Range, brush program set for July 7 in Brownwood, TX

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a range and brush management program beginning at 4 p.m. July 7 at the Brown County Fairgrounds, 4206 U.S. Highway 377 South in Brownwood.

Scott Anderson, AgriLife Extension agent in Brown County, said the needed rains this spring have brought a plethora of weeds to Texas pastures. Continue reading

SARE offers free sustainable agriculture courses online

If you’re interested in sustainable agriculture, don’t know much about it and don’t have the time to travel to a workshop, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s free sustainable agriculture courses may be perfect for you!

Learn more about them.

Cover Crops Can Help Control Pests by Fostering Natural Enemies

by Candace Pollock, Southern SARE

Cover crops used as refuge crops in vegetable production can control insect pests by fostering populations of natural enemies and competitor non-virus vectoring species, based on the results of USDA-ARS research.

Research entomologists Stephen Hight with the USDA-ARS Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit in Florida, and Stuart Reitz with Oregon State University, led a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education-funded project from 2012 to 2014 to study whether bidens and blue lupine can control Western flower thrips and tobacco thrips in tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The study explored more sustainable methods of pest management than insecticide use. Continue reading

New survey for growers of fruit trees in Mid-Atlantic area

If you are a consultant or Extension professional who works with growers of fruit trees in the mid-Atlantic area, please read the text below. It concerns a survey being done by the iPiPE team to get a better idea of grower practices so that the team can create tools to assist growers with pest management decisions. The survey is NOT being used for regulatory purposes. The survey asks questions about the grower’s pest management practices.

A new set of tools is currently being developed to help growers manage crop pests and increase their profitability. The Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (iPiPE) is a national Web-based IT platform that combines user-contributed pest observations and translates them to real-time pest distribution maps and forecasts of pest risk. Throughout the season iPiPE informs growers about the pests and diseases in their vicinity and provides management recommendations from professionals to help them make decisions about protecting their crop. The project is funded by a USDA Food Security Program grant and involves 28 crops around the nation. Continue reading