Q. I just made dill pickles, and after two days, my garlic turned blue. Why?
A. There are two reasons for garlic in pickles to turn blue. Garlic contains anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment that can turn blue or purple under acidic conditions, such as in pickles. This happens most often with immature garlic. The other reason is the copper content of the water. Garlic contains sulfur, and if the copper content in the water is high enough, it will form copper sulfate, a blue compound. The pickles are safe as long as they were prepared and processed properly. Just discard the garlic when you open the jar.
Q. Can you tell me what kind of insect is small, bright green and looks like a tiny butterfly?
A. It is always difficult to identify an insect with just a description, but it could be a green lacewing. These are beneficial insects that eat aphids and other pest insects. They lay their eggs on long silky stalks, and the larvae resemble tiny alligators. You can see images of the adults on the Internet.
Q. What is BRD, and why is it so important for the cattle industry?
A. BRD stands for bovine respiratory disease. It can occur in cattle from young calves to mature cows and cattle destined for the feed yard. What makes control of BRD so challenging is that it is a multifactorial disease complex. Viruses that cause BRD include: infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhea, parainfluenza 3 and bovine respiratory syncytial virus. There are also bacterial pathogens involved with BRD, such as Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni and Mycoplasma bovis.
Many vaccine preparations are available to protect cattle during various life stages. Control of BRD also can be aided by reducing stress when handling cattle and calves and at weaning, maintaining good nutrition, guarding against abrupt diet changes, avoiding co-mingling of healthy cattle with cattle at risk for BRD, reducing transportation stress and controlling dust in pens. Extreme weather can also put cattle at risk. Your veterinarian can assist in developing a herd health plan including vaccinations and management practices.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.