Citrus greening continues to thwart citrus production in Florida

in Southeast Farm Press

Florida citrus growers continue to lose ground in their decade-long fight against citrus greening disease, falling to a record low production this season.

The USDA forecast March 9 Florida citrus growers will produce 67 million boxes of oranges for the 2016-2017 season, down more than 17 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season. This forecast represents a decline in Florida citrus production of more than 70 percent since peak production of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season. Continue reading

Disease resistance more important than yield potential, says Georgia specialist

In Southeast Farm Press

By Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia

It is a serious mistake in farming to choose high-yielding, susceptible crop varieties without carefully considering the benefits of resistant varieties to protect yield and reduce pathogen populations in fields. Entering 2016, growers have the opportunity to select seed and varieties that will help reduce and, in some cases, nearly eliminate threat from diseases and nematodes.

I have observed times where losses to diseases and nematodes in a field were directly linked to a decision to plant susceptible varieties when resistant varieties were available.

This article includes a photo gallery.

Scientist cautions growers to be careful about jumping to conclusions with research results

In Southeast Farm Press

by Eric P. Prostko, University of Georgia Extension Weed Specialist

As young children, we were taught in school that 1 + 1 = 2.  In the world of interpreting agricultural research that equation might not always be true.

At this time of year, people like me frantically gather all their data and interpret the results.  Over the next few months, growers will be bombarded with charts, graphs, tables, pictures and claims of greatness.

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South Carolina gets ready for the return of sugarcane aphid

From Southeast Farm Press

Sugarcane aphids were spotted in South Carolina for the first time in October, and Clemson University entomologists are preparing for their return this growing season.

The hungry bugs typically eat sugarcane, but they’re now eating grain sorghum across the South as well, said Francis Reay-Jones, an entomologist at Clemson’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence. In addition to injuring or even killing sorghum plants, sugarcane aphids secrete a sticky substance that can clog and damage harvesting equipment, he said.

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New sugarcane aphid needs to be studied

From Southeast Farm Press

To be a relatively new pest, the sugarcane aphid has certainly made a strong first impression on many Southern grain sorghum growers.

“It caught growers’ attention pretty quickly,” says Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee Extension entomologist. “It first showed up in Tennessee this past August, but it was obvious that it had been present in some areas of the state prior to that time.”

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Crop diseases to watch for in 2015

From Southeast Farm Press

The following excerpt is from page 2 of the article. Page 1 includes fungicide selections to use to prevent disease.

Every corn grower in the southern United States should be aware of the level of resistance to northern corn leaf blight and Diplodia ear rot in the hybrids they consider planting.  Northern corn leaf blight is likely to occur every year and is associated with significant yield loss.  Though this disease can be managed to some degree with fungicides, the best management strategy is to plant a hybrid documented to have resistance.

Click here for the entire story.

Growers still need IPM with new herbicides

From Southeast Farm Press

Growers have been chomping at the bit for something to tame herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, marestail and other worrisome weeds. The technology is finally within reach.

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Smartphone app for disease management available for strawberry growers

When it comes to dealing with strawberry diseases, there’s now an app for that. A Clemson fruit specialist and a computer software designer have teamed up to develop a smartphone tool to help strawberry growers. The app will be unveiled at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference that is Thursday-Sunday in Savannah.

MyIPM is the first smartphone app that provides critical disease information for strawberry growers.

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Take care to avoid Halloween surprises

Southeast Farm Press lists a few areas that livestock managers should be aware of this fall, especially concerning toxic weeds and chemical pesticides:

1. Examine temporary pastures or fields that are unfamiliar. Often toxic weeds such as sicklepod and deadly nightshade grow around trees and water troughs.

2. Know what herbicides have been used on legume seeds before adding them to grazing materials. Legumes are particularly susceptible to herbicides.

3. Be sure to store pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that may inadvertently be left uncovered in a field, where an active calf can kick them over and taste them.

Read the full article in Southeast Farm Press.

Stink bugs and kudzu bugs not as much of a problem this year

Both the brown marmorated stink bug and the kudzu bug made an appearance in Virginia fields this year, but not at the same high levels as in previous years which is good news, according to Virginia Tech Entomologist Ames Herbert.

Read the rest of the story in Southeast Farm Press.