Gut bacteria sheds light on honey bee health

In ARS News

by Kim Kaplan

Bacteria in the gut of young honey bees may provide clues about the impact parasites have on bee health. That and other experimental findings were published by U.S. Department of Agriculture‘sAgricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Because young honey bees don’t have gut bacteria, entomologist Jay Evans and post-doc Ryan Schwarz at ARS’ Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, and University of Texas at Austin professor Nancy Moran conducted tests to determine the impact different combinations of a common bacterium and a common parasite had on honey bee health. The scientists hypothesized that increasing the gut bacterium would make the bees more resistant to the parasite, but instead it lead to surprising results. Continue reading

Citrus trees in “old flush” need to be watched for Asian citrus psyllid

In ARS News

by Dennis O’Brien, Agricultural Research Service

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist is providing citrus growers with much-needed guidance about the best times to use insecticides to control Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening.

HLB has cost Florida citrus growers an estimated $1.3 billion since 2005. The disease is caused by a bacterium spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on leaves of infected trees and carries the disease from tree to tree. Insecticides are currently the best option for controlling HLB. Continue reading

North Carolina officials stress mosquito prevention in wake of Florida Zika cases

In the Carteret County News Times

County health officials are about to launch a mosquito prevention education campaign.

Meanwhile, the county public works department continues its aggressive mosquito spraying program, according to County Planning and General Services Director Eugene Foxworth.  Continue reading

Buckwheat is a good cover crop for the home garden

By Josh Fuder, University of Georgia

Buckwheat adds nitrogen to garden plots, produces beautiful flowers and delicious pancakes.

Each year I start my garden with grand visions of endless bounty. Something happens around the first part of July, though. Continue reading

Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference Scheduled For Nov. 17-18

 Ann Chambliss, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

The Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association’s annual fall conference is slated for Nov. 17-18 at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center in Clanton. The conference will focus on farm visits, hands-on training and the ever-changing fruit and vegetable industry.

Check in starts at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 17, with the opening session starting at 8:30 a.m. Conference registration is $85. Continue reading

UK Industrial Hemp Research Field Day is Aug 11

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host an industrial hemp field day Aug. 11 at UK’s Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington.

At 9 a.m., UK’s industrial hemp research team will introduce themselves to participants and a series of updates will follow. Tom Keene, UK hemp extension associate, will give a UK hemp extension update. Doris Hamilton, director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program, will present a department update. Nicole Ward Gauthier, UK extension plant pathologist, and Josh Hendrix with the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association will discuss hemp diseases.

UK researchers and extension specialists will highlight their latest hemp research projects in tours that run from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. 

Sugarcane aphid populations increasing rapidly in the High Plains

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Sugarcane aphid populations are exploding in grain sorghum fields across the Texas High Plains, warns a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist in Amarillo.

Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist, said the sugarcane aphid populations in the South Plains have reached economic thresholds. Infestations in the field can be just a few aphids per plant to a thousand or more aphids per plant. Continue reading

APHIS Proposes to Allow Import of Fresh Mango Fruit from Vietnam into the Continental United States

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a proposed rule to allow the importation of fresh mango fruit (Mangifera indica L.) from Vietnam into the continental United States. The proposed rule will be available for review and comment beginning August 3.

The rule proposes that Vietnamese mango fruit can be safely imported into the continental United States if it meets several conditions. Under the proposal, the fruit would be required to be grown in an orchard which has been treated for pests, or certified as pest-free.  Shipments will also need to be treated with irradiation. The commercial consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Vietnam with a declaration that the fruit was prepared for export in accordance with APHIS’ import requirements. The shipments would be subject to inspection upon arrival at the port of entry into the continental United States. Continue reading