Miss the IPM Enhancement Grant webinar?

If you missed the webinar that we held on Friday about applying for an IPM Enhancement Grant, you can access the recording here: https://youtu.be/zfdSfR6v24c .

Nominate a graduate student or colleague for the Friends of Southern IPM Award

We are pleased to release the Calls for Nomination for our annual Friends of Southern IPM Award program. This program recognizes outstanding work in IPM in the southern region. We have two kinds of awards: one for IPM professionals and one for graduate students.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, December 18, 2015. Continue reading

Pecos River study: Killing saltcedar does not increase streamflow

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Saltcedar, an introduced species choking many Texas waterways, has long been a prime suspect in dwindling streamflows, but a Texas A&M AgriLife team has found that Tamarix, the plant in question, may have been falsely accused of that specific crime.

Dr. Alyson McDonald, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service range specialist at Fort Stockton, said saltcedar was probably introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental shrub and windbreak plant in the early 1800s. The tree, any of several species originally from Eurasia, can reach heights of 25 feet or more and form very think stands. It has been very successful here and is often the predominant tree species found along many Texas waterways. Continue reading

Postdoc position to develop organic agriculture curriculum

University of Wyoming is recruiting a post-doctoral scientist to contribute to a USDA-funded project focused on developing a modular organic agriculture curriculum applicable across regions in the United States, for use in both online and face-to-face classes. The post-doc will be responsible for developing curriculum, teaching activities and assessments in partnership with a team of instructors, as well as team teaching both online and face-to-face classes.

Required qualifications are a PhD in Agronomy, Ecology, or a related field in hand by start date, experience with organic agriculture, demonstrated excellent teaching experience at the university level, and demonstrated excellent organization and communication skills. Preferred qualifications are teaching experience with web-based platforms, experience working with diverse student groups, and evidence of research productivity in the form of peer-reviewed publications. Continue reading

South American tomato leafminer could devastate tomato in US

In Southwest Farm Press

An aggressive and silent killer is on the move and expected to reach U.S. shores if something doesn’t slow or stop its northward march from Central America.

As the crow flies, the distance from Costa Rica and Panama, two locations where this killer lurks and appears to be spreading rapidly north in recent months, is not that great, and USDA risk managers are warning it could be a game changer for the U.S. tomato industry.

The South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, is no larger than an eyelash. But this miniature moth can destroy 80 to 100 percent of commercial crops it invades.

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EPA’s Biopesticides website updated

As part of The Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing effort to build a more user-friendly website, they have transformed their biopesticides website into a new, easy-to-use format. Information on the regulation and registration of biopesticides should now be easier than ever to access, regardless of the type of electronic device being used, including tablets and smartphones.

Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides. There are numerous advantages to using biopesticides, including reduced toxicity to non-target organisms, effectiveness in small quantities, and reduced environmental impact.

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Why do cover crops work?

In Delta Farm Press

by Ernie Flint, Mississippi Extension Agronomist

The use of cover crops to improve soil quality and to reduce soil erosion is certainly not a new concept, but it is enjoying renewed interest. Yearbooks of Agriculture that were published by USDA include discussions about cover crops in some of the earliest issues prior to 1920.

During that earlier time agricultural workers and innovative farmers discovered the benefits of keeping the soil “alive” during the offseason. Some of the reasons for these positive results were discussed, but the main emphasis was the simple fact that it seemed to work. This same attitude exists today among most farmers even though we have a better understanding of the reasons benefits are seen.

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Stink bug army is on the move

By Aimee Nielson

Stink bugs, small shield-shaped insects, are starting to ramp up their army and are becoming more noticeable around Kentucky this fall. Although several species of stink bugs are common in the state, the brown marmorated stink bug is most important now because its mission is winter shelter.

Although a significant problem for farmers and gardeners from spring through summer, the pest impacts all Kentuckians in the fall as a pesky household invader. Adult bugs seek shelter in homes, barns and sheds as they try to find overwintering sites. The best way to keep them from coming inside is by sealing cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, underneath the wood fascia and other openings. A good-quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk should fit the bill. The same things homeowners would do to reduce heating bills can also help keep many bugs out.

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SARE Annual Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture

You’re invited to the annual South Carolina Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture to discuss critical issues, challenges and needs related to Sustainable Agriculture development in South Carolina. The meeting is open to all South Carolina farmers, educators, policy makers, state and federal government and non-governmental agricultural agency personnel, and other South Carolina citizens with an interest in sustainable agriculture. Input from this public meeting will be used to prioritize critical issues and needs and to formulate plans for statewide sustainable agriculture training and education programs in 2016.

The Open Forum meeting will be held on the 2nd of December, 2015 at the Phillips Market Center in West Columbia, SC.

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New Website on Endangered Species and Pesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a redesigned website on protecting endangered species from pesticides: www2.epa.gov/endangered-species.

The purpose of this new website is to make information more easily accessible to the public, regardless of the type of device being used (for example, laptop, tablet or smartphone). EPA is not announcing any technical or regulatory changes to its endangered species program.

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