What’s known about target spot in soybeans?

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

Target spot has struck many Mid-South soybean fields this growing season leading to decreased yields. Now on the back end of soybean harvest, growers are asking questions about the fungal disease.

To get some answers, Delta Farm Press spoke with Tom Allen, Mississippi State University plant pathologist, in mid-October. Among Allen’s comments: Continue reading

Seven steps to reduce rice diseases

In Delta Farm Press

by Yeshi Wamishe, University of Arkansas

Disease management starts long before going to the field to plant rice.

(1) Match variety with field: To maximize productivity with minimum risk, knowing the history of your field and using the right variety for the field is essential. Often this may mean planting more than one or two varieties on multiple farms.

Hybrids have the best resistance to diseases such as rice blast, bacterial panicle blight, and sheath blight. Hybrids would be good candidates in fields with histories of such diseases. Note that hybrids are not immune to these diseases but can be more tolerant. Continue reading

PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth has been at least two years in the making

in Delta Farm Press

by Larry Steckel, Tennessee Extension Weed Specialist

It is becoming clear we aren’t at the beginning of things with respect to detecting PPO/glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in the Mid-South. It became established two to three years ago.

From greenhouse screens for PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth in Arkansas and Tennessee, we continue to find new fields. Other neighboring states are finding it as well. Folks at the University of Kentucky have confirmed PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth in at least one county in western Kentucky. Continue reading

Delta Farm Press highlights an Arkansas farmer’s use of cover crops in video series

Delta Farm Press has been publishing a series of videos featuring an Arkansas grower and his son, who have used cover crops to build their soil; combat pest, disease and weed problems; and improve their yields. To raise their profits, they planted cover crops that would make good grazing materials for a herd of cattle. Continue reading

Why do cover crops work?

In Delta Farm Press

by Ernie Flint, Mississippi Extension Agronomist

The use of cover crops to improve soil quality and to reduce soil erosion is certainly not a new concept, but it is enjoying renewed interest. Yearbooks of Agriculture that were published by USDA include discussions about cover crops in some of the earliest issues prior to 1920.

During that earlier time agricultural workers and innovative farmers discovered the benefits of keeping the soil “alive” during the offseason. Some of the reasons for these positive results were discussed, but the main emphasis was the simple fact that it seemed to work. This same attitude exists today among most farmers even though we have a better understanding of the reasons benefits are seen.

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Arkansas farmers seeing possible PPO-resistant pigweed

In Delta Farm Press

by Bob Scott, University of Arkansas Extension Weed Specialist

There is a scientific process that weed scientists go through before we declare a weed resistant to a given herbicide. It involves looking at the suspect weed in comparison to a known “non-resistant” biotype of the same weed, looking at various rates and making sure that the resistance is heritable. The heritable part is why we grow plants out for two seasons and make sure the progeny are just as resistant as the parents.

My research counterparts at the University of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville are working on these tests right now for PPO-resistant Palmer pigweed in Arkansas. They are not quite done yet, although it is becoming very apparent in the field that it’s here and possibly in other Mid-South states.

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Wheat scab starting in Mid-south

In Delta Farm Press

This is a nice time of the year in the Mid-South. Temperatures are warming, the rains are starting to become less frequent and dark-green fields of grain are waving in the breeze in parts of the country where farmers still sow winter wheat.

Unfortunately, farmers in Louisiana and some parts of Arkansas have begun observing fields where the grain is not so green and, in fact, is beginning to show the telltale signs of bleaching that generally accompany infections by Fusarium head blight or scab.

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University of Arkansas sponsors feral hog workshop May 9

The following is excerpted from a story in Delta Farm Press.

Arkansas farmers are resorting to combat analogies when describing damage done by rooting and wallowing feral hogs. “We’ve had feral hogs in Arkansas for more than a 100 years,” said Becky McPeake, professor and Extension wildlife specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Feral hogs generally kept to the southern bottomlands, but today, feral hogs are found in every county of the state.”

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Managing plant bugs requires a combination of IPM tools

In Delta Farm Press

Plant bugs have become “a nightmare to control” in much of the Delta, says Jeff Gore, and to contend with the problem growers need to rotate chemistries, shorten application intervals, plant as early as conditions allow, and consider planting hairy leaf cotton varieties.

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Communication between beekeepers and producers helps both sides

In Delta Farm Press

Hear some buzzing in your walls? See a few too many bees crawling around your eaves? The Bartlett Bee Whisperer is only a call away.

“My main business is running a honeybee rescue service,” says David Glover, the Memphis-based beekeeper. “That’s removing honey bees that have moved into people’s homes. I’ll come in and remove the bees, the wax, and the honeycomb. I typically box them up and move them to farms. Other times, I’ll find beekeepers in the Memphis area –we have good folks that have anywhere from two to 2,000 hives — that need replacements for bees they’ve lost throughout the year.”

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