Drones will help farmers grow better crops

Farmers will be using drones in the near future to monitor and improve their crops to help feed a hungry world, say Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists who are now developing the technology.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, will soon play a major role in meeting the challenges of feeding a growing global population,” said Dr. Juan Enciso, an AgriLife Research irrigation engineer in Weslaco. Continue reading

Mississippi IPM specialists encourage farmers and beekeepers to communicate

In Delta Farm Press

by Kerri Collins Lewis, Mississippi State University

Pitting farmers against beekeepers does little to solve the problems facing pollinators. “In some cases, anti-pesticide groups are using the challenges facing bee health as an opportunity to set up a very black-and-white, good guy versus bad guy scenario when it comes to agricultural production,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

“In the long run, this could hurt the average beekeeper in our area because that is the only story farmers are hearing in the media. It makes them wary of having beekeepers on their property or fearful of losing important crop production tools, such as neonicotinoid seed treatments.”

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APHIS Adds to List of Pests No Longer Regulated at U.S. Ports of Entry

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has added four pests to the list of Pests No Longer Regulated at U.S. Ports of Entry. As a result, APHIS will no longer take regulatory action on these organisms at ports of entry. This action is consistent with U.S. trade policy, and fulfills international agreements while promoting safe trade.

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Weather patterns in Texas will affect pest management

A super-strong El Niño now brewing in the tropical Pacific will likely bring another rain-drenched winter to large parts of Texas, said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist, College Station.

But the climate scientist said he doesn’t expect a repeat of the 2015 wet spring will necessarily follow.

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Feral Hog Management Workshop set for Sept. 4 at Brazos County Expo complex

A Feral Hog Management Workshop will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Brazos County Expo complex, 5827 Leonard Road in Bryan.

The program is free, but $15 for a catered lunch. RSVP for the meal by Aug. 28 by calling 979-823-0129. Five Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered: one integrated pest management, one laws and regulations and three general. Continue reading

Texas Extension specialist teaches home gardening

A home-size garden might not be the traditional workplace for a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist, but Dr. Ron French is spending some extra time this year with his tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.

French, who traditionally helps farmers analyze the diseases and pathogens in the commodity crops, is working with a variety of sizes and styles of gardens on the grounds of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. W., Amarillo.

French has scheduled four two-hour workshops on gardening and plant health. The two  morning workshops will start with registration at 8:30 a.m. and run from 9-11 a.m. on Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. The two evening workshops begin with registration at 5:30 p.m., with the program following from 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 7 and Aug. 14. Continue reading