UGA Extension’s newest plant pathologist to focus on management of plant-parasitic nematodes

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s newest plant pathologist will focus on improved control of plant-parasitic nematodes, the microscopic, worm-like pests that primarily feed on the roots of vegetable crops.

Nematologist Abolfazl Hajihassani is now responsible for control of the pest in more than 20 Georgia commodities, including bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Based out of the UGA Tifton campus, Hajihassani hopes his research and expertise will help producers manage the devastating pest. Continue reading

Concho Valley Cotton Conference set for March 7 in San Angelo

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The 13th Concho Valley Cotton Conference conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is set for 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. March 7 at McNease Convention Center, 500 Rio Concho Drive in San Angelo.

“There’s a lot of new information relating to West Texas cotton production, and this biennial conference is a good place to catch up on what’s going on,” said Josh Blanek, AgriLife Extension agent in Tom Green County. Continue reading

Combination of tactics important to control nematodes

In Southeast Farm Press

Both Clemson University and North Carolina State University are issuing warning bells for nematodes in the Carolinas.

The nematode issue was front in center at both Clemson’s corn and soybean production meeting in Dillon, S.C., Feb. 8 and at N.C. State’s Road Show production meeting the following day in Plymouth, N.C. A concern in both states is the Southern root knot nematode and the soybean cyst nematode. Continue reading

How to get ahead of nematodes in cotton

In Delta Farm Press

by Patrick Shepard, Delta Farm Press

Louisiana witnessed a shift from root-knot to reniform nematodes in the late 1980s and 1990s. “We conducted nematode survey work in cotton in the mid-1990s, and found that 50 percent of the fields had reniform and only 25 percent had root-knot,” says Louisiana State University AgCenter plant pathologist Charles Overstreet.

“However, we’re now moving slightly back in the other direction because we’re rotating more with corn; we’re now finding a mixture of both reniform and root-knot in cotton fields. Corn is a host for root-knot, but not reniform, so yearly rotation helps manage reniform nematodes. Many Louisiana growers now plant one year with cotton and one with corn.” Continue reading

Assess your disease and nematode management program this fall

In Southeast Farm Press

Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Plant Pathologist

“What exactly is it you do?” I am asked time and again.  “I am a plant pathologist for the University of Georgia,” I say, which is met with a blank stare until I say, “That is like being a veterinarian for plants.”

In truth, “a veterinarian for plants” may not be the best description. Plant pathologists are less able to heal a single affected plant than they are to protect an entire crop.  I have begun to think of my vocation as more of a “zookeeper,” which is a better moniker for corralling and containing a host of wild beasts like fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses.  When these beasts escape, for they are truly cunning, it is my job to work with farmers, Extension agents, consultants, researchers and agricultural industry to put them back in their cages as quickly as possible. Continue reading

Funding for Nematode Control in Latin America – pre-proposals due April 1

A $450,000 grant is available to U.S. university scientists for research on nematode control in fruits and vegetables in Honduras, Guatemala and/or Haiti.

This call for pre-proposals comes from the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a program led by UC Davis with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Horticulture Innovation Lab builds international partnerships for fruit and vegetable research to improve livelihoods in developing countries. Continue reading

Misdiagnosis of phony peach disease could have costly impact for peach growers

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia plant pathologist Phil Brannen is concerned that Georgia peach growers can’t tell the difference between phony peach disease and weevil or nematode damage. A consequence could be that farmers unnecessarily destroy trees and potential fruit.

Phony peach disease, nematodes and weevil damage stunt tree growth, but farmers take different management steps to treat the problems. Continue reading