With the onset of warmer, longer days, an array of pink blooms from peach, cherry and plum trees break forth — the first signs of spring. And while most of us enjoy this seasonal shift, fruit tree growers prepare their orchards for the relentless, annual migration of insect pests.
University of Georgia plant pathology researcher Melissa Mitchum will co-direct a $1.2 million award from the joint National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NSF-NIFA) Plant-Biotic Interactions Program to help combat a devastating soybean pathogen with colleagues at the University of Missouri.
Recently, a church trustee in Bartow County brought samples of “holey” mail to the local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office for closer examination. Strangely, mail deposited in the church’s mailbox was showing up with holes chewed through the outer layer of the envelopes, but the mail inside was intact — a small miracle in itself.
The use of cover crops has risen among both traditional and organic producers for a variety of reasons — to control erosion, choke out weeds, improve soil health and enhance water availability. Now research by University of Georgia scientists is examining which cover crops also may provide important habitat for predatory insects that could help control disease- and damage-causing pests in cotton.
Excessive rain signals another a bad year for leaf spot diseases on landscape trees and shrubs. The leaf spotting that affects pear trees, including both edible pears and ornamental Bradford types, is caused by a fungal disease known as Entomosporium leaf spot. This disease also affects related shrubs such as Indian hawthorn and red tip photinia.
An impressive team of University of Georgia researchers has received $765,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Crop Protection and Pest Management Program to support the continuation of integrated pest management (IPM) programming throughout the state over the next three years.