Additive may make wine fine for a longer time

    Penn State scientists have found that an additive may help curb a chemical reaction that causes wine to look, smell and taste unsatisfactory. Experts from the University are using oxygen’s ability to react with some of the trace metals that are found in the wine to prevent this occurrence. Additional research is needed to combat oxidation, but these efforts provide valuable insight for future studies.

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  • New technology could help food crops thrive in crowded fields

    At the University of Wisconsin-Madison´s College of Agricultural and Life Science, genetic scientists are reengineering molecules found in plants to make them more resistant to low level of light. In doing so, plants would be allowed to grow at regulated pace even when placed in non-optimal settings. This technology is showing great promise in boosting agricultural productivity.

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  • Purdue researcher: Income to become dominant driver of global food system

    According to a researcher at Purdue University per capita income is set to eclipse population growth as the main cause of change in the global food system. Thomas Hertel suggests that for the first time in human history, income will surpass population growth as an influencer on good security. In addition, Hertel views technological development as the key to future food security by providing more employment and higher incomes in many parts of the developing world. 

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  • LSU AgCenter Soybean study evaluates residue control

    A team of researchers from the Louisiana State University´s College of Agriculture conducted a study dealing with the implementation of different techniques to ensure optimal soybean breeding ground. One decisive factor, according to soybean specialist Ron Levy, is to make sure that farmers don´t burn harvested crop residue as it destroys organic matter and increases soil erosion. This advice and other tips from the LSU AgCenter help farmers to plant more efficiently and reduce negative effects on the environment. 

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  • Insect workshop Gives Alternatives to Stop World Hunger

    The annual Insect Rearing Workshop at Mississippi State University attracts insect-rearing enthusiasts from all over the world. This year’s event focused on ways to reduce world hunger by raising insects for protein to feed catfish, poultry and even humans. In doing so, researchers argue that people especially in rural protein deficient regions will be able to see benefits towards food production. This event has demonstrated great success and exemplifies how research is crucial for farmers to tackle problems on a domestic and global scale.

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  • MSU becomes member of consortium to receive $25 million for research

    Mississippi State University is a member of a consortium of universities and other partners who will receive a $25 million, five-year international grant to help increase soybean production across Sub-Saharan Africa. Their research will focus on four main research areas including: genetic improvement, enhanced crop productivity and quality, nutrition, and socio-economic research. The results from these studies will allow the consortium to create impact in increasing soybean production across Africa while providing the necessary tools and expertise. Gender roles are also a central theme of the project. This research aims to improve understanding of gender inequalities in the agricultural sector in order to help rural women, families and communities work towards a better measures of security, health and economic development. 

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  • Researchers help dairy industry grow

    At the University of Maine´s College of Agriculture, researchers have found ways to increase profitability in the dairy industry. Thy found that by planting silage corn, using no-till, time spent on farming and overall cost can be reduced. For the diary industry, it is vital to find new ways to increase efficiency, without suffering the loss of a decline in the quality of dairy products. Thus, this research is a crucial part of making the industry more competitive by securing jobs and ensuring economic growth. 

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  • UI Wheat Team Focusing on Developing New Varieties, Boosting Yields

    The University of Idaho research team is leading the charge with over 20,000 individual test plots of winter wheat seeded in northern Idaho field and local greenhouses. These plots will help plant breeders assess present wheat varieties and to develop new ones. In addition, the plots will help researchers and growers better understand the impact of acid soils, and examine calcium carbonate or lime applications to mitigate negative effects, on wheat. In 2012, wheat generated nearly $800 million in receipts for growers, making the University’s agronomic research indispensable. 

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  • SNR Researchers Discover Unusual Prairie Chicken Movement – UNL

    UNL graduate student Jocelyn Olney conducted a research experiment focusing on the movement of prairie chickens. Olney was part of a team of researchers from the School of Natural Resources who banded 70 prairie chickens in the Sandhills last year. This identification process offers several advantages for insight into the life history of prairie chickens including travel distance during the seasons. Understanding the behavioral patterns of this migrant species helps researchers paint a more accurate picture of this poultry population. 

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  • Penn State helps to Feed the Future

    A team from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has embarked on a project to expedite breeding programs for climate stress resistant beans. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Beans seeks to create beans that will withstand the climate changes expected in the future. The project also aims to empower women through education about bean and legume-based farming systems to help feed households as climate shifts worsen.

