UGA’s new fruit pathologist to focus on disease management of perennial fruit crops

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Jonathan Oliver’s study of blueberries and his homegrown knowledge of citrus makes the Palatka, Florida, native a valuable addition to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Stationed on the UGA Tifton campus, Oliver recently joined the college as a fruit pathologist specializing in blueberries, blackberries, citrus, pomegranates, olives and mayhaws. Continue reading

July 19 Webinar on Problems in the Hort Landscape and Common Plant Diseases

The University of Georgia’s Center for Urban Agriculture has developed an online, live, interactive training program that allows individuals to obtain re-certification and re-registration credits from virtually anywhere. You will need a computer with internet access and speakers. Continue reading

Cotton farmers need to be wary of diseases like target spot and bacterial blight

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

In addition to root-knot nematodes and target spot disease, Georgia cotton farmers should be prepared to fight bacterial blight, said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait.

Kemerait advises producers, specifically those who farm in fields with a history of bacterial blight, to consider planting resistant varieties and managing the residue from last year’s crop. Farmers could also rotate the affected field away from cotton for at least one season. Continue reading

Scouting is critical in areas with a lot of rain

In Delta Farm Press

by Olivia McClure

Recent wet weather has been conducive to disease problems in Louisiana rice, and frequent rains are hampering plants’ recovery from issues that normally are not considered serious.

Farmers heard the news at a field day held June 14 at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station South Farm in Crowley. Continue reading

Scientists use bacteriophages to fight fire blight

in Science Daily

 

The plant disease fire blight, caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is dreaded by fruit growers. It affects apple and pear trees and other plants in the rosacea family, and if a tree becomes affected it usually has to be cleared and burned.

The pathogen that causes fire blight is difficult to control. In exceptional cases, farmers can use the antibiotic streptomycin, but even this cannot prevent the pathogen from disseminating via pollinating insects. Continue reading

Weather and pests can make summer squash a frustrating crop for home gardeners

by Sharon Dowdy, University of Georgia

Pests and diseases make summer squash one of the most challenging vegetables to grow in Georgia home gardens, according to University of Georgia plant pathologist Elizabeth Little, who studies plant diseases and control methods at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Through my plant pathology experience and observations, I’ve noticed what is most difficult to grow in Georgia’s hot, muggy summers. Squash tops the list,” Little said. “That’s why summer squash will grow better where summer conditions are cooler and drier.” Continue reading

Despite potential for disease, Georgia’s grape industry is thriving

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Georgia’s grape industry, once dormant, is now thriving, according to Phillip Brannen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit plant pathologist. Growing potential for prosperity in the wine industry will require that farmers stay vigilant about certain diseases, like Pierce’s disease, that could negatively impact production.

“Pierce’s disease is the major disease to limit European grapes in Georgia. It is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted by numerous sharpshooter insects, such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter. It clogs the grape xylem, cutting off nutrient and water flow,” Brannen said. Continue reading