What gardeners should know about organic insecticides!

by Ayanava Majumdar, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

Organic insecticides are critical tools to insect control, especially in the hot and humid south where insect pests never seem to rest. Even in the dead of winter, insect pests such as the yellowmargined leaf beetles can be active in the soil on a warm winter day (just look under some turnip plants and other host plants for deep brown larvae that may be in the ground). In most cases, vegetable plants have should be protected early in the season with a variety of integrated pest management tactics. Insecticides are the last resort for pest management in a sustainable system. With latest advances in IPM technologies, there are several types of organic insecticides to choose from, namely, physical desiccants, contact and stomach poisons, and products with volatile action. Below is a brief description of modes of action and usage tips. Continue reading

Planting a refuge necessary for preserving Bt technology

in Southwest Farm Press

Southern corn growers will pull their planters out of the shed and into the field in only a few short weeks. Bt corn will be planted on millions of acres across the South, protecting plants from damaging insects like corn borer and corn earworm. But to ensure that the technology remains effective, farmers in cotton-growing areas must plant a structured refuge alongside their Bt corn.

“Planting a refuge is the single most important thing we can do to keep Bt traits working for years to come,” said Chad Wetzel, a farmer from Tom Bean, Texas, and member of the National Corn Growers Association Freedom to Operate Action Team. “If we lose Bt technology as a defense against insects, growing corn will change dramatically.” Continue reading

Growers need to apply more integrated approaches toward insects and diseases in face of Bt resistance

In Delta Farm Press

by Brad Robb, Delta Farm Press

Mid-South cotton growers face several tough decisions for 2018 as they deal with hard-to-control diseases and the increasingly difficult problem of Bt-resistant worm pests.

Tucker Miller, president, Miller Entomological Service Inc., Drew, Ms., speaking Thursday at the National Conservation Systems Conferences in Memphis, Tn., said growers will need to look closely at varieties as well as other management options.  Continue reading

Bt corn trait selection determines caterpillar pest control

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Newly introduced caterpillar control technology has corn producers weighing the benefits of paying more for multiple toxin Bt corn seed, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist.

The decision will depend on what pests are in the field, said Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Amarillo.

“If you grow corn in the northern Panhandle and traditionally battle western bean cutworm, then the more toxins the better,” Bynum said. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Times: IPM Practices Lead to the Healthiest Food

The following article was written by a guest writer for Finger Lakes Times in response to another column about organic production. You can read the original article here and get the link to the organic article at the bottom of that page. Keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect views by SIPMC staff.

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