Departments - News Updates

June 6, 2011

American Garden Award kicks off competition
Voting for this year’s American Garden Award has begun at 24 participating public gardens across the country. Seven new varieties produced from both seed and vegetative cuttings are in this year’s competition.
  1. Dahlia ‘Dahlinova Hypnotica Lavender’ and Dianthus ‘Kahori’ from Fides North America
  2. Ornamental pepper ‘Uchu’ from American Takii
  3. Petunia Easy Wave Neon Rose from PanAmerican Seed
  4. Petunia Picobella Rose Star from Syngenta Flowers
  5. Scaevola Surdiva Light Blue from Suntory Flowers
  6. SunPatiens Variegated Spreading White from Sakata Seed
The public can vote for their favorite plant in three different ways:
  • Texting a given code to a polling number.
  • Going to and clicking on the voting button.
  • Using a postage-paid voting postcard located at most of the participating gardens.
Voting runs through Aug. 31 and can be tracked on Twitter and Facebook.

The American Garden Award program is administered by the All-America Selections Display Garden program. Award entries have not been trialed nor awarded a winner status by the AAS trial judges.

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U.S. organic industry valued at nearly $29 billion
Organic Trade Association reports the organic industry grew at a rate of nearly 8 percent in 2010. The association’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey found the organic industry grew to more than $28.6 billion in 2010.

“While total U.S. food sales grew by less than 1 percent in 2010, the organic food industry grew by 7.7 percent,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and executive director. “Consumers continue to vote with their dollars in favor of the organic choice. These results illustrate the positive contribution organic agriculture and trade make to our economy, and particularly to rural livelihoods.”

Experiencing the most growth, organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 39.7 percent of the total organic food value. Organic fruits and vegetables, which represent nearly 12 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales, reached nearly $10.6 billion in 2010, up 11.8 percent from 2009.

In the organic non-food sector, organic supplements led with a value of $681 million, representing 7.4 percent growth over 2009 figures.

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Stink bug monitoring tool can help growers
Penn State University researchers have released a web-based tool that they hope will help enhance their understanding of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). The mapping tool was developed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The mapping tool will enable nursery, fruit, vegetable and field-crop growers and homeowners to report the location and size of infestations and the estimated dollar value of damages, if any, caused by the pest.

The website also acts as a portal for information about the stink bug, including photos, a description and management tips for homeowners. In the short term, data collected could provide an early warning for growers about where stink bug populations are occurring so they can take appropriate action to protect their crops.

To report an infestation, visitors must first register on the website. Then they are able to enter information about an infestation, including the county and municipality, date and the number of stink bugs observed per plant or in and around a home. Growers can report infestations in the two previous seasons to document economic loss.

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