Two scientific advisory panels for Environmental Protection Agency

1) EPA Accepting Public Comments on Nominees for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP)

On January 26, 2018, EPA published a Federal Register notice (FRN) providing the names addresses, and professional affiliations of recent nominees by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for service on the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel established under section 25(d) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Brief biographical sketches for the nominees are posted to the EPA website at www.epa.gov/sap. The Agency, at this time, anticipates selecting four of these individuals for new members to serve on the panel as a result of membership terms that will expire in 2018.

Public comments on the nominees are invited on or before February 26, 2018.  These comments will be used to assist the Agency in selecting the new members.  Comments may be submitted to docket  EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0602 in www.regulations.gov. For additional information, please see the FRN or contact Tamue L. Gibson, M.S., Designated Federal Official, Office of Science Coordination and Policy, Environmental Protection Agency (202-564-7642 or gibson.tamue@epa.gov). Continue reading

Planting time for spring gardens is around the corner, so prep now

Spring gardens may not be as soon for the northern states in the southern region, but the recommendations in this article are applicable to all gardeners.

by Adam Russell, Texas AgriLife

The time is now for East Texas vegetable gardeners to make preparations for planting early varieties and spring garden staples, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Gardeners have some cool-season vegetables planted already and are soon preparing to plant early vegetable varieties, such as onions, said Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension small-acreage vegetable specialist, Overton.  Continue reading

Whiteflies are a top priority being discussed at county production meetings

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia entomologists advise farmers to kill crops capable of hosting whiteflies after the crop is harvested a final time. Crops left in the field could continue to serve as hosts.

“The very best thing we can do right now is to minimize the amount of host material out there and starve these whiteflies to death during the winter,” UGA Cooperative Extension vegetable entomologist Stormy Sparks said. Continue reading

UGA entomologist encourages the use of cultural practices in managing spotted wing drosophila (SWD)

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia entomologist Ashfaq Sial advises Georgia blueberry farmers to manage the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), the crop’s most destructive pest, by incorporating cultural practices into farming.

Practices likes heavy pruning, controlled burns of the wooded areas surrounding blueberry fields, and the use of weed mat as a ground cover are effective management tools. These practices ensure the success of SWD management programs implemented during harvest, the time when blueberries are most vulnerable to SWD infestations. Continue reading

Growers need to apply more integrated approaches toward insects and diseases in face of Bt resistance

In Delta Farm Press

by Brad Robb, Delta Farm Press

Mid-South cotton growers face several tough decisions for 2018 as they deal with hard-to-control diseases and the increasingly difficult problem of Bt-resistant worm pests.

Tucker Miller, president, Miller Entomological Service Inc., Drew, Ms., speaking Thursday at the National Conservation Systems Conferences in Memphis, Tn., said growers will need to look closely at varieties as well as other management options.  Continue reading