Want to keep up with the latest news for growers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the fruit and vegetable industry.

Manure Application Research Aims to Improve Food Safety
New field research
out of Clarkson University in upstate New York is providing an answer to measure how far common bacteria are likely to travel downwind from manure application sites. They hoped to better understand how fresh produce might be contaminated by nearby animal agriculture practices.

The team used field data to understand how these bacteria travel from manure application sites to produce and the research lasted three years. They took samples at several distances from manure application sites and measured the presence of illness-causing bacteria. Combining all that data, the team found that produce fields should be set back from areas of manure application by at least 160 meters. That distance should help lower the risk of foodborne illness to acceptable levels (1 in 10,000).

USDA Accepting Nominations for Fruit and Vegetable Industry Members
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be accepting nominations from qualified fruit and vegetable industry members only to fill 12 seats on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). The committee provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on issues related to the programs and services that USDA provides to the produce industry.

USDA Announces $4 Million Available to Develop Pest Management Solutions
The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $4 million to support research and extension efforts to mitigate pest issues and increase crop protection practices for the agricultural community. This funding is made through the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Program, administered by NIFA. Applications are due June 8.

Texas Corn and Sorghum On Track in 2016
Corn and sorghum appear to be on time and on track to produce average yields for producers around the state, according to Ronnie Schnell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state cropping systems specialist. Corn acreage is a little behind the five-year average, Schnell said, but farmers and fields are in better shape than last year.

J.R. Simplot Company Makes Move into Production
The J.R. Simplot Company has commissioned production of GAL-XEONE, a controlled release polymer coating. This new capability will increase the availability of GAL-XEONE coated nutrients and enable wider distribution access in-market to western United States and international customers. Simplot GAL-XEONE polymer coating controls nutrient release over an extended period of time – up to 18 months.