AgriLife helps Texas tomato producers make better connections through grafting

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

A team of Texas A&M AgriLife researchers and horticulturists are investigating how successful integration of vegetable grafting into current tomato production practices could present new opportunities for the Texas tomato industry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service reported just over 2,100 acres in Texas were used for tomato production in 2012 and gave an estimated crop value of $4.9 million in 2015. Continue reading

Experts gather in Texas to discuss mosquito and tick issues

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With ticks posing an ongoing threat to Texas’ cattle industry and mosquitoes causing challenging human health diseases such as Zika virus, a consortium of public health experts met at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco to hear the latest research and offer potential solutions.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are leading a collaboration to solve threats from the pests as members of the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

Balsam woolly adelgid: the smallest and biggest reason to reconsider the importance of subalpine fir

Forest Service staff have noted widespread and rapid subalpine fir mortality across forests in ID and UT. The non-native, invasive balsam woolly adelgid (BWA), Adelges piceae Ratzburg, was confirmed as the primary insect responsible for large areas of subalpine fir mortality in Utah on September 6, 2017. This webinar will provide background on the current status of the true fir host type in Utah and beyond. Webinar content will explain biology, ecology and movement of BWA and how this insect kills trees. We will also discuss practical skills for field identification and current management options. Drawing on our current collaborative efforts, the webinar will close with a question answer session hosted by several entomologists. Continue reading