Participate in the First Ever Mite-A-Thon

A single Varroa mite infestation can quickly spread and devastate hives across an entire region. Early detection and control are key to supporting honey bee health and preventing catastrophic infestations. That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition, which has developed essential Varroa mite resources, is proud to support the first ever Mite-A-Thon.

The Coalition urges beekeepers to participate in this exciting and free event by visiting www.pollinator.org/miteathon. Continue reading

Floating fire ants, insect pests among flood hazards

by Gabriel Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Fire ants, as their colonies begin to flood, can join feet or tarsi to form water rafts, and they are more aggressive once in the floating formation, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists. But other insect pests can also pose human threats in flood conditions, they said.

Dr. Paul Nester, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Houston, and Dr. Mike Merchant, AgriLife Extension urban entomologist, Dallas, encourage those affected by flooding to stay prepared and aware of pests, especially when it comes to mosquitoes, floating fire ant colonies and bedbugs. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Public Comment on Three Draft Pest Risk Assessments for the Importation of Aquatic Plants

APHIS seeks public comment on three draft pest risk assessments (PRAs) for the importation of the following list of aquatic plants in approved growing media from Denmark into the continental United States and Alaska:

  • Micranthemum callitrchoides, and micranthemoides
  • Myriophyllum mattogrossensis
  • Pogostemon erectus, P. helferi, and stellatus

These PRAs were prepared in response to a request from the Danish Plant Directorate of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and will be available for comment for 30 days. Continue reading

FDA approves first U.S. treatment for Chagas disease

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it has granted accelerated approval for the nation’s first treatment for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi spread by kissing bugs that has increasingly been found in the United States, especially in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley area.

The drug benznidazole, made by Chemo Research, SL, of Madrid, is approved for use in children ages 2 to 12 years old who have Chagas disease. Its safety and efficacy were shown in two placebo-controlled clinical trials in children 6 to 12 years old. An additional study in kids ages 2 to 12 helped set dosing recommendations. Stomach pain, rash, decreased weight, and headache were among the most common adverse reactions, and the drug was associated with some serious risks, including skin reactions, nervous system effects, and bone marrow depression.  Continue reading

Charles Parker honored for boll weevil eradication

In Southwest Farm Press

The idea that you could eradicate the boll weevil from an area as large as the eastern U.S. Cotton Belt is breathtaking in its scope. That many farmers from so many diverse regions of the country had never worked together before.

Today the boll weevil has basically been pushed back across the border into Mexico, thanks, in large measure, to the work of the National Cotton Council’s Boll Weevil Action Committee. The group was first chaired by Marshall Grant, a cotton producer from North Carolina and then by Charles Parker, producer from Senath, Mo. Continue reading

New technology helps analyze soil

In Morning Ag Clips

Farmers and gardeners know their soil texture can make a big difference in their success. Different plants have different needs for water, nutrients, and air. When they grow in soil that has the right texture, it is easier to deliver the right amount of water, fertilizer, or pesticide to the plants. Then they grow better.

Traditional ways of analyzing soil texture are slow. Danish researchers have shown a new, high-tech method that is fast, cost-effective, and portable. This technique could make it much easier to understand the soil texture of a particular area–or even large areas across the globe. Continue reading

Modified Mosquitoes Used To Contain Dengue Fever

From One America News Network

Brazilian scientists release the first batch of “modified mosquitoes” in an effort to contain the spread of dengue fever.

The scientists infected millions of mosquitoes with a bacteria, which prevents the insects from transmitting the disease to humans. Continue reading