Nematode Analysis

Nematode TestingMidwest Laboratories has received a large number of samples requesting nematode testing. This is the result of a number of factors. Many laboratories do not have the proper permits to handle soils outside of their state. In addition, Midwest Laboratories is one of the few labs in the country which has a certified nematologist on staff.

If you have questions regarding soil and plant nematodes, contact a client service member today. 402-334-7770

Information regarding nematode analysis can be found in the Midwest Laboratories Library – Nematode Analysis

The following video presentation on nematodes, gives a great overview of nematodes and the type of damage they can cause in your field.

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How is processed cheese made?

Processed CheeseIs processed cheese made from real cheese?

The Answer: Yes

Check out this process and see how processed cheese is made.

Think about all the varieties of processed cheese, (cheese slices, cheese sauce, cheese cubes, cheese spread, cheese in a can)

Here are 10 things to know about process cheese. (How many of these did you know?)
Source:   10 Things to Know About Processed Cheese [Cheese Miniseries Part 2/3] - Fooducate, April 24, 2012

1. Processed cheese is also known as “process cheese”, “prepared cheese”, and “cheese food”.

2. Yes, it’s made with regular cheese, but with the addition of one or more of the following: whey, emulsifiers, milk, salts, preservatives, and food coloring.

3. The most popular processed cheese in the US is “American Cheese” although there is no one definition for that term. In most people’s minds, the term has come to mean a smooth, mild flavored cheese.

4. Processed cheese was invented over 100 years ago in Switzerland, but it took an American, James L. Kraft, to manufacture the first commercially available sliced processed cheese, just after World War 2.

5. Kraft Singles, a product introduced in 1947, was an instant hit and went on to become an American legend.

6. One of the biggest consumer benefits of processed cheese is “the melt”.  The use of emulsifiers in processed cheese lets it melt smoothly and uniformly when heated.

7. An important factor for food manufactures is the extended shelf life of processed cheese, due to the additives used.

8. Packaging each slice separately is a major convenience factor of processed cheese. If you’d like to skip chewing altogether,  processed cheese can be found in spray cans.

9. The top uses for processed cheese are cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

10. Legally, processed cheese cannot be sold as “cheese”. It needs to be called a “cheese food”. In fact, the FDA highly regulates how products can be labeled based on their cheese ingredient, moisture content, and milkfat:

Pasteurized process cheese - contains 100% cheese
Pasteurized process cheese food - contains at least 51% cheese.
Pasteurized process cheese product - contains less than 51% cheese.

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Summer Lawn Tips

Summer Lawn TipsHere are some great tips I use on a regular basis for a stronger sustaining lawn.

The 3 takeaways from this video:

1) Make sure you raise the blade. If the lawn is cut too short, it gives the lawn too much space for potential weed growth.

2) Water on a regular basis. Remember watering for longer times only a few times a week actually is a better option than 5-10 minutes of watering each day.

3) Finally, apply a granular, slow-release fertilizer. I could not agree more. I would just add that you want to try and fertilize when there is a break in the temperatures. Fertilizing the lawn in intense heat could cause excessive drying in some areas. Also, make sure to water your fertilizer in over the next few days to insure the fertilizer gets into the plant root system.



Dealing with Citrus Greening

Citrus Green DiseaseCitrus Greening is the most serious disease threatening our citrus produce.

Citrus greening is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. It is also known as Huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon disease. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure. While the disease poses no threat to humans or animals, it has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad.  Source

Check out this map of affected areas  and see how widespread this disease is.  Source:

Learn more about this disease and how some laboratories are looking at possible solutions to fighting this disease.

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Frying an egg on the sidewalk

Fried Egg on Sidewalk

The question still remains, “Is it hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk?”

This week, we will see some of the hottest temperatures of the summer.

If you check out YouTube, your answer might be yes from some of the examples given. It really depends upon your heat source and if you can get that heat up to 150 degrees farenheit.

See more in this science documentary on this topic.

What do you think, can you fry an egg on the sidewalk? There is only one way to know. Try it yourself!

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Corpse Flower Sightings

Corpse FlowerHave you heard of this particular flower?

Apparently it blooms once every seven years from what I read. In 2014, sightings of this flower have been seen.

Check out this article from St. Louis, Missouri “Rare stinky ‘corpse flower’ blooms in St. Louis” - July 1, 2014

As you can see this flower creates quite an odor when blooming.

Also checkout this video from Loxahatchee, Florida regarding  the corps flower blooming sometime this weekend, July 18 – 20, 2014. This story gives you an up close visual of the flower just before its ready to bloom.

Have you seen a corpse flower up close? It’s an interesting story of a very unusual flower.

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Drones and Corn Field Scouting

drones and agriculture

Drones are starting to be seen more and more in fields across the country.

From time to time, I hope to share more articles with respect to this new process. I have been fortunate to hear some great speakers talk about their experiences with drones and their fields. Most of these speakers talk about the learning curve involved with operating drones and scouting fields. We are in the very early stages of this technology. More and more people are wanting to know more about how to effectively use this technology.

Check out this video and start to think of all the future uses you could envision for this technology. We are in the beginning stages of something really big.

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Germy Cellphones

cellphone germsSince I carry my cellphone with me everywhere I go, I need to be constantly reminded about this.

I’ve seen an increase in colds and viruses in the last few years in my workplace, have you?

Some tips to keep in mind to cut down on the number of germs:

  • Clean your phone regularly
  • Don’t let others use your phone
  • Keep the phone from directly contacting your skin.
  • Also, be aware of your children handling your phone


ABC News | ABC Sports News

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Getting Quality Sweet Corn

Pollinating Sweet CornHave you tried to grow sweet corn,only to get ears about one third filled with kernels?

Check out this video and learn how to improve the process of pollinating sweet corn by actively getting involved in the process.

This video gives a great representation of what it takes to effectively pollinate corn.

I never thought of using a paint brush in the process.

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