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 Extension sets sugarcane aphid meeting in Weslaco

Rio Grande Valley growers vigilant for outbreaks of the sugarcane aphid on their young grain sorghum crops are urged to attend the upcoming Sugarcane Aphid Informative Meeting, organizers say.

Danielle Sekula-Ortiz, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management agent in Weslaco, said the meeting begins with registration and a breakfast at 8 a.m. April 12. Talks begin at 8:30 and will conclude at noon. Continue reading

Lack of predicted rainfall good news for South Texas winter vegetables

by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife

After two consecutive years of serious disease problems and weak market prices, South Texas winter vegetable growers are getting a break this year, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Dr. Juan Anciso, an AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist in Weslaco, said predictions of a wet El Niño winter have failed to materialize so far, and that’s made all the difference in the world for growers. Continue reading

Sugarcane aphid is manageable but costly

In Southwest Farm Press

By Robert Burns, Texas AgriLife

The sugarcane aphid is likely here to stay in South Texas and the rest of the state. It’s a manageable pest but adds one more threat and more cost to grain sorghum producers.

The sugarcane aphid became a pest of sorghum for the first time in South Texas in 2013, said Danielle Sekula-Ortiz, an AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent in Weslaco. The same year, outbreaks occurred in South and East Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri. Today, the pest has been reported damaging sorghum and other crops in 11 southern states and several states in Mexico.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.