In today’s Ag News Roundup, reports show El Niño could be heading our way, a new blood test could predict bovine clinical mastitis, farm bill passes U.S. House, growers told to watch out for stripe rust in Washington state, and bats are being hailed for eating harmful insects.
National Weather Service Predicts El Niño for Northwest
Many areas of the Pacific Northwest are already seeing dry conditions, but experts with the National Weather Service warn that an El Niño could mean severe conditions in some areas. Specialists are hoping to share more information as soon as it is available to help the agricultural community plan ahead for any possible impact.
OSU Develops Bovine Clinical Mastitis Blood Test
A research team with Oregon State University has developed a blood test that is designed to identify dairy cows that could be susceptible to bovine clinical mastitis. It’s estimated that the disease affects 16.5% of all U.S. dairy cows in the first 30 days of lactation. The infection costs the industry millions every year. This new test could help with early prevention and treatment intervention.
Farm Bill Passes U.S. House
While there are still some concerns that lawmakers are hoping to finalize in the coming weeks, a farm bill has passed the U.S. House or Representatives. This bill renews funding to ensure farmers have what they need to successfully grow their crops amid fluctuating prices and possible tariffs.
WSU Urging Growers to Watch for Stripe Rust
Washington State University is warning growers that stripe rust could develop as spring wheat begins flowering. Experts say the incidence of stripe rust is relatively low this year, but recent weather could help the disease develop more quickly in the coming weeks.
Bats are Great for the Garden
The Oregon State University Extension Service is hopeful to help the general public understand the benefits of bats in agriculture. While bats act as a living pesticide, saving farmers millions of dollars every year, there are still concerns when bats develop rabies or other diseases.