Invasive Bagrada bug may cause ‘stink’ in South Central Texas

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, an invasive stink bug that has been slowly spreading through the southwestern U.S. for the past decade, has recently been reported in Hays County, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist.

“This bug can cause serious crop damage as well as cause damage to plants in commercial nurseries and home gardens and landscapes,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management specialist, Bexar County. Continue reading

Texas Psyllid Survey Team helps protect potato production

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

In Southwest Farm Press

Adult potato psyllids are testing positive in the Rio Grande Valley and Pearsall. That’s all potato growers need to know across Texas to start planning how to protect their crops.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is at the forefront of the notification process in the battle against zebra chip of potato, a disease that once almost destroyed the potato industry in Texas. While the disease is not harmful to humans, the discoloration it causes results in discounts on potatoes going into the market. Continue reading

Pest populations rising in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Crop pest populations are on the rise around Texas.

Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension veterinary entomologist, Stephenville, said many pests emerged earlier than usual this year due to the weather, but populations and how long they stay will depend on the weather to come. Continue reading

South Plains bug scout school set May 25 in Lubbock

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The South Plains Scout School conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be May 25 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1102 E. Farm-to-Market Road 1294, Lubbock.

Dr. Suhas Vyavhare, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Lubbock, said registration is at 8 a.m. followed by the program from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Continue reading

Juniper and cypress varieties hit hard by blight

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

It’s been a tough 2017 so far for juniper and cypress varieties used in landscapes, as pests and diseases make the rounds, causing blight and tree die-offs.

Kevin Ong, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist and director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, said there are several different possible disease or pest issues plaguing juniper and cypress varieties around the state, from the Gulf Coast to Central, North and East Texas. Continue reading

Wheat streak mosaic, volunteer issues to be highlighted at May 17 field day

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

During the May 17 Wheat Field Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Research will highlight a “real-life” research study that will provide a firsthand look at what happens when volunteer wheat is not controlled.

The field day will begin in the Porter Wheat Building at the AgriLife Research farm west of Bushland with registration at 8:30 a.m. and tours at 9 a.m. After two hours of tours, attendees will be welcomed to visit several booths and posters before a noon lunch and program. Continue reading

Manage pigweed early for best results

In Southwest Farm Press

by Muthu Bagavathiannan, Josh McGinty, Vijay Singh, Peter Dotray , Texas A&M AgriLife

Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are two pigweed species that have become problematic in row crop production fields in Texas. Palmer amaranth is widespread in the High Plains, Rio Grande Valley, Coastal Bend and Central Texas regions, whereas waterhemp is predominantly found in the Upper Gulf Coast as well as the Blacklands regions.

Herbicide resistance in these two species is an emerging issue and Extension specialists have emphasized the need for diversifying weed management tactics to prevent or delay resistance. Because pigweeds produce enormous amounts of seeds, preventing seed production from the escapes is a critical component of sustainable resistance management. Research has shown that a single Palmer pigweed plant can produce in excess of 1.5 million seeds under good growing conditions. Continue reading