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Archive | March, 2016

Snap! Build a Weasel Trap to Protect Your Poultry

The weasel trap

Simple, non-toxic, and effective weasel traps.

It’s another idyllic evening on your patch of rural heaven. Tired from a long day, you drop off to the Land of Nod. Not all is not peaceful in the kingdom this night, though. A feathered commotion shatters your slumber. What could it be? Grabbing the flashlight, and perhaps your trusty scattergun, you plunge into the inky darkness to defend your livestock. Needless to say, mayhem ensues and your flashlight reveals your worst fears. A weasel has been on a murderous rampage. What do you do when nature invades the coop? Bite back!

What Is a Weasel?

Few wild creatures have the reputation for barnyard mayhem that the tiny weasel does. A member of the mustelid family, it shares the same bloodlust as its cousins the mink and wolverine. Tipping the scales at just a few ounces and barely a foot long, this tiny hunter is well-equipped for relentless pursuit of a meal. Slim and slinky, it is astounding the cracks they can crawl through to get into a rabbit hutch. Poultry fencing is no barrier either, and they can find a way into any building.

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Interview: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride Discusses the Science behind GAPS, Modern Nutrition Woes

Healing the Body and Mind Through the Gut

 

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrideAcres U.S.A. is North America’s monthly magazine of ecological agriculture. Each month we conduct an in-depth interview with a thought leader. The following interview appeared in our April 2016 issue and was too important not to share widely.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is a warm, gracious woman with a revolutionary mission — helping people to heal their minds and bodies and avoid a wide array of disorders and illnesses by focusing on supporting gut health. The experience of having a child with autism propelled her to look beyond the confines of conventional medicine and to become a medical pioneer. She is best known for the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. GAPS is the acronym for both Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome. Campbell-McBride graduated with Honors as a medical doctor in Russia in 1984 and later received a graduate degree in Neurology. After working as a neurologist and a neurosurgeon for a total of eight years, she started a family and moved to England. During that time she developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition, and completed a second graduate degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK. In 2000 she started the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic, where she specializes in nutritional approaches to treat learning disabilities and other psychological disorders, as well as digestive and immune disorders, in both children and adults.

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Interview: Scientist, Author Jonathan Lundgren Discusses Ground-Breaking Research into Insects and Species Diversity

Acres U.S.A. is North America’s monthly magazine of ecological agriculture. Each month we conduct an in-depth interview with a thought leader. The following interview appeared in our Febjonathan-lundgrenruary 2016 issue and was too important not to share widely.

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is an agroecologist, director of the Ecdysis Foundation and CEO of Blue Dasher Farm in Brookings, South Dakota. He received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Illinois in 2004 and was a top scientist with USDA-ARS for 11 years. Lundgren received the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering awarded by the White House and has served as an advisor for national grant panels and regulatory agencies on pesticide and GM crop risk assessments. Lundgren has written 107 peer-reviewed journal articles, authored the book Relationships of Natural Enemies and Non-prey Foods and has received more than $3.4 million in grants. Dr. Lundgren has trained five post-docs and 12 graduate students from around the world. One of his priorities is to make science applicable to end-users, and he regularly interacts with the public and farmers regarding pest and farm management and insect biology. Lundgren’s research program focuses on assessing the ecological risk of pest management strategies and developing long-term solutions for sustainable food systems. His ecological research focuses heavily on conserving healthy biological communities within agroecosystems by reducing disturbance and increasing biodiversity within cropland.

Interviewed by Tracy Frisch

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Kaolin as Natural Insecticide for Beans

white_fliesIn Colombia, bean crops contribute significantly to the region’s agriculture. New research on the use of kaolin (aluminosilicate clay) contains information that can help bean producers limit the use of conventional pesticides. The authors of the study in HortScience said previous experiments in temperate regions have shown that kaolin foliar sprays have insecticidal attributes. The researchers studied the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum, one of the most prevalent pests in the region’s bean crops. The study design consisted of three experiments using four treatments: no insecticide, synthetic chemical insecticides, foliar applications of kaolin at 2.5 percent and foliar applications of kaolin at 5 percent (weight/volume). Foliar applications of kaolin at both doses controlled 80 percent of the population of whitefly in different stages (eggs, nymphs and adults) in all three  experiments. Analyses showed that the percentage of efficacy of the two doses of kaolin was similar to that obtained in bean plants treated with synthetic chemical insecticides (90 percent).

This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Acres U.S.A.