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Ag News | May 9, 2017

Ag News Roundup

Ag News Farmer Homesteader
In todays Ag News Roundup, sage-grouse populations have returned, cows could suffer from PTSD symptoms, decade-old trout lawsuit revived, Washington state sprays for crabgrass, and a correlation between lower bee populations and elk may have been found.

Removing Junipers Does Improve Sage-Grouse Populations

Researchers at Oregon State University have concluded that the sage-grouse populations can and do improve when western junipers are pushed back and sagebrush is allowed thrive. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. A 25 percent increase in sage-grouse population in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana was recorded during the study.

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Research finds Cows May Suffer PTSD-like Symptoms

Oregon State University animal scientists from the College of Agricultural Sciences found that cows that have witnessed wolf attacks display some of the attributes associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. The study found that wolf attacks result in “decreased pregnancy rates, lighter calves and a greater likelihood of getting sick,” stated Reinaldo Cook with OSU. Researchers had heard stories from ranchers that cows that come in contact with wolves eat less and are often more sickly. The new findings may have proven the rancher insights.

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Bull Trout Lawsuit Revived

A lawsuit filed by several environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service once again challenges the grazing rights along the Malheur and North Fork Malheur rivers. The original lawsuit was filed in 2003.

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Washington State to Treat Invasive Spartina in June

The annual spartina (crabgrass) treatment is set to begin in June and run through November 2017. The Washington State Department of Agriculture made the announcement that it would begin treating multiple areas for the noxious weed that has affected migratory shorebirds and habitat, could increase the threat of flooding, and harms the shellfish industry.

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Bees Compete with Wildlife for Flowers

New research finds that deer and elk may compete with native bees for flowers. Oregon State University Agricultural Research and Extension Center conducted the research in the Starkey Experimental Forest between Pendleton and La Grande. The American Beekeepers Federation states that bee colonies decreased by 44% between 2015 and 2016. This new research could help improve colony populations.

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