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High-Tech Camera Helps Protect Sows and Piglets

by ARS

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018, 8:59 pm

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and collaborators are using 3-D imaging to protect newborn piglets by monitoring adult female pigs' behavior.

Nearly 15 percent of pre-weaned piglets die each year. According to U.S. pork producers, many are crushed by sows (adult female pigs). Modifying the sows' stalls or crates may help reduce piglet deaths. The first step, according to ARS agricultural engineer Tami Brown-Brandl, is to evaluate sow and piglet behavior in their stalls. Animal behavior contains vital clues about health and well-being that producers can use to better manage their livestock.

Brown-Brandl and a team of scientists from China, Iowa Select Farms and Iowa State University developed a system to automatically process and analyze 3-D images of sows. A camera mounted over birthing crates captures images to determine a sow's behavior and post...

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2018 Top-10 New Product Winners Announced

by World Ag Farm Show

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018, 8:46 pm

Results are in for World Ag Expo’s Top-10 New Products Competition, sponsored by Bank of America. The winners will be showcased February 13-15, 2018, during the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.

An impressive field of cutting-edge, cost-saving, and resource-managing products were submitted for the contest by exhibitors of the largest annual agricultural show of its kind. The contest judges were made up of farmers, ranchers and industry professionals. The Top-10 New Products competition is once again sponsored by Bank of America, which has an industry leading agribusiness group that delivers end-to-end banking and finance solutions to ag producers and related businesses.

The competition is conducted annually by the International Agri-Center in conjunction with World Ag Expo, which draws more than 1,400 exhibitors and an estimated annual average of 100,000 in...

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Almond Board of California Envisions Farm of the Future with $4.8 Million Research Investment

by News Provided By Almond Board of California

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018, 8:42 pm



Almond Board of California (ABC) today announced an investment of $4.8 million in 64 independent, third-party research projects exploring next-generation farming practices. Additionally, ABC released the first annual Almond Sustainability Publication, entitled Growing Good, which highlights the California Almond community's commitment to sustainability.

The announcement was made at the 45th annual Almond Conference, an event that convenes almond farmers and processors to dialogue with researchers about the latest science.

The California Almond community, through ABC, has invested nearly $70 million over 40 plus years to build a foundation of research on improving how almonds are grown, processed, and consumed. Growing Good highlights the industry's continually evolving farming and processing best practices based on that research investment, which has...

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Funding is available in three focus areas, including grazing lands, organic systems and soil health

by USDA

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018, 8:38 pm

USDA is offering grants for innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.

"Conservation Innovation Grants play a critical role in developing and implementing new methods to help our customers conserve natural resources, strengthen their local communities, and improve their bottom lines," said Rob Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. "Today's announcement supports our efforts to help producers build economically-strong and resilient farms and ranches by providing producers tools to utilize across their working farmlands.”

Th...

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Bringing Space Technology to Water Needs in California Vineyards

by ARS

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018, 8:34 pm

ARS scientists are saving water in California's vineyards by using satellite data and computer models to better manage water resources.

Bill Kustas and Martha Anderson are fine-tuning computer models at the ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to help vineyard managers determine how much water to apply and when to apply it. The models tap into satellite data that measure land surface temperature providing information about soil and vine moisture levels and rates of water use or "evapotranspiration."

Winemakers want grapes of uniform quality, and that can be a challenge with vineyards that have different soils and climatic conditions across thousands of acres. Even a single vineyard can have a variety of irrigation needs, according to Kustas, an ARS hydrologist.

The ARS model uses satellite measurements of land surface...

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