Texas A&M institute helping find ‘key’ to preserving endangered Florida deer

by Paul Schattenberg and Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

For the past several months, a Texas A&M University System institute has been actively involved in efforts to quash a screwworm outbreak in Florida that has jeopardized an already endangered species, said the director for the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

“While there had been no screwworm outbreaks in the U.S. for the past 30 years, one began last July on Big Pine Key, which affected the Key deer population,” said Dr. Roel Lopez, institute director and co-principal investigator for the Key deer study, San Antonio. Continue reading

Experts expect insect problems to get worse

in Southeast Farm Press

From whiteflies in southern Georgia to bollworms in North Carolina to plant bugs in Virginia, 2016 was a challenging insect year for cotton growers across the Southeast. Dominic Reisig is urging farmers to be prepared for another challenging year.

Reisig, North Carolina State University Extension entomologist, addressed “Emerging Insect Issues in the Southeast” at the annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Growers and Southeastern Cotton Ginners in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 20, where he provided an insect situation, outlook report and control recommendations. Continue reading

Social media saves on insecticides

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky entomologist is using a social media platform to help producers cut down on unnecessary insecticide applications.

Ric Bessin started the Facebook page Swdinky to help growers monitor and potentially treat for the spotted wing drosophila, a fruit fly that can destroy soft-skinned, small fruit including grapes, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. The invasive insect first appeared in Kentucky in 2012. It overwinters in the state, but when it becomes active varies by year. Continue reading

Georgia researchers find soybeans resistant to kudzu bug

In Southeast Farm Press

by Merritt Melancon, Southeast Farm Press

Kudzu bugs are not native to Georgia, but in the past seven years, they’ve made their homes in soybean fields across the southeastern U.S.

While they don’t cause damage every soybean season, they can cause yield losses of between 20 and 60 percent. That can create a big loss for farmers who tend the approximately 80 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. each year. Continue reading

Tips for Hessian fly control

In Southeast Farm Press

by Dominic Reisig, NC State University

Hessian flies adults are emerging and laying eggs in December. Larvae will hatch from these eggs and will feed throughout the cold months, killing tillers. Here are some bits of information to help you decide whether to spray wheat.

Similar to fall of 2015, Hessian flies adults are emerging and laying eggs in December.  Larvae will hatch from these eggs and will feed throughout the cold months, killing tillers.  Continue reading

Integrate pest management strategies to control Hessian fly

by Donald Stotts, Southwest Farm Press

Hessian fly infestations have been found in southwestern Oklahoma winter wheat this fall, making it important for producers to identify affected fields and strategies that can assist in managing the pest next year.

“Even though there is not a 100 percent effective solution in terms of managing Hessian fly, producers have several options available to minimize the problems caused by this pest,” said Tom Royer, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension integrated pest management coordinator. “It starts with awareness about the pest and detecting its presence.” Continue reading

It’s winter – Do I still have to worry about ticks?

Many people let down their guard for themselves and their pets once November comes because the associate the cold weather with fewer insects. However, when it comes to ticks, winter weather in the southern states often does not get cold enough to kill off the entire population of adult ticks. Therefore, it’s important to continue to protect pets and be vigilant during the winter months.

The National Pest Alert for ticks gives information about the most common tick species in the U.S., along with tick biology, disease symptoms and photographs of ticks in different stages. Colored maps also show where residents might find different tick species. Continue reading