UGA Extension fruit pathologist says use lime sulfur on blueberries to manage Exobasidium disease

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

The key to managing Exobasidium leaf and fruit spot disease in blueberries, which makes the fruit unmarketable, is one application of lime sulfur approximately two weeks prior to bud break, according to Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit pathologist.

Exobasidium disease causes spots on the leaves and fruit, decreases the fruit’s size and, because of the fruit’s immaturity, gives it a bitter taste. The leaf spots eventually turn velvety and white and lead to early defoliation, and the spotted fruit is not fit for sale. Continue reading

APHIS Posts New Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program Report

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2017 fourth quarter report (October 1 – December 31). The report updates program activities and eradication progress, and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey and laboratory data.

The PCN Eradication Program is a cooperative effort among PPQ, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and industry stakeholders. The program’s goal is to control PCN spread, and eventually establish Idaho as PCN-free. Continue reading

Planting time for spring gardens is around the corner, so prep now

Spring gardens may not be as soon for the northern states in the southern region, but the recommendations in this article are applicable to all gardeners.

by Adam Russell, Texas AgriLife

The time is now for East Texas vegetable gardeners to make preparations for planting early varieties and spring garden staples, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Gardeners have some cool-season vegetables planted already and are soon preparing to plant early vegetable varieties, such as onions, said Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension small-acreage vegetable specialist, Overton.  Continue reading

Assistant Director, Western Plant Diagnostic Network

The Assistant Director, in consultation with the Director, oversees operations concerning the western region’s budget, staffing, training, data collection, equipment and facility availability, surge coordination, diagnostic protocol implementation and communications operations. In addition, the Assistant/Associate Director assumes a national leadership role in exercise and data analysis programs; and in liaison with key management in other organizations and agencies, write and set policy, negotiate agreements and determine protocols.

For more on the job, or to apply, go to https://www.employment.ucdavis.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/position/JobDetails_css.jsp .

APHIS Expands the Citrus Greening (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) Quarantined Area in California

Effectively immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California citrus industry, is expanding the area quarantined for citrus greening (Huanglongbing) in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and adding a quarantine area in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. APHIS is taking this action because of the positive detections of citrus greening in plant tissue samples collected in multiple locations.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the regulated areas in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. These measures parallel the intrastate quarantine that the CDFA initiated on September 8. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of citrus greening to non-infested areas of the United States. Continue reading

UGA mycologists partner with the CDC to tackle fungicide resistance

by Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

There are a limited number of compounds available to combat fungal infections in both plants and people. A team of University of Georgia researchers is helping to assess the risk posed by fungi developing widespread resistance to the stable of antifungal compounds used in the United States.

Michelle Momany, professor in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of Plant Biology, and Marin Brewer, associate professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Plant Pathology, recently received a $197,798 contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study antifungal resistance in agricultural settings. Continue reading

New tool predicts risk of plant disease

A newly developed technique can predict the risk of plant disease or infestation across the globe. Described in open-access journal Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, the technique considers pest-host interactions and the geographical distribution of vulnerable plants to provide maps of potential disease hotspots. This could help governments to understand the risk of outbreaks before they happen.

Diseases and pests can have a devastating impact on plants, the surrounding ecosystem, and food supplies. These effects can be particularly damaging when a pest or pathogen invades a new territory, in which native plants have little natural resistance and the destructive invader has few native predators or competitors. Continue reading