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Pepper weevil is the new big threat to vegetables

In Southeast Farm Press

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Pepper weevils are such a threat to Georgia’s pepper crop that University of Georgia vegetable entomologist David Riley says Georgia farmers and agricultural workers should immediately kill any weevils found on fruit, equipment or clothes.

This year’s cold winter temperatures helped to wipe out fall vegetable plants like peppers and eggplants that host the weevils. However, weevils can hitchhike on peppers that the U.S. imports from Mexico and infect Georgia’s pepper fields. Seventy percent of the winter peppers imported into the U.S. are grown in Mexico, where pepper weevils originate. Continue reading

UGA research hopes the key to fighting cowpea curculio lies in snap bean genes

By Julie Jernigan, University of Georgia

Once a top agricultural commodity in Georgia, the Southern pea’s presence in the state is now minimal. Growers are reluctant to plant the crop due to a tiny weevil, the cowpea curculio.

The cowpea curculio is a small, dark weevil that originated in Mexico. It feeds and lays eggs in the pods of Southern peas, making the peas unmarketable. The current management tactic involves spraying regularly with old and new insecticides, but the weevil has such high resistance that this technique has little impact. Continue reading

Cowpea curculio a major pest this year of cowpeas

In Southeast Farm Press

by Merritt Melancon, Southeast Farm Press

The lucky legume has been part of a boom-and-bust cycle for the past three decades thanks to a pod-feeding weevil that has, so far, evaded farmers’ best pest control practices.

This year is going to be a bust due to high pest pressure, said David Riley, a professor of entomology at the University of Georgia who works with vegetable pests. Continue reading

UGA’s David Riley earns Recognition Award in Entomology

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

David Riley’s work on the effects of cowpea curculio and other insects on vegetables has earned him the 2016 Recognition Award in Entomology from the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America (SEB-ESA).

Riley, an entomologist based on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting March 15-16 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Continue reading