East Texas Forage Conference Scheduled for February 22, 2012
By Dr. Mario A. Villarino
County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources
Weed control, water resources, hay intoxication, pasture renovation and electric fence basics are the topics for the 2012 East Texas Forage Conference in Emory scheduled for February 22, 2012 at the Rains County Extension Office from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The Conference will provide 3 CEU’s for private applicators with a cost of $15, lunch included. Please call the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 to RSVP. I know many private applicator license are expiring at the end of February, so attending the conference will provide you those CEU’s that you might just need. The Hopkins County Pesticide Applicator Licensing has been scheduled for March 28, 2012 at 8:00 am at the Hopkins County Extension Office. We are working in coordination with the Texas Department of Agriculture to provide licensing opportunities on the region since rearrangements on the agency have occurred and our regional office in Tyler has been closed. Please take any opportunity that you have to get your license or get your CEU’s before your license expire. The winter has been certainly good with us here
in Hopkins County. The mild temperatures have created some havoc in plants and pests and many early spring weeds and bugs are getting active now. I have seen several crops with aphids around, most of them too low to become a problem. Greenbugs however, are also aphids that are found primarily on wheat during the winter months and sorghum during the spring and summer, but they also occur on Johnsongrass, other wild grasses and occasionally on oats. Adults and nymphs occur on the underside of leaves, particularly on the lower, older leaves of host plants. They damage plants in three ways: 1) they remove sap, stressing plants by removing water and nutrients; 2) they inject a toxic salivary secretion that causes cells, leading to a yellowing or reddening discoloration and eventually death on infested tissues; and 3) they can transmit plant disease such as the barley yellow dwarf virus in small grains and maize dwarf mosaic virus in sorghum. They infest plants of all growth stages and can kill young plants, reducing plant stand. Heavily injured older plants have stunted growth, delayed growth, reduced kernel size and quality. Several biotypes have evolved that have overcome plant resistance, tolerate temperature extremes and infest new host plants. For more information on these or other related topics please call the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443.