Agricultural research means real results helping real people every day. Agronomist Edgar E. Hartwig has devoted half a century to soybeans research, developing productive plants with built-in resistance to insects, nematodes, and diseases. He is best known for commercial varieties that include Bragg, Lee, Forrest, Lamar, Sharkey, and most recently, Vernal. (USDA ARS photo by Keith Weller.)
Seeing President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal and the strong commitment it makes to agricultural research reminds me of Dr. Consuelo De Moraes.
As a university researcher and panel manager of the National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program, I called Dr. De Moraes in 2002 to inform her that USDA was going to fund her research proposal on determining how plants defend themselves against insects, so farmers could exploit the same as a means to control pests. She screamed with happiness. Later I learned that people heard the scream throughout the building at Pennsylvania State University. After that, Dr. De Moraes went on to great acclaim as one of the leading insect researchers. Read more »
We're taking a look at how historic investments over seven years have helped USDA build lasting partnerships to care for our nation’s unparalleled public lands and support producers as they conserve our nation’s land, water and soil.
Throughout the last seven years, the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service have made great strides in conserving private working lands and our public lands for future generations. We have pioneered approaches to conservation that use incentives and partnerships to work with landowners across property boundaries and conserve watersheds, wildlife and large landscapes. What’s more, USDA is demonstrating that conserving our natural resources creates economic opportunities for rural communities across the country.
Today, we are launching the second chapter of USDA Results, a progressive year-long storytelling effort of the Obama Administration’s work on behalf of those living, working and raising families in rural America. This month’s chapter tells the story of how we are working to conserve our natural resources. Throughout February, we will be announcing new projects and highlighting the work we have done over the last seven years. Read more »
Douglas Poole is an evangelist who saved his own soil. Now he wants to help others save theirs. Photo: Jennifer Cole.
“Nothing motivates me quite like being told I can’t do something. They told me no-till doesn’t work here, and you’re not supposed to be able to grow any type of canola. Well, look around. Here we are.”
When Douglas Poole speaks, you can hear the passion in his voice for healthy soil and how it has helped his farm. Poole wasn’t always a soil health proponent; he used to be an accountant. Read more »
Infographic of Super Bowl & chicken wing facts. Click for a larger version.
On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the very first Super Bowl. On that day, few of the estimated 51 million fans gathered around their television sets realized the profound impact the Super Bowl would have on chicken consumption in the United States. The Packers won the game 35-10, but ultimately the real winner was chicken – particularly wings.
In 1967, Americans consumes 32.6 pounds of chicken per capita, typically purchased in whole-bird form. Cuts of chicken were a novelty at the grocery story, and there was little demand for chicken wings. But, in 1964, the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y. decided to turn the typical soup-stock staple into a spicy finger food to feed a hungry crowd. Read more »
In the United States, 31 percent of the available food supply in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
We’re all fortunate to live in a country that has one of the most productive and efficient food production systems in the world. The United States produces over 430 billion pounds of food each year. However, nearly a third of the food produced by farmers goes uneaten, representing $161.6 billion. That’s enough food waste to fill 44 Sears Towers every year. To meet this challenge, USDA scientists are developing innovative programs and using cutting-edge research to reduce food waste on the farm, on supermarket shelves, and in the home. Read more »
USDA Wildlife Services research has led to the development of an aerial bait to control invasive brown tree snakes on Guam. The effort was awarded the Department of Defense’s 2015 Project of the Year Award for Resource Conservation and Climate Change.
This month USDA highlights some of the important partnerships that work with us to care for our land, air and water. The work stretches into areas and takes USDA employees to places you wouldn’t suspect.
For example, the damage wreaked by invasive brown tree snakes on Guam is hard to imagine.
Infestations of the snake have led to the loss of all but two of the twelve native forest birds on the island, millions of dollars in damages to the island’s electrical power grid, and physical injuries to residents from snake bites. Read more »