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New Nanoparticle-Based Sensors to Measure Residual Herbicides in Food

Two newly developed, low-cost tests that use nanoparticles to detect chemicals can accurately measure tiny amounts of two potentially harmful herbicides in fruits, vegetables and their products. Reporting in the journal Food Chemistry, a Washington State University research team used two testing methods to measure the levels of two herbicides, namely atrazine and acetochlor, in samples of apples, strawberries, cabbage, corn and …

USDA’s Cost of Pollination Survey Going Out to California Growers

On Nov. 1, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will mail the 2022 Cost of Pollination Survey to over 2,700 CA crop producers. The survey will be sent to nearly 16,000 producers nationwide. “Honey bees are important pollinators of crops ranging from almonds to zucchinis,” said Gary R. Keough, director of the NASS Pacific Regional Office. “To help accurately depict …

Western Growers Selects Future Volunteer Leaders Class VII

Western Growers is welcoming the seventh class of Future Volunteer Leaders, a group who will be embedded in specialized networking and agricultural leadership development events with the organization for the next two years. Class VII includes: Celeste Alonzo, Junior Enterprises Jose Covarrubias, Wholesum Farms Krystal Del Bosque, Del Bosque Farms Briana Giampaoli, Live Oak Farms Shay Myers, Owyhee Produce Garrett …

Fresno-Area Women in Ag to Receive Support, Learning Circle & Resource Fair Nov. 2

Fresno-area farmers face water management and business viability challenges like never before, but financial and technical resources are available to help growers and landowners navigate these challenges. American Farmland Trust is partnering with the Sierra Resource Conservation District and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to gather women in agriculture around these issues and feature services they can lean on at a Women for the Land Learning Circle …

Judges Selected for AgSharks Pitch Competition

Western Growers and S2G Ventures have announced the judges for the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment. Three startups will be selected to pitch their inventions to these judges in front of an audience of …

How to Improve Soil Health in Potato Cropping Systems

Minimizing soil disturbance is one of the key tenets promoted to build soil health in agricultural systems. Many farmers across the county have adopted reduced and no-till systems to build soil carbon, a central component to healthy soils. But what if you grow a crop where the part you sell is underground – like potatoes? What are some options to build …

Grower-Shippers Asked to Bear Burden of Unsustainable Dilemma of Under-Compensation

In the past two years, West Coast vegetables growers have been asked to absorb stratospheric aggregate inflationary input costs while at the same time trying to find a way to pass on 20%-30% inflationary costs, presenting them with an unsustainable dilemma. Without a long-term solution to this dilemma, we could all see fewer vegetables finding their way to grocers’ shelves. …

2021 Pacific Northwest Potato Production & Sales Announced

Growers were happy to see potato prices rise overall in the Pacific Northwest last year. The final value of Idaho’s 2021 potato crop sold was $1.04 billion, up 14 percent from 2020. The marketing year average price for potatoes in Idaho was $8.46 per cwt, up $1.18 from last year. In Oregon, the 2021 potato crop sold was valued at $218 million, up …

Texas A&M AgriLife Research to Improve Organic Spinach Production

Despite the greatly increasing consumer interest for organic spinach in the U.S. and worldwide, production is not keeping pace with demand. To help overcome some of the challenges facing organic spinach production, Vijay Joshi, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant systems physiologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde, was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of …

A New Way to Battle Powdery Mildew in Strawberry

Strawberry farmers worldwide may get help from new University of Florida research that shows a way to battle one of the fruit’s fiercest foes. The key: combine genomic data with phenomics. The genome amounts to all the DNA in an organism. Phenomics is the study of plant growth, performance and composition. Through phenomics, scientists use DNA to measure plant traits. …

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