As Pennsylvania soybean producers scout their fields this summer, one new pest they should be on the lookout for is the kudzu bug, an exotic stink bug-like pest that is headed toward the state, says Dr. John Tooker, Assistant Professor of Entomology at Penn State.
It’s not as nasty as Giant Hogweed, which can leave you with burns if you touch its sap, but another weed is causing concern in Pennsylvania. Poison Hemlock is growing rapidly in the Lancaster and State College areas, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a statement concerning use of pesticides and their unintended negative impacts on pollinator health. This was triggered by a massive kill of bumblebees following applications of pesticides to linden trees to control aphids in Oregon. While this event has received much publicity, pesticides applied to crops kill scores of bumblebees and other pollinators every summer.
Preparations are ramping up for Penn State's 2013 Ag Progress Days exposition, which will be held Aug. 13 to 15 at Rock Springs in Centre County. Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the expo is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center, nine miles southwest of State College on state Route 45. Admission and parking are free.
The brown marmorated stink bug is back for another season of damaging Pennsylvania fields, but it’s still too early to tell just how much of a menace the mottled, malodorous pest will pose to farmers this year.
As the honeybee population continues to decline, consumers may end up paying more for their fruits and vegetables. "This is a very big problem for agriculture. Apples are pollinated by honeybees for the most part. Managed honeybees are brought in and are also important to pollinate pumpkins, cucumbers and early berries," said Maryann Frazier, a honeybee specialist at Penn State Extension.
Every year, soybean growers face two formidable foes in their fields: Insect pests and disease. To give growers an edge on dealing with these potentially yield-robbing problems, the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, in collaboration with Penn State Extension, is funding a sentinel plot project.
Eager to learn what their tree-growing colleagues find successful, about 80 folks boarded wagons pulled by tractors late last month and headed up the rolling hills at Scholl Orchards in Albany Township, Berks County.
Early registration continues for the International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy as conference organizers announce the final agenda.
To spray or not to spray? That was the big question among growers at a recent tour of wheat and cover-crop plots at a farm owned by Steve Groff, a partner in Cover Crop Solutions LLC, one of the organizers.
Faika Shaaban started itching the same day she moved into her new apartment in Annapolis, Maryland, in September 2011. Later that day, she noticed a rash. Soon, her body was covered with hundreds of painful bites, scabs, and welts, all from the bedbugs she didn't even know were all over her home.
It's mosquito season again, and county and state experts say quelling the blood-suckers starts now. High populations are already being detected around York County, according to the Penn State Cooperative Extension's recent mosquito surveillance. Dover, Lower Windsor, Manchester, Springettsbury and West Manchester townships all saw high populations.
Malaria-carrying mosquitoes appear to be manipulated by the parasites they carry, but this manipulation may simply be part of the mosquitoes' immune response, according to Penn State entomologists.
As the European Union moves to ban a popular type of pesticide, researchers struggle to assess exactly how dangerous the chemicals are to honey bees and other pollinators.
The temporary dip in temperatures gave farmers in Pennsylvania a scare during a spring that experts have otherwise described as pleasantly devoid of big problems. Most farmers aren't fans of deviations from the norm. Schedules are typically set by following patterns that follow long-term trends.
Invasive species such as Asian longhorned beetles and emerald ash borers, which often arrive as infestations in wooden packing crates, are a growing problem in the United States. A Penn State collaboration is developing a new heat treatment program for solid wood packaging materials to help prevent these kinds of destructive pests from reaching our shores.
Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer's crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines.
If you are looking for one of the world's most mysterious insects to return en masse to the Altoona area, you are going to have to wait several more years. Residents of 17 Pennsylvania counties soon will see an emergence of periodical cicadas, commonly - but mistakenly - called 17-year locusts.
Pest problems have plagued South Asia’s vegetable production for many years, but thanks to a collaboration between Penn State and other researchers, an important vegetable pest has all but been eliminated from Bangladesh.
One of the world's most mysterious insects is about to invade the skies over wooded areas in eastern Pennsylvania and other states, but an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says it's not a cause for alarm.