Management of honey bee colonies may contribute to Varroa populations, study shows

Close proximity of honey bee colonies may contribute to Varroa population growth and virus transmission, according to an article recently published in Environmental Entomology. Varroa just detach from their current host and hitch a ride to another colony on a visiting foraging bee.

Varroa mites don’t reproduce very fast. A female mite will produce one to three offspring; infestations take several years to reach levels that would threaten the hive. However, in managed honey bee colonies, varroa populations increase rapidly, causing beekeepers to apply up to seven miticide applications per year. Continue reading

Target Spot in Cotton – How to identify it and management options

by Heather Marie Kelly, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Tennessee

As cotton gets closer to blooming, scouts should be on the lookout for target spot and defoliation starting in the lower canopy.

The warm, wet weather the Mid-South has been experiencing could promote target spot in cotton fields, especially those fields that saw the disease in 2016 and are irrigated. Additional factors that increase target spot risk include higher planting rates, excessive N rates, narrow row spacing, vigorous growth, as well as hot, humid weather. Some facts about target spot: Continue reading

EPA grant of nearly $175,000 to state of Oklahoma will support pesticide safety

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $174,814 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to support a wide range of pesticide programs, including enforcement and outreach efforts. The department has authority from EPA to regulate pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in Oklahoma.

“The safe use of pesticides is a vital tool for the agricultural community,” said Acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “This grant will help Oklahoma continue its effective pesticide programs.” Continue reading

Protect Yourself from Pesticides poster available

On June 30th the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) launched its next resource, “Protect Yourself from Pesticides”, a poster satisfying the display requirements of the revised 2015 Worker Protection Standard (§170.311).

The poster is available on the PERC website in two sizes (11”x17” and 22”x34.5”) and in a combination of English and Spanish: Continue reading

July 19 Webinar on Problems in the Hort Landscape and Common Plant Diseases

The University of Georgia’s Center for Urban Agriculture has developed an online, live, interactive training program that allows individuals to obtain re-certification and re-registration credits from virtually anywhere. You will need a computer with internet access and speakers. Continue reading