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Drink Your Peas, Please!

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist and director of the Western Regional Research Center (Albany, CA), Tara McHugh and her team in the Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit are experts at solving food-manufacturing problems. Using cutting-edge processing technologies, they have helped numerous small businesses, such as Ripple Foods, turn ideas into products for the consumer. ARS is helping Ripple Foods optimize its current pea protein drying process to …

Exploring Alternatives to Plastic Mulch

In my conversations with growers, plastic mulch has been a leading topic of both interest and concern. There are so many benefits to using it, including moisture retention, weed control, and soil warming, but the environmental impact is hard to ignore. It’s estimated that in the US alone, farmers use around 1 billion pounds of plastic annually. In this article, I’ll review …

National Cucurbit Project Reupped for $7.1 Million

The Cucurbit Coordinated Agricultural Project (CucCAP), a multi-institution, nationwide research and outreach initiative led by Michigan State University and dedicated to cucurbit crops — cucumbers, squashes, melons and watermelon — has been awarded $7.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The new funding extends the project that began in 2015 for four years. The goals …

New Dry Beans from UC Davis Combine Qualities for Both Farmers & Consumers

Plant breeders are constantly working to develop new bean varieties to meet the needs and desires of the food industry. But not everyone wants the same thing. Many consumers desire heirloom-type beans, which have great culinary quality and are visually appealing. On the other hand, farmers desire beans with better disease resistance and higher yield potential. The bean varieties that …

Using Satellites to Improve Sustainability, Yield

Two of the nation’s great agricultural regions are the focus of new research that aims to head off emerging threats and improve sustainability. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are joining colleagues to create and use artificial intelligence to help farmers in the Colorado River Basin and Salinas Valley, CA, improve their management of irrigation, fertilization, and pests. USDA’s National Institute of …

Western Growers Hires Robert Medler as New Arizona Government Affairs Manager

Western Growers (WG) is pleased to announce the addition of Robert Medler as Arizona Government Affairs Manager. Medler brings nearly 15 years of government relations experience and will represent the most influential specialty crop producers in the fresh produce industry in the Arizona State Capitol. “We are very excited to have Robert joining Western Growers’ State Government Affairs team,” said …

Western Growers Inaugurates Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders

To identify and prepare the next generation of Western Growers (WG) members for positions of leadership within the Western fresh produce industry, WG has inaugurated the sixth class of the Future Volunteer Leaders Program (FVLP). This year, for the first time in program history, the FVLP welcomes a future leader from Colorado, which became the third membership state in the …

Chemical Composition of Wild Potato Relative Contributes to its Disease Resistance

AMERICAN PHYTOPATHOLOGICAL SOCIETY – Potato is the most consumed vegetable crop worldwide. However, despite its importance, potato production is severely affected by high susceptibility to a wide range of microbial pathogens, such as bacteria from the genus Pectobacterium, which cause various devastating diseases in potato and produce important economic losses. Even though resistance to Pectobacteriumspecies is limited within cultivated potato varieties, it is …

Variety: Spice of life for bumble bees

University of Göttingen – The yield and quality of many crops benefit from pollination, but it isn’t just honey bees that do this work: bumble bees also have a role. However, placing honey bee or bumble bee colonies next to the field does not guarantee that they will visit the desired plants since there may be other plant species flowering …

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