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    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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Deer are beautiful, but not when they dine on your landscape plants

by Tim Daly, University of Georgia

My backyard was home to several large hostas. These plants prefer shady sites, and they were thriving where I had them planted. Then, one day, they simply disappeared.

All that was left were a few small branches sticking out of the ground. Something had eaten my hostas and the most probable culprits were deer. They tend to cause more problems for homeowners than most other types of wildlife. Continue reading

‘Flag the Technology’ helps farmers identify herbicide sensitive fields

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Plant Protection Association have collaborated on a Flag the Technology program that identifies crop fields sensitive to certain herbicides.

With two new herbicide resistance technologies which will be widely used in cotton, corn and soybeans, program coordinators say it is critical farmers know which fields are safe for application of the new products and which are sensitive to them. Continue reading

New chemical law requires the agency to look at chemicals that were grandfathered in under old law

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is moving swiftly to propose how it will prioritize and evaluate chemicals, given that the final processes must be in place within the first year of the new law’s enactment, or before June 22, 2017.

“After 40 years we can finally address chemicals currently in the marketplace,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s action will set into motion a process to swiftly evaluate chemicals and meet deadlines required under, and essential to, implementing the new law.” Continue reading

NIFA Announces $858,500 in Funding to Foster the Agricultural Science Workforce

The talent pipeline for the agricultural workforce begins well before college, and today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced the availability of $858,500 in funding to strengthen K-14 education in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences.

“Nearly 40 percent of jobs in the food, agricultural, and environmental sciences will go unfilled in the next five years,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It’s critical to invest in programs that reach, educate, and promote retention of a diverse group of students who can benefit from learning science in the classroom and in their careers.”  Continue reading

EPA Releases Four Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments for Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published preliminary pollinator-only risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran and also an update to its preliminary risk assessment for imidacloprid, which we published in January 2016. The updated imidacloprid assessment looks at potential risks to aquatic species, and identifies some risks for aquatic insects.

The assessments for clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, similar to the preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid showed: most approved uses do not pose significant risks to bee colonies. However, spray applications to a few crops, such as cucumbers, berries, and cotton, may pose risks to bees that come in direct contact with residue. In its preliminary pollinator-only analysis for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, the EPA has proposed a new method for accounting for pesticide exposure that may occur through pollen and nectar. Continue reading

EPA Amends Registration for Enlist Duo Herbicide to Add GE Cotton and Additional States

Enlist Duo, a formula containing the choline salt of 2,4-D and glyphosate for use in controlling weeds in genetically engineered (GE) crops, was first registered in 2014 for use in GE corn and soybean crops. The Environmental Protection Agency is amending the registration to include GE cotton and expand the use to an additional 19 states for GE corn, soybean, and cotton and re-affirming our original decision before the remand.

EPA did a comprehensive review for the initial registration of Enlist Duo and now again in response to the application to amend the registration. EPA’s protective and conservative human health and ecological risk assessments re-confirmed our 2014 safety findings. The pesticide meets the safety standard for the public, agricultural workers, and non-target plants and animal species, including a “no effects” determination for species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading

Florida plans biocontrol strategy for New World screwworm

In Southeast Farm Press

Following the announcement that a stray dog in Homestead, Fla., was positive for New World screwworm, the USDA and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will release sterile flies Jan. 13 in the Homestead area as a precautionary measure.

Since the 1950s, the Sterile Insect Technique has been used to effectively eradicate screwworm, and it is considered safe for people, animals and the environment. Continue reading