Plant health, production, and products

Pollen Power

Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. With NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative funding, the researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.

Pigweed is No Match for DNA Testing

The typical testing method of testing seed lots (batches of seeds) involves growing a sample of seeds until the plants are large enough to be identified, but this is a slow and potentially unreliable process. Researchers developed a way around these issues, identifying Palmer amaranth DNA from within a mixed sample without having to grow the plants.

Improving Ethylene Inhibitors to Increase Shelf Life

Hazel Technologies, in Skokie, Illinois, is taking industrial-level application of ethylene inhibitors and downsizing it to a continuous application method at the box level.

Volunteers Donate Thousands of Pounds of Produce

In northeast Kansas recently, volunteers quickly and quietly moved through a field, picking ripe tomatoes and peppers.

Water Saving Measures for California

Ceres offers a unique, proprietary product to measure chlorophyll content and its guidance for growers is also unique. Ceres has teamed up with the University of California Cooperative Extension to conduct several studies, including a trial for the Almond Board of California that measured the response of nuts to different rates of watering.

3-D Crop Imaging Helps Farmers Estimate Plant Height

Drones may soon help plant breeders and agronomists save time and money.

Pumpkin Genomes Sequenced, Reveals Uncommon Evolutionary History

For some, pumpkins conjure carved Halloween decorations, but for many people around the world, these gourds provide nutrition.

This is Not Your Grandfather’s Weed Eater

A multi-disciplinary team at Central State University (CSU) are using NIFA Capacity Building Grant funds to develop new weed control technology that vanquishes the pesky plants with directed light energy.

Tomato Food Safety Innovation

​Researchers at the University of Nevada set out to determine whether engineered nanoparticles accumulate in fresh produce and, if so, to find a way to degrade them to reduce any potential food safety risk.

Aphids Use Sight to Avoid Deadly Bacteria, Could Lead to Pest Control

Pea aphids, a serious agricultural pest, have the ability to see and avoid common, aphid-killing bacteria on plant leaves, according to a new Cornell University study.