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USDA'S REPORT T MERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFI INFORMATION ~ GTON, D.C. 20250
JUNE 1972 \ j, No. 101
EXPLORING THE PLANET FOR PLANTS
Brought To You From Far Corners. Twenty-three impatiens collections
have been released this year to commercial nurserymen and plant
breeders by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These collections
are related to the shade-loving "impatiens plants" used in gardens
for many years -- but with a big difference. The twenty-three
were collected in 1970 by plant explorers of USDA's Agricultural
Research Service in the highlands of New Guinea and Java. The
expedition was sponsored jointly by the Agricultural Research
Service and the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Flowers of some of the plants exceed two inches in diameter with
colors ranging from pure white through pastel lavender, pink and
orange to dark vermillion or scarlet. Leaf and stem colors vary
from green to intense dark red. In some, the leaves are beauti-
fully variegated with white, yellow or pink. All are easily
propagated by cuttings and some by seed. If you are impatient to
get your hands on some of these impatiens, you must wait. The
plants are not expected to be on the market until next year.
A HOUSE BUILT ON WOOD
Suddenly, It's Home. It took workmen less than eight hours to
erect an attractive three-bedroom rambler, complete with electricity
and plumbing, on a site near Charlottesville, Va. Financed with a
loan from USDA's Farmers Home Admininstration, the house was ready
for occupancy by a low-income rural family by nightfall. The key
was not only the factory-built house, which came with interior walls
prefinished and with kitchen and bathroom fixtures installed, but
also a revolutionary new method of foundation construction. Instead
of the traditional mortar and cinder block foundation, a wood founda-
tion was installed. The wood foundation is plywood walling pressure
treated with a preservative that resists termites and rodents. Be-
cause the new-type foundation did not require a drying out period
as with masonry foundation, erection of the modular housing was begun
immediately. Besides the speed in construction, other advantages of
wood foundations are that they can be erected in almost any kind of
weather, such as extreme cold or wet, and at less cost than conven-
tional foundations. The wood foundation method was developed and
proven by research sponsored by USDA's Forest Service in cooperation
with the National Forest Products Association and the American Wood
WATCH THE BIRDIE
A Warning To Bird-Owning Travelers! If you plan to vacation abroad or in the southern
California area, don't take your pet bird along. You may not get your pet back home,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns "'An.outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease, an
ailment fatal to pet birds and po ltry.'-- hou4h not harmful to people -- is the reason.
Quarantines for the disease havgeTr placed on e~ght southern California counties and
two western Arizona counties wh6rAelewcastle eapted late last year apparently through
importation of infected pet bi4as. To date some644 million healthy poultry have been
vaccinated and more than three rt lion infected binds destroyed in efforts to eradicate
this disease. Mynah birds andIp rots, parakeeti, and other birds of the parrot family
are barred from entry into the U.,3. because tlhy nmght carry Newcastle. Although you
can take your pet bird into the qwiratined-ar-eas or abroad, you can't bring him back
out. Your best bet this summer: boardd budkgieat home when you go on vacation.
WILL YOU CAN OR FREEZE THIS SUIER?
Join The Crowd. Although advertising attention focuses on frozen main dishes and ham-
burger stands, don't feel lonesome if you home process some fruits and vegetables. Not
surprisingly, farm folk said in a 1965-66 survey, they put up two-thirds of their year's
supply of fruits and vegetables, not counting any jellies, juices, or pickles they made.
And nonfarm rural families reported that they preserved a third of their supply them-
selves. But urbanites haven't forgotten how; those interviewed boasted of preserving
a tenth of their needs at home. Where did they get their produce? From stores, friends,
fruit stands, and even picked in the wild. Great grandma would be gratified.
MOVING AROUND OUTSIDE
How To Transplant and Live. The evergreen would look better on the other side of the
yard or the shrub is too crowded or the young tree gets too much shade. Let's move it.
However, if you tell yourself that transplanting a tree or a shrub is nothing more than
digging up and planting again, you may be disappointed when your transplant dies. Hor-
ticulturists of USDA's Agricultural Research Service can give you some good tips on the
"what, when, where, and how" to successful transplanting. A new 12-page publication,
"Transplanting Ornamental Trees and Shrubs," (G-192) gives step-by-step instructions
for digging up and replanting, care of the plant until it becomes established in its
new location, and root-pruning -- the key to moving wild trees and shrubs. Among the
illustrations is a plant hardiness map showing the various temperature zones throughout
the U.S. Copies of the booklet are available for 10 cents each from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
A LOT OF RICE INFORMATION
In A Small Space. "How To Buy Rice" is a one-page sheet that tells a lot about rice.
It explains differences between the kinds of rice -- brown, milled, instant, parboiled,
short grain, medium grain and long grain -- and gives tips on use and on quality. The
one-pager, part of the "How To Buy Food" series, has been prepared as camera copy for
easy reproduction in quantity. Copies are available from Room 1771, Information Divi-
sion, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
SUMMER FOOD PREVIEW
As you round-up picnic supplies, lunch fixings, and other summer food-shopping needs
at the supermarket, you'll find prices rising in some departments, but holding steady
in others. Stability may be helped along by the Wage Board's and Price Commission's
efforts to limit increases in labor components and in profits of food prices.
Summer prices in a few departments will reflect the usual situation of seasonally
smaller supplies of some items -- pork, fresh citrus and canned fruits and vegetables,
for instance. So experts are saying that summer food store prices will average a
little higher than in spring.
Food, the "fuel-upper" is also important as a "cooler-downer" on hot summer days.
Dairy foods are the cool-fuel department; their prices are steady-as-she-goes for
summer. So rely on milk, ice cream, and yogurt refreshers. For a weight-conscious
cold drink try ice tea or coffee. Tea is priced no higher than last year, and coffee
costs less, thanks to a larger Brazilian harvest.
Meat is the main course of any picnic. Steak, barbecued chicken, hot dogs -- this sum-
mer each candidate for your grill has a different story to tell.
Beef prices have fluctuated this year. Prices rose a few months back because production
slackened when demand was heavy. But cattle supplies are up again and will stay large
for summer. Retail beef prices eased in April and Iay. More fluctuation is possible
but they may not change much during summer months, with larger beef output counter-
balanced by very strong consumer preference and rising incomes to spend on beef pro-
ducts. Check the roasts, traditionally more reasonable, during summer months.
Pass the drumsticks Those super-low chicken prices you have been enjoying in recent
weeks are the result of record production of broilers. But prices will go up gradually
as usual for summer months as supplies get smaller responding to peak demand for meals
at home and in restaurants. However, chicken is still cheap and represents an out-
standing buy. When fall begins, prices go down again.
Pork is another story. Pork prices always go highest in midsummer -- it's a seasonal
thing. Also fewer hogs are coming to market this year, and that will reinforce higher
prices. So in contrast to the specialed loins, bacon, and ham of last spring and sum-
mer, prices are returning to higher levels of two summers ago.
Lift the lid on the other dishes on your picnic table: Potato salad's main ingredient
-- the spud -- is still reasonable. Last year there were so many potatoes the price
didn't rise as usual during summer months. This year prices will make a small summer
increase, then drop off after Labor Day. Other salad ingredients, no higher than last
summer, will feature more cucumbers, carrots, and peppers, judging by the earliest
Look for best vegetable buys to begin in late August and September. Locally harvested
tomatoes and sweet corn hit the country stands and city stores then, and commercial
summer harvests get underway in earnest.
Some facts of lettuce life: Fact One: Lettuce production is very erratic: Witness
the high prices as 1972 began, followed by the low ones around Memorial Day. Fact
Two: Lettuce is in prime demand in summer for cool salad makings. So, expect summer
prices to be higher than in early June but still at moderate levels.
Deviled eggs taste great in the summer and do good things for the budget, too. Eggs
were really low-priced in the last few months. But egg output is tapering down now as
farmers cull flocks, so prices will be slowly going the other way this summer. None-
theless, eggs will continue to be a good protein buy.
For dessert, dig in the cooler for watermelon or cantaloupes -- in larger supply this
year and likely to cost about the same as last summer. Southern peaches will be more
abundant, too. Their supplies peak in mid-summer.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A IIII I iiIH IIIIIFIAIR IDEAIII
3 1262 08740 0908
Have A Housing Exhibit. Housing exhibits suitable for county fairs have been put to-
gether by a multi-agency USDA team in Pennsylvania. The exhibits consist of table-
size scale models of houses designed by the Forest Service accompanied by technical
information provided by the Extension Service and the Farmers Home Administration.
When first used last year, the exhibits drew considerable public interest and many
inquiries for literature and detailed house plans. If you are an interested county
fair planner, write to the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, 6816 Market Street,
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania 19082.
JUNE PLENTIFUL FOODS LIST
Pick A Plentiful. Following a nutritious tradition, June Is Dairy Month, again. Milk
and dairy products are featured on the Plentiful List for June. Production of milk
and dairy products continue to increase about as usual for the season, and both should
be at or near their peaks in June. Other foods expected to be in abundant supply --
and most likely to bear attractive consumer prices in June -- are boiler-fryers, eggs,
and split peas. For July, the Plentifuls will include turkeys, watermelons, fresh
plums, and fresh vegetables.
GLACIERS, LAVA, MULE TRAINS
Explore! The 187 million acres of National Forests and National Grasslands are among
our Nation's greatest natural resources. Use of these unique and valuable public pro-
perties grows each year as millions of Americans explore -- by car, by boat, by train,
on foot, and even on snowshoes -- the beauty, quiet pleasures, and excitement found in
nature. The Forest Service provides an array of facilities and programs designed to
reveal and interpret what the forest visitor will encounter. Many of these programs
are self-guiding experiences which permit the visitor to proceed at his own pace;
others are activities led by skilled forest naturalists. In addition to campgrounds,
picnic sites, information stations, interpretive trails, and special facilities such
as look outs on the 155 National Forests, there are 24 major visitor centers. The
centers are located at outstanding scenic or ecologically interesting sites and serve
as hubs of visitor programs and interpretive activities and as starting points for
trips of exploration. A colorfully illustrated and informative new booklet, "Explorel"
describes the Centers -- from Oneonta Gorge in Oregon to Cranberry Mountain in West
Virginia -- and the wonders of the forests around them. Copies of the booklet are
available for 35 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
SERVICE is a monthly newsletter of consumer interest. It is designed for those who
report to the individual consumer rather than for mass distribution. For information
about items in this issue, write: Lillie Vincent, Editor of Service, Office of
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Telephone (202)
DU8-5437. Please include your zipcode.
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