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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 10:36 EDT

Latest Agricultural Research Service Stories

2011-10-13 20:43:06

Research performed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and published recently in the journal Crop Science has demonstrated that mineral levels in new varieties of broccoli have not declined since 1975, and that the broccoli contains the same levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and other minerals that have made the vegetable a healthy staple of American diets for decades. "This research provides data on the nutritional content of broccoli for...

Tick Responsible for Equine Piroplasmosis Outbreak Identified
2011-10-03 11:34:18

The cayenne tick has been identified as one of the vectors of equine piroplasmosis in horses in a 2009 Texas outbreak, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. The United States has been considered free from the disease since 1978, but sporadic cases have occurred in recent years. In October 2009, in Kleberg County, Texas, a mare was presented for veterinary care with clinical signs of infection, including poor appetite and weight loss. Subsequent investigation and...

2011-09-29 22:36:12

A new test that detects a rare and deadly bone disorder in Red Angus is now available to cattle producers, thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. Marble bone disease, also known as osteopetrosis, had not been seen in the United States since the 1960s until it resurfaced in Red Angus cattle three years ago. The birth defect, which affects humans, cattle and other animals, causes abnormal brain and bone marrow cavity development, leading to overly dense, brittle bones....

A Labor Saving Way To Monitor Vast Rangelands
2011-09-28 04:35:02

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a tool used by the military, may be suitable for keeping an eye on changing land-use patterns across vast tracts of western rangeland. Ranchers, government agencies and private land managers often need to survey vast, remote rangelands to see how they are being altered by floods, forest fires or other events. Ground-based surveys can be costly and time-consuming. Satellite imagery is...

New Flavors Emerge From Peruvian Cacao Collection Trip
2011-09-26 08:28:48

   New cacao types with unique flavors that are distinctly Peruvian have been identified by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. These new flavors could one day be marketed like wine, by geographical provenance. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the agency's Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory (SPCL) and Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory (SMML), both in Beltsville, Md., and Peruvian collaborators found these new cacao plants during...

Digital Panoramas Of Rangelands Could Be Rich Source Of Research Data
2011-09-20 10:32:20

  A scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is exploring how rangeland ecologists could use high-resolution digital panoramas to track landscape changes. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hydraulic engineer Mary Nichols uses a digital camera to create a single high-resolution landscape panorama that users can zoom in on to study individual plants, animals or specific features in the landscape. Nichols works at the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center in...

2011-09-07 11:09:57

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aerial photography survey of 38,000 wildfire-burned acres in Idaho provided what is believed to be the first evidence that the invasive leafy spurge weed is displacing seedlings of native mountain big sagebrush. Terry Booth, a rangeland specialist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Cheyenne, Wyo., designed the survey using a technique he developed called Very Large Scale Aerial (VLSA) imagery. The survey...

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2011-08-11 13:57:59

By Dennis O'Brien, ARS A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist is trying to learn what is causing the decline in bumble bee populations and also is searching for a species that can serve as the next generation of greenhouse pollinators. Bumble bees, like honey bees, are important pollinators of native plants and are used to pollinate greenhouse crops like peppers and tomatoes. But colonies of Bombus occidentalis used for greenhouse pollination began to suffer from disease...

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2011-08-05 09:16:11

By Rosalie Marion Bliss, ARS/USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have developed a fully cooked food-aid product called Instant Corn Soy Blend that supplements meals, particularly for young children. The work was led by food technologist Charles Onwulata at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit at the agency's Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pa. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and...

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2011-07-20 12:20:50

By Ann Perry, USDA/ARS U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have produced the first detailed data on how large-scale dairy facilities contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. This research was conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and these studies support the USDA priority of responding to climate change. ARS...