Ready, set, hike! With football season upon us, we want to help you “kick off” your citrus’ health. Whether you are a rookie or seasoned veteran when it comes to growing fruit, following these simple tips can help your citrus have a winning season.
1. Draft an all-pro citrus team
Dwarf varieties are often preferable for backyard growing because they take up less space, do not grow as tall, and are easier and safer to pick. When purchasing citrus trees, buying a healthy tree from a reputable seller is critical. If you are ordering a citrus tree, make sure the nursery or shipper is in compliance with federal quarantine restrictions. Read more »
Every summer Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian college students from across the nation come to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) as participants in the program Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS); I am one of them. For some of us, interning at APHIS is the first time we have ever lived off our tribal lands. For others, coming to Washington, D.C. is but another experience living in a big city. All of us, however, are linked in some way to the tribal communities we represent: the Omaha, Chippewa, Mohawk, Lumbee, Quechan, Laguna and Isleta nations.
WINS interns contribute more than just our skills and time; we add our voices. We speak as individuals from communities that are often underrepresented in government settings. We come to APHIS from states such as California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and carry with us the unique perspectives of peoples from distant lands. Our respective cultures and histories, stories and languages are irrevocably parts of who we are and contribute to the way we view the world. WINS interns help bridge the gap between Washington’s governmental agencies and the people for whom they work. In the “People’s Department,” this bridge is priceless. Read more »
When startled by a swarm of flying and buzzing insects, complete with stingers, the common response may be to grab an aerosol can of insecticide; but appreciating the vital importance of honey bees to agriculture and knowing something of various difficulties currently faced by bees, alternative actions are warranted.
Recently my staff noticed a huddled mass of what turned out to be bees in the lot by our office and shop. We looked for a queen but left the swarm alone. It later became apparent the bees had created a home under flashing at the building’s roof line, which seemed an inopportune location both for the bees and my staff.
We encouraged our landlord to consider relocation of the hive and were amazed to watch the process when Charlie Reffitt showed up one May morning. In shorts and T-shirt, he climbed 20 feet up a ladder, with bees swirling around. He inserted a funnel-like device into the hive under the flashing, caulking all other entrances. He secured a cardboard box on the roof, populated with a queen and initial colony. Read more »
An adult Asian Longhorned Beetle
Throughout August, a little-known beetle may emerge from the trees in your community. You might see its long black and white antennae inching out from a dime-shaped hole in your favorite tree. The pest, named the Asian longhorned beetle, kills trees from the inside out. It attacks 13 types of hardwood trees. Read more »
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Rebecca Blue, speaks with attendees of the Women in Agriculture roundtable in Bailey, CO.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a “Women in Agriculture” roundtable in Bailey, Col. The participants were from across the United States with a variety of agricultural backgrounds. Some were just beginning while others had years of experience under their belts. These women came together as part of the National Farmers Union-Women’s Conference and it was inspiring to watch as they shared concerns and found answers in one another’s experiences and knowledge. Read more »
On August 7, 2012, USDA-APHIS National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) experts and representatives from other Federal research laboratories in northern Colorado will host a free, 1-day technology transfer fair for individuals interested in learning more about northern Colorado’s Federal research laboratories, their expertise, and potential products, tools and techniques available for transfer to the private sector. The event will be held from 9:00am-4:30pm MST at the Drake Centre in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Northern Colorado is home to many Federal research laboratories. In addition to supporting their various agency missions, these labs generate business opportunities for the private sector through their basic and applied research that leads to the development of new products, tools, and techniques. These synergistic relationships with the private sector not only improve the quality and impact of our research, but also promote growth for our nation’s economy. Read more »