National Invasive Species Week

February 26 through March 2 is National Invasive Species Week. Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county. Plan your own event using the NISAW Toolkit – where and when it works for you.

Below is the schedule for activities in Washington, DC. If you plan on going to the events in DC, the organizers ask if you would participate in the Doodle Poll if you haven’t already. Continue reading

Georgia’s pecan producers need to scout for pests like the Asian ambrosia beetle

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Pecan season may be over, but Georgia’s producers should continue to scout for pests, like the Asian ambrosia beetle, that could impact future crops.

The first 2018 sighting of the beetle in Georgia came from a Brooks County orchard last week, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells, who wrote about it in his blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/pecan. Wells stresses that, with temperatures at or just above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in southern Georgia this week, ambrosia beetle activity will likely increase. Continue reading

IPM Enhancement Grant projects examine agricultural, urban issues

The Southern IPM Center will spend $309,653 to address agricultural and urban issues during the next year with its IPM Enhancement Grant. Out of 32 proposals submitted to the program, a review panel outside of the region selected 11 for funding.

IPM Enhancement Grants are relatively small grants (up to $30,000 for most) to address an integrated pest management issue. Most publicly funded organizations are eligible to apply as long as they reside in one of the 13 states or territories covered by the Southern IPM Center. Continue reading

Outcrossing between johnsongrass, sorghum studied

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, Texas A&M AgriLife

Johnsongrass and sorghum might be considered “kissing kin,” but a Texas A&M AgriLife Research team wants to know if there is more going on in the grain sorghum production fields and bar ditches of South and Central Texas than meets the eye.

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, weed scientist; Dr. Bill Rooney, sorghum breeder; and Dr. Patricia Klein, sorghum geneticist and molecular biologist, all with AgriLife Research in College Station, have teamed up to study gene flow between sorghum and johnsongrass. Continue reading

Exotic snail poses threat in Louisiana and Texas

In Delta Farm Press

The apple snail, an exotic pest causing problems for Louisiana and Texas rice and crawfish operations, likely became established as a result of aquarium owners dumping the large snails.

The pests pose a double threat — they have a big appetite for vegetation, according to specialists at Louisiana State University. They also clog crawfish trap openings and tunnel through rice levees. Continue reading

University of Florida doctoral student wins award for work with spotted wing drosophila

Although it is no longer a new pest, spotted wing drosophila continues to be a bane for small fruit—especially organic—growers. To help both organic and conventional growers fight the pest, a University of Florida doctoral student examined several pest management options and has won a regional award for her research.

Lindsy Iglesias

Lindsy Iglesias, who will graduate from the University of Florida in May with her Ph.D., discovered some novel and more efficient ways to scout and control spotted wing drosophila, or SWD, that will work for both organic and conventional growers. She won a Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student Award from the Southern IPM Center for her work. Continue reading

APHIS Establishes Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) Quarantine in the Encinitas Area of San Diego County, California

Effective December 11, 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) established a Mexican Fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in the Encinitas area of San Diego County, California. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area.

Between November 29, 2017, and December 11, 2017, CDFA and San Diego County fruit fly program staff trapped and confirmed five adult Mexflies triggering a 65 square mile quarantine area. APHIS is working with CDFA and the San Diego County Agriculture Commissioner’s office to respond to these detections following program survey, treatment, and quarantine protocols. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. Continue reading