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Pest/Disease Management

Darkling Beetle Overwintering Locations and Movement into California Tomato Fields

Darkling beetles girdle seedlings at or below soil line by chewing which can cause significant damage and plant death when beetles are in high numbers. Darkling beetles are not usually a problem once plants are big enough to withstand the chewing damage. They move in from field edges, including weedy areas or adjacent crops like grains or alfalfa. Conventional control …

New Nanoparticle-Based Sensors to Measure Residual Herbicides in Food

Two newly developed, low-cost tests that use nanoparticles to detect chemicals can accurately measure tiny amounts of two potentially harmful herbicides in fruits, vegetables and their products. Reporting in the journal Food Chemistry, a Washington State University research team used two testing methods to measure the levels of two herbicides, namely atrazine and acetochlor, in samples of apples, strawberries, cabbage, corn and …

A New Way to Battle Powdery Mildew in Strawberry

Strawberry farmers worldwide may get help from new University of Florida research that shows a way to battle one of the fruit’s fiercest foes. The key: combine genomic data with phenomics. The genome amounts to all the DNA in an organism. Phenomics is the study of plant growth, performance and composition. Through phenomics, scientists use DNA to measure plant traits. …

AI Helps Detect Watermelon Disease Quickly, Accurately

If you savor a juicy watermelon in the scorching summer heat, farmers toil to meet your tastes. But, like all farmers, those who produce watermelons seek ways to control diseases, so they don’t lose all or part of their crops. The needs of growers drive Yiannis Ampatzidis to use artificial intelligence to detect pathogens early and accurately. One such disease, …

Novel Strawberry IPM Tool Included in CA DPR Grant Funding

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced $1.78 million in Alliance Grants for five projects that aim to increase the speed and the scale at which safer, more sustainable pest management practices are adopted across the state. Each project will promote innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems and practices in agricultural, urban or wildland settings. “Alliance Grants directly support the department’s …

Best Farming Practices for Treated Seeds Underscores Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

As planting season begins across the West, Western Plant Health is reminding farmers about the importance of following basic steps that will help ensure the ongoing stewardship of pesticide-treated seeds, which help reduce the overall use of pesticides. This major agricultural advance provides seed treatments that help protect developing seeds during their most vulnerable time – at planting and germination. …

White Clay Spray Mix Repels Major Vegetable Pest

Tomatoes are big business in the United States, but an insect no bigger than a grain of rice threatens growers’ fields each season. The whitefly prefers the underside of leaves, enjoying a variety of plants and spreading a few diseases, including Tomato yellow leaf curl virus. The pests are also persistent, said Xavier Martini, an entomologist at the University of Florida Institute of Food …

Aphid ‘honeydew’ May Promote Bacteria that Kill Them

The word ‘honeydew’ sounds benign, but the sugary waste product of aphids can promote growth of bacteria that are highly virulent to the pests, according to a new study. The research takes a step towards understanding how some strains of the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae that live on leaves and are pathogenic to aphids might one day be used to control …

Researchers Harness the Sun’s Rays to Fight Strawberry Disease

While not exactly the stuff of sci-fi movies, scientists have developed a “ray gun” that emits a light hazardous to a pestilence that devastates many types of crops. Fumiomi Takeda, a research horticulturalist, and Wojciech Janisiewicz, retired research plant pathologist, from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection unit in Kearneysville, WV, led a team that used shortwave ultraviolent …

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