Improving E. Coli Tracking

Dan Cattle, This Land of Ours, USDA-ARS

Working toward better traceability during foodborne illness outbreaks. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, or ARS, is working to improve traceability during foodborne illness outbreaks. Scientists want to enhance the capacity of regulatory agencies to trace E. coli back to its source by studying how the DNA of a specific population of this …

gmo corn

Extensive Study Says GMO Corn Not Harmful to Non-Target Insects

Dan Corn, Field Crops, Genetically Modified, This Land of Ours, USDA-ARS

What a new study says about GMO corn. That’s the subject of today’s This Land of Ours. The largest, highest quality analysis of data ever conducted on the subject shows that genetically modified Bt corn has little impact on nontarget insects and other organisms, especially compared to growing conventional corn. This study was published this week in Environmental Evidence by …

Boosting the Nutritional Bounty of Carrots and Onions

Dan Field Crops, Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours, USDA-ARS, Vegetables

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are looking to beef up your salad—not with complementary slices of tender chicken, steak or other meat but rather new, improved varieties of carrots and onions. Philipp Simon, research leader of the ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wisconsin, is coordinating the effort to fortify these popular salad items and fresh-market favorites with increased levels of …

Varroa Management

ARS-Developed Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees Better Winter Survivors

Dan Pollinators, USDA-ARS

(USDA-ARS/Baton Rouge, LA, April 7, 2022) — Pol-line honey bees, a type of Varroa mite resistant honey bee developed by the Agricultural Research Service, are more than twice as likely to survive through the winter than standard honey bees, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Although ARS developed Pol-line bees in 2014, this study was the first time that …


Scientists Develop Vaccine to Protect Cattle from Johne’s Disease

Dan Cattle, USDA-ARS

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed a new experimental vaccine to protect cattle from the bacterium that causes Johne’s disease. The disease is a chronic intestinal disorder that can cause diarrhea, weight loss, poor health and sometimes death in cattle. In the U.S. Johne’s disease is most prevalent in dairy herds costing the industry more than $220 million annually. But, the disease …


Four Nutrients in Flower Pollens Improve Honey Bee Gut Health

Dan Pollinators, USDA-ARS

For the first time, four nutritional compounds found in different flowers have been directly proven to enhance gut health of honey bees, boosting their immune system and increasing lifespan, based on a study by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service scientists. “We found that feeding caffeine, kaempferol, p-coumaric acid or gallic acid—all nutritional compounds found in the nectar and …

Parasite Hijacks Iron in Honey Bees

Dan Pollinators, USDA-ARS

(USDA/ARS) — An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist has discovered the Nosema ceranae parasite that causes major problems and death in honey bees works by hijacking its host’s iron for itself. Iron is as essential a micronutrient for honey bees as it is for people. Honey bees usually get enough to meet their needs from their flower pollen diet. They use iron …


Turfgrasses Flowers are Something to Buzz About

Dan Industry News Release, Pollinators, USDA-ARS

(USDA/ARS) — Turfgrasses sometimes get a “bad rap” for not giving our bees and other insect pollinators a helping hand on the food front. But Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Georgia (UGA) studies suggest this reputation is unfair—and at least five different genera of bees would agree! In the world, 70 percent of the main crops used for …