Cucurbit leaf crumple virus verified in south Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Stormy Sparks and Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia

While we have all been bracing for the potential onslaught of silverleaf whiteflies, the one bright spot was that the viral diseases that caused the bigger disasters in 2016 had not been seen in 2017. This is no longer the case.

Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, which decimated snap beans and squash last fall, has been verified from squash in South Georgia (the week of Aug. 1). As with the whiteflies, this first occurrence is earlier than the disease was detected last year. This has also occurred at lower whitefly densities than last fall, which suggests the potential that a fair percentage of whiteflies may already be carrying the virus. Continue reading

USDA research finds conservation tillage works better after first year

In Southeast Farm Press

An onslaught of the weed Palmer amaranth in the southeastern United States has left many farmers wondering if they should continue using environmentally friendly cover crops and conservation tillage or switch to conventional tillage.

Palmer amaranth is aggressive, drought tolerant, a prolific seed producer, and capable of developing resistance to glyphosate, known as Roundup. Because of that, thousands of acres in Alabama and elsewhere are at risk of being converted to conventional tillage, which may better control the weed, but increases soil erosion and threatens long-term soil productivity.  Continue reading