IPM keeps food on our table–at a price we can afford

I read a blog article today written by one of the Southwest Farm Press editors, resolving to eat more doughnuts in 2018. The editor, Shelley Huguley, discussed how one of America’s favorite treats was in jeopardy because of a pest insect that attacks sugarcane, the sugarcane borer. Although I didn’t come up with the idea to discuss the idea of pest management in terms of the products that we love, I know a great idea when I see one, so I decided to take her idea and run with it to talk about our own contributions to America’s products.

Keeping products in our homes is just one of the benefits for good pest management. With so many insects and diseases that can adapt to a single pest management technique, such as a particular pesticide, scientists have to get creative to make sure farmers and others who need to manage pests can do it at a cost that won’t break America’s banks. Continue reading

Insect outlook for 2018

In Delta Farm Press

CORN INSECT OUTLOOK

What’s the expected insect spectrum and intensity for Mid-South corn in 2018?  We asked regional university entomologists to offer insight into what growers may be facing next year, and to mention a few tools that could be of help.

Tennessee: No surprises are expected in Tennessee corn in 2018, says Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee Extension entomologist at Jackson. “Between seed treatments and Bt technology, we just don’t have consistent major problems in corn. Of course, there are always special circumstances where you might want to bump the rate on a seed treatment, or use an additional at-planting treatment.   Continue reading

Nanoparticles may reduce insecticide use

In Delta Farm Press

The soybean looper is a destructive pest on soybeans capable of defoliating fields if left unchecked. It can be difficult to control because of its resistance to many insecticides. LSU AgCenter scientists are looking at a novel way to increase the efficacy of pesticides to better control insects such as the soybean looper using nanotechnology.

Cristina Sabliov, biological engineer, and entomologist Jeff Davis are testing the use of nanoparticles  — particles 1,000 times smaller in width than a human hair — in insecticides to see if the particles help the chemical better adhere to the leaf tissue and provide better defense against pests. They want to see if the use of nanoparticles loaded with pesticides means farmers can use less chemicals on their crops while making the chemicals more effective.

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It’s time to scout peanuts in Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Mark Abney, University of Georgia entomologist

Spider mites have been reported on a number of crops including vegetables and cotton since this spring, and as conditions continue to be hot and dry in many locations, we are beginning to see populations jump in peanut.

The two spotted spider mite is a challenging pest to control. It thrives in hot, dry conditions where it completes development in as little as seven days at 81 F. Female mites can lay up to 100 eggs over several weeks, so it is easy to see how infestations can go from light to heavy in a very short period of time.

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Alabama Insect Pest Survey Documents Prevalent Pests and Gives Growers a Heads Up

When kudzu bug started spreading to Southeastern states, Extension entomologists in Alabama wanted to stay a step ahead of it. So to find out what insects were present in the state, Auburn University Extension Specialist Tim Reed procured funding to support a statewide soybean insect pest sweep net survey.

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