Experts convene as part of Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With ticks posing an ongoing threat to Texas’ cattle industry and mosquitoes causing challenging human health diseases such as Zika virus, a consortium of public health experts met at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco to hear the latest research and offer potential solutions.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are leading a collaboration to solve threats from the pests as members of the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

All Bugs Good or Bad on Pollinators June 1

Join us for the presentation on Friday, June 1 at 2:00 PM Eastern time.  Texas AgriLife IPM Program Specialist Molly Keck will speak on ‘How to Attract Pollinators to Our Yard.’  Last year in the series, we met many of our native pollinators.  This year we will learn the fundamentals for creating  a pollinator oasis in our landscape.

Please help us get the word out and join us live for the presentation by clicking on the webinar link (https://auburn.zoom.us/j/209793415 ) up to 15 minutes before the presentation is set to begin. Note: The above URL might change. When it’s time for the webinar to begin, please visit this page to get the correct URL. Continue reading

Preventing and controlling wireworms

Wireworms are a common cotton pest which feed on germinating seeds and emerging seedlings. Two types of wireworms feed on cotton: true wireworms and false wireworms. True wireworms, commonly called click beetles, are members of the Elateridae family, while false wireworms, or darkling beetles, are from the Tenebrionidae family.

Overwintering larvae inflict the most damage as they become active in the spring. The larvae damage cotton by feeding on the root, hypocotyl (stem of the germinating seedling), and cotyledon (seed leaves) of plants before emerging from the soil. Root feeding can kill plants and reduce plant stand but usually results in stunting. Continue reading

Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute supporting statewide pollinator initiative

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has partnered with other organizations to promote statewide land stewardship relating to pollinators.    

“Soil and Water Stewardship Week is from April 28 through May 6 this year,” said NRI associate director Dr. Jim Cathey. “Like-minded organizations are collaborating to bring awareness to the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas through a statewide campaign emphasizing the role of pollinators in the environment.” Continue reading

Don’t let fire ants ruin your summer, take steps this spring

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Dealing with fire ants is no picnic, but getting rid of them can be as easy as Step 1, Step 2, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

Dr. Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas, said spring is a good time to control fire ants as this is when they search for food and build mounds, which makes them easier to locate.  Continue reading

Four Texas school districts receive national IPM certifications

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas.

IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. Continue reading

General tips for turfgrass health

These tips by a turf expert at Texas A&M AgriLife can be applicable to most states.

Article by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Springtime is a good time to prepare lawns for a healthy summer as warm-season grasses come out of dormancy and begin to green up, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Continue reading