Danish researcher finds that organic soils contribute to greenhouse gas

In Southwest Farm Press

Professor Jørgen E. Olesen, professor in climate change and agriculture at Aarhus University in Denmark, says new research indicates drained organic soils are a considerable source of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

To prevent such emissions, he says organic vegetable growers need to be aware of the negative impact and take steps to control the problem. Continue reading

Spring ISD earns recertification for integrated pest management practices

By: Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

Spring Independent School District has once again earned IPM Star certification for its sustainable pest management practices.

The school district was given an intense inspection of its sustainable pest control practices by experienced integrated pest management professionals, said Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service school integrated pest management specialist who served as one of the evaluators. Continue reading

Take care of sugarcane aphid populations early

In Southwest Farm Press

By Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press

If sugarcane aphid populations are allowed to hit 250 per leaf, they’ve reached a point of no return and farmers will suffer economic loss from numbers that high, says Michael Brewer, Texas AgriLife Extension entomologist at Corpus Christi.

“Things happen fast, but the plant doesn’t die immediately,” he told audiences recently at both Bryan and Commerce, Texas, during meetings of the Texas Plant Protection Association and the Texas Ag Technology Conference, respectively. Continue reading

Pesticide toxicity to bees can vary by product and dose

In Delta Farm Press

There’s no denying that insecticides and honey bees can be a toxic mix. Bees, after all, are insects and insecticides are designed to kill insects. But they can vary greatly in their toxicity to bees, depending on the type and the dosage.

That’s one of the findings of a study being conducted by entomologists at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center and Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, both in Stoneville, Miss. Continue reading

Herbicides are bigger threat to bees than insecticides, researcher says

In Delta Farm Press

By Bonnie Coblentz, Mississippi State University

Insecticides – especially those in the neonicotinoid class – have been getting a bad rap in environmental circles. But researchers at Mississippi State University believe herbicides used to control weeds can spell even bigger trouble for bees.

Jeff Harris, bee specialist with the MSU Extension Service and a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said herbicides can be a bigger threat because they destroy bee food sources. Continue reading

Webinar: Stop School Pests and iSchool Pest Manager

When:  Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Time:  2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (US and Canada)

Join the Center of Expertise for School IPM as we get a sneak-peek at two new, free, online school IPM resources. Continue reading

Texas researchers observe bacteria changing to avoid being killed

By Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife

Two types of bacteria found in the soil have enabled scientists at Texas A&M AgriLife Research to get the dirt on how resistance to antibiotics develops along with a separate survival strategy.

The study, published in the journal PLoS Genetics this month, identifies an atypical antibiotic molecule and the way in which the resistance to that molecule arises, including the identity of the genes that are responsible, according to Dr. Paul Straight, AgriLife Research biochemist. Continue reading

Turfgrass short course to be offered in College Station Jan. 19-22

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

A four-day Turfgrass Ecology and Management Short Course presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be held Jan. 19-22 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

Dr. Casey Reynolds, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist in College Station, will present the educational workshop for anyone interested in the fundamentals of turfgrass physiology and management. Continue reading

EPA Launches Pesticide Worker Protection Dashboard

As part of their overall efforts to increase protection for farmworkers from pesticide exposure and increase transparency, the Environmental Protection Agency recently launched a new Pesticide Worker Protection Dashboard. This interactive tool provides charts and graphs presenting certain key enforcement and compliance information related to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This effort reflects our ongoing commitment to make environmental data accessible and easy to use. The WPS dashboard presents information on the regulated community and answers questions like:

  • how many facilities in the United States employ workers or handlers covered by the Worker Protection Standard;
  • how many inspections are reported;
  • how many violations have been found, and what enforcement actions have been taken by states, tribes and/or EPA.

Continue reading

Florida researchers have found predatory mite that can control thrips on cucumber

In Southeast Farm Press

A predatory mite might feed on a pest of cucumbers, a $125 million-a-year crop in Florida.

This newly published finding based on University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences research shows, may help growers protect the environment because they could reduce pesticides to keep the pest – known as thrips — at bay. Growers may also save money because they may cut chemical use on their crop. In fact, because this thrips preys on many vegetable crops, the finding could save millions of dollars in pesticide use. Continue reading