New cotton disease in Alabama comes from Brazil

In Southeast Farm Press

by Patrick Shepard

A virus that is previously known to be vectored by aphids into cotton has been recently identified as the primary suspect virus from limited samples of cotton in Alabama. Similar symptomology has been reported in the coastal counties of Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

“The cotton blue disease (CBD) symptomology was observed at the end of 2016 by one of my former graduate students, Drew Schrimsher, in his grower cotton variety trials,” says Auburn University plant pathologist Dr. Kathy Lawrence. Continue reading

Texas A&M has online insect identification resources

Texas A&M AgriLife has several online insect identification resources for your use.

For aphids, http://aphid.aphidnet.org/, can be used to identify the 66 most polyphagous and cosmopolitan aphid species in the world.

For grasshoppers, http://itp.lucidcentral.org/id/grasshopper/adult/Media/frmsetRLGH.htm is a great tool to help identify species.

Dr. Salvadore Vitanza reports http://idtools.org/ is a wonderful resource with a wealth of information, fact sheets, photographs, and Lucent technology identification keys. He reports that these tools make identification quick and easy and was especially impressed by the “Find Best” magic wand icon. Dr. Gary Miller explains how to use the idtools.org system on this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/eLTqmsTIMag.

Wizzie Brown also shared information about a great website for teaching Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists about insect identification (Class and Order level). http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/library/compendium/index.html

SARE has new fact sheet on sustainable pest management in greenhouses

Growers using greenhouses in which temperature, light and relative humidity are controlled have relied for many years on releases of natural enemies to manage aphids, thrips and two-spotted spider mites. However, many of the natural enemies used to manage these pests in heated structures are too sensitive to swings in air temperature and relative humidity to be used in cool structures such as minimally heated greenhouses and unheated high tunnels.

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A smartphone app to control aphids?

This blog, originally posted by Mauro Mandrioi in The Aphid Room, discusses a new app developed by scientists in Ontario, Canada, for aphid pest management.

UK research shows biological control success against cowpea aphids may depend on its bacteria

The cowpea aphid attacks more than 200 plants and 50 crops worldwide but prefers legumes, particularly alfalfa.  It is a major pest in the Tropics, but since the 1990s, cowpea aphid populations caused enough damage to alfalfa in the United States to warrant insecticidal sprays.

A naturally occurring wasp, Lysiphlebus testaceipes, helps keep aphid populations under control, but is not effective against the cowpea aphid in alfalfa. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture researcher suspects that this natural biological control agent may have failed with the cowpea aphid because of the type of bacteria the aphid possesses.

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Lady Beetle Diet Influences Its Effectiveness as Biocontrol Agent

By Sharon Durham
January 11, 2013

By examining what lady beetles eat, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are learning more about the movement of these beneficial insects in farm fields—and whether they’ll actively feed on crop pests.

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Uninvited Holiday Guests

The following post is taken from a North Carolina pest alert written by Dr. Steven Frank.

Christmas trees like other crops have many pests that feed on them. Also like other crops, they are grown outside. Thus, many insect species may be unfortunate enough to stop for a rest just as the tree is bundled up and trucked to your local box store. Every year people report arthropods that have hitchhiked into their house on a Christmas tree. Here are a few of the most common.

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