Managing prickly pear to be topic of Feb. 4 webinar in Texas

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Prickly pear management will be the topic of a Feb. 4 natural resources webinar conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service ecosystem science and management unit.

The webinar is a part of the Texas Range Webinar Series scheduled the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, webinar coordinator in Corpus Christi. Continue reading

New ARS Bee Genebank Will Preserve Genetic Diversity and Provide Breeding Resources

In Agricultural Research Service News

By Kim Kaplan

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is organizing a national bee genebank as part of the agency’s response to ongoing problems facing the country’s beekeepers. Average losses of managed honey bee colonies have increased to more than 30 percent per year due to pathogens, pests, parasites, and other pressures including deficient nutrition and sublethal impacts of pesticides. These stresses have threatened the continued business sustainability of commercial beekeepers. Continue reading

EPA Revises Antimicrobial Pesticide Data Requirements Guidance–Pesticide Use Site Index

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency is making available a revised Antimicrobial Pesticide Use Site Index (USI). The revised document simplifies and improves EPA guidance to assist applicants for antimicrobial pesticide registration by helping them identify the data requirements necessary to register a pesticide or support their product registrations and will likewise be used by Agency staff evaluating pesticide applications. This document provides guidance about antimicrobial pesticide use sites and general antimicrobial pesticide use patterns and helps registrants determine if labeled uses require the establishment of a tolerance (maximum residue level for food or feed) or exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Continue reading

Tissue-cultured blackberry plants key in avoiding threat of viruses

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

With no chemical treatments to kill viruses in blackberries, University of Georgia plant pathologist Phil Brannen recommends Georgia producers grow tissue-cultured plants.

Tissue-cultured plants are often free of viruses. “And insects and nematodes can’t transmit the viruses to the young plant,” said Brannnen. “Therefore, if the tissue used to start a new plant is virus free, then the end product will also be virus free.” Continue reading

How to avoid herbicide resistance in weeds

In Delta Farm Press

by Bob Scott, University of Arkansas

Weed scientists at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have created quite a stir with news that through experimentation in the greenhouse, researchers selected for a population of pigweed — Palmer amaranth — that is tolerant to the herbicide dicamba at a field rate. This pigweed population did not evolve resistance in the field, but there is much we can learn from the artificial selection that took place in the greenhouse.

The researchers exposed three generations of pigweed to sub-lethal doses of dicamba, a recipe for resistance development. We started with pigweed collected from the field that was susceptible to dicamba. By the third generation, we were able to select for seedlings capable of surviving an application at one-time rate that should’ve provided effective control. Continue reading

Root knot nematode is a real problem for peanuts

In Southeast Farm Press

Rome Ethredge, Contributing writer

I remember one year a grower was going to plant peanuts in a small field that had been in pasture for over 15 years. He said the last time he had peanuts there he had noticed some nematode damage at harvest time. We thought that with the good rotation, he shouldn’t have a problem. We were wrong.

The peanut root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne arenaria) is a force to be reckoned with and caused yield limiting damage again after all those years since we used no nematicide or resistant variety. Continue reading