Michigan State University has received a four-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative to improve blueberry pollination. The project is led by Rufus Isaacs, a professor in the Department of Entomology, and includes researchers from MSU, Oregon State University, the University of Florida, and Washington State University.
As farmers are still picking up the pieces from the derecho that damaged Iowa cropland Aug. 10, crop insurance remained a hot topic well into October. On Oct. 14, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey held a roundtable discussion in Elberon, Iowa, to answer questions and listen to concerns of area farmers.
Growing corn and soybeans will become increasingly challenging for Kansas farmers as the climate warms, according to a recent Kansas State University study. The study found that drought and heat are currently the biggest reason for crop yield losses and expect that these losses will become more common because of climate change.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists in Wilmington recently intercepted two destructive insect pests – an Ochrostomus sp.,commonly known as a seed bug, in a shipment of Brazilian grapes on October 5, and Diaphania sp., commonly known as a cucumber moth, in a shipment of Costa Rican pumpkins October 7.
Sonoma County wine grape growers are expecting to lose at least $152 million from this year’s harvest as a result of fruit damaged by wildfire smoke, a local trade group for the sector said Tuesday. A survey by Sonoma County Winegrowers estimated up to 30% of the 2020 crop was left unpicked on the vines because of smoke, which can seep into the grape skins and make wine taste like a wet ashtray.
Seventeen tobacco farmers have agreed to resolve civil allegations that they violated the False Claims Act, a federal law that prohibits submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment to the government. As part of their civil settlement agreements, all of the defendants admitted that they submitted, or caused to be submitted, false claims to a federally-backed crop insurance program.
This summer after the derecho event in Iowa and Illinois, the team at RCIS and Zurich assembled a cadre of 19 people to go out and address the damage claims. In a six day period, the team covered 52,000 acres. What enabled the speed and effectiveness for the RCIS team is their growing use of drones.
The federal multi-peril crop insurance program, or MPCI, is the primary method wine grape growers can insure their crops for yield losses. It is based on a grower’s actual past production history, or APH. It’s designed to help a grower should they suffer crop yield losses due to damage from natural causes such as wildlife, disease, untimely rains, hail, frost, flood or wildfire.
Perhaps in as little as 20 years, climate change could dramatically impact the economy and lives in Volusia, St. Johns and Flagler counties — mostly as a result of rising seas and higher temperatures. That's the conclusion of a recent ProPublica study using county-by-county data from the Rhodium Group, an independent research provider that combines climate and economic information to analyze and predict trends.
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