ARS scientists found that methyl benzoate can repel, and even kill, other insects and pests, including the spotted wing drosophila fly.
The Potato Industry’s New Stud: Galena Russet
U.S. potato production is valued at $4 billion annually. To meet industry demands for the popular spud, researchers are developing new potato varieties with greater yields and better processing qualities, especially for making chips and fries. ARS scientists with the Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, ID, along with researchers in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, teamed up to create a new potato variety that meets these demands and more.
This new variety, ‘Galena Russet’, produces high yields during early and full harvest seasons. It also exhibits long dormancy of tubers, which is beneficial in maintaining tuber quality in storage with decreased sprouting following harvest. ‘Galena Russet’ also has higher protein content than standard Russet varieties. Notably, this potato has excellent processing characteristics for fries due to its cold sweetening resistance. In varieties such as industry standard, ‘Russet Burbank’, storing potatoes at lower temperatures results in a starch to sugar conversion (called cold sweetening), resulting in darker, less desirable fried potato products. ‘Galena Russet’, however, maintains lower sugar concentrations and produces light-colored products even when stored for up to 7 months at 42o F. This potato also has an attractive appearance for fresh market use, making this spud a potential new stud in the potato industry.
Explore Other Discoveries
Food Additive Takes on Duty as a Pesticide
For the Love of Coffee
ARS scientists studied Puerto Rican fungal strains as possible biological control agents for managing the coffee berry borer in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Herbicide Beefs Up Effective Biofumigant
Combining the biofumigant with an herbicide seems to curb infestations of purple nutsedge as well as reduce nematodes and the tomato wilt bacterium.
Hopping Against Climate Change
Often viewed as pests, grasshoppers may have a larger environmental role to play.
New Sugarcane Sweetens the Deal
A new variety of sugarcane has high fiber content, excellent regrowth ability, high stalk population, cold tolerance, disease resistance, and excellent biomass yield.
Saving A Favorite Superfood
ARS scientists are combatting pests and diseases affecting avocado production in the U.S.
The Buzz Around Bee Genomics
Researchers with the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Unit have identified a region of the honey bee genome linked to reduced colony defensiveness.
Wasp Could Fight Emerald Ash Borer
In the search for natural enemies of the emerald ash borer, one promising candidate is a tiny 5-7 millimeter-long parasitic wasp that lays its eggs on EAB larvae.