Economics

USDA Study Reveals Airborne Fungus Can Trigger Plant Growth

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently announced that a harmless airborne fungus, Cladosporium sphaerospermum strain TC09 (TC09), can dramatically accelerate plant growth if a germinating plant is near the fungus as it emits volatiles or gases. Scientists used tobacco and pepper plants as models to study the conditions for accelerated plant growth once exposed to …

National Project Tackles Virus Threats to Potato Industry

A University of Idaho-led team will tackle a pair of viruses that cause major losses to the potato industry. U of I researcher and potato virus expert Alex Karasev will lead the project funded by a $5.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The team of two dozen scientists will target potato …

Grafting Watermelon Prevents Disease, WSU Study Shows

A new study from Washington State University’s Department of Horticulture found that splice grafting helps watermelons resist disease. For more than 10 years, watermelon growers in Washington’s Columbia Basin have been struggling with a disease called Verticillium wilt, caused by the fungus Verticillium dahliae. The findings were recently published in the American Society for Horticulture Science. For decades, methyl bromide, a fumigant used …

Five Steps for Ag Processors to Adapt their COVID-19 Incident Response Approach

COVID-19 is a health crisis in the United States but major industries, like agriculture, chemical manufacturing, oil and gas exploration and production, all need to keep functioning as essential businesses in the midst of the crisis.  The response to COVID-19 has core parallels to major industrial accident response, which involves deploying the right resources for the task.  Every incident, be …

California Ag Leadership Foundation Announces New Leadership

The California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) has announced the hiring of two individuals to its leadership team, Dwight Ferguson and Abby Taylor-Silva, to lead the organization which operates one of the foremost leadership development experiences in the United States, the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP). “I am excited to announce that we are cultivating a new way forward as we …

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Round II Begins Sept. 21 (What’s Included)

President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. “America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still …

USDA Assists Farmers, Ranchers & Communities Affected by Western Wildfires

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of assistance for residents and agricultural producers affected by recent wildfires. As of today, wildfires have burned nearly 6.9 million acres across 11 states. More than 31,000 personnel from the local, state and federal levels are working to contain 61 large fires. The USDA Forest Service has more than 7,800 …

Automation Helps Solve Specialty Crop Challenges

With support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Multistate Research Fund, researchers at 17 land-grant universities are working together to develop automated systems that work well for labor-intensive specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery plants. A multi-state collaborative approach lifts the burden of research and development from a single specialty crop sector and spurs major …

Poor Weather & COVID-19 Hurt Mexican Tomato Industry

Poor weather conditions during harvest in Sinaloa, the top tomato producing state in Mexico, plus demand and supply chain challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in slightly lower forecasted production and trade in fresh tomatoes. However, spring/summer supplies from central Mexico are expected to meet all demand to the United States for the remainder of the …

Request for Research Proposals to Support and Enhance Honey Bee Health

Scientific research provides us with the foundation of knowledge we rely on in order to understand honey bee health threats and address them. Project Apis m. and the National Honey Board are requesting research proposals to support and enhance honey bee health. Proposals will be accepted between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. Please visit www.ProjectApism.org/rfps to view the …

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