University of Florida study helps farmers find best fields for sweet potatoes

Wireworms won’t dampen the spirits of Florida’s sweet potato growers, thanks to ongoing research by scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Wireworms took center stage in Florida after some major sweet potato growers converted fields previously dedicated to grain crops to the sweet potato crop. Some acreage was initiated by a farm that had actually relocated to Florida after leaving California because of prolonged drought, hopeful to take advantage of Florida’s warm weather, abundant water resources and sandy soil. Continue reading

Research detects five major plant viruses of wheat and reveals two new viruses in Oklahoma

A 2015 research project revealed the most prevalent viruses on wheat in Oklahoma, along with detecting two new viruses in the state. These findings will help wheat growers better scout for wheat viruses, identify viruses quickly and understand how to treat specific viruses, leading to more efficient and economical virus management in wheat.

Wheat is the leading crop in Oklahoma, bringing an income of more than 600 million dollars to the state. Plant viruses are one of the major causes of yield losses in wheat and other crops, since lack of knowledge about symptoms can lead to rapid spread. Often virus symptoms look like symptoms of other issues, so growers do not treat before damage is done. Continue reading

Webinar about IPM Enhancement Grant will be held October 14

Directors of the Southern IPM Center and the evaluation specialist will held a webinar to describe the proposal process and answer any questions about the IPM Enhancement Grant RFA on Friday, October 14 at 2 PM Eastern Time. You can register online at

After the webinar has been held, it will be recorded and posted at

Reporting requirements for IPM Enhancement Grant projects have also changed in recent years, so the webinar is a good time to ask questions about those as well. Anyone wishing to apply for a new grant must have submitted a report for a previous project if applicable.

You can access the Southern IPM Center’s IPM Enhancement Grant RFA at

Announcing this year’s Friends of Southern IPM Award winners

This year was a boon for the Friends of Southern IPM award program. We received 44 nominations in total; 19 for the graduate student awards and 25 for the professional awards. It was the largest pool of nominations we’ve ever had. The number of choices made decisions difficult for the award panels, but we wound up with some strong winners and in most cases, very tight competitions. Continue reading

Bugwood Network makes it easier to use images from their database

If you’ve used Bugwood Network before to download photos to use in publications, websites or other applications, you’ll be pleased to know that they have recently revised their image site to make it more adaptable to a variety of uses. If you’ve never used any of their images, this free database containing thousands of images is definitely worth checking out.

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Nominate a graduate student or colleague for the Friends of Southern IPM Award

We are pleased to release the Calls for Nomination for our annual Friends of Southern IPM Award program. This program recognizes outstanding work in IPM in the southern region. We have two kinds of awards: one for IPM professionals and one for graduate students.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, December 18, 2015. Continue reading

IPM grants help peach and strawberry growers thwart resistant crop diseases

In 2006 an Extension plant pathologist from Clemson won a $115,000 Regional IPM grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (then CSREES) to develop a kit that would help peach growers in Georgia and South Carolina choose an effective fungicide to fight resistant brown rot disease. That initial investment spurred at least three additional grants that refined the kit and has since benefited both the peach and strawberry industries at an estimate of $12 million.

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