Soybean cyst nematode may be reason for ‘yield ceiling’ in Kentucky

In Southeast Farm Press

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most widespread and damaging disease pest of the crop in Kentucky.

It is my opinion that SCN is the main cause of the so-called, “yield ceiling” that is evident in many Kentucky soybean fields.

SCN is managed by rotating fields to non-host crops, such as corn, and by planting soybean cultivars that resist SCN. The problem is that in order for these tactics to be used properly, their effectiveness must be monitored over time.

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Disease expected to limit impatiens supplies

From the Chicago Tribune

Gardeners can expect to find impatiens in short supply this year.

A fast-spreading disease is threatening the favorite flower, prompting some area garden centers to cut back on supplies or forgo selling the plants altogether.

The disease, impatiens downy mildew, is caused by a fungus-like organism. The disease stunts the plants’ growth, causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop, and eventually causes the plants to collapse.

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New pest having major impact on bermudagrass hay in Georgia, Florida

From Southeast Farm Press

A new invasive pest is having a major impact on bermudagrass hay production in south Georgia.

The bermudagrass stem maggot, native to Southeast Asia, has only been spotted in the U.S. for a couple of years, according to University of Georgia Forage Extension Specialist Dennis Hancock. In that short span, however, the pest has left an indelible mark on forage production.

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Georgia vegetable growers manage without methyl bromide

From Southeast Farm Press

For decades, Georgia vegetable farmers relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide to control weeds, insects and nematodes, but recent changes in environmental regulations have led them to find replacements.

Stanley Culpepper, a weed scientist with the College of Agricultural of Environmental Sciences, has been working to find alternatives to the potentially ozone-damaging pesticide. The challenge has been finding something that is as easy to use and as effective as farmers’ old standby, methyl bromide.

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Protecting your Loved Ones from Fire Ants – Don’t Bug me Webinar Series

“Protecting Your Loved Ones from Fire Ants” from the “Don’t Bug Me Webinar Series”.   The webinar will begin at 1:00 pm central time on Friday, May 3rd .  Here is a link to a promotional story about the webinar: http://www.extension.org/pages/67916/learn-how-to-protect-loved-ones-from-fire-ants

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Georgia project looking for ‘middle-ground’ of pesticide use in vegetables

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Pests such as thrips, whiteflies, aphids, beet armyworm and hornworms can devastate vegetable crops.

Potentially just as harmful, though, is the over-use of pesticides, which can lead to pest resurgence, resistance and risk the environment.

Applying the proper amount of each chemical is key to sustaining vegetable productivity in Georgia, according to University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences entomologist David Riley.

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Input costs and herbicide-resistant weeds top cotton producer priorities

From Southeast Farm Press

Cotton farmers have identified six issues as top production concerns with input costs topping the list followed by 2) herbicide resistant weeds, 3) variety selection, 4) variety tolerance to heat and drought, 5) early weed control and 6) seedling vigor and 6) cottonseed value (tied for sixth).

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Launch of 2013 Asthma Friendly Schools Champion Awards

Through support from Genentech and the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Lung Association is excited to launch the 2013 Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative (AFSI) Champion Awards.  The AFSI Champion Awards recognize schools that have taken positive strides to create a healthier learning environment using the strategies outlined in the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative. Silver and Gold level winners are schools that have gone above and beyond to protect the health of their students, faculty and staff.

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Weeds becoming resistant to soil-applied herbicides

From Southeast Farm Press

The continual evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds is one of the most daunting problems faced by weed management practitioners.

According to Aaron Hager, associate professor of weed science at the University of Illinois, biotypes of 12 weed species in Illinois are known to be resistant to one or more herbicide action mechanisms.

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UK research shows biological control success against cowpea aphids may depend on its bacteria

The cowpea aphid attacks more than 200 plants and 50 crops worldwide but prefers legumes, particularly alfalfa.  It is a major pest in the Tropics, but since the 1990s, cowpea aphid populations caused enough damage to alfalfa in the United States to warrant insecticidal sprays.

A naturally occurring wasp, Lysiphlebus testaceipes, helps keep aphid populations under control, but is not effective against the cowpea aphid in alfalfa. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture researcher suspects that this natural biological control agent may have failed with the cowpea aphid because of the type of bacteria the aphid possesses.

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