PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth has been at least two years in the making

in Delta Farm Press

by Larry Steckel, Tennessee Extension Weed Specialist

It is becoming clear we aren’t at the beginning of things with respect to detecting PPO/glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in the Mid-South. It became established two to three years ago.

From greenhouse screens for PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth in Arkansas and Tennessee, we continue to find new fields. Other neighboring states are finding it as well. Folks at the University of Kentucky have confirmed PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth in at least one county in western Kentucky. Continue reading

UK researchers believe fragipan breakthrough is on horizon

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Soil scientists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment are getting promising results from several treatments that appear to be breaking down the fragipan, a cement-like layer common in many soils in Western and Central Kentucky.

Soil fragipans exist in 2.7 million acres in Kentucky and in 50 million acres in the United States. In Kentucky, the average depth of the fragipan layer in the soil is about 20 to 24 inches. This results in a shallow soil that limits crops’ yield potential due to low water-holding capacity. This is especially true during dry growing seasons or droughts. These same soils are easily saturated with water in the winter, which limits yields on cool-season crops such as wheat. Continue reading

How Venus flytraps kill their prey

In LiveScience

by Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer

Unlike proactive predators in the animal kingdom, carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) must wait for their insect prey to literally step inside their “jaws” before they can catch the victims. But these plants don’t instantly snap at the first tentative tap of a potential meal in their maws; instead, the plants count touches from their hapless prey to tailor a predatory response, an international team of scientists found.

The first tap from an insect tells a Venus flytrap, “Pay attention, but don’t respond just yet,” the new study said. A second tap means, “Probably food,” triggering the trap to close, and three more taps from a trapped insect signal, “Start digesting!” Continue reading

Destructive peach disease Armillaria root rot targeted by Clemson researchers

In Southeast Farm Press

Armillaria root rot, commonly known as “oak root rot,” is a soil-borne disease that is estimated to cause more than $4 million in annual peach losses (in each commercial peach-producing state) and millions more dollars in control costs, including loss of available orchard land.

Clemson University has received a $150,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support research aimed at preventing Armillaria root rot, which can cause the destruction of peach crops throughout the Southeast. Continue reading

UGA peanut agronomist fears Georgia’s peanut crop could be vulnerable to increased disease pressure next year

In Georgia FACES

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

This year’s peanut yields in Georgia was among the state’s highest, but University of Georgia peanut agronomist Scott Monfort fears that next year’s crop will be vulnerable to increased disease pressure.

Monfort, a guest speaker at Thursday’s (Jan. 21) Georgia Peanut Farm Show at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia, said Georgia farmers averaged 4,470 pounds per acre this year, the state’s second highest total over the past several years. However, because commodity prices remain low, he fears farmers are hesitant to grow cotton and corn crops at the acreage they’ve grown in the past. Continue reading

UGA scientists using $5 million grant to combat invasive weed Johnsongrass

In Georgia FACES

By James Hataway, University of Georgia

A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia have received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find new ways of combating Johnsongrass, one of the most widespread and troublesome agricultural weeds in the world.

Native to the Mediterranean region, Johnsongrass has spread across every continent except Antarctica. It was introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s as a forage crop, but it quickly spread into surrounding farmland and natural environments, where it continues to cause millions of dollars in lost agricultural revenue each year, according to the USDA. Continue reading

February 5 and 6: Organic Seed Growers Conference Live Broadcast

eOrganic is excited to be working with the Organic Seed Alliance to bring you a live webinar broadcast of selected presentations from the Organic Seed Grower’s Conference on February 5th and 6th, 2016. This is our third time broadcasting this conference, which is taking place at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

To attend this webinar broadcast, advance registration is required. Anyone can attend–it is free and open to the public. It takes place on February 5th and 6th and runs from 9-5 Pacific Time, with long breaks for lunch–see the schedule below and note the time zones!  You only need to register once–that will cover both days, and you can come on and leave the webinar as many times as you like, and you can attend the whole program or just the parts that interest you most. You can find recordings from the 2012 and 2014 Organic Seed Growers Conferences on the eOrganic YouTube channel. Continue reading