APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessments for Mamey Sapote and Sapodilla from Mexico

The government of Mexico has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of mamey sapote and sapodilla for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted pest risk assessments that list potential pests likely to remain on each commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.  Continue reading

Fall Pest Management Seminar in Dallas

From Insects in the City

Registration is now open for the Fall Pest Management Seminar, sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. This is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to get your pesticide applicator CEUs in the Dallas area.  To register, go to our AgriLife Conference Registration site.  Early registration is still only $70, and includes lunch.

One big change this year is our location. This meeting, and all training meetings in the foreseeable future will be held at a new address, the Richardson Civic Center. It’s a very nice facility and no more hard yellow chairs!  We hope you’ll join us and check it out. Continue reading

AgriLife Research project to examine, educate on organic wheat systems

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Organic wheat and beef may not be for everyone, but one Texas A&M AgriLife team is going to make sure producers in Texas know more about the possibilities than they currently do.

Dr. Curtis Adams, Texas A&M AgriLife Research crop physiologist at Vernon, will lead a new project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the Organic Transition Program. Continue reading

Upcoming Environmental Modeling Public Meeting on Assessing Exposure and Risk to Pollinators & Plants

On October 18, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency will hold an Environmental Modeling Public Meeting. This meeting provides a public forum for EPA and its stakeholders to discuss current issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure for pesticide risk assessments in a regulatory context. The focus of this meeting will be on “assessing exposure and risk to pollinators and plants,” and also includes additional modeling and exposure related presentations.

Pollinator presentations will address scientific issues related to managed and unmanaged bees, including colony simulations in a risk assessment context. Plant presentations include a description of a terrestrial and wetland plant exposure model and an evaluation of historical variability in seedling emergence and vegetative vigor control data. Additional modeling/exposure presentations examine a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic pesticide exposure models. Continue reading

Mexican fruit fly control needs citizen help to keep Texas citrus industry vibrant

by Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife

The success of the Texas citrus industry may hinge on a lot of variables, but a tiny fly and people with backyard citrus trees are high on the list.

Allowing fruit to linger on a tree provides a paradise for Mexican fruit flies by keeping their reproductive cycle in business, but that can slap a quarantine on citrus in the area and limit markets, according to Dr. Olufemi Alabi, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist in Weslaco. Continue reading

ATTRA Publication Offers Advice on Cover Crops

The type of cover crop best suited for you can vary depending on your climate, soil, and other needs. ATTRA’s recent publication, “Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas,” provides insight into the characteristics of cover crops that are better suited for areas with hot, humid summers, like the southern portions of Texas and Florida and along the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and points beyond with similar climatic conditions.

The publication addresses the challenge of organic crop production in hot, humid places through proper cover-crop selection and management. Which covers are most appropriate? Which can take the heat? You can find the answers free online at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=570. Continue reading

Reducing the spread of boxwood blight

by Elizabeth Bush, Virginia Tech

According to records of the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force, to date boxwood blight has been diagnosed in over 70 locations and approximately 30 counties in Virginia. There are likely additional undocumented incidences of the disease, for example, if no sample was submitted for diagnosis through Virginia Cooperative Extension or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Continue reading