Disease management is a lot like the battle of Gettysburg

In Southeast Farm Press

by Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia

As my family and I drove on a mid-July morning, passing field after field of peanuts, I said this time of the season reminded me of the Battle of Gettysburg. One child slumped in his chair and became more intent on his computer game. The other exclaimed softly, “Oh-my-gosh…..” and steeled herself for the analogy to follow.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought between July 1 and 3 in 1863.  Though the Civil War raged for almost another two years, the die was cast for the Confederacy at Gettysburg.  On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse and the war was mercifully over.  At this point I heard a prolonged sigh and an exasperated question from the back of the truck, “What has THAT got to do with peanuts??”

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Missouri farmers troubled by diseased wheat

In Delta Farm Press

by Jason Vance, University of Missouri Extension

This year’s record-breaking rain and continued wet weather led to serious problems in Missouri wheat fields. Farmers have had a tough time harvesting the wheat crop, and now disease is making it hard or even impossible to sell, says Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri.

The Wheat Belt has been hit by vomitoxin, a common name for the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. The Food and Drug Administration has restricted the concentration to 1 part per million for human food products. In higher concentrations, vomitoxin causes feed refusal and poor weight gain in some livestock. Much of the affected wheat has levels high enough that grain elevators won’t accept it.

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Concho Valley Small Grain Workshop set for Aug. 19 in Lowake

The Concho Valley Small Grain Workshop conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is set for Aug. 19 at the Lowake Community Center in Lowake, TX.

The community center is the red brick school building at 23860 Farm-to-Market Road 381. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

“Wheat is second only to cotton in the Concho Valley with an average annual value of about $23.3 million in cash receipts,” said Josh Blanek, AgriLife Extension agent in Tom Green County. Continue reading

Organic farmers to share info with beginning farmers, home gardeners

Home gardeners and beginning farmers who want to learn techniques for organic and sustainable production are encouraged to attend a workshop Aug. 11 at the Holiday Inn Express, 2801 Jay Road, Seguin, TX.

The event will be from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The $95 per person registration fee includes lunch. Reservations should be emailed to Myfathersfarm@gmail.com. Continue reading

USDA NIFA asks commodity groups to inform grants programs

Official commodity groups could have a process to propose ideas and priorities to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). These ideas and priorities would go into NIFA requests for applications (RFAs). The commodity groups would contribute funds to NIFA to pay for ideas and priorities that were added and recommended for funding.

NIFA will hold an informational webinar on Thursday, August 6, at 2:30 p.m. (EST) for its partners and other interested parties. For webinar access and call-in information, http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards.

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New technologies give hope for managing invasive species

In USA Today

Even for a native Floridian, the 2015 Everglades Invasive Species Summit was a terrifying experience.

Researchers from various government agencies and universities presented their findings last week on plants and animals that didn’t originate in the Everglades but have established themselves there. Those invasive species pose a threat not just to the delicate ecology of the 1.5 million acres of Everglades National Park, but increasingly pose a threat to humans as their populations flourish and spread.

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Identifying blister beetles

From the UT Crops News blog

Author: Sandy Steckel, Extension Assistant

Occasionally, you catch a blister beetle in a sweep net sample in Tennessee soybeans. These large, showy adult beetles may also feed in clusters and defoliate the plants. Defoliation of soybeans in an area a big as a pickup truck is not a concern, but if it occurs over a large area, such as the size of a barn, treatment is warranted.

Blister beetles are members of the insect family Meloidae. This family includes over 300 North American species and more than 2500 species worldwide. Blister beetles get their name because when disturbed, they secrete a defensive toxin called cantharidin from glands at their leg joints, which may cause blisters or even oozing lesions upon contact with skin. This defense mechanism is referred to as “reflex bleeding”. So please, do not handle these insects! Also, cantharidin is highly toxic when ingested and irritates the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts of animals and may lead to death, especially in horses. Therefore, blister beetles are a concern to hay producers throughout Tennessee.

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