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Ag News

Ag News Roundup: August 16th, 2020

August 16, 2020

In today’s Ag News Roundup, Washington state scrambles to find and destroy Asian giant hornet nests, USDA issues warnings about mysterious seed packages, data to benefit rural communities being examined, gene-editing used to produce a special bull calf, and researchers promote benign benefits of slime mold in gardens.

Washington Traps Asian Giant Hornet

State workers have trapped an Asian giant hornet, the first caught in the state. The trap was set north of Seattle near the Canadian border. The state is scrambling to identify and destroy Asian giant hornet nests before mating season begins in mid-September.

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Warning Issued to All 50 States about Mysterious Seed Packages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued warnings to all 50 states about mysterious seed packages coming from China mailed to homes across the country. China’s foreign ministry has asked the United States Postal Service to send packages back to China to be investigated.

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OSU Data to Benefit Rural Communities  

Oregon State University is using data science to address issues such as air quality and economic development in rural areas of the state. Called Data Science for the Public Good, the program is faculty-led and student-driven.

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CRISPR Technology Used to Manipulate Bull Calf

Using CRISPR technology, scientists at the University of California, Davis, genome-edited an embryo of a bull calf to ensure it will produce male offspring. The findings were presented at the American Society of Animals Science meeting in late July.

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Slime Mold Does No Harm  

According to Oregon State University Extension Service, many of the slime molds that show up on lawns and in gardens are harmless to plants. The fungi feed on decaying matter, which can be a benefit in many instances.

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