Florida working group takes a big bite out of conehead termites

An invasive termite in southeastern Florida is losing its grip on the area, thanks to successful eradication efforts by a multi-agency working group.

Sue Alspach, an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), used funding from a Southern Integrated Pest Management Center IPM Enhancement grant to gather experts from many agencies in Florida to form a working group to deal with the pest. Continue reading

Did you miss the webinar on IPM Enhancement Grants?

Did you plan to go to the webinar on IPM Enhancement Grants but got caught in a last-minute meeting? Or maybe the time of the webinar conflicted with something else? Fear not! The webinar was recorded and is available in YouTube.

University of Florida study helps farmers find best fields for sweet potatoes

Wireworms won’t dampen the spirits of Florida’s sweet potato growers, thanks to ongoing research by scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Wireworms took center stage in Florida after some major sweet potato growers converted fields previously dedicated to grain crops to the sweet potato crop. Some acreage was initiated by a farm that had actually relocated to Florida after leaving California because of prolonged drought, hopeful to take advantage of Florida’s warm weather, abundant water resources and sandy soil. Continue reading

Research detects five major plant viruses of wheat and reveals two new viruses in Oklahoma

A 2015 research project revealed the most prevalent viruses on wheat in Oklahoma, along with detecting two new viruses in the state. These findings will help wheat growers better scout for wheat viruses, identify viruses quickly and understand how to treat specific viruses, leading to more efficient and economical virus management in wheat.

Wheat is the leading crop in Oklahoma, bringing an income of more than 600 million dollars to the state. Plant viruses are one of the major causes of yield losses in wheat and other crops, since lack of knowledge about symptoms can lead to rapid spread. Often virus symptoms look like symptoms of other issues, so growers do not treat before damage is done. Continue reading

Webinar about IPM Enhancement Grant will be held October 14

Directors of the Southern IPM Center and the evaluation specialist will held a webinar to describe the proposal process and answer any questions about the IPM Enhancement Grant RFA on Friday, October 14 at 2 PM Eastern Time. You can register online at http://bit.ly/2dqB69T.

After the webinar has been held, it will be recorded and posted at http://bit.ly/2dzqcQZ.

Reporting requirements for IPM Enhancement Grant projects have also changed in recent years, so the webinar is a good time to ask questions about those as well. Anyone wishing to apply for a new grant must have submitted a report for a previous project if applicable.

You can access the Southern IPM Center’s IPM Enhancement Grant RFA at http://bit.ly/2dpONr4.

NC State horticulture experts work to restore the garden beauty to rain gardens

Scientists at North Carolina State University are working to keep rain gardens beautiful and functional.

Originally designed as natural water filtration systems for urban runoff, capturing and treating water coming from a roof or parking lot rather than allowing the water to flow into a storm drain, rain gardens have become scenic areas of their own. Or at least they’re supposed to be. Like other gardens, they are plagued with insects and weeds, perhaps more so because they have to endure extreme conditions and are composed of sandy soils, perfect for any weed to sprout. The weeds make the garden unsightly, and untamed weeds can even force out the preferred plants. Dr. Helen Kraus, a horticulturist at NC State University, used a $30,000 Southern Region IPM Enhancement Grant to survey common weeds in rain gardens and find control measures for them. Continue reading

Miss the IPM Enhancement Grant webinar?

If you missed the webinar that we held on Friday about applying for an IPM Enhancement Grant, you can access the recording here: https://youtu.be/zfdSfR6v24c .