New Publication Features Hedgerow Plants to Attract Helpful Insects

The recent ATTRA publication, “A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects,” is a meticulously photographed pictorial guide to numerous beneficial hedgerow plant species used in farmscaping for native pollinators and insect predators and parasites in California. It provides plant names,on-farm photo documentation, bloom times, heights, and descriptions that note considerations for selection and establishment.

You can download the publication for free at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=582. Continue reading

Air Potato Biological Control program seeking collaborators

The Florida Department of Agriculture has an active biological control program for air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera, that has been implemented successfully throughout Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. They are mass-producing a chrysomelid beetle, Lilioceris cheni, which feeds mainly on the foliage along with some feeding of the weed’s aerial propagules.  This beetle has been shown to be highly specific to this single yam species.  Significant impacts have been noticed in total vine-length, propagule mass, and increases in plant diversity on sites that have L. cheni populations controlling this weed.  Additionally, there is another beetle species, L. egena, with larvae that develop within the aerial propagules which has recently been submitted to TAG for approval and may be available in the coming year as well. Continue reading

Michigan State seeks Assistant Professor – Biological Control

The Department of Entomology at Michigan State University seeks candidates for a tenure system position (nine months) in Biological Control at the Assistant Professor rank. We seek individuals with expertise in biological control of arthropod pests and/or weeds and supporting knowledge of insect pathology, predator-prey interactions, multi-trophic interactions, or integrated pest management. The successful candidate can apply genomic, molecular, quantitative or other methods to solving problems in biological control, at population, community, or landscape scales. The appointee will be expected to build a nationally prominent research program, as well as contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching, extension and service. Continue reading

Multiple tactics necessary for kudzu eradication

In ARS News

By Sandra Avant, Agricultural Research Service

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, the use of combined management programs can control kudzu more quickly than individual methods in use today.

An invasive weed, kudzu was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. It disrupts native ecosystems, threatens natural resources, and inhibits use of forest land, particularly in Mississippi, where kudzu is pervasive. Land infested with kudzu has little or no value. Continue reading

Northeastern IPM Center offers “IPM toolbox” series

Got an IPM question? Need to know the latest IPM information? The Northeastern IPM Center has got the answers with their new spring webinar series, “The IPM Toolbox.” Experts will join IPM Center staff online for an hour of dialogue about an effective IPM practice, method, or effort.

It can be challenging to know how to implement IPM, whether for the beginner or advanced gardener, grower, or commercial operator. The IPM Toolbox webinar series will share IPM tools that improve environmental and social health and maintain profitability. Continue reading

USDA WEBINAR: Benefits of Habitat to Support Biocontrol

Join this webinar to learn about the benefits of creating on-site habitat to support conservation biological control. The webinar will emphasize the most current scientific research on enhancing native beneficial insects and why maintaining habitat is so critical to these insects. Learn how adding diversity into agricultural cropland can provide the basic requirements to support these insects and how other farm management practices may have an impact.

Date and Time: May 25, 2016, at 2:00 PM ET

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Clemson study finds a natural enemy for kudzu bug

published by AgFax

By Denise Attaway, Clemson University

Kudzu bugs may have met their match in one Clemson University graduate student.

The kudzu bug is an invasive soybean pest first discovered in Georgia in 2009. It has since spread to 13 states and Washington, D.C. Research by Francesca Stubbins, an entomology graduate research assistant at the Edisto Research and Education Center (REC), shows for the first time that mermithid nematodes can infect and kill the insects. Stubbins’ research involved collecting kudzu bugs from soybean fields. Nematodes — long, slender, parasitic worms — were found in the abdomens of some of the dissected female insects. Continue reading