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Ag News

Ag News

February 13, 2016

Co-existence of wolves and livestock moving forward

Proponents of wolves and ranching advocates seemed to have reached a détente and are actively working together to help wolves propagate without creating a threat to livestock.

Karen Vardaman, leader of the wolf recovery project from the California Wolf Center was very encouraged by the progress. “We have an incredible opportunity to leave a new legacy for future generations,” she said. “I hope that when this plan is finalized, it will conserve wolves and also give support for our livestock communities.”

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Crude oil from Washington affects vegetable oil

A recent Washington state law with a legacy in the heyday of crude oil is creating more regulations for hauling vegetable oil by rail. Legislators could still intervene by amending the bill passed last year.

Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, preparedness section manager for the DOE, stated that including vegetable oils in the bill is a prudent measure and cited an example of a warehouse fire in Lewis County last summer which released vegetable oil into a creek, killing thousands of fish. “It sounds like a benign thing,” she said, “but it can cause damage.”

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Berry shrubs that feed birds in wintertime

Because winters can be very hard on birds, they require a lot of energy and fuel to make it through the season. On of the best sources of that energy are berries, found on a variety of fruit-producing shrubs.

Dana Sanchez, wildlife expert for Oregon State University’s Extension service provides a list of berry shrubs ideal for birds in winter

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Plant detectives keeping our food supply safe

Cindy Ocamb, OSU associate professor of Botany and Plant Pathology, scours plants for damage and disease in the hopes of intercepting foods that may become harmful to humans.

In her lab she examines pathogens DNA, hoping to find clues on the molecular level about how to prevent future plant diseases. “It’s like blood at a crime scene,” Ocamb says. “We collect it, run it and match it to the victim.”

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Blight resistant genes being introduced to hazelnuts trees

Newly developed genes that are resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight are being introduced to trees and orchards. Oregon State University released blight resistant varieties and are still testing.

Over 100 different trees from countries all over the world have so far, been found to be resistant to the blight. Their genetic sequences are being analyzed and further research is ongoing.

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