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Sugarcane aphid research aimed at planting timing, variety selection

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The “whens” and the “whats” of the sugarcane aphid are fueling the research of Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologist. For example, when are they most damaging, and what grain sorghum varieties do they prefer?

With the support of Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Szczepaniec is testing several different strategies to determine their effectiveness in combating this fairly new pest to the Texas Panhandle. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension to offer three programs on Zika, mosquito management

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County will be presenting three educational programs on Zika and mosquito reduction at its office in Suite 208 of the Conroy Square office complex, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive in San Antonio.

The programs are free and open to the public. Two will be held Aug. 25 — the first from 10-11:30 a.m. and the second from 2-3:30 p.m. The third program will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Continue reading

North Carolina scientists mapping mosquito eggs to prepare for Zika

Each week, Anastasia Figurskey hides 15 plastic cups filled with water in bushes near spots around Wake County where people will walk by: Gas stations, front yards of home and recycling drop-off centers all fit the bill.

After a few days the Wake County employee fishes brown paper marked with tiny black dots from each cup. After the paper dries, inside a windowless insect-hatching room at North Carolina State University, she peers at every egg under a microscope. Continue reading

Marty Draper is appointed as head of KSU plant pathology department

Former USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture program leader Marty Draper is now the head of the plant pathology department at Kansas State University.

“I am excited to be getting back to the university setting, being able to work with producers, and trying to help the department become better than it already is,” Draper said in an interview with Grainnet. Continue reading