Experts: Use safe practices when processing, cooking feral hogs

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With a proliferation of feral hogs in Texas, control measures such as trapping and hunting can yield the rewards of good table fare. However, feral hogs can carry  parasites, such as hookworms, and experts advise to use safe cooking practices before consuming the meat.

“Feral hogs are destructive in nature and their daily patterns include both feeding and fighting,” said Dr. Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist in College Station. “They fight off other feral hogs in their daily activities of searching for food and can incur lesions or open wounds. This may create openings for parasites and lead to infections, discoloring the meat, etc. That’s why it’s good for those who process feral hogs to be on the lookout for any abnormalities and use safe practices when processing the meat.” Continue reading

Fungi may help control sugarcane aphids

In Southwest Farm Press

Over the last several years entomologists in Texas and across other southern states have been fighting a war against the sugarcane aphid, a menacing and persistent pest that threatens grain sorghum production. Though some success has been reported from development of specific types of pesticides, entomologists and integrated pest management specialists have been searching for more cost effective methods of control.

Thanks to a visiting Master’s student from Mexico, researchers in south Texas are now focusing on a new control method that may prove the most beneficial in the on-going war against the aphids. Continue reading

Organic grain, soybean study establishes early production recommendations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

After one year of studying organic grain and soybean cropping systems, Texas A&M AgriLife scientists say they know more about what not to do moving forward.

Three Texas A&M researchers are using a $475,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to study organic grain and soybean cropping systems over a three-year period. Continue reading

Texas A&M scientists synthesize historical tick models to help curb the pest globally

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The battle against fever ticks rages on, and a group of Texas A&M University and French National Institute for Agricultural Research scientists are doing their best to determine where the fray will head by synthesizing historical models for use in curbing the pest globally.

Texas A&M’s departments of wildlife and fisheries sciences and entomology and the French institute have collaborated for a number of years to model systems approaches meant to address ecological and regulatory questions about fever ticks, said Dr. Pete Teel, who works within the entomology department’s Tick Research Laboratory. Continue reading

Genetic discovery another tool in battle against wheat pests

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Greenbug and Hessian fly infestations can significantly reduce wheat yield and quality in Texas and worldwide. Breeding for resistance to these two pests using marker-assisted selection just got a new tool from a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study.

Because genetics is the most economical strategy to minimize losses, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist Dr. Shuyu Liu began two years ago searching for breeder-friendly markers for those two insects. This step is a continuation of ongoing genetic work on insect resistance. Continue reading

Texas A&M AgriLife experts discuss fumonisin contamination, possible avoidance practices

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife officials are offering some best management practices for producers to keep in mind as harvest continues and for next year after fumonisin contamination has been found in truckloads of corn across the Texas High Plains.

Dr. Tom Isakeit, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist in College Station, said this year nothing can be done to minimize fumonisin already present in the standing crop; however, producers can make a few changes during harvest to possibly reduce the amount of contaminated grain collected. Continue reading

New AgriLife Extension state weed specialist named

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Almost faster than weeds can sprout, Dr. Scott Nolte is being called into service.

Nolte was hired Sept. 1 as the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state weed specialist and as an assistant professor in the Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences department, College Station. Continue reading