UGA CAES team researching whiteflies statewide

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Silverleaf whiteflies devastated Georgia’s cotton and fall vegetable crops last year. In response to this crisis, a team of University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences research and UGA Cooperative Extension specialists is studying the pests statewide to help cotton and vegetable farmers avoid another year of disappointing crops.

“Teams are an important part of UGA. Many of the issues agriculturists face today require a collection of scientists from differing disciplines with differing expertise to address complex issues. The silverleaf whitefly fits the bill here,” said Phillip Roberts, UGA Extension cotton and soybean entomologist and Whitefly Team member. “Not only are whiteflies a direct pest of plants as a result of feeding, but they also transmit several viruses to vegetables that can have a devastating effect on virus-susceptible crops.” Continue reading

UGA Extension study shows impact of herbicides on pecan trees

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides, sprayed directly on trees at full rates, kill the plant material they touch, but they don’t travel through the tree or linger from year to year, according to a newly released University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan study. The study also found that drift from the herbicides does not hurt the trees.

UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells and UGA Extension weed scientist Eric Prostko researched the effects of low and high concentrations of dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides on pecan trees at the university’s Ponder Farm in Tifton, Georgia. They studied 5-, 8- and 9-year-old ‘Desirable’ pecan trees. No data was collected on older trees. Continue reading

Identify pests before applying pesticides

by Amanda Tedrow, University of Georgia

Pesticides, which include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and more, can contain organic or conventional ingredients. People use them in homes and workplaces, on farms and in gardens, and in other places where they want to control pests like weeds, insects, fungi, rodents and plant viruses.

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension urges all Georgians to learn more about the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides. The UGA Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program promotes the safe, responsible use of pesticides by individuals and commercial groups by providing training programs, materials and educational resources that cover pest identification, personal safety, safe storage and safe disposal of pesticides. Continue reading

Five new Extension Agent positions at the University of Georgia

Go to http://www.caes.uga.edu/unit/abo/hr/ for current Agriculture & Natural Resources, Family & Consumer Sciences, and 4-H and Youth Development County Extension Agent openings.  General information about UGA County Extension Agent positions may be found at: http://extension.uga.edu/about/join/careers.cfm

High-heat, low rainfall set the stage for harmful algal blooms and cyanobacteria

In Georgia FACES

by By Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

With the summer heat and sporadic rainfall, conditions are right for farm ponds to become inundated with harmful algal blooms.

Each summer, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension receives reports of dogs, cattle, people and other livestock being sickened by contact with pond and lake water contaminated with cyanobacteria, an algaelike bacteria. This summer, given the drought conditions affecting much of north Georgia, Extension agents and researchers are expecting to see an uptick in harmful algal blooms. They’re asking farmers to be on the lookout. Continue reading

New trap helps raise money for Georgia Extension

In Southeast Farm Press

Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

A fundraising opportunity for one University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office has turned out to be an insect detection tool for pecan growers in Dougherty County, Ga.

Weevils can be problematic for pecan growers because of the damage they inflict on pecan kernels. Continue reading