AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Alabama Extension specialist and Auburn University professor Xing Ping Hu is gaining insight into the virulent kudzu bug, including the discovery of a native predator that could go a long way toward reducing the pest’s numbers.
“Since its detection in 2009, this stink bug has developed from an urban nuisance to a serious bean crop pest throughout the Southeast,” said Hu, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist and professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She added that its rapidly expanding range, explosive population growth, severe damage to legume crops and vegetables, repulsive smell and difficulty to control have contributed to its elevated pest status.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – A newly released series of reports demonstrates the dominant and, in many cases, indispensable role the agriculture and forestry sector plays in the economic fortunes of Alabama’s 67 counties.
The reports, collectively titled the Economic Impacts of Alabama’s Agriculture, Forestry and Related Industries, are the result of a collaborative effort of the Alabama Agribusiness Council, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University and other businesses and organizations. It is a compilation of agricultural and forestry economic data collected from all of Alabama’s 67 counties.
The comprehensive county-level data is available online: http://www.AlabamaAgImpact.com.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System Food Safety Team is offering safe food handling training to fruit and vegetable producers who sell their commodities at farmers markets throughout the state, with the ultimate goal of preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness.
The training, titled “Enhancing the Safety of Locally Grown Produce,” is designed to alert sellers at farmers markets to the handling practices most commonly linked with foodborne illness outbreaks.
CLANTON – The Chilton Food Innovation Center, a fully equipped industrial kitchen in Clanton, is helping farmers and other aspiring entrepreneurs turn fruits and vegetables into a variety of products for grocers’ shelves.
And it is being done with revitalized kitchen equipment from Auburn University’s Foy Hall, formerly Foy Student Union.
“We were called by Property Surplus,” said Jean Weese, food scientist with Auburn and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “They were taking all the equipment out of Foy Union … they asked us if we had a need for it. It was right at a time we were planning this facility, so it worked perfectly.”