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Latest Agricultural Research Service Stories

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2010-03-26 09:48:10

Identifying the causes of heat stress in cattle and finding ways to manage it are the goals of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators who are helping producers deal with this significant production problem. Heat stress can have serious consequences. While some cattle exhibit little or no response to it, others may experience diminished appetite and feed intake, reduced growth rate, compromised disease resistance and, in extreme cases, death. Extremely high temperatures...

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2010-03-24 11:06:10

A study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists shows that sugarcane can tolerate flooded conditions for up to two weeks. That's good news for growers who are using best management practices for controlling phosphorous runoff into the Everglades. Phosphorous stays attached to the soil for a long time even with the moderate rates of phosphorous fertilizer applied to sugarcane in Florida. If growers immediately drain their flooded fields after heavy rains have stirred up the soil,...

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2010-03-19 08:09:52

Feeding the amino acid tryptophan to young female pigs as part of their regular diet makes them less aggressive and easier to manage, according to a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators. The tryptophan-enhanced diet reduced aggression and overall behavioral activity among young female pigs during the 8-month study. Tryptophan, which is only acquired through diet, is the precursor for the calming cerebral neurotransmitter serotonin. Keeping swine calm is...

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2010-03-18 07:35:50

Crop and herbicide use history are more critical to herbicide efficacy and environmental safety than the timing and amount of irrigation water used, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. ARS plant physiologists Dale Shaner and Lori Wiles made this discovery from ongoing experiments on two irrigated fields at Colorado State University (CSU) at Fort Collins, Colo. Shaner and Wiles work in the ARS Water Management Research Unit at Fort Collins. In collaboration with CSU...

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2010-03-16 13:59:29

"Essex," a new lentil variety developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists, has a lot to offer: high seed yields for growers, nitrogen-fixing bacteria for wheat crops, and a tasty source of protein for consumers to add to soups, salads and other fare. George Vandemark, a plant geneticist who leads the ARS Grain Legume Genetics and Physiology Research Unit in Pullman, Wash., developed Essex in collaboration with Fred Muehlbauer, now retired from ARS, and Kevin McPhee, a pulse...

2010-03-11 09:05:11

A naturally occurring class of plant hormones called cytokinins has been found to help increase cotton yields during drought conditions, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. Cytokinins promote cell division and growth in plants. In cotton, cytokinins stimulate the growth of the main plant stem and branches. Commercially produced cytokinins are routinely applied in apple and pistachio orchards to promote fruit growth. John Burke, director of the ARS Cropping Systems...

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2010-03-05 12:29:41

An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist is helping to sort through the jumbled genetics of Echinacea, the coneflower known for its blossoms"”and its potential for treating infections, inflammation, and other human ailments. Only a few Echinacea species are currently cultivated as botanical remedies, and plant breeders would like to know whether other types also possess commercially useful traits. ARS horticulturist Mark Widrlechner, who works at the ARS North Central Regional...

2010-02-20 08:15:24

A cocktail of compounds emitted by the beneficial fungus Muscodor albus may offer a biologically based way to fumigate certain crops and rid them of destructive pests. That's the indication from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) studies in which scientists pitted Muscodor against potato tuber moths, apple codling moths and Tilletia fungi that cause bunt diseases in wheat. The scientists"”at ARS laboratories in Aberdeen, Idaho; Wapato, Wash., and other locations"”conducted...

2010-02-18 14:38:32

A common pasture plant could help foraging ruminants ward off damaging gastrointestinal nematodes that can cause illness and death, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report. Animal scientist Joan Burke at the ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, Ark., along with colleagues at several universities, has patented formulations of Sericea lespedeza, commonly referred to as Chinese bush clover. The plant was introduced in the United States in the 1930s to...

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2010-02-17 10:21:52

An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-developed method to safely and reliably mark termites and other insects over vast acreage so their movements can be tracked is just as effective as the previous method"”and more affordable. That's according to recently published research by ARS entomologist James Hagler, at the agency's U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz., and his collaborators at the University of Arizona. They studied the movement patterns of the desert...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.