Genetic discovery another tool in battle against wheat pests

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Greenbug and Hessian fly infestations can significantly reduce wheat yield and quality in Texas and worldwide. Breeding for resistance to these two pests using marker-assisted selection just got a new tool from a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study.

Because genetics is the most economical strategy to minimize losses, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist Dr. Shuyu Liu began two years ago searching for breeder-friendly markers for those two insects. This step is a continuation of ongoing genetic work on insect resistance. Continue reading

Conference on cover crops and soil health

Pre-registration is ending next week for the Second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health, being held December 7-8 in Indianapolis, IN.  The pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, November 7th. 

After November 7th, the conference registration price goes from $150 to $200 for ag professionals (including university, agency, NGO and agribusiness staff).  The farmer pre-registration fee is $90 and student fee is $50.  Each of those will increase by $25 after November 7th. Continue reading

Biological pesticides are included in integrated pest management systems

In Southeast Farm Press

Biological pesticides can play a key role in a successful integrated pest management program and can be useful in increasing sustainability on the farm.

Speaking at a symposium on the role biological crop protection products can play in sustainable agriculture in Orlando Oct. 11, David Epstein, senior entomologist with USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy, said integrated pest management, or IPM, is all about ecosystems and a systems-based approach to controlling pests. Continue reading

NC State Center for IPM Leader Receives State Entomology Award

Karl Suiter and Heather Moylett, NC Entomology Society Chair

NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management Associate Director Karl Suiter received the 2017 Outstanding Contributions to Entomology Award from the North Carolina Entomology Society last week during their annual meeting.

Dr. Suiter leads several teams of scientists and programmers who develop products for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plant protection and quarantine (APHIS-PPQ) program. An entomologist by trade, Dr. Suiter is highly skilled in implementing custom IT solutions that support regulatory decision making, data warehousing and information sharing. His entomology expertise helps him link biology to information technology to design practical tools for pest prevention and pest management. He has been with the Center since 2003. Continue reading