Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
A study has shown that antibiotics commonly added to animal feed can be taken up by plants that use manures for fertilization. In one study the test crops were corn (Zea mays L.), green onion (Allium cepa L.), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Scientists found the higher the concentration in the manure, the higher the antibiotic levels were in the plants. Other research has looked at potato crops. That work found antibiotics in the potato tubers, which suggests that root crops which are directly in contact with soil may be particularly vulnerable to antibiotic contamination.Crops absorb livestock antibiotics, science shows
Antibiotic Uptake by Plants from Soil Fertilized with Animal Manure
Read more here
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Evaluation of predatory mites Neoseiulus cucumeris and Amblyseius swirskii for control of Chilli thrips.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The University of California is now offering online training for retail employees on pesticides. It provides a training course for retail and garden center employees and others who advise residents about home and garden pesticides.
Researchers have raised concerns that chemicals released into the environment interfere with animals' hormone systems, citing problems such as male fish in the Potomac River that are bearing eggs. Known as endocrine disruptors, the chemicals may affect the hormones that humans and animals produce or secrete. Read more
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Buying ladybugs… is it a good idea?
First thing you should think about is where they are coming from. Almost all “red” ladybugs are harvested from the wild. In the Spring, as the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys warm up the ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens) migrate to the Sierra Nevada foothills. There, they congregate in large numbers on the forest floors. Businesses then come along and scoop up the beetles, removing them from their native habitat. They are then taken to coolers for storage until they are to be shipped. So, why is this an issue?
- It removes ladybugs from their native habitat.
- Once released most will not stick around, they leave, providing little or no control.
- A percent of the ladybugs may be parasitized by a small wasp, Dinocampus coccinellae. It develops as an internal parasite of lady beetles and kills them. Research has shown this to be an issue. A study found on average 8% of the ladybugs purchased by researchers carried parasites.*
- Microsporidia, a disease of ladybugs, was also detected in individuals from 13 of 22* shipments in these studies.
So by releasing infected ladybird beetles you may be spreading these parasites and diseases. It’s much more effective and eco-friendly to attract them in naturally with organically** grown plants like, dill, yarrow, sunflowers, angelica, and other assorted flowering plants. If you want to do a release of beneficial insects, release laboratory reared ones. An excellent option to ladybugs are green lacewings. The larva of green lacewings will do an excellent job of feeding on plant pests such as aphids, mealybug crawlers, scale crawlers and other garden pests. They are commercially available from Beneficial Insectary.*Natural enemies of the convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville: Their inadvertent importation and potential significance for augmentative biological control. S. Bjørnson Department of Biology, Saint Mary’s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3C3 Abstract
** Organically grown plants will not have harsh pesticide residue on them that can kill the beneficials. They will also not have systemic pesticides inside of them that can not be washed off.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
You can read more here at the North American Plant Protection Organization's (NAPPO) Phytosanitary Alert System website.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I heard this story while drive around today on NPR. What first caught my attention was the voice, it sounded familiar, and sure enough it was. It was E.O. Wilson, the most knowledge person on ants in the world. In this article and interview he talks about how ants know when other ants are dead. Very interesting!
See and hear the story here 'Hey I'm Dead!' The Story Of The Very Lively Ant