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PhD Fellowships Available in Tick Pathogen Discovery

The National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity (NIMFFAB) and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences (CVHS) at Oklahoma State University are pleased to announce the availability of two graduate fellowships for highly qualified, motivated graduate students to pursue the PhD degree while completing mentored research in bioinformatics and pathogen discovery. Available projects involve microbiome and transcriptome analysis of ticks using next generation sequencing and novel platform queries to characterize new and emerging tick-borne pathogens of veterinary and public health importance. English fluency and basic programming skills are required; additional training in bioinformatics is recommended.

For more information, contact vbsc@okstate.edu or visit the Graduate College Application page to begin an application. Oklahoma State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

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

Oklahoma cotton crop looks good despite bacterial blight

by Ron Smith, Delta Farm Press

Oklahoma farmers are poised to make one of their best cotton crops ever. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates place production at 960 pounds per acre, almost 100 pounds higher than last year’s record yield.

Early reports from Southwest Oklahoma gins, Extension specialists, and farmers indicate some irrigated fields closing in on 4 bales per acre, and dryland around 2 bales per acre — all despite a season that started off with weather challenges and included significant losses to bacterial blight in some areas.  Continue reading

Wet spring brings more possibilities of wheat disease

In Southwest Farm Press

A wet spring has created a favorable environment for wheat disease for much of Oklahoma and Texas production areas.

Bob Hunger, Oklahoma State University Extension wheat pathologist, offered a wheat disease update in a recent blog and touched base with small grains specialists in Texas.  Continue reading

Red cedar is reducing grazing area in Oklahoma

In Southwest Farm Press

By Ron Smith

Foot by foot, acre by acre, a green scourge is threatening Oklahoma’s rangeland.

Sam Fuhlendorf, Oklahoma State University natural resource ecology and management regents professor and Groendyke Chair for wildlife conservation, calls it “the green glacier,” the persistent encroachment of eastern red cedar across “some of the best grassland in the world.”

Fuhlendorf, speaking at the recent Rural Economic Outlook Conference on the OSU campus in Stillwater, said spread of the eastern red cedar can transform highly productive rangeland into limited production quickly. The infestation extends well into Texas and across much of the Southwest, creating significant economic losses.

Read the rest in Southwest Farm Press