October is Pork Month


Tim Stroda, President and CEO of the Kansas Pork Association, talked about the groups promotional activities during Pork Month.  In recent years, KPA has placed much more emphasis on digital video promotion, allowing the group to reach millions of people.  Stroda also commented on major issues facing U.S. pork producers, including exports, foreign animal disease concerns and domestic demand.


Good and Bad Worms

To sustain agriculture and food security, farmers in the Northeastern U.S. need healthy soils. Microscopic worms, or nematodes, play an important role in soil health. Some nematode species are parasites, and high population densities can lead to poor soil and low crop yields. Other nematode species can be beneficial to soil and plants.

Managing Utah’s Pest Problem

Every year, Utah scientists discover two to three plant diseases that have not been previously reported in the state. In addition, known diseases in the state move on to new hosts. Among the newly identified diseases: Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, which infects potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes; potato virus Y strain NTN; and watermelon mosaic virus on pumpkins, squashes, and gourds. Another disease, bacterial spot, was introduced on tomatoes and peppers through contaminated seeds, resulting in yield losses of $4,000 to $6,000 per acre.

Bees and Trees

A University of Kentucky (UK) entomology doctoral student, Bernadette Mach, has developed a list of bee-friendly trees and shrubs for the Ohio Valley region. The list can help homeowners find the right plants for their yards to help conserve bees. In the past 10 years, researchers estimate that pollinator populations have declined between 30 and 60 percent, depending on the pollinator.

The Coast is Clear

June marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. It’s important for East Coast communities to be prepared for storms and natural disasters that can affect health and safety, limit access to roads, cause property and tree damage, and loss of electricity.

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

You may think the best solution for bed bugs is insecticides. People, however, often overlook nonchemical methods of pest management, such as decluttering and bug traps. Prevention is critical in multi-unit housing where bed bugs are very difficult to eliminate.

With NIFA funding, Alvaro Romero, a scientist from the New Mexico State University is working with other researchers to educate the public about using an integrated pest management approach to detect and prevent bed bugs.