Archive for October, 2011

Pollination Study Shows Importance of Maintaining Natural Areas Around Crops

October 31, 2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Surrounding agricultural crops with natural, biologically diverse areas helps provide habitat for important pollinators and promotes the stability and richness of crops worldwide, according to a new study by an international team of scientists recently published in the journal Ecology Letters — Volume 14, Issue 10, Pages 973-1073.

The article is a collaboration of researchers from 11 countries involved in 29 studies, including a study of Michigan blueberry fields by Michigan State University (MSU) entomologist Rufus Isaacs. Maintaining the delivery of ecosystem services, including those provided by pollinators such as honeybees and other species of bees, is an important topic confronting farmers and scientists.

Read more Pollination Study Shows Importance of Maintaining Natural Areas Around Crops.

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Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle (Moodle Course)

October 24, 2011


Japanese Beetles and their larval form, the white grub, are among the most common lawn and garden pests in the Northeast United States. Click on the link below for a Moodle course that teaches about the life cycle of Japanese beetles, as well as provides info to help in controlling infestations.

Scientists to develop strategies for protecting wild bees in northeast farming areas

October 21, 2011

AMHERST, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that Anne L. Averill of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a five-year, $3.3 million grant to study native bee communities, which play a key role in pollinating important crops in the Northeast, such as apples, low-bush blueberries, cranberries and pumpkins.

Read more at Scientists from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee to Develop Strategies for Protecting Wild Bees in Northeast Farming Areas.

Florida Blueberry Growers Association fall meeting

October 21, 2011

The Florida Blueberry Growers Association fall meeting is coming up! Click here for more information.

Food and You

October 19, 2011

Learn about connections between the foods we eat, our health, and the food system. This lesson introduces the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the national nutrition education tool that implements these guidelines – the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid. Other food guides have been developed for specific places, people and goals. For example, the Northeast Regional Food Guide (NERFG) is designed to promote healthful diets from foods grown and processed in the Northeast region of the United States.

Learn more about Food and You.

Blueberry Fun Facts

October 19, 2011

Read Blueberry Fun Facts to learn fun facts and get yummy blueberry recipes!

Soil Biology

October 17, 2011

Creatures living in the soil are critical to soil quality. They affect soil structure and therefore soil erosion and water availability. They can protect crops from pests and diseases. They are central to decomposition and nutrient cycling and therefore affect plant growth and amounts of pollutants in the environment. Finally, the soil is home to a large proportion of the world’s genetic diversity.

The Soil Biology Primer from the USDA is an introduction to the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity, and air and water quality. The Primer includes units describing the soil food web and its relationship to soil health, and units about bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms. It is suitable for a broad audience including farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, resource specialists, conservationists, soil scientists, students, and educators.

Read more about Soil Biology.

PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition

October 14, 2011

Come to the PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition to learn more about the changing global supply chain. With more than 18,500 people participating, Fresh Summit can help you anticipate change, identify emerging trends, and profit from new opportunities.

Managing Weeds in Blueberry Crops

October 13, 2011


Managing weeds is an important part of maintaining blueberry crops. Go Managing Weeds in Blueberry Crops for a video featuring David Himelrick of the LSU AgCenter, who talks about the proper way to manage weeds.

Soil Testing

October 12, 2011


Soil testing is important. Visit The Importance of Soil Sampling for Growing Blueberries (Video) for more information.