USDA Awards Grants For Arizona Pest Research

By  Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 5:05am

(Photo courtesy of Michael Matheron - University of Arizona)
The fusarium fungus enters the plant through the roots, causing lettuce to wilt or die.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded almost $600,000 in grants to an Arizona university for bug research.

The money is going to two different types of research at the University of Arizona’s entomology department.

$250,000, for one year, is going to support the Arizona Pest Management Center, formed to be an education and outreach program for the state’s farmers.

$330,000 is going to study, over three years, a new way to control weeds and disease in lettuce crops. Rather than manual labor, the research suggests a soil steaming device could lower the use of pesticides.

The steam would disinfest the ground lettuce grows in and could reduce yield lost to disease by 80 percent or more.

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