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Pest/Disease Management

Insect-Deterring Sorghum Compounds May be Eco-Friendly Pesticide

Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included field, greenhouse and laboratory components. The researchers examined the role of sorghum chemicals called flavonoids —specifically 3-deoxyflavonoid and 3-deoxyanthocyanidins — in providing resistance against the corn leaf aphid, a …

Improved Method to Test for Mycotoxin in Feed

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Center for Analytical Chemistry (CAC) scientists Bahar Nakhjavan, Nighat Sami Ahmed, and Maryam Khosravifard were recently published in an academic journal after developing an improved method to test for mycotoxin in feed. Their article, “Development of an Improved Method of Sample Extraction and Quantitation of Multi-Mycotoxin in Feed by LC-MS/MS,” details their research …

Flavonoids’ Presence in Sorghum Roots May Lead to Frost-Resistant Crop

Flavonoid compounds — produced by the roots of some sorghum plants — positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers. That is important because sorghum is a crop that can respond to climate change because of its high …

Recurrent Selection with Glufosinate at Low Rates Reduces Italian Ryegrass Resistance

Italian ryegrass is a major weed in orchards, vineyards, field crops, and fallow fields of California (Figure 1). Several different herbicides are used to control ryegrass and had been effective in reducing infestations until resistance evolved in many populations following repeated use of the herbicides. To date, resistance to glyphosate, paraquat, and some ACCase and ALS inhibitors has been confirmed …

$650,000 Grant to Study Wild Wheat to Help Prevent Diseases

The 2Blades Foundation and collaborators at the University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, and the John Innes Center will study wild emmer wheat to discover genes that can help farmers combat devastating wheat rust diseases which are estimated to cost farmers and consumers nearly $3 billion each year. The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture …

Innovative Virus Research May Save Wheat and Other Crops

UC Riverside scientists have solved a 20-year-old genetics puzzle that could result in ways to protect wheat, barley, and other crops from a devastating infection. Ayala Rao, professor of plant pathology and microbiology, has been studying Brome Mosaic virus for decades. Unlike some viruses, the genetic material of this virus is divided into three particles that until now were impossible …

Protecting American Wheat Fields from Aphids

Fields of wheat are so associated with the U.S. that they’re featured in the song America the Beautiful as “amber waves of grain.” But those amber fields face a big threat: Russian wheat aphids. As their name suggests, these aphids hail from Eurasia. These invasive pests first made their way to Texas in 1986. They’ve since spread to many states …

PPE in Short Supply for Farm Work During the COVID-19 Crisis

While most Californians are staying home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, California farmers, farmworkers and other agricultural professionals are out in the fields and packing houses working to produce food. With increased demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE, to protect against COVID-19, these essential workers are facing shortages. Agricultural commissioners in 28 counties are hearing from …

CAL/OSHA COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Ag Employers & Employees

California employers are required to establish and implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to protect employees from all worksite hazards, including infectious diseases. This guidance contains information, recommendations, and requirements for agricultural employers on how to update their IIPPs to include preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This guidance does not introduce any new legal obligations, but because COVID-19 …

New Tool to Combat Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues have discovered a gene that can be used to develop varieties of wheat that will be more resistant to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), a disease that is a major threat both overseas and to the nation’s $10 billion annual wheat crop. A paper reporting the discovery and the cloning of the gene, …

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