Research finds that intercropping improves weed and insect control

In Southwest Farm Press

Sometimes looking to the past for answers pays off.

Lower input costs and better crop protection seem to be the benefits of returning to an almost forgotten cropping practice employed by the Americas in ancient times, at least according to the results of a Texas A&M research project involving vegetable and non-vegetable plants grown in an age-old farming system involving the art and science of “intercropping,” or companion crop production. Continue reading

City of New Orleans Pest Academy, October 10-12, 2017

Join the City of New Orleans Mosquito & Termite Control Board for a great learning experience at the City of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Pest Control Association’s 9th Annual Pest Control Academy.  The Academy will be held in New Orleans on October 10-12, 2017. The Academy will feature interactive and hands-on programs regarding identification, biology, and control methods of many urban pests. The Academy is accredited for Louisiana in a variety of categories. Featured speakers this year will be Dr. Roberto Pereira from the University of Florida, Ms. Janet Hurley from Texas AgriLife, and Dr. Mohamed Sallam from the EPA.     Continue reading

Ph.D. Assistantship in Forest Entomology, Pathology, and Ecology

The Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, Athens invites applications from highly motivated and enthusiastic students for a Ph.D. Assistantship starting in Summer/Fall 2018.  This collaborative work will be conducted with Dr. Kamal Gandhi (Warnell School of Forestry) and Dr. Kier Klepzig (Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center).  The project focuses on bark beetle (Ips avulsus), tree (longleaf pine), and environment interactions (fire, drought, etc.) as they affect the life-cycle of the beetle and its symbionts (fungi and mites).  The ideal candidate would possess both field and laboratory experience related to entomology, mycology and/ or ecology, a strong statistical background, and an independent spirit to develop, conduct, and publish research.  A MS Degree in a related field, especially in forest entomology, pathology, or ecology is a prerequisite for the position.  As a part of the graduate program, extensive fieldwork in longleaf pine forests in southwestern Georgia will be required.  Continue reading

Two new biologist positions with Invasive Species Management Branch of the Corps of Engineers

The Invasive Species Management Branch of the Corps of Engineers is hiring 2 biologists.

Both positions are in Florida: one is in Clewiston and the other is in Jacksonville.

This position works for the US Army, Corps of Engineers with a duty station in Jacksonville, Florida and a duty station in Clewiston, Florida. This position will be filled at the GS-07 grade level only with this announcement however, it is a developmental position with growth to the GS-09 and then to the GS-11 grade level. The full performance level of this position is GS-11.

Read more about the positions.

New citrus planting method stops bugs, yields additional benefits

by Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife

A planting design that outwitted a weevil in Texas citrus groves has yielded numerous other benefits for growers and brought better quality oranges and grapefruits to consumers, experts say.

Enter the Diaprepes root weevil in 2000. The insect was found to be chewing up Texas citrus tree roots underground, then busting through the soil and up the tree to feast on leaves. Researchers began looking for a way to disrupt the weevil’s path. Continue reading

EPA Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance

EPA has released two Pesticide Registration Notices (PRNs) aimed at combating pesticide resistance.

  • PRN 2017-1, “Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Pesticide Resistance Management Labeling” offers general guidance on resistance management labeling for all conventional agricultural insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
  • PRN 2017-2, “Guidance for Herbicide Resistance Management Labeling, Education, Training, and Stewardship” focuses specifically on herbicides and provides guidance on labels, terms of registration, education, training and stewardship.

Continue reading

Stevia being explored as crop in Southeast

In Southeast Farm Press

As it stands now, there are still many questions on producing stevia in the Southeast with less than 300  acres currently planted to the crop in North Carolina. But there is a commitment and a definite interest in making stevia a viable cash crop across the Southeast.

North Carolina State University is firmly dedicated to expanding stevia production with a team of researchers working on the economics of growing stevia to varietal development to weed and disease control and more. Continue reading

Virtual Meeting on the Charge Questions for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) Meeting on Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Modeling

The Agency will soon publish a Federal Register Notice announcing the virtual FIFRA SAP meeting on the charge questions on PBPK at http://www.regulations.gov.

This meeting is open to the public. Registration is required. To register, please visit https://www.epa.gov/sap/virtual-meeting-clarify-pbpk-charge-questions on or before noon, September 27, 2017, or contact the Designated Federal Official, Dr. Marquea D. King, via email:  king.marquea@epa.gov or telephone: 202-564-3626. Requests to make oral comments should be submitted during registration on or before noon September 27, 2017. Written comments on the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions should also be submitted to the docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0180) by noon on September 27, 2017. All materials discussed during this virtual meeting along with the agenda will be posted at https://www.epa.gov/sap.    Continue reading

New AgriLife Extension Service graphic guides target school pests

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Three new infographics and two detailed publications from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service help demystify the best practices for controlling pests in schools, universities and other areas where humans occupy close quarters.

“The average person, while not a pest control expert, is definitely affected when an infestation occurs,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension specialist in school integrated pest management, Dallas. “That means the average person is integral to controlling pests, especially where large groups of people converge.” Continue reading

Pecan weevils’ range growing warns AgriLife Extension expert

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Homeowners and pecan orchard operators are urged to watch for pecan weevils that can decimate a crop right up to harvest, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management specialist at College Station.

“This is not a new pest, but what is new is that it’s being sighted in areas where it’s never been found,” said Bill Ree. “It’s a serious pest, ranking right up there with the ubiquitous casebearer that hits developing pecans early in the season practically statewide. Pecan weevils hit late in the season when the nuts are ready to be harvested. Continue reading