Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sugarcane Aphid Not Found in Hale County Overwintering Study: First 2015 Distribution Maps

Blayne Reed, Extension Agent IPM in Hale, Swisher and Floyd counties, conducted a sugarcane aphid overwintering study near Hale Center. Last November he caged sugarcane aphids on Johnsongrass, installed temperature recorders and let the winter weather do what it would. He returned to the study site this week and, after careful below-ground and above-ground examination, concluded that sugarcane aphids did not overwinter at the study site. Full details including temperature data are reported here: http://txscan.blogspot.com/2015/04/sugarcane-aphid-overwintering-study.html . This gives us confidence in saying that we think the sugarcane aphid is not able to overwinter on the High Plains.

However, sugarcane aphid did successfully overwinter in the southern part of Texas. Dr. Robert Bowling has spent several weeks looking for the aphid in many counties in south Texas and has just issued the first sugarcane aphid distribution maps of the year at http://txscan.blogspot.com/p/2015-distribution-map.html . It seems that the aphid is starting a little bit closer to the High Plains than it did in 2014, but we do not know what this means in terms of an actual arrival date on the High Plains.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Handy Bt Trait Table Comes to Texas

For many years Dr. Christine DiFonzo at Michigan State University has produced a concise 2-page guide to Bt traits in corn. This iconic publication details the events (toxins), insects controlled and refuge requirements for all Bt corn sold in the northern corn belt. The original 2015 version for the corn belt can be used in the northern Panhandle (see map below). Now Chris has made a version for the "cotton zone" in Texas and other southern states where we have different and often larger refuges than in the corn belt.

If you have questions about Bt corn then this is the perfect place to start, and we are pleased to post Chris DiFonzo's 2015 Handy Bt Trait Table for The Southern Cotton Growing Region. Please note that any questions or comments should be directed to either Pat Porter (Lubbock, p-porter@tamu.edu) or Ed Bynum (Amarillo, EBynum@ag.tamu.edu).