Zika Risk in Texas Rises with Temperatures

As the state prepares for additional local transmission of the Zika virus during the 2017 mosquito season, the Texas Department of State Health Services is expanding its testing guidance for residents of six South Texas counties.

DSHS Monday issued a health alert that now recommends testing all pregnant residents of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties in both the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and any resident who has a rash plus at least one other common Zika symptom: fever, joint pain or eye redness. Continue reading

Study IDs Ways to Encourage ‘Refuge’ Planting, Slowing Resistance to Bt Crops

by Matt Shipman, North Carolina State University

A new study from North Carolina State University finds a significant shortfall in the amount of “refuge” cropland being planted in North Carolina – likely increasing the rate at which crop pests will evolve the ability to safely devour genetically engineered Bt crops. However, the study also identified actions that may make farmers more likely to plant refuge crops in the future.

For about 20 years, growers have made use of Bt crops to limit crop damage from pests. Bt crops, including corn, are genetically engineered to produce proteins from the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium. These proteins are harmless to vertebrates, but toxic to a specific class of invertebrate crop pests. Continue reading

Early emergence of insects expected due to unseasonable winter and spring conditions

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Above-average temperatures throughout late winter and early spring have Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts around the state experiencing and expecting earlier-than-usual emergence of insects, said Dr. Charles Allen, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management coordinator, San Angelo.

Allen said producers should be prepared not only for earlier-than-normal pest emergence but also possibly higher numbers of multi-generational species. Continue reading

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Regulated Area Expands in Minnesota to include Goodhue County

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding Goodhue County in Minnesota to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the detection of EAB in Goodhue County.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area in Minnesota. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas in Minnesota is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

Women are reshaping the landscape in farming

in Morning AgClips

From the earliest days of American agriculture, women have been a cornerstone of everyday farm life. But as culture and agriculture change, women are more engaged than ever in the core business — as farm operators and strategic decision makers.
Want proof?

“Over the past three decades, the number of women-operated farms increased substantially,” says a report issued four years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, using the most recent census data available. Continue reading

Sugarcane aphids came early in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

“Be careful what you wish for.” We have heard that phrase many times, in songs and poems, books and old adages, and probably from parents and teachers and a sibling or two. Its exact origin is unknown, but some credit an early 1800’s Goethe poem, others claim the old common saying is much older, some say younger.

Regardless its origin, however, nothing could be more true or fitting considering this year’s early spring in Deep South Texas. Farmers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) are finding the phrase particularly appropriate as they consider the good, the bad and the ugly of an early planting season this year. Continue reading

Considerations for Transitioning Perennial Production to Organic

Join this webinar to learn about the specifics of transitioning perennial production systems to organic. Learn more…

Presenter(s):

  • David Granatstein, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA

Session Details: Apr 4, 2017 3:00 pm US/Eastern     Duration: 01:0)     Export Event to Calendar Continue reading