Saving Costs with Cover Crops

In ARS News

Cotton farmers in Alabama who use cover crops have a new, cost-cutting option. They can kill their cover crops and plant their cotton in the same pass through a field, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

Cover crops are gaining in popularity because they suppress weeds and help retain moisture and nutrients. Farmers typically plant cover crops in the fall and kill them in the spring by flattening them with a roller, spraying them with herbicides, or both. After killing the cover crop, growers plant a cash crop in the same field. That usually requires two passes of a tractor: one to kill the cover crop and another a few weeks later to plant the cash crop. Continue reading

Webinar: Managing target spot in cotton: results of a USDA NIFA-funded study

Target spot, which is caused by the fungus Corynespora cassiicola, is an emerging disease in cotton in the Lower and Mid-South in the U.S. Phylogenetically, C. cassiicola isolates collected from cotton across the Lower South are distinct from those collected from other crops, particularly vegetables. This suggests that C. cassiicola isolates from cotton are either a recent introduction to the U.S. or has arisen from a mutation. Rainfall patterns along with variety selection and management inputs relating to yield potential influence the target spot risk in cotton. Greatest target spot-attributed defoliation and subsequent yield losses, which may exceed 300 pounds of lint per acre, have been recorded for an intensively managed, susceptible variety having a yield potential above 2.5 to 3 bales per acre.

Dr. Austin Hagan of Auburn University will discuss the results of a two-year study on developing integrated strategies for managing target spot in cotton. Topics that will be addressed in the webinar will include disease distribution, variety susceptibility and potential yield loss, efficacy of registered and candidate fungicides, fungicide application number, timing, methodology, and placement, as well as the influence of cotton cropping frequency, tillage practices, seeding rate, and planting date on disease development and cotton yield. Continue reading

Natural Resources Conservation Service providing money to deal with feral hogs in Alabama

In Southeast Farm Press

Farmers in 18 Alabama counties have until Feb. 19 to apply for financial assistance to monitor and manage feral swine on their property.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Ben Malone said $100,000 is being made available for Alabama’s Wild Pig Damage Management Program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Continue reading

Hessian fly pressure not as bad this year, but growers should still be watchful

In Southeast Farm Press

by Paul L. Hollis, Auburn University College of Agriculture

Climate predictions for the upcoming fall and winter months indicate that Alabama wheat producers will have fewer problems this season with the Hessian fly, but now’s not the time to completely let down your guard.

Results of studies have shown that Hessian fly infestation and yield losses are least during an El Niño climate event—a wetter and cooler phase—which is the forecast for the coming months.

Continue reading

Assistant Professor- Insect Pollination and Apiculture

Auburn University is seeking applicants for an assistant professor specializing in insect pollination and apiculture. For more details, see https://aufacultypositions.peopleadmin.com/postings/1125.

Auburn University masters student wins award for kudzu bug biocontrol discovery

During some routine dissections of kudzu bugs, Auburn masters student Julian Golec made a discovery that would make life a little easier for Alabama soybean growers.

Inside one of the female kudzu bugs was a parasitic fly. It was the first of two discoveries that would make biological control of kudzu bug an option.

Continue reading

Webinar on fire ant management with baits on March 6

This is the second installment of the All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series.

On March 6, 2015, we will be discussing Fire Ant Management Using Baits. Learn how to make the biology of fire ants work for you not against you. This webinar presented by Dr. Lawrence “Fudd” Graham from Auburn University will discuss fire ant baits and other control methods.  It will also provide the latest information on the Pseudacteon phorid flies, natural enemies of fire ants.

Please see the following links for more information.

http://www.extension.org/pages/72197             

https://learn.extension.org/events/1852