||Chesapeake Bay Day Highlight
ARS held the first Chesapeake Bay Day at
Beltsville, Maryland, last September 28. Among the research featured was work
on finding out if pasteurization kills microbes in cow manure. Equipment lent
by N-Viro, International, of Toledo, Ohio, may show whether pasteurization
kills Escherichia coli, Cryptosporidium parvum, and other pathogens
that can lurk in manure. It mixes manure with recycled materials like cement or
lime kiln dust, coal ash from electric power plants, and gypsum. The experiment
will compare pasteurization with composting, assessing both systems for odor
control and effectiveness in killing disease-causing organisms. Researchers
want to see if pasteurization will convert phosphorus in manure to a form less
likely to leach into streams and rivers. They will also test materials such as
alum for their ability to stabilize phosphorus in manure. If the experiment
works, it could help prevent the escape of phosphorus and pathogens in farm
runoff and provide a safe outlet for two materials found in excess in
Chesapeake Bay coastal areas: high-phosphorus chicken litter and harbor
Patricia D. Millner,
USDA-ARS Soil Microbial
Systems Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland; phone (301) 504-8163.
What Hispanic Americans Eat
Public health professionals, researchers, educators, and dietitians serving the
Hispanic community can now spot dietary patterns that could affect health.
That's thanks to the 199496 What We Eat in America Survey (also known as
the CSFII) that inventoried food and nutrient intakes. The data show that
Mexican Americans eat more fiber than other Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and
non-Hispanic blacks17 grams daily, on average, for all Mexican Americans.
This is closer than the other groups to the 20 to 30 grams recommended by the
National Institutes of Health. Adult Mexican American males age 20 and over
consumed nearly 24 grams of fiber on average, while teenage males consumed
Legumes may contribute a large portion of that fiber, since adult Mexican
American males averaged 107 grams of legumes a day and teenage males, 71.
That's double the intake of other Hispanics and almost four times that of
non-Hispanic groups. Not surprisingly, Mexican Americans eat more tortillas and
taco shells than other Hispanicsabout twice as manywhile the latter
group eats three times more rice. Sixty-three percent of the milk consumed by
Mexican Americans is whole (rather than low-fat alternatives), compared to 59
percent for other Hispanics, 70 percent for U.S. blacks, and 25 percent for
whites. In 199496, both Hispanic groups were low in the same nutrients as
the general population, with intakes of vitamin E, calcium, and zinc below
Recommended Dietary Allowances. Blacks also fell below the RDA for magnesium.
Katherine Tippett, USDA-ARS
Research Group, Beltsville, Maryland; phone (301) 504-0170.
The raw survey data are available on CD-ROM from the National Technical
Information Service at 1-800-553-6847 (Accession No. PB98500457). Data
tables can be viewed on the USDA's Food Surveys Research Group web site at
Collaring Deer Ticks To Reduce Lyme Disease
An automatic device that puts a pesticide-impregnated collar around a
white-tailed deer's neck may help reduce Lyme disease in the Northeast and help
control cattle fever ticks along the Texas-Mexico border. Lyme disease is the
most prevalent tickborne human disease in the United States, with about 90
percent of the cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
occurring in northeastern states.
Pesticide collars are commonly used for controlling ticks and other parasites
on domestic animals. But until now, collaring wildlife has meant trapping or
tranquilizing the animals. The new collaring unit, patented by Agricultural
Research Service scientists, lures deer to a specially designed feeder. To eat,
an animal must place its neck near the collaring mechanism, which releases a
flexible, self-adjusting collar similar to flea collars worn by cats and dogs.
ARS researchers in Kerrville, Texas, who tested the collars on captive deer,
found no ticks attached and feeding on the animals. The collars are impregnated
with amitraz, a pesticide approved for livestock that also kills ticks on deer
hair and skin. If approved for use on deer, it would be safe to use during
hunting season, from October through December, when most adult blacklegged
ticksthe culprits behind Lyme diseaseare feeding. Further research,
along with a cooperative research and development agreement with Wildlife
Management Technologies of Noank, Connecticut, should lead to refinements of
this tick-control method.
J. Mathews Pound, USDA-ARS
Livestock Insects Research
Laboratory, Kerrville, Texas; phone (830) 792-0342.
"Science Update" was published in the
issue of Agricultural Research magazine.