Enhanced wheat curl mite control found in genes

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas High Plains high winds are known for causing more than just bad hair days; they are a major contributor to the spread of wheat curl mitetransmitted viral diseases in wheat.

Cultural control is not very effective because the wind can spread the mites and thus devastating diseases such as wheat streak mosaic virus, said Dr. Shuyu Liu, Texas A&M AgriLife Research small grains geneticist in Amarillo. Continue reading

Scout for bacterial blight in High Plains Texas

In Southwest Farm Press

by Jason Woodward and Terry Wheeler, Texas A&M AgriLife

Bacterial blight, caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv.malvacearum, has been reported from most all cotton production regions around the world. The bacterium is capable of surviving saprophytically on infested crop residue. Dry arid conditions facilitate survival in soil from year to year.

Cotton plants are susceptible to infection at all growth stages; however, leaves and bolls are most commonly infected later in the growing season. Conditions that favor disease development consist of moderate temperatures and high humidity. Wounding of leaves by blowing sand or hail may lead to an increase in incidence of the disease. Sprinkler irrigation can increase spread of the pathogen.

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Texas producers delaying wheat planting due to grasshoppers

High Plains wheat producers who are normally ready to put seed in the ground might want to hold off this year, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists in Amarillo.

With the extremely heavy pressure from grasshoppers, as well as other insects and diseases due to the wet year, waiting until the growing plants or  “green bridge,” is broken is advisable, said Dr. Jourdan Bell, AgriLife Extension agronomist, and Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist.

“While we know wheat producers generally begin to plant in September, it really would be best if they could wait until mid-October to avoid grasshoppers and other issues,” Bell said. “The risk will be losing some of the grazing in the fall, but wheat that is planted earlier is more susceptible to insects and pathogens.” Continue reading