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Pests & Diseases

Diseases and pests diminish crop yields; find out what the current threats are and learn how to battle these yield robbers.

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Some of the more panicked calls I receive during summer months are from silage corn growers who have suddenly discovered they have a spider mite infestation in their fields. In many cases, it seems the mites that weren’t there yesterday have multiplied an hundredfold overnight.

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The arid climate and open spaces of our Western states create the perfect combination for providing low disease pressure, which allows us the ability to produce high-quality forages.

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Newer irrigation systems like drip and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) have been used by cutting-edge alfalfa growers for quite some time.

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The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia sits squarely in the fescue belt. As an extension agent, I hear a lot about fescue toxicosis from the academic side, but rarely does it make its way into the real-world conversations I hear in the field.

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The clover root curculio (Sitona hispidulus) is a pest of alfalfa and clover that occurs throughout the U.S. Adults may cause injury by feeding on the foliage of fall-planted alfalfa, but the primary concern is damage caused by larvae feeding on the roots, which can reduce yield, quality and stand persistence in forage alfalfa.

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Living in Pennsylvania around this time of year, I hear a lot of talk about Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow.

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