Quantcast

Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture Stories

Gene Suppression Can Lower Cold-induced Sweetening In Potatoes
2012-10-15 14:13:12

Preventing activity of a key enzyme in potatoes could help boost potato quality by putting an end to cold-induced sweetening, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. Cold-induced sweetening, which occurs when potatoes are put in long-term cold storage, causes flavor changes and unwanted dark colors in fried and roasted potatoes. But long-term cold storage is necessary to maintain an adequate supply of potatoes throughout the year. Agricultural Research Service...

Rearing Technique Could Help Biocontrol Wasp's Commercial Prospects
2012-10-09 17:46:56

Two to three millimeters long, the parasitoid wasp Habrobracon hebetor is a top candidate for use in programs to biologically control Indianmeal moths and other stored-product pests. But despite the prospects for reduced insecticide use and product losses, the approach has yet to gain traction commercially, in part because of the lack of an efficient method of stockpiling the wasp. But a team of scientists, including researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is working on...

Monarch Butterfly's Survival Ensured By Trapping Weevils
2012-10-01 16:47:23

Ensuring the monarch butterfly's survival by saving its milkweed habitat could result from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies initially intended to improve detection of boll weevils with pheromone traps. Charles Suh and his colleagues at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Areawide Pest Management Research Unit in College Station, Texas, have found a pheromone formula that is attractive to a major milkweed pest, the milkweed stem weevil. The discovery stems from research...

Sorghum Candidate For Southern Bioenergy Crop
2012-09-17 12:43:34

Sweet sorghum is primarily grown in the United States as a source of sugar for syrup and molasses. But the sturdy grass has other attributes that could make it uniquely suited to production as a bioenergy crop, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies suggest. Sorghum is an ideal candidate because of its drought tolerance, adaptability to diverse growing conditions, low nitrogen fertilizer requirements, and high biomass (plant material) content, according to molecular biologist Scott...

2012-09-06 23:03:54

This poll comes on the same day as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new data showing more than 50.1 million Americans lived in households struggling against hunger in 2011. Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) September 05, 2012 September 5, 2012 - New polling data released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) show overwhelming majorities opposing SNAP cuts. The majorities are as strong as other polls in 2010 and early 2012, despite several intervening months of...

2012-09-04 23:25:04

Released en masse, sterile Mexican fruit flies can undermine a wild population of the fruit-damaging pests so that fewer applications of insecticide are needed. But the irradiation used to sterilize the flies weakens them, hindering their ability to outcompete wild-type males for female mates. Now, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and collaborating scientists have devised a hormone therapy for making sterile flies "more macho," improving their chances of mating with female flies...

2012-08-30 13:10:19

When Washington State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary scientist Don Knowles got word three years ago that a rare but deadly infection was discovered among a group of horses in south Texas, he felt a jolt of adrenaline. Not only were the horses infected with a parasitic disease similar to malaria in humans, but the epicenter of the outbreak was at no ordinary ranch. It was the King Ranch, legendary for its world-class quarter horses, including former winners of the...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'