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  • MSU Receives Grant for More Resistant Wheat

    Montana State University´s College of Agriculture recently received $500,000 towards intensive research to find genes that increase resistance to wheat stem sawflies. In order to do so, researchers will scan more than 4000 varieties of wheat. This research possesses the potential to make wheat farming less critical while also increasing farmer yield and efficiency.

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  • Cleaning Up Your Garden in the Fall – K-State Research and Extension

    The Kansas State department for Research and Extension offer gardeners a video to help prepare vegetable plants for the upcoming winter. The video explains three major reasons why we want to clean up the debris in the vegetable garden. Following this valuable advice can help farmers solve growing problems and get a jump start for the next season.

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  • University of Georgia Researchers Recommend Prevention Techniques for Leaf Spot Disease

    University of Georgia Extension researchers declare prevention as the best method for eliminating leaf spot diseases on collards and other greens. To minimize spreading of disease, researchers recommend cutting the leaves or removing the entire plant to save the garden.

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  • UG Warns that Johnsongrass and Frost are a Bad Combination

    As the winter season approaches, the University of Georgia warns that beef producers should be cautious of the combination of frost and johnsongrass, which could pose a lethal combination for cattle. With the amount of rain that Georgia received this summer, johnsongrass is likely to have grown faster than cattle could have eaten it all. Sorghum group plants, like johnsongrass, can produce toxic levels of prussic acid, especially in cold weather conditions. Follow these suggestions in the link below to ensure that your cattle avoid prussic acid poisoning:

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  • Alcorn State University Supports Farmer-to-Farmer Program in South Africa

    Staff from Alcorn State University´s Department of Agriculture recently traveled to the Eastern Cape of South Africa to assist with the development of extension programs for the South Africa Farmer-to-Farmer Program. This program provides technical assistance and enables African farmers to increase productivity, income and employment. Alcorn Extension displays an understanding that as populations grow and food supply becomes an increasingly crucial issue, it is important to share knowledge and resources to tackle this global problem.

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  • K-State Celebrates World Food Day

    Kansas State University reminds us all of the societal need for research and education on food origin and prevention of food loss. October 16th marks World Food Day, a global movement to end hunger and malnutrition established by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Although the highest statistic of malnutrition comes from developing countries, K-State highlights something closer to home with over 49 million people in the United States battling hunger. The Green Revolution helped to improve and increase production in the world’s food and agriculture system but there is much more work to be done with a growing population.

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  • Group of Land-Grant Deans: Pioneers of Bioengineering Deserve their Recognition

    This week, leaders from across the globe will convene in Des Moines, Iowa to honor recipients of the World Food Prize. Norman E. Borlaug, a celebrated crop breeder and Nobel Prize Laureate for Peace envisioned the award as a method of recognition to creative individuals who helped advancement of safe and nutritious food for the world’s people. This year’s recipients include Belgian Marc Van Montagu, and Americans Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley for their findings towards genetic engineering of crops. This announcement was met with controversy with some critics believing different achievements in agroecology, supply chain management, or development of policies that impact economic equality and food access. A group of land-grant deans came together to author an op-ed in support of this year’s prize winners.

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  • Jim Rogers: Bright People Should Study Agriculture Not Finance

    Jim Rogers, the famous investor and author of several bestsellers, declared that now is the time to pursue careers in farming over finance. He argues that in the future, the center of the world will not be finance-driven but rather the production of real goods. In this context, Timothy Burcham, dean of Agriculture and Technology at Arkansas State University draws attention to the fact that one of the greatest challenges will be to feed nearly 9 billion people by 2050. Thus, people pursuing a degree in agriculture are more needed than ever in order to solve this fundamental problem in the United States and the world.

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  • UW-Madison Launches National Agricultural Innovation Prize

    As the world’s population continues to rise, the need for sustainable and secure food systems also increases. A new student contest sponsored by UW-Madison highlights the value of long-term solutions in agriculture. The contest involves teams of undergraduate and graduate students across the country submitting proposals and business ideas to address challenges in 21st-century agriculture, such as food scarcity, transportation and sustainability. The Howard G. Buffet Foundation is providing the prize of $100,000 to the winner.

