Fragrant plants can be pleasant to your sense of smell and attract pollinators

By Josh Fuder for CAES News

When I set about building the landscape at my house in 2015, I selected plants based on a number of criteria. The factors I considered included edible fruits; aesthetics, such as blooms, foliage colors and textures; bloom season; adaptability; and price. A successful landscape incorporates these factors with design to create something that has multi-season interest.

In my opinion, a home landscape should go beyond a visual experience. It should say “someone lives here.” I realized last year that I was not paying enough attention to all of my senses when selecting plants. I had done a good job of mixing textures and bloom colors from plants that perform well in our area, but I was completely overlooking my nose and not judging plants on fragrance. Continue reading

Be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall

From Insects in the City

Pest management professionals who care for lawns should be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall. Higher-than-normal populations of this lawn-eating insect have been reported from many areas in Texas these past two weeks.

While fall armyworms are nothing new, according to Dr. Allen Knutson, extension agricultural entomologist in Dallas, this year they are a widespread problem for hay producers and small grains producers across the state.  “I’ve had calls as far west as Wichita Falls, south to Comanche and across east Texas,” he said.  Locally in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, my turfgrass colleague, Dr. Lindsey Hoffman, and I have gotten many calls this week from concerned lawn owners, schools and the media. Continue reading

APHIS proposes to remove the domestic quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer

Some of you may already be aware of this proposal, but I wanted to post it to highlight the comment period. See below.

APHIS is proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for the emerald ash borer (EAB). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. The proposal would end APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations, and instead direct all available resources toward managing the pest. APHIS remains committed to controlling this invasive pest and wants to conduct more research and release a greater number of biological control agents—tiny stingless wasps that are natural predators of the EAB—since biocontrol has shown the most promise for stopping EAB’s spread. Continue reading

Coastal Landscapes temporary position NC State

North Carolina Sea Grant is hiring a horticulture industry engagement specialist to work 10 hours/week on the Coastal Landscaping Initiative. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 21.

The primary job duties are the following:
● Identify horticulture industry sourcing barriers and solutions for environmentally beneficial coastal plants
● Consult with nursery growers, wholesalers, and retailers to improve availability of environmentally beneficial coastal plants
● Identify existing and needed trainings on environmentally beneficial coastal plants for the horticulture industry
● Develop an environmentally beneficial coastal plant sourcing guide
● Create communication materials on environmentally beneficial coastal plants for the horticulture industry and public
● Assist with coordination of CLI partners and meetings as needed.

Did you miss the IPM Enhancement Grant webinar?

If you missed this afternoon’s webinar explaining how to apply for the IPM Enhancement Grant, a recording of the webinar is on YouTube.

NIFA Invests $1.8 Million in Methyl Bromide Transition Research and Outreach

USDA NIFA announced four Methyl Bromide Transition awards that will improve the management of major pests impacting U.S. watermelon production, tomato production, the country ham industry, and the wood products industry. The multi-tactic research and extension outcomes from these awards will result in the development of integrated, sustainable and economically viable management strategies targeting major pests impacting these production systems. The Methyl Bromide Transition program seeks to solve significant pest problems in key agricultural production and post-harvest management systems, processing facilities, and transport systems for which methyl bromide has been withdrawn. These grants are part of NIFA’s Methyl Bromide Transition Program, Integrated Activities.

APHIS Provides an Update on Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula (White)) Activities

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides this update of spotted lanternfly (SLF) activities in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware. SLF feeds on more than 70 types of plants, including crops such as grapes, apples, hops, walnuts, and other hardwood trees. SLF suck sap from stems and leaves, damaging plants as they feed. APHIS and state cooperators continue to work together to assess the affected areas and implement a program response to detect, contain, and suppress SLF populations in order to reduce the pest’s spread. Continue reading