Weather in South Texas instrumental in helping farmers avoid pest pressure

by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife

South Texas row crop producers are likely to answer with a smile when asked the age old ice-breaker, “Hot enough for you?”

Plentiful rainfall late last year combined with mostly hot, dry weather since have helped growers produce vigorous crops of cotton, grain sorghum and corn and healthy yields, according to experts with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Continue reading

Genetically-modified mosquitoes released in Caymen Islands

The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses, officials in the British Island territory said.

Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don’t bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood, were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island, according to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec. Continue reading

Countdown to Cooler Weather Webinar – August 11 – Register Today!

Join us for the next Biosecurity for Birds webinar on August 11 from 2-3 PM Eastern.

Countdown to Cooler Weather: 10 Steps for Backyard Biosecurity and Healthy Flocks this Fall

USDA APHIS, CDC and the Chicken Whisper are joining forces once again to share important information with backyard bird owners.  Learn biosecurity tips for keeping your flock healthy and disease-free along with tips for preparing your flock for winter. Continue reading

Lack of rain means more cornstalk borers in peanuts

In Georgia FACES

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

A lack of rain or cooler weather this summer means more calls for University of Georgia peanut entomologist Mark Abney regarding lesser cornstalk borers.

Because Georgia has suffered through droughtlike conditions all summer, granular insecticide treatments in nonirrigated peanuts are ineffective due to the need for rain to soak the chemical into the soil. Without rain, those peanuts are susceptible to the pest, which can cause significant damage to the crop. Continue reading

High-heat, low rainfall set the stage for harmful algal blooms and cyanobacteria

In Georgia FACES

by By Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

With the summer heat and sporadic rainfall, conditions are right for farm ponds to become inundated with harmful algal blooms.

Each summer, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension receives reports of dogs, cattle, people and other livestock being sickened by contact with pond and lake water contaminated with cyanobacteria, an algaelike bacteria. This summer, given the drought conditions affecting much of north Georgia, Extension agents and researchers are expecting to see an uptick in harmful algal blooms. They’re asking farmers to be on the lookout. Continue reading

Annual Wheatheart Wheat Conference set for Aug. 11 in Perryton

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The 18th annual Wheatheart Wheat Conference will be Aug. 11 at the Ochiltree County Expo Center, 402 Expo Drive, Perryton.

The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Hansford, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Roberts and Ochiltree counties. Continue reading

Cover Crop Survey Reflects Enthusiasm for the Soil-Saving Practice

Insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and—for the fourth year in a row—found a yield boost in corn and soybeans following cover crops. Multi-year data from the survey shows the yield boost increases as cover crops are planted year after year, a revelation that points to an appealing long-term benefit of the conservation practice. The survey offers data unavailable elsewhere, providing a vital glimpse into farmers’ use of and perceptions about cover crops: Previous SARE/CTIC Cover Crop Surveys have been used by researchers and farm groups, and even cited in Congressional testimony.

Download the survey report. Continue reading