Category Archives: Ag Technology

Fast, accurate way to check peanut plants for healthy traits

By: Olga Kuchment The lengthy process of breeding better peanut plants can be sped up by using a biophysics technique, Raman spectroscopy. Texas A&M AgriLife biophysicists and plant breeders have demonstrated the use of Raman spectroscopy to quickly scan the levels of oleic acid in peanuts. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated oil, lends peanuts a longer shelf life. The oil is also healthy for the heart. They also used the method to determine how resistant plants are to nematode pests. Using Raman spectroscopy is quicker, cheaper and more portable… Read More →

Texas cotton farmers adjusting in wake of court ruling on dicamba

ByL Kay Ledbetter The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service stands ready to advise producers on agronomic alternatives and options in the wake of a June 3 ruling from the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to immediately vacate the registrations of three dicamba products, Xtendimax, FeXapan and Engenia. Approximately 80% of the state’s cotton has been planted, and an estimated 60-80% is XtendFlex cotton – a dicamba-tolerant cotton that would have allowed the application of available registered dicamba herbicide products for weed control. Producers are working… Read More →

Texas A&M AgriLife helping set gold standard greenhouse gas emissions measurements for Department of Energy

By: Kay Ledbetter Greenhouse gas emissions from sorghum fields in the Texas High Plains will be the focus of a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, ARPA-E. This $3.1 million collaborative project, led by Oklahoma State University, is funded through ARPA-E’s Systems for Monitoring and Analytics for Renewable Transportation Fuels from Agricultural Resources and Management, or SMARTFARM, program. About one-third of the grant will be utilized in Texas by Nithya Rajan, Ph.D., crop physiology and… Read More →

New app development could aid crop irrigation management

By: Kay Ledbetter Texas A&M AgriLife is developing an inexpensive and easy-to-use mobile app and irrigation management system to help agricultural producers increase water-use efficiency and continue producing cotton. The new project is funded by the Texas A&M Water Seed Grant Initiative and is titled “A Novel Sensor- and Crop-Model-Based Decision Support Tool for Efficient Irrigation Management.” The app is being developed in the Texas Rolling Plains region, which produces about 13% of the state’s cotton, said Srinivasulu Ale, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research geospatial hydrologist and lead… Read More →

Glyphosate myths, facts addressed

By: Kay Ledbetter Contact: Scott Nolte – scott.nolte@tamu.edu Whether on social media or in farming circles, many questions linger about glyphosate, better known as Roundup, and a link to cancer. “It’s hard to know what to believe, but it’s important to make sure the information you receive is based on good science,” said Scott Nolte, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state weed specialist, College Station. Nolte addressed the issue during the Panhandle Farm Management Symposium in Amarillo recently, providing insight into the “myths and truths” surrounding the… Read More →

FDA approves ultra-low gossypol cottonseed for human, animal consumption

Writer: Kay Ledbetter The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to ultra-low gossypol cottonseed, ULGCS, to be utilized as human food and in animal feed, something Texas A&M AgriLife researchers have been working on for nearly 25 years. Keerti Rathore, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in the Texas A&M Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology and Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, College Station, and his team have developed, tested and obtained deregulation for the transgenic cotton plant – TAM66274. TAM66274… Read More →

Soil and Crop Sciences undergraduate’s internship initiates urban farm on campus

Writer: Beth Ann Luedeker Experiential learning enhances a student’s college experience and is a required part of the curriculum for undergraduates in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. The department offers internships and study abroad opportunities to help students meet this requirement. Broch Saxton, one of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences December graduates, created his own internship as a student leader and greenhouse project director with TAMU Urban Farm United (TUFU). TUFU is an urban farm that utilizes vertical towers — Tower Garden — that… Read More →

Genes from wild wheat relative to aid in battle against trio of pests

Writer: Kay Ledbetter Contact: Dr. Shuyu Liu, sliu@ag.tamu.edu Wheat curl mite, greenbug and Hessian fly have long been troublemaker pests for Texas wheat, but a team of Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists is ready to go high tech to help control them. Dr. Shuyu Liu, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist in Amarillo, will lead a team to develop hard winter wheat germplasm with resistance to these pests using genes from a wild wheat relative. The research is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and… Read More →

Video series to highlight cotton education and highlight northern Panhandle best management practices

Writer: Kay Ledbetter Contact: Dr. Jourdan Bell, Jourdan.Bell@ag.tamu.edu “Cotton and Conservation” is the title of a new series of videos being developed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and North Plains Groundwater Conservation District. Dr. Jourdan Bell, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Amarillo, said she is excited about this new partnership that will report on cotton development and irrigation conservation at demonstration sites throughout the water district. “We’ll use the video series to describe the growth stage of the cotton, any insect or disