Selling integrated pest management to the public

Whether your job involves integrated pest management, sustainability, organic choices or environmental responsibility, many of us are involved in selling ideas to the public. When those ideas involve changing behavior, often only a multiple-pronged approach will help plant the seed. But where do you start? What kinds of media will get through to the public? And how much does it cost?

Grow Green commercial

Grow Green commercial

In the following video, Denise Delaney from the City of Austin Watershed Protection Division shares how her department organized an outreach campaign on environmental responsibility for the public. Denise was one of five professionals from our Advisory Council who shared information about her organization. Denise shares the history of why they embarked on the outreach campaign, the types of resources and activities they had, and how different groups responded to the media. The campaign started as a way to raise awareness of the need to protect the watershed around Barton Springs. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension asking South Central Texas residents to watch for pecan weevil

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is seeking assistance in locating possible pecan weevil infestations in Bexar, Hays, Comal and Travis counties, said Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension horticulturist in Uvalde.

“The pecan weevil is a serious pest of pecan,” Stein said. “Previously, pecan weevil distribution was unknown in Texas until last year when they were found near the Wimberley area in Hays County. Most recently, we had a new pecan weevil identification in Comal County near the Guadalupe River. And there’s strong possibility of additional infestations within these and other nearby counties.” Continue reading

USDA Awards $9.4 Million for Safer, More Effective Pest Management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded $9.4 million to support 25 research and outreach projects that will help mitigate pests, weeds and diseases on farms and in communities. The awards are made through NIFA’s Crop Protection and Pest Management Program (CPPM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program which have awarded more than $64.5 million since 2014.

“NIFA is making investments to ensure America’s agriculture sector is able to rely on sound scientific approaches to increase production and ensure continued food security in the face of the many challenges including arthropod, weed and disease pests,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The Crop Protection and Pest Management Program has a history of developing new tools, best management practices and strategies for healthy crop systems while supporting communities with effective, affordable and environmentally sound solutions that reduce potential health risks.”  Continue reading

New study suggests more deaths from West Nile virus than predicted

In HealthDay News

by Randy Dotinga, HealthDay News

A new study suggests that the death toll from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus might be much greater than thought because its effects may often kill people months or years after infection.

“We are hoping our research findings will help encourage a push to develop a vaccine that can help prevent disease and premature death,” said study co-author Dr Kristy Murray, an associate professor with National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “At this time, the only way people can prevent the disease is protecting themselves from mosquito bites, which can sometimes be difficult to do.” Continue reading

Ag Technology Conference features weeds, insects, diseases

In Southwest Farm Press

by Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press

Herbicide resistant weeds, new pesticide technology, best management practices for Northern Blacklands cotton, and feed directives for managing anaplasmosis in beef cattle highlight the Dec. 8 Ag Technology Conference on the Texas A&M-Commerce campus in Commerce, Texas.

The annual conference will offer five continuing education units for private, commercial, and non-commercial, applicators and certified crop advisors. Continue reading

2 New UGA ANR & 2 New 4-H County Extension Agent Openings

The University of Georgia has four new Agriculture & Natural Resources and 4-H and Youth Development County Extension Agent openings. All openings can be found at http://caes2.caes.uga.edu/unit/abo/hr/General information about UGA County Extension Agent positions may be found at: http://extension.uga.edu/about/join/careers.cfm Continue reading

Disease management in organic crops webinar

Organic farming has significantly increased in importance in recent decades. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, disease management in organic farming is largely based on the maintenance of biological diversity and soil health by balanced crop rotations, including nitrogen-fixing and cover crops, intercrops, additions of manure and compost, and reductions in soil tillage.

“Disease management in organic cropping systems is a serious challenge because of the rigorous restrictions that are in force; besides, management methods can vary depending on climate and topography,” explains James Theuri, a University of Illinois Extension local foods systems/small farms educator. Continue reading