Feral hog management to be discussed at predator workshop in Texas

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

A Predator Management Workshop and Trapping Demonstration will be presented May 6 in Rocksprings.

The program, presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices for Edwards and Sutton counties, will be from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Edwards County Park Building. Continue reading

AgriLife Research entomologist testing potato psyllids for insecticide resistance

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

A growing resistance of potato psyllids to the neonicotinoid classification of insecticides has Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist in Amarillo, looking to the future.

The potato psyllid is a tiny insect with sucking, piercing mouthparts that transmits a disease called zebra chip and can cause tremendous losses to producers, Szczepaniec said. Producers have used the neonicotinoid insecticides to protect their solanaceous crops, mostly potatoes, in the past. Continue reading

Aerial photos can locate boll weevils in regrowth cotton

In ARS News

By Dennis O’Brien

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in College Station, Texas, have found a way to use digital images taken in aerial surveys to identify regrowth cotton that may be harboring boll weevils.

Cotton growers in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley often mow down their cotton plants after harvest and may spray plant stalks with herbicides to prevent boll weevils from taking refuge in regrowth cotton. But the Valley is subtropical, and heavy autumn rains often prevent growers from taking those measures, making cotton plants more likely to regrow and create year-round boll weevil habitats. This “regrowth cotton” is often spread over large areas, making detection difficult. Continue reading

Plant signals travel different routes to turn on defense

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Faced with a pathogen, important signaling chemicals within plant cells travel different routes to inform the plant to turn on its defense mechanisms, according to a recent University of Kentucky study.

Plant pathologists Aardra and Pradeep Kachroo study how plants fend off secondary infections, a defense mechanism known as systemic acquired resistance. In previous studies, the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scientists identified several chemicals within plant cells that help trigger this resistance. Their most recent study, published in Cell Host and Microbe, looked at the paths three of those chemicals travel. Understanding these pathways and chemicals may shed light on new ways scientists can help plants fend off a wide range of pathogens. Continue reading

USDA Announces $22 Million Available for Research to Combat Citrus Greening

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $22 million in grants to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. This funding is available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Since 2009, USDA has committed significant resources to manage, research and eradicate the citrus greening disease that threatens citrus production in the United States and other nations,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Thanks to the continued, coordinated efforts between growers, researchers, and state and federal government, we are getting closer every day to ending this threat. The funding announced today will help us continue to preserve thousands of jobs for citrus producers and workers, along with significant revenue from citrus sales.” Continue reading