New Lure May Help Growers Combat Almonds’ No. 1 Insect Pest

In ARS news

It’s no wonder that almonds are one of America’s favorite nuts. They taste great and are heart-healthy, too.

Most of the almonds grown in the United States today come from vast orchards in California. For the past 50 years, however, the Golden State’s almond harvests have been threatened by what is today the number-one insect pest of almonds—the navel orangeworm.

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Researchers look for biological controls for aflatoxin

In Delta Farm Press

By Olivia McClure, LSU AgCenter

Of all the issues farmers must contend with, aflatoxin-contaminated grain can be one of the most costly at harvest. Several strains of Aspergillus fungi produce aflatoxins, which are complex, harmful pathogens that attack several crops, including field corn. LSU AgCenter researchers are working to develop biological controls for these aflatoxin-producing fungi.

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Beneficial Mold Packaged in Bioplastic

From USDA Agricultural Research Service

By Jan Suszkiw
October 19, 2012

Aflatoxins are highly toxic carcinogens produced by several species of Aspergillus fungi. But not all Aspergillus produce aflatoxin. Some, in fact, are considered beneficial. One such strain, dubbed K49, is now being recruited to battle these harmful Aspergillus relatives, preventing them from contaminating host crops like corn with the carcinogen.

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Livestock producers should be aware of aflatoxin in corn grain, silage

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Oct. 16, 2012) – Heat and drought over the summer months created an ideal environment for Aspergillus ear rot to form in corn grain and silage. The disease is caused by a fungus that may produce aflatoxin, which can be harmful to livestock.

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