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  • Green Stem Syndrome Present in Some Indiana Soybean Fields According to Purdue Extension

    According to soybean specialists at Purdue Extension, Indiana soybean fields are displaying symptoms of green stem syndrome. The condition is characterized by an early maturation of soybean pods and seeds—turning harvest color and drying out, while the stem remains green. The issue typically arises when the seed-fill, is disturbed by factors like weather, the environment, viral diseases or insect infestation. Understanding this phenomenon is particularly important for producers in order to make informed decisions towards optimizing harvesting potential and reduce profit loss.

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  • Formula Will Help when Estimating Soybean Yield Potential

    A new calculation method from Purdue Extension is helping soybean producers more easily get an idea of the yield potential of their soybean crops. The formula takes into account the many factors related to soybean yield, including the genetics selected, management decisions and weather conditions. This ability to forecast production output could help growers scout multiple areas quickly while maintaining representative estimates.

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  • Producers and Iowa Benefit from Forage and Pasture Education

    Iowa beef producers have recently been forced to raise more beef from fewer forage acres. According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, nearly 20 percent of Iowa pasture land was converted to cropland from 2002 to 2007. High grain prices from 2008 to 2012 have continued or accelerated this trend. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are responding to this need for productivity improvement by offering forage and grazing educational programs.

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  • Panel at Cornell Tackles Food Security Issues

    On September 12th, the President of the World Food Prize joined Cornell World Food Prize laureates and youth institute alumni to discuss food security, along with hundreds of Cornell faculty and students. Such discussion on food security issues is increasingly necessary as those from many disciplines attempt to solve issues of mass hunger. Many see sustainability, agriculture and rural investment as key factors in the solution to food security issues.

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  • Texas A&M Researchers Identify Light Quality Effects on Genes Regulating Branching

    Plants are much more responsive to wavelengths of sunlight than the naked eye. According to Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists, plants use this light to alter their overall architecture. A study discussing these findings will be featured in the October issue of the journal Plant Physiology. In the magazine, researcher also outline how this information could help in designing future crops with higher resilience to growing environments, such as drought, high temperatures and grazing.

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  • University of Missouri Research Team Narrows Search on Soybean Parasite

    Scientists from the University of Missouri, the University of Georgia and the Beijing Genome Institute have collaborated to apply next-generation sequencing on gene identification. The result was the identification of a two genes that defend soybeans from damage caused by the root-knot nematode (RKN) parasite. This is the first time that the process has been used in soybean research. Knowledge acquired from these studies could help save millions of dollars in annual yield losses and more resistant soybean varieties could be produced.

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  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln and CIAT Host Lecture on Global Food Security

    On September 17th, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute will host “The University of Nebraska and CIAT: New Research Partnerships for Global Food Security,” presented by the director-general of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Ruben G. Echeverría. The seminar will focus on how to approach issues, such as natural resources management and climate change, through global partnerships. The lecture hopes to cultivate a relationship between CIAT’s research and universities in the United States.

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  • UF/IFAS Extension Reintroduces Edible Landscaping

    Edible landscaping, replacing ornamental plants with edible vegetation, has gained popularity in recent years. This practice holds a variety of benefits including increased food security, convenience and lowered food costs. The Extension program at the University of Florida is sharing information on starting and maintain these edible gardens.

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  • OSU Summit Tackles Providing ‘Food for Billions’

    The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center is sponsoring a food summit, “Food for Billions”. With a growing global population, agricultural yield isn’t the only matter that needs to be improved. The event aims to attract leading decision-makers to a larger conversation in regards to providing healthy, adequate food for large populations.

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  • New Resource for Growers and Homeowners Waging Asian Citrus Psyllid Battle

    The University of California Cooperative Extension program has introduced a new resource for growers battling with the Asian citrus psyllid pest. The resource exists on the UC Extension website and offers detailed and scientifically sound guidelines for treating farm and home-grown citrus. The aggressive psyllid eradication treatment aims to buy time for researchers to find long-term strategies for maintaining the California citrus industry

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  • Identifying Southern Rust in Corn to Minimize Yield and Profit Loss – Tips from Kansas State

    Corn producers are less than thrilled by the appearance of small, light brown, circular lesions on corn leaves. These marks are known as southern corn rust, a fungal disease that is caused by a pathogen known as Puccinia polysora. Farmers pay special attention to the spread of this epidemic to prevent production loss. Kansas State Extension Service offers tips for recognizing the condition and steps to prevent its spread.

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