Texas battling bermudagrass stem maggot

In Southwest Farm Press

A new pest, the bermudagrass stem maggot, has been detected in seven Texas counties in the Gulf coast region and a pair of entomologists with Texas AgriLife Extension are warning forage producers to be aware of the dangers the pest presents to growers.

Robert Bowling, Texas AgriLife Assistant professor and Extension specialist in Corpus Christi, reports the Bermudagrass stem maggot, Atherigona reversur, is native to several Asian countries. In 2010, it was reported damaging bermudagrass from three counties in Georgia. This invasive fly quickly spread across the southern U.S. and, in 2013, was first reported infesting bermudagrass in Texas.

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Webinars for National Invasive Species Week, February 22-28

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is scheduled for February 22-28. And according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation’s economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.

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Bermudagrass stem maggots on the move across Florida pastures

In Southeast Farm Press

By Liza Garcia-Jimenez, University of Florida

The first high populations of Bermudagrass stem maggot are now occurring in Central Florida and likely will be seen in North Florida any day now, if not already.

The adult stage of this pest are small flies.  The flies lay eggs in Bermudagrass fields of all types.  The maggots or larva hatch and burrow in the top node of the plant and feed, eventually killing the top leaf shoot.  Loss of both quality and quantity of Bermudagrass hay results. Producers should be on the lookout for BSM populations, signs of which are manifested by a brown coloring to the field that should be green.

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Troublesome bermudagrass stem maggot finds Kentucky

In Southeast Farm Press

The bermudagrass stem maggot is now in Kentucky.

It can cause yield damage and quality losses in bermudagrass pastures and hay fields, and farmers there need to be watching for it in 2014.

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New pest having major impact on bermudagrass hay in Georgia, Florida

From Southeast Farm Press

A new invasive pest is having a major impact on bermudagrass hay production in south Georgia.

The bermudagrass stem maggot, native to Southeast Asia, has only been spotted in the U.S. for a couple of years, according to University of Georgia Forage Extension Specialist Dennis Hancock. In that short span, however, the pest has left an indelible mark on forage production.

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Three new insect pests established in Mississippi

From Delta Farm Press

As if Mississippi did not already have enough bugs, three new insect pests became established in the state in 2012.

Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the newest insect residents are two flies and one bug: the spotted wing drosophila, the Bermudagrass stem maggot and the kudzu bug.

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