Pest Control Getting Complicated

Pest Control In Corn Crops Gets Complicated

Many corn farmers are turning to pesticides because they believe some pests have become immune to genetically modified crops. The irony is that, when genetic modifications were first introduced, they promised to rid corn fields of pests. Many farmers stopped using pesticides altogether as a result,but now many are going back to their old ways of using insecticides.

Read more from West Hawaii Today:

Pesticide use is surging among U.S. corn farmers who are worried that some insects have become resistant to genetically modified versions of the crop.

That’s an unexpected reversal since one of the promises of engineered corn when it was introduced 17 years ago was its ability to kill pests. The use of soil insecticides for the crop plunged 90 percent through 2010, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Whether the return to pesticide use makes sense, or is simply spurred by a chemical industry marketing campaign, is at the center of one of the biggest debates in the corn belt this spring. At the heart of the controversy is whether snuffing out pests in the short term with chemicals may create a worse problem down the road. Continue reading…

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Pest Control In Brassica Crops Gets Complicated

Brassica crops in New Mexico are under attack from stink bugs. These crops include such produce as bok choy, cauliflower, and broccoli. This particular pest sucks the nutrients out of the plants and injects them with a toxin that leads to their death.

Read more from AG Professional:

Brassica crops in New Mexico are in danger of attack from a new invasive pest – a stink bug called Bagrada hilaris, which is currently spreading through the Southern part of the United States.

Researchers from New Mexico State University have joined others from California and Arizona to determine ways to control this insect, which could devastate some of the niche-market crops raised by New Mexico’s small-scale and organic growers.

“The Bagrada bug was first found in New Mexico in 2010 in Las Cruces and has since migrated as far north as Santa Fe County,” said Tessa Grasswitz, NMSU Extension integrated pest management specialist and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state IPM coordinator. “This insect is native to southern Africa and has recently spread to parts of southern Europe and Asia, becoming a serious problem in India and elsewhere.” Continue reading…

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