Texas A&M leads $5.7 million research project to attack annual bluegrass

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The most widely grown irrigated crop in the U.S. – turfgrass – is being threatened by annual bluegrass, and Texas A&M AgriLife is leading a project to find solutions.

Texas A&M AgriLife is joining scientists across the nation to address the threat through a project called Research and Extension to Address Herbicide-Resistance Epidemic in Annual Bluegrass in Managed Turf Systems. Continue reading

Texas Sheep and Goat Expo to offer internal parasite mitigation strategies

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

New developments in sheep and goat internal parasite mitigation should be a major draw at this year’s Texas Sheep and Goat Expo Aug. 17 and 18 in San Angelo, coordinators said.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sponsored event headquarters in the First Community Spur Arena on the San Angelo Fairgrounds. Continue reading

Engineered cotton uses weed-suppression chemical as nutrient

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

A newly developed fertilizer system will provide nutrition to engineered cotton crops worldwide and a deadly dose to weeds that are increasingly herbicide resistant, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study.

The new system applies phosphite to cotton crops engineered to express a certain gene — a gene that makes cotton able to process the phosphite into nutrition while the same compound suppresses weeds that are unable to use it, researchers said. Continue reading

Texas A&M scientist is among team to prove royalty among termites

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Termites! Just the insects’ common name can strike fear in the hearts of most any homeowner, but a recently published work could go a long way in quelling some of those fears, said one of the authors.

Dr. Ed Vargo, Endowed Chair in Urban and Structural Entomology at Texas A&M University, College Station, is among a team of scientists who recently published “Identification of a Queen and King Recognition Pheromone in the Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes,” in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/03/15/1721419115 Continue reading

Chemigation control of sugarcane aphids a viable option

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Producers might hear a term from the past when they begin looking for solutions to treat the sugarcane aphid in sorghum, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

“We are revisiting chemigation for insect pest management,” said Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Amarillo, while speaking at the High Plains Irrigation Conference in Amarillo recently. Continue reading

Outcrossing between johnsongrass, sorghum studied

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, Texas A&M AgriLife

Johnsongrass and sorghum might be considered “kissing kin,” but a Texas A&M AgriLife Research team wants to know if there is more going on in the grain sorghum production fields and bar ditches of South and Central Texas than meets the eye.

Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, weed scientist; Dr. Bill Rooney, sorghum breeder; and Dr. Patricia Klein, sorghum geneticist and molecular biologist, all with AgriLife Research in College Station, have teamed up to study gene flow between sorghum and johnsongrass. Continue reading

Exotic snail poses threat in Louisiana and Texas

In Delta Farm Press

The apple snail, an exotic pest causing problems for Louisiana and Texas rice and crawfish operations, likely became established as a result of aquarium owners dumping the large snails.

The pests pose a double threat — they have a big appetite for vegetation, according to specialists at Louisiana State University. They also clog crawfish trap openings and tunnel through rice levees. Continue reading