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New Grant Aims to Reduce Plastic Taken From Fields to Landfills

Washington State University is leading a new project that aims to advance soil-biodegradable mulches and develop innovative methods for recycling the plastic. The projects is funded by a $8 million, four-year Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Growers of crops like strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, tomatoes, and melons depend on plastic mulch to …

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 …

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. …

Researchers Harness the Sun’s Rays to Fight Strawberry Disease

While not exactly the stuff of sci-fi movies, scientists have developed a “ray gun” that emits a light hazardous to a pestilence that devastates many types of crops. Fumiomi Takeda, a research horticulturalist, and Wojciech Janisiewicz, retired research plant pathologist, from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection unit in Kearneysville, WV, led a team that used shortwave ultraviolent …

Giving Strawberry Growers a Ray of (UV) Light at the End of Their Pest Tunnel

For a few years, University of Florida (UF) plant pathologist Natalia Peres has used an ultraviolet light system to thwart strawberry pathogens. Peres even published a study this year that showed the system helps control powdery mildew. Two fellow researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have now used the same robotic UVC applicator to show that …

Soil-Biodegradable Mulch In Strawberry Field Day, Aug 17

The UC Cooperative Extension, Washington State University and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary have been working together this past year field testing five different formulations of biodegradable bed mulch in strawberry.  See five types of soil-biodegradable mulches (BDMs) applied to strawberries in Salinas Valley. Learn what a BDM is, what it is made from, and comparative economics with traditional PE plastic mulch. See …

California Strawberry Commission Connects Farmers and Consumers with Summer Campaign

The California Strawberry Commission has launched a campaign to connect the heart of strawberries with the heart of people. Throughout peak strawberry season 2021, consumers will have access to real farmer and farmworker stories through a #StoryBehindtheBerry webisode series shared across Facebook, Instagram and www.californiastrawberries.com. To inspire people to eat more healthy strawberries, consumers can enter the #CAStrawberryChallenge by recreating …

Controlling Important Pests in Organic Strawberry Production

A new study published in the journal Pest Management Science showed that semiochemicals can effectively manage one of the most economically damaging pests in organic strawberry production, the lygus bug (Lygus spp.). Semiochemicals are organic compounds that send signals to insects that alter their behavior, used either to attract them or repel them and can act as an alternative to …

Protein Discovery Could Help Enable Eco-Friendly Fungicides

New research reveals an essential step in scientists’ quest to create targeted, more eco-friendly fungicides that protect food crops. Scientists have known for decades that biological cells manufacture tiny, round structures called extracellular vesicles. However, their pivotal roles in communication between invading microorganisms and their hosts were recognized only recently. UC Riverside geneticist Hailing Jin and her team found plants use these …

White Strawberry One of Two New Varieties Ready for Harvest Season

Enjoy the following article featuring two new strawberry varieties out of the University of Florida that may prove to be of value to West Coast growers in the near future. A white strawberry? Not red? Yes, you “read” that right. And it smells a little like a pineapple. It’s also novel in that it’s the first white strawberry to go …

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