?Main Image: Steer fitted with a global positioning system (GPS) collar to examine cattle responses to prescribed burns at the Central Plains Experimental Range in...
Combating Hopping PestsLast Updated on 2015-02-28 18:55:12The Mormon cricket is a voracious feeder that wipes out acres of grasses and field crops in no time. When it’s young, it grows so fast that its immune system cannot keep up. ARS scientists are finding that this may be the best time to use biocontrol fungi to target the insect pest.
New Hopes for Combating Hopping Pests
For many Americans, summertime means warm, sunny days spent by the pool or exploring the country and the world. But for farmers, ranchers, scientists, and state pest control organizations in the western half of the country, summer also means a chance of infestations of hopping pests, particularly grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.
Each adult female grasshopper can lay multiple egg pods—each containing many eggs—in one summer, which could greatly increase the population the next summer, after the eggs hatch. This compounding effect could lead... More »
Wind turbine bird mortalityLast Updated on 2014-11-30 21:32:32Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately assess the extent of impact to avian populations, deeper factors than gross mortality by turbine action must be assessed. In particular, one must examine: (a) impacts to threatened bird species, (b) total impacts due to avian habitat loss as well as direct mechanical kill, (c) ecological impacts due to apex predator bird loss and (d) future siting decisions for windfarms, since much of the prior bird mortality is due to poor siting decisions.
Bird mortality from wind turbines is a significant adverse ecological impact, and threatens to expand in scope dramatically with the rush to develop new energy sources. This impact is measured as high due to the loss of threatened species and due to... More »
Animal foodLast Updated on 2014-11-15 15:14:46The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) defines Animal Food as:
Any article intended for use as food for dogs, cats, or other animals derived wholly, or in part, from the carcass or parts or products of the carcass of any livestock, except that the term animal food as used herein does not include:
Processed dry animal food or
Livestock or poultry feeds manufactured from processed livestock byproducts (such as meatmeal tankage, meat and bonemeal, bloodmeal, and feed grade animal fat).
Animal Agriculture and the EnvironmentLast Updated on 2014-11-15 14:53:25
Animal production industries have seen substantial changes over the past several decades, the result of domestic/export market forces and technological changes. The number of large operations has increased, and animal and feed production are increasingly separated in terms of both management and geography. Concern that these changes are harming the environment has prompted local, State, and Federal policies and programs to control pollution from animal production facilities.
Changes in the structure of livestock and poultry production are behind many of the current concerns about animals and the environment. Structural changes have been driven by both innovation and economies of scale. Organizational innovations, such as production contract arrangements, enable growers to access the capital necessary to adopt innovative technologies and garner economies of size in their efforts... More »
DomesticationLast Updated on 2014-10-19 17:21:38Domestication is defined as the keeping of animals in captivity by a human community that maintains total control over their breeding, organization of territory, and food supply. True domestication involves a combination of biological and cultural processes. The biological process begins with the separation of a few animals from the wild species and their taming by humans; if these animals breed, a founder group is formed, which is changed over future generations both in response to natural selection under the control of humans and the animal's environment and by artificial selection for economic, cultural, or aesthetic goals. In the cultural process, animals are incorporated into the social structure of a human community and become objects of ownership, inheritance, purchase, and exchange.
Clutton-Brock, Juliet. 1999. A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals.... More »
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