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ARS Ag Research Counts!

Posted by Justice Wright, Public Affairs Specialist in Conservation Food and Nutrition Research and Science
May 07, 2013

To recognize the contribution that research in agriculture makes in our daily lives, we’re focusing this month’s Science Tuesday blogs on the successes that USDA science agencies have achieved for us all.

If you walk through your home, you’ll see USDA science everywhere. The research we do can be found in many products that you’ve probably never realized.  So, we’re highlighting some of our greatest research achievements because “Ag Research Counts” every day, for every American. In the upcoming days, we’ll feature a trivia contest on Facebook with fun facts from past ‘Science Tuesday’ blogs we’re featuring this month. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #agresearchcounts. Here are this week’s blogs featuring ARS research that impacts each of us every day:

Crisis in the Citrus Groves
Citrus greening, a disease that threatens Florida citrus, makes orange juice bitter, so the fruit isn’t even suitable for juicing, let alone the fresh market. But ARS scientists have found that the same bitter juice that causes despair among growers could yield invaluable clues to how the disease works—and how to stop it.

Bad Bed Bugs
The bad news is that bed bugs are making a comeback. The good news is that ARS scientists are working hard on finding ways to fight these tiny-but-terrible pests that infest workplaces, hotel rooms, and even our apartments and houses.

Giving Thanks for Research
When you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast and reflect on the bounty on your table, you might want to say a quiet “thank you” to the agricultural researchers who have made your holiday favorites so plentiful and so good for you, too. One example is that Thanksgiving favorite: the turkey.

USDA’s New High-Tech Guide to Green Thumb Glory
America’s estimated 80 million gardeners now have access to a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map developed by ARS scientists and cooperators. The new map, the most sophisticated and accurate one ever created, offers an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS)-based format that can be honed to a resolution of about half a mile, based on the user’s ZIP code.

USDA Science Creates More Fresh Food Choices
Today’s Americans demand a variety of fresh, convenient, and healthy snacks and meals—and ARS scientists have made a major contribution to meeting that demand. ARS scientists teamed with a private company in Connecticut to develop a coating that helps prevent browning of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.