Horticultural Head Count

In mid-December the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) launched its horticultural census of 2014. The goal of this census-taking is to provide a comprehensive illustration of the country’s horticultural sector. This survey is the sole source of information regarding production and sales data for U.S. floriculture, nursery and specialty crops,…

Companion Crops

Although it may seem counterintuitive for gardeners and farmers to attract insects, the trend of planting companion crops for attracting beneficial insects and repelling undesirable ones is gaining ground. Under guidance from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Florida A&M University (FAMU) a few smaller growers in the Tallahassee area are undertaking this option…

Wonderful Wood

The future of building has arrived and apparently the new, exciting, desirable, sustainable product is wood. Contractors and architects are going back to basics by returning to the renewable, durable, multi-purpose material after years where it was fashionable to design and build with steel and concrete. Nowhere was this message clearer than at this year’s Wood Solutions fair…

Stewardship Significance

With so many threats currently facing our nation’s forests; climate change, invasive species, urban and suburban sprawl, pests, disease, fire or lack thereof, etc., effective landscape stewardship is more necessary than ever, it is especially critical in Northeast and Midwestern states. This region is home to nearly half of the country’s population and 43% of forested…

Veteran's Day Venture

As part of the observance of Veteran’s Day the USDA and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced that they will be funding job and training opportunities this year for over 300 veterans and youths to go to work improving our nation’s natural and historic resources. This effort is a show of continuing support of…

Apple Abeyance-Tree Disease

In 2012, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) suspended importation of apples produced in Washington State due to repeated incursion of diseases. The red and golden delicious apples purchased were afflicted with Sphaeropsis rot, bull’s-eye rot and speck rot. It wasn’t until this year, just last month, after intensive work with the…

Pollen Provisions

A study performed at Pennsylvania State University and funded by the USDA, finds that bees which feed on a natural diet of pollen develop a stronger resistance to pesticides than those honey bees being fed artificial replacements. Honey bees are exposed to numerous pesticides when foraging for pollen whether in their natural habitat or when…

Rose Rosette Research

Rose rosette is a novel threat to seemingly all cultivars of roses, even those previously known and used specifically for their disease resistance. Symptoms include: increased shoot elongation, reddish discoloration of shoots and foliage, abundant clustering of small shoots (also called “witches broom”), spiraling growth of main stem, less space between leaf shoots, distorted leaves, prolific…

Pollinator Provisions

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have been awarded a 6.9 million dollar grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop sustainable pollination strategies for the country’s specialty crops. In this country specialty crops account for 50 billion dollars per year for the agricultural industry and pollination is critical to fruit set…

Forests and Faucets

Forests are undeniably integral to the supply of clean, drinking water available to populations living in the midwest and northeast. More than 52 million people in this region depend on surface water to drink, cook, bath and wash with and the majority of this water comes from forested lands. The general population is mostly unaware…