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Integrated Pest Management

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Recent Articles

Genetically engineered crops – are they safe?

Major row crops, such as corn, soybeans and cotton, are genetically engineered to tolerate pests, such as weeds and insects. These crops are able to tolerate herbicides but will kill weeds and/or are able to kill insects upon feeding on crop parts. Undoubtedly, these modern technologies are essential to keep up with the increasing demand for food and fiber; however, the safety of GE foods to human health, the environment and socio-economic implications are vital for their long-term adoption.

Plum curculio: a troublesome pest of tree fruits

The plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst), is an important early-season pest of tree fruits. They can cause considerable damage to apple, pear, apricot, peach, plum, nectarine, cherry and other fruits.

Discouraging herbicide-resistant weeds

There has been exponential increases in the number of weeds resistant to various herbicides commonly used to manage them, especially in field crops in the last 25 years. To better understand herbicide resistance and to minimize its development, we should examine the processes that govern it. Herbicides may classified into various families or groups based on the growth process affected by the herbicide, referred to as mode of action. Slight differences in the genetic makeup of a very small fraction of the population of a particular weed species, referred to as a biotype, may allow them to tolerate a particular herbicide group. So, when herbicides belonging to the same group are used in a given area over lengthy periods, populations of such weeds build up through selection pressure. The particular species is then referred to as an herbicide-resistant weed. The primary cause of herbicide resistance is the repeated use of the same herbicide, or herbicides, with the same mode of action.

Landscape spring cleanup

The best thing to do at this point is to clean up. Grassy areas would greatly benefit from vigorous raking that would stimulate and invigorate grass growth. Spreading some fertilizer will account for early luscious grass growth. The other focus of our attention should be on ornamentals, which may require some pruning.

Coyotes more common in West Virginia

Historically found in the Great Plains or prairies of the mid-western United States, the eastern coyote (Canis latrans) is becoming more and more common across West Virginia. Over the past 100 years, the coyote has expanded its range across the United States and most of North America.

New tomato variety released possessing multiple disease resistance

Late blight resistant West Virginia ’63 tomato is a favorite to organic and small growers in West Virginia. However, its susceptibility to Septoria leaf spot caused by the fungal pathogen Septoria lycopersici concerns growers. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a lot in high tunnels

You have heard the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and in high tunnel production that is sound advice. Pest management inside a high tunnel is particularly difficult, because there are few chemicals registered for use on crops grown in them. Also, the structure is vented to the outside, which allows the possible influx of pests on a regularly basis.