Envision Utah Survey Results favor agriculture
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Work Has Begun on Multi-agency State Laboratory

Commissioner Adams participates in groundbreaking

Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, LuAnn Adams (fourth from left) joined several Sate of Utah dignitaries including Lt. Governor Spencer Cox in groundbreaking for a new Unified Utah Laboratory. See the details at

Envision Utah Survey Shows Strong Support for Agriculture

Survey results show that Utahns care about agriculture a great deal! 87% of people are willing to use less water on their lawns and 82% are willing to preserve existing high-quality agricultural lands by preventing development on those lands. What do you think of these results? What are you willing to do to preserve the future of Utah agriculture? Read the UDAF official news release, Read the report from Envision Utah here, and Check out this article to learn more!


Insects with a job: UDAF Bio-control program fights weeds

It's not often you here about government programs earning money rather than spending it. However, that is exactly what the bio-control element of the invasive species mitigation program does. Insects that are purchased from research facilities because they feed on specific weed species, like the knapweed seed head weevil, reproduce while they are feeding on noxious weeds. Populations of insects increase while populations of noxious weeds stay the same or decrease. Extra insects are collected and redistributed, keeping the state and counties from having to buy new insects all the time. In the case of the knapweed weevil alone, the reproducing insect has generated more than $500,000 in new bugs that have been released elsewhere in the state in the past nine years. Read more about this innovative program and its partnership with high school Future Farmers of America groups on the UDAF website.

Conservation Districts featured on the County Seat

Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food appeared recently on the County Seat television program to discuss the importance and future of Conservation Districts.Watch the program.

UDAF Seek Utah Ag. History Photos

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is undertaking a major project to document the history of Utah agriculture.   The agency is enlisting the help of Utahns to contribute photos and stories that detail the progress of agriculture from early pioneer settlement to today. See the full story.

A farmer cuts hay in the 1920s or early 1930s in Vernal.

Bergetta Larsen in front of the family cherry orchard and gardens in Bountiful, Utah, circa 1940.

Taste of Utah Event at the Utah State Fair Expands to Two Days

Utah’s Own is expanding the Taste of Utah at the State Fair to a two-day event on Sept. 10 and 11, and they are partnering with the Utah Manufactures Association at the event.  Be sure to look for the Taste of Utah tent and event the first two days of the Utah State Fair.  

Utah Grain Lab Looks to the Future

When the semis pull up full of grain, the inspectors and graders at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food's Utah Grain lab in Ogden, Utah, are ready to spring into action.

The grain lab grades hay and several different grains. They provide the official certification that ensures that the farmer gets a fair price and the flour mill gets a fair product.

While lab supervisor, George Wilson, and another long time employee, Dave Finch, have certifications for each of the grains the lab inspects, they both have more than 35 years service with the State of Utah and Wilson knows he and Finch won't be around forever.

"That's why we have to get these two certified in everything," Wilson said as he pointed to Cassie Lewis and Jenifer Adams, two of the younger graders at the lab. Read More

Brand Inspectors Become More Visible

In an effort to reduce cattle theft in Utah, our Livestock Inspection Bureau has ramped up its surveillance efforts by making our vehicles more recognizable with decals identifying them as Livestock Inspection and UDAF. We also have livestock surveillance signs that we hang in livestock prominent areas with Brand Inspector names and phone numbers for that area. With the increased surveillance efforts, our missing livestock reports have decreased tremendously from 201 head during the first five months in 2014 to 88 head during the same time period in 2015 . The feedback from the producers has been very positive. (The picture below shows Deputy Bureau Chief over the Livestock Inspection Bureau Anna Marie Vail standing by one of our newly painted trucks)

A little more about the job of brand inspector/investigator for UDAF

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Livestock brand investigator, Dave Carter, spends most of his work time verifying brands and doing other routine tasks. Most of the time that cattle, sheep and other livestock end up in the wrong herd at the wrong location it is by accident, but occasionally missing livestock is not an accident.
“It’s fairly common to get calls that livestock is missing,” said Carter. “Most are honest mistakes when livestock gets in the wrong hands.” He said it often happens when livestock are moved on the public range.
Carter related two ongoing cases he believes to theft of livestock. Because they are active cases, he couldn’t go into great detail. One is in Sanpete County where a man had three ewes and five lambs at his house in his yard that were not his. Carter and a Sanpete County sheriff’s deputy responded to a complaint and ended up arresting the man. Carter said the other open case involved cattle in Carbon County.
“I’m very careful to make sure it’s an actual theft,” Cart insisted. Only about five percent of the calls he gets turn out to involve possible criminal acts.
Another part of his job is sorting out the details when horse sales go wrong. He says problems can occur when people don’t get a brand inspection when they purchase a horse. “It [the brand inspection] is the only legal proof of ownership.” He said it is the title to the horse. “If everybody would get a brand inspection it would solve a lot of the problems and misunderstandings I deal with.”

There is still time to prune your fruit trees

Late July through early august is the perfect time to thin the apples on your tree. Thinning is the process of picking and discarding one or more apples that are part of a tight cluster. Removing a third or more of the apples on a tree allows the remaining apples to grow bigger. It also reduces the chance of cosmetic damage and transfer of worms and diseases that can come from apples that are touching.
Thinning is as much an art as a science.  But here are a few things many orchard managers keep in mind when thinning:
  1. Pick off the smaller fruit that probably didn’t get pollinated first.
  2. Look for fruit that already has surface marks or evidence of possible worm damage and remove it before healthier, nicer looking fruit.
  3. Look at the fruit left in clusters and say to yourself: “Will these get to the size I want before they touch each other or branches of the tree?”
Though it may seem somehow “wrong” to pick off and discard so much immature fruit, the apples you have left will be bigger and better since more of the tree’s energy can go to producing the remaining fruit.
Other fruit that is typically thinned at commercial orchards in our climate include:
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Plums
Copyright © 2015 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, All rights reserved.

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