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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

Latest Agricultural Research Service Stories

2011-02-09 15:06:22

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Pat Millner and safety manager David Prevar have worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and private consultants to design and conduct a pilot study for an alternative way to cap landfills. Millner is a microbiologist at the 6,615-acre Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) operated in Beltsville, Md., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA....

2011-01-12 14:22:46

Scientists have identified the genes related to leaf angle in corn (maize) "“ a key trait for planting crops closer together, which has led to an eight-fold increase in yield since the early 1900s. (Nature Genetics, Jan. 9, 2011.) The study, led by researchers from Cornell and the U.S. Department of Agriculture "“ Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) at Cornell and North Carolina State University, is the first to relate genetic variation across the entire maize genome to...

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2010-12-02 09:48:20

By Don Comis, ARS Rain gardens are increasingly popular with homeowners and municipalities and are mandatory for many communities nationally. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are finding ways to improve rain gardens so they not only reduce runoff, but also keep toxic metals out of storm drains. Rain gardens are plantings in depressions that catch stormwater runoff from sidewalks, parking lots, roads and roofs. Rain gardens come in various shapes and sizes, from large basins...

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2010-11-12 10:20:35

A new field study confirms that an invasive weed called medusahead has growth advantages over most other grass species, suggesting it will continue to spread across much of the West, disrupt native ecosystems and make millions of acres of grazing land almost worthless. The research, by scientists from Oregon State University and the Agricultural Research Service, was one of the most comprehensive studies ever done that compared the "relative growth rate" of this invasive annual grass to that...

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2010-11-04 11:40:55

By Ann Perry, ARS A common roadside plant could have the right stuff to become a new source of biofuel, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, have found that field pennycress yields impressive quantities of seeds whose oil could be used in biodiesel production. Field pennycress belongs to the Brassicaceae family, along with canola, camelina and mustard-other...

2010-11-03 16:58:36

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed two strategies to ward off cattle fever ticks that are crossing the border from Mexico into the United States. These ticks transmit bovine babesiosis, commonly known as Texas cattle fever, a deadly disease of cattle that's caused by singled-celled organisms. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Kerrville, Texas, are developing and testing new interventions to eliminate cattle fever ticks within U.S. borders...

2010-10-27 02:18:14

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are helping ensure that the smoked salmon that's always a hit at festive gatherings also is always safe to eat, including among their achievements the development of a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that food processors and others can use to select the optimal combination of temperature and concentrations of salt and smoke compounds to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of the product. The studies are led by food...

2010-10-15 16:48:54

ChoiceBatter's® transformation from a federal laboratory bench technology to a grocery shelf product is among topics that will be discussed here today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials and other participants attending the 17th annual conference of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF). ChoiceBatter®, the brand name for a line of low oil-uptake batters marketed by CrispTek, LLC, of Columbia, Md., is based on a rice-flour...

2010-09-14 23:01:00

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Mars, Incorporated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and IBM released the preliminary findings of their breakthrough cacao genome sequence and made it available in the public domain. This is the result of a joint research endeavor to improve the cocoa growing process and represents a successful private/public partnership for the benefit of the world's cocoa farmers, and a more sustainable world cocoa...

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2010-08-25 08:21:22

A study led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) chemist Richard Anderson suggests that a water soluble extract of cinnamon, which contains antioxidative compounds, could help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease. The work is part of cooperative agreements between the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at Beltsville, Md.; Integrity Nutraceuticals International of Spring Hill, Tenn., and the...