Scary Insects for Halloween: The Blood-Thirsty Calyptra

Dan Citrus, Fruits, Industry News Release, Specialty Crops, USDA

Sometimes insects show signs of monster-behavior. It’s nothing personal to us humans and let me assure you that this behavior has nothing to do with full moons or anything that may live under your bed at night. Sometimes an insect’s monster-behavior is nothing more than the result of good old-fashioned circumstances. According to scientists in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s …

asian giant hornets

USDA Lure Attracts Live Asian Giant Hornets, Helps Lead to Nest Discovery

Dan Industry News Release, Pollinators, Research, USDA

(USDA/ARS) — A scent lure designed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists to attract Asian giant hornets played a key role in the discovery of the first nest of these invasive insects in the United States. Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists have verified several finds of Asian giant hornets in Whatcom County since December 2019. They have been …

Philolema palanichamyi

Scary Insects for Halloween: Spider vs. Philolema palanichamyi

Dan Industry News Release

There’s nothing cool about being used by someone. It can be quite frustrating and leave you feeling—drained. If this describes your current situation, you should feel comforted that scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service recently found that spiders may feel just like you after their innards are consumed, juice-box style, by cunning wasp-predator Philolema palanichamyi. Originally from …


New Blackberries: Eclipse, Galaxy, and Twilight

Dan Fruits, Industry News Release, Specialty Crops

(USDA/ARS) — The best of eastern and western blackberry genetics have been melded to create Eclipse, Galaxy and Twilight, three new blackberry varieties released by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS’ Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon, working in cooperation with the Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station, has blended the desirable traits of eastern erect-cane blackberries and western …


Researchers are Juicing Alfalfa as a Next-Generation Aquafeed

Dan Aquaculture, Research, USDA

Cows and horses aren’t the only fans of alfalfa. Yellow perch like it, too. That’s what Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collaborators concluded when they fed the fish pellets made with a protein concentrate from the legume crop’s protein-rich leaves. They’re experimenting with alfalfa as part of a broader effort to find suitable alternatives to using fishmeal, a …


USDA-ARS Scientists and Colleagues Find a New Tool to Combat Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat

Dan Industry News Release, Wheat

(USDA/ARS) — Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues have discovered a gene that can be used to develop varieties of wheat that will be more resistant to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), a disease that is a major threat both overseas and to the nation’s $10 billion annual wheat crop. A paper reporting the discovery and the cloning of …


Researchers Put Cornstarch to Use Fighting Pests

Dan Industry News Release, Research

(USDA/ARS) — Add yet another use for cornstarch—besides thickening soups and gravies, making adhesives, soothing skin and removing stains. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Peoria, Illinois, are now using the versatile commodity to make products that can fight insect pests, prevent disease and decay and impart water resistance to surfaces. Underpinning that effort is the team’s use of patented …


New Test Identifies Poisonous Mushrooms

Dan Industry News Release, Research

(USDA/ARS) — A simple, portable test that can detect the deadliest of the mushroom poisons in minutes has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues. Eating toxic mushrooms causes more than 100 deaths a year, globally, and leaves thousands of people in need of urgent medical assistance. Amanitin is the class of mushroom toxins that cause …


Researchers Fortify Queen of the Forages with Disease Defense

Dan Industry News Release

(USDA/ARS) — Alfalfa is often called the “Queen of the Forages” due to its high yield, feed quality for ruminant animals, nitrogen fixation and pollinator habitat among other environmental services. But this royal member of the legume family is no match against the host of microbes that cause the disease complex known as “crown rot.” Chemical controls aren’t effective against …


Survey Reveals Crucial Data on Fusarium Head Blight

Dan Industry News Release, Wheat

(USDA/ARS) — A national U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey, published recently in Plant Disease, provides the first large-scale, systematic insight into how wheat and barley growers manage Fusarium head blight (FHB), also known as scab, and where they get information on how to control this destructive disease. FHB can reduce a farmer’s yield and affect quality, lowering the price of …