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.

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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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