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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

October 8, 2014

Weekly Report

Research, Education, and Economics


Under Secretary Catherine Woteki                                          October 13-24, 2014 


Agency Accomplishments (press/media achievements of the week)


Reform Based Actions


Important Events for the Upcoming Week


Media Flags


Press Releases, Reports and Blogs for the Upcoming Week  


Press Releases:


Stakeholder Announcements:






Outreach and Professional Activities:

ARS researchers Thomas Rinderer and Lilia deGuzman from the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit, Baton Rouge, LA have been invited to speak at the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association meeting in Medina, OH from October 23-26, 2014.  Dr. deGuzman’s talk is entitled, “Russian Honey Bee Hygienic Behavior”.  Dr. Rinderer will make two presentations entitled, “History of the Russian Honey Bee Research Program” and “Management Research with Russian Honey Bees”.

ARS employees David Dodge, Sharon O’Brien and Tony Stelzer from the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit, Baton Rouge, LA will be traveling to Cresco, IA to our field visit in regards to the Pesticide Project with LSU and cooperator Manley Bigalk.  Three LSU employees will be accompanying them on this trip. Approximate travel dates are Oct 14 – 20, 2014.

ARS researcher Jay Shockey, Commodity Utilization Research Unit, New Orleans, LA will present a seminar titled “Improved performance of type-2 diacylglycerol acyltransferase: targeted mutagenesis improves performance in transgenic systems,” to the director, staff and students of the Institute of Subtropical Forestry (ISF), Hangzhou, China, on October 17-24, 2014.  Dr. Shockey will be summarizing recent research results in the shared field of tung tree genetics and biochemistry.   Also, he will discuss results recently generated by collaborators in (ISF) studying roles of genes from tung tree to engineer in the creation of transgenic plants with increased resistance of fungal pathogens. 

ARS researcher Peter Bechtel, Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit, New Orleans LA will be making a presentation during the United States-Japan National Resources Food and Agriculture Panel, October 20-22, 2014.  The presentation is titled, “Functional Properties of Marine Byproduct Proteins”.


ARS researcher Richard Johnson of the Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, LA has been invited by the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association (LACA) Executive Board and Louisiana Agricultural Technology and Management Conference (LATMC) program planning committee to attend the 12th Annual LACA Fall Researchers’ Retreat in Marksville, LA on October 23 – 24, 2014.   The retreat is intended to bring together key researchers and specialists throughout the state to interact with independent crop consultants and contract researchers to exchange ideas and discuss research needs for the benefit of Louisiana agriculture. This time of planning, networking, and information gathering is crucial to bringing topics of interest and benefit to consultants, producers, and other agricultural professionals at the annual LATMC meeting to be held in Marksville in February 2015.

ARS researchers Stephen Duke and Kumudini Meepagala of the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, University, MS will visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Alexandria, VA., October 27, 2014, to discuss requirements for the registration of an insect repellent.  They will also visit scientists at AgriMetis in Luthersville, MD, October 28, 2014, where Duke will present a talk entitled, “Biopesticide Research of the Natural Products Research Unit”.  AgriMetis is a biotechnology company that focuses the use of natural products in the development of crop protection agents (biopesticides).  They will also travel to the Bethesda, MD to attend the Armed Forces Pest Management Board Meeting, October 27-29, 2014, to discuss insect-active natural products with different committees of the board.

Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding in progress or nearing completion:


30-60 Day Look-Ahead


Upcoming Press Releases:


Stakeholder Announcements:





Potential Legal Issues



Legislative or Policy Issues


News Clips:






ARS News Articles

USDA Soil Lab Celebrates 75 Years of Innovative Research
Nov 18, 2010
Computer Model Will Help Farmers Protect Yields and Water Quality
Jul 18, 1997
Last Modified: 10/8/2014