Louisiana researcher gives cattle some relief from stable fly attacks

After a trip to Zimbabwe 12 years ago, Louisiana State University livestock entomologist Lane Foil brought back a novel idea for stable fly control. All it involved was a piece of cloth, drenched with insecticide, placed in an area where the flies reside. Flies would land on the cloth, be exposed to the insecticide, and die.

Stable flies prey on large warm-blooded animals, including humans. After their meal, female flies lay eggs in areas like large hay bales mixed with urine and fecal material. Flies typically feed at least once a day, and on an average day, cattle can have as many of 50 sets of new flies attacking their legs. In response to the attacks, cattle “bunch” together and stop grazing. Continue reading

“Bites, Stings and Venomous Things” Now Available in Spanish

The SW Ag Center received a grant from the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America to update, translate and disseminate a Spanish version of the popular booklet, Bites, Stings and Venomous Things.  The booklets are now ready for dissemination.  Please contact Nykole.Vance@uthct.edu to order a supply.  A limited number are available for free.  Continue reading

Webinar on 2016 OREI and ORG Request for Applications

USDA will host a webinar on Thursday February 11, 2016, from 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern Time, to discuss the request for application to two NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) organic grant programs:

  • Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI): $18 million available to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Applications are due March 10, 2016.
  • Organic Transitions (ORG): $3.8 million available to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. Applications are due April 15, 2016.

Continue reading

Insect Repellents Can Protect Against Dengue

A recent outbreak of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral illness, in Hawaii has raised questions about the use of insect repellents to protect against the mosquitoes that transmit this disease. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that insect repellents we register can be expected to repel these mosquitoes, provided the EPA-approved labeling says the product is for use to protect against mosquitoes in general or against Aedes mosquitoes in particular. EPA approves such labeling only after reviewing acceptable data to support these claims.

Find more information about this issue and protection against mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue at www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/using-repellent-products-protect-against-dengue.

Colored flags help growers distinguish between pesticides

In Southwest Farm Press

With progress comes opportunity to misuse technology.

Take herbicide resistant crops, for example. They’ve been around for several decades now but mistakes still occur—someone assumes a LibertyLink field is Roundup Ready or that a conventional rice field is Clearfield. The wrong chemical is applied and the lawyers swarm. Continue reading

250,000 people planted 65 million wildflowers to “Feed a Bee”

In Southeast Farm Press

More than 250,000 consumers joined Bayer’s Feed a Bee initiative last year to plant more than 65 million flowers to feed pollinators across the United States.

By the end of the year, more than 70 organizations joined the effort to pledge thousands of acres “to the pollinator potluck dinner,” according to Becky Langer, manager of the North American Bee Care Program. Continue reading

Disease resistance more important than yield potential, says Georgia specialist

In Southeast Farm Press

By Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia

It is a serious mistake in farming to choose high-yielding, susceptible crop varieties without carefully considering the benefits of resistant varieties to protect yield and reduce pathogen populations in fields. Entering 2016, growers have the opportunity to select seed and varieties that will help reduce and, in some cases, nearly eliminate threat from diseases and nematodes.

I have observed times where losses to diseases and nematodes in a field were directly linked to a decision to plant susceptible varieties when resistant varieties were available.

This article includes a photo gallery.

EPA Seeks Nominations for Annual Environmental Champion Awards

PLEASE NOTE: This opportunity is not open to states other than the ones listed in the first paragraph. For the Southern Region, only Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are eligible.

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed significantly to improving the environment and protecting public health in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations. EPA is encouraging nominations for this annual award. Winners will be honored at an awards event on May 13, 2016 at EPA’s regional office in Manhattan. The Agency is accepting nominations for its Environmental Champion Awards until March 1, 2016. Continue reading

Texas Extension specialist receives Texas A&M AgriLife Superior Service award

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Dr. Russ Wallace, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist at Lubbock, has been awarded the Superior Service Award in the specialist category.

Superior Service Awards recognize AgriLife Extension faculty and staff members who provide outstanding performance in AgriLife Extension education or other outstanding service to the organization and to Texas. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension honors Texas Sugarcane Aphid Team with Superior Service Award

by Steve Byrnes, Texas AgriLife Extension

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has presented the Sugarcane Aphid Team a Superior Service Award in the team category for their work in circumventing a statewide disaster stemming from the sugarcane aphid, arguably one of the worst pests to ever threaten the sorghum industry, according the nomination.  

           Their efforts to stop the fast-moving new pest of sorghum crops reportedly prevented millions of dollars in damage to crops across the state. Continue reading