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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.

LATEST

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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Grubs are a recognized annual problem in turf; however, large populations have occurred in range, destroying several thousand grass acres.

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This has been a nice fall. Abundant moisture and moderate temperatures have blessed many areas. Alfalfa has winterized well, and pasture growth has finished for this season.

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Plant breeders may soon be able to develop new plant hybrids that possess enhanced insect defense responses, which might allow pesticide use to be reduced. To develop pest-resistant plants, breeders have to know how plants detect and respond to insect attack.

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