UK researchers to study pollinator food availability on farmland

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Pollinators are extremely important to agriculture, accounting for one in every three bites of food, but their populations have been declining worldwide for a number of years. In a new study, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment researchers are evaluating how food availability on farmland impacts bee communities in early spring.

“Managing corn and soybean fields in a way that provides food for pollinators early in the spring could be beneficial to bee communities,” said Clare Rittschof, UK assistant professor in the Department of Entomology and leader of the project. “The goal of this project is to help producers improve pollinator populations on their land by providing an attractive and nutritious food source for them.” Continue reading

Redesigned website provides farmers with useful information

With the growing season just around the corner, farmers and agribusinesses have a new tool to help them tackle crop management challenges in the Crop Protection Network’s redesigned website.

The website http://www.cropprotectionnetwork.org features timely videos, newsletter and blog articles, featured articles and Twitter updates from CPN partners on important management issues for a variety of field crops as well as the network’s corn and soybean publications. The website also includes an encyclopedia of crop diseases to help farmers identify diseases in their fields using extensive image galleries and keywords to filter results. Continue reading

IPM specialist receives national entomology honor

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

The Entomological Society of America recently named Reddy Palli of the University of Kentucky the 2017 recipient of the Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology.

This award was created by an endowment from Nan-Yao Su to recognize creative entomologists who have found alternative solutions to problems that significantly impact entomology. Continue reading

New tree app builds partnerships between citizens and scientists

by Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

TreeSnap, new phone app developed by the University of Kentucky Forest Health Research Center and the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology for Android and iOS cell phones is designed to connect scientists with foresters, landowners and interested citizens in an effort to protect and restore the nation’s trees.

A team led by Bert Abbott of the UK Forest Health Research and Education Center and a University of Tennessee team led by Meg Staton developed the free app as a part of a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program. The partnership is part of a larger collaboration with Washington State University and the University of Connecticut. Continue reading

Woodland management is focus of UK forestry extension short course

by Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

Kentucky forests are becoming fragmented, and landowners’ objectives are changing. Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property can benefit from attending one of three short courses being offered around the state this summer by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Kentucky boasts nearly 12.5 million acres of forests. More than 300,000 families and individuals own fewer than 10 acres. Well-managed forests can provide extra income and recreational opportunities for their owners, as well as a beneficial environment for wildlife. The 2017 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects for both novice and experienced landowners.
Continue reading

University of Kentucky study combines outdoor exercise with tree health observations

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky researchers are looking for Lexingtonians interested in improving their health while gaining a greater awareness of their natural environment for a six-week research pilot project.

The project, titled “Healthy Trees-Healthy People,” gets participants out into two Lexington parks to walk and assess the health of selected trees. During the study, they will complete a daily log of their physical activity and tree health observations on designated trails at either Kirklevington Park or Harrods Hill Park. Depending on the park, routes are just under a half-mile and a mile. Continue reading

University of Kentucky resources help growers manage diseases sustainably

by Candace Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, has developed a series of outreach materials for small fruit producers to aid in disease management.

“Like many diseases of small fruit, they are best managed using cultural practices, such as sanitation. Thus, we developed outreach materials to assist fruit growers with virus and disease management,” said Nicole Ward Gauthier, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist. Continue reading