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NASA Funds Tiny Tomatoes for Vertical Farming on Earth and Space

Urban agriculture offers many benefits for food production but often has higher costs relative to traditional farming and is limited to only a few crops. By 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet, but arable land is decreasing. Global food production will need to double to meet food needs, though climate change complicates the problem more. Robert …

Conventional Melon Weed Management in the Sacramento Valley

Sutter County grows between 300 and 800 acres of fresh-market honeydew, mixed melon and cantaloupe each year. The fields vary between furrow and drip irrigation, with many fields in the Sutter Basin only receiving a pre-irrigation. Because of the rapid growth of melons, they are competitive with weeds and one cultivation may be sufficient to control weed issues. The growing …

Numerous Health Benefits Found in Summer-Favorite Watermelon

No summer barbecue is complete without fresh watermelon. As the nation moves towards the summer grilling season, you may want to consider how watermelon’s fruit chemistry can affect your overall health. Researchers in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently identified over 1,500 small molecules of diverse chemical characters in the fruit, known as phytochemicals. They concluded that eating watermelon …

National Watermelon Promotion Board Partners with Disney and Pixar’s Luca

It will be a summer of adventure for National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), thanks to a month-long collaboration with Disney and Pixar’s original feature film Luca, which streams exclusively on Disney+ starting June 18. “Luca” is a fun and heartwarming story about friendship, stepping out of your comfort zone and an extraordinary pair of sea monsters who experience a life-changing …

Effective Non-chemical Soil Fumigants for Organic Production

The Organic Center — Soil fumigants that fight soil-borne diseases and ensure crop production continue to be banned to protect the health and safety of rural communities. Organic farmers and conventional farmers who can no longer use these chemical tools need effective alternatives to protect their yields. A recent study published in the journal Agronomy(link is external) demonstrates that a non-chemical alternative can be …

FDA to Implement Sampling Effort for Lettuce Grown in Salinas

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be collecting and testing samples of lettuce grown in California’s Salinas Valley from local commercial coolers from May through November 2021. The agency will test the samples for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella spp. as part of ongoing surveillance efforts following reoccurring outbreaks linked to this region, including most recently in the fall of …

Ag Order 4.0 Finalized: Implications for Nitrogen Management of Central Coast Vegetables

On April 15th, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (CCRWQCB) finalized and approved Ag Order 4.0. The new rulings affect several aspects of agricultural production such as buffer areas and discharge of pesticides to water ways. In this article we will focus on the impacts of Ag Order 4.0 on the use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers. New targets …

Research Helps Develop High-Yielding, Drought Tolerant Lines of Chickpea

Chickpeas are a very important crop and food in India. They are used almost every day in meals and snacks. India is the largest producer, consumer, and importer of chickpeas. And with good reason — they are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. While India grows about 12 million tons of chickpeas each year, the national yield of …

USDA’s Risk Management Agency Amends Potato Crop Insurance Options

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 4th that its Risk Management Agency (RMA) is modifying four Northern Potato Crop Insurance Policy optional endorsements. The options are available to producers who choose to purchase additional coverage on top of their multi-peril crop insurance policy. The changes specify that the premium only applies to planted acreage and is no …

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