Assistant professor position at Auburn

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology of the College of Agriculture at Auburn University is seeking applications for the position of Assistant Professor- Insect Vector Borne Plant Diseases. This faculty position will be a nine-month, tenure-track position with a 75% research and 25% teaching appointment. The projected start date is August 16, 2018.

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be responsible for developing a nationally recognized program on fundamental aspects of insect vector borne plant diseases. The successful candidate will lead a vigorous research program on understanding insect vector biology, plant pathogen(s), and interact ion( s) between insect vector(s) and plant pathogens associated with crops of agricultural importance for Alabama and the U.S. The successful candidate will use diverse approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and population genetics to understand the molecular mechanisms associated with insect vectors and plant pathogens. A candidate with state of the art skills in next generation sequencing, comparative genomics and bioinformatics, genetic manipulations, and statistical analyses will be appropriate for this position. The successful candidate will be expected to secure extramural funding to support programs and summer salary, publish technical and refereed articles, and collaborate effectively with departmental faculty and colleagues in related disciplines. Continue reading

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.

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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