“Good-Guy” Fungus to Take on Killer of Oaks and Ornamental Crops

by Jan Suszkiw, USDA Agricultural Research Service

A beneficial soil fungus could offer a biobased approach to battling Phytophthora ramorum, a pathogen that kills oaks, other tree species and woody ornamentals.

BioWorks, Inc. of Victor, New York, is collaborating with Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologist Tim Widmer to commercially formulate the fungus, Trichoderma asperellum. The species is a mycoparasite, meaning it attacks and kills other fungi, including P. ramorum, a fungus-like pathogen, notes Widmer, with ARS in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Continue reading

If you want a good pollinator plant, think about a cup plant

By Norman Winter, University of Georgia

When it comes to backyard wildlife, the cup plant does it all. To me, it is like the flag-bearing perennial for bees, butterflies and birds. It is a stalwart and is native in 34 states, from Louisiana, north to Canada and sweeping across all states east.

Its size makes it seem like it is the composite, or aster, that ate New York. It is big, bold and wonderful, and this is the time of the year it shines the most. Continue reading

Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist

Integrated Management of Invasive and Endemic Arthropods Attacking Subtropical Fruit Crops University of California, Riverside

The Department of Entomology invites applications for an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in the area of integrated management of invasive and endemic arthropod species attacking subtropical fruit crops at the University of California, Riverside. This is a fiscal year position and is available January 1, 2018 with a 90 % Cooperative Extension/10% Organized Research appointment in the Agricultural Experiment Station (http://cnas.ucr.edu/about/aes/). The position will be housed at the University of California Riverside Campus in Riverside, CA. Continue reading

Identification and Management of Leaf Spots in Cotton

by Heather Kelly, University of Tennessee

This year I have gotten more questions about leaf spots in cotton than any other.  It hasn’t always been clear which leaf spot is present, but the following resources can help identify and understand management options of leaf spots in cotton.

This season in cotton bacterial blight is the leading leaf spot culprit, but as canopies have been closed in some fields for over 2 weeks and have had good moisture, target spot might start showing up more often as well as other leaf spots. Use the resources below to identify what leaf spots you’re seeing and what the best management options are:

Continue reading

Missouri uses weather stations to help farmers avoid off-target applications

by Linda Geist

Nine Missouri weather stations recently received updates to help farmers and chemical applicators know when to spray herbicides to avoid off-target movement caused by temperature inversions.

The University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program operates 24 real-time weather stations throughout the state. The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council recently funded updates for stations in Monroe City, Vandalia, Albany, Columbia, Green Ridge, Hayward, Lamar, Linneus and Mountain Grove. Continue reading

Time to scout for peanut pests

by Mark Abney, University of Georgia

Things have been relatively quiet in terms of insect pressure in most peanut fields so far in 2017, but that could change quickly.

I have been getting reports of heavy caterpillar pressure in some areas of Florida, and agents and consultants are reporting that a mixed bag of loopers, velvetbean and other caterpillars have shown up in Georgia over the last week. I strongly encourage growers to scout their peanuts and only make insecticide applications when caterpillars reach the economic threshold. Continue reading

USDA Announces $400,000 to Support Ag Science Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced availability of $400,000 through a new competition to help university researchers bring their discoveries to the marketplace. The Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) competition is a joint initiative of NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Federal funding is crucial to agricultural research, especially to help move university-developed technologies into commercial products, aka technology transfer,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “I-FAST competition gives researchers the training they need to help make their research marketable.”    Continue reading