USDA report shows effects of wet weather on grain quality and planting

The U.S. Midwest has faced heavy rain and snow this spring, leading to massive amounts of flooding and drenched fields. Planting of some major crops has been delayed, and worries are elevated about grain quality in the face of numerous challenges.

Winter wheat

About 9% of winter wheat was in the headed stage as of […]

Snow and rain affects Midwest agriculture into spring

Farms in the U.S. Midwest that are already struggling with the effects of monumental flooding have been hit with an early-spring storm this week that certainly isn’t helping matters.

“It’s a terrible, terrible track in terms of its impact on the areas that have already seen terrible flooding back in March,” meteorologist Michael Palmerino told […]

Spotted lanternfly hatching season coming soon: What to do

The spotted lanternfly, an insect native to parts of China, Vietnam and India, is an invasive pest in the eastern states of the U.S. As a planthopper, it’s a major threat to the livelihood of the nursery, landscaping and timber industries, as well as damaging to many plants of agricultural importance, like orchards, grapes and […]

Nebraska and Iowa flood damage could mean nearly $1 billion hit to agriculture

Photo courtesy U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency

The U.S. state of Nebraska is one of the country’s biggest agricultural areas. It’s most famous for its beef cattle and corn, but farmers there work hard every year in the production of swine, eggs, dairy, wheat, soybeans and more. Each of these industries has been hit […]

Flooding raises concerns about stored grain quality

Flooding and wet conditions have resulted from extreme weather in much of the Central and Southern Plains of the U.S., including major parts of the Corn Belt. As a result, authorities are reminding grain producers and processors to be aware of the steps they should take to prevent contamination of stored grain.

In the case […]

Could dung beetles boost food safety on the farm?

Food safety doesn’t start at the processing facility.

Farmers go to great lengths to protect their crops from invading pathogens. Recent years have seen outbreaks attributed to bacteria like E. coli deposited by passing wildlife (through their droppings) and runoff from nearby livestock feedlots, which can infect low-to-the-ground crops like broccoli and leafy greens. Though […]

Recent gene editing discovery could make gluten safe for all consumers

When we think of gene editing, our minds might go to stories of giving new traits to humans, or editing animals to be more disease-resistant. We might not think of plants, first. But the reality is, gene-editing in plants could have some of the more practical and important applications in the future, better positioning our […]

FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspections to start this spring

The Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was established to set standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and storage of the fruits and vegetables that we eat every day.

Like other FSMA rules, its implementation is gradual, giving producers time to outfit their operations and procedures in a way that […]

Plants can smell? New research shows how it works

Who needs a nose, anyway? Research nearly 20 years in the making from the University of Tokyo shows for the first time how plants can “smell” using odor receptors that function on a molecular level.

The project, begun in 2000, shows that there is a molecular basis to odor detection in plants. It works like […]

New study discourages octopus farming

Old MacDonald had an… octopus?

Though we’ve long since established fisheries and shellfish farms, octopus farms are still something new. Commercial octopus farming is only in its developmental stage in a few countries around the world. One Japanese company says its first fully-farmed octopi might reach the market in 2020, and other institutions are working […]