Texas Psyllid Survey Team helps protect potato production

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

In Southwest Farm Press

Adult potato psyllids are testing positive in the Rio Grande Valley and Pearsall. That’s all potato growers need to know across Texas to start planning how to protect their crops.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is at the forefront of the notification process in the battle against zebra chip of potato, a disease that once almost destroyed the potato industry in Texas. While the disease is not harmful to humans, the discoloration it causes results in discounts on potatoes going into the market. Continue reading

AgriLife Research entomologist testing potato psyllids for insecticide resistance

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

A growing resistance of potato psyllids to the neonicotinoid classification of insecticides has Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist in Amarillo, looking to the future.

The potato psyllid is a tiny insect with sucking, piercing mouthparts that transmits a disease called zebra chip and can cause tremendous losses to producers, Szczepaniec said. Producers have used the neonicotinoid insecticides to protect their solanaceous crops, mostly potatoes, in the past. Continue reading

3D printing is bringing new possibilities to IPM

Scientists in Florida and Pennsylvania are using new 3-D printers to battle destructive invasive insects.

In Florida, scientists at the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACS) are experimenting with new trap designs to aid in the control of the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening. Pennsylvania State University scientists are using the printers to make deadly mates for emerald ash borer.

Continue reading

USDA scientists learn new ways to control a potato disease

From USDA ARS News

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding new ways of managing “zebra chip” and the insect that can spread this plant disease to potato crops.

Continue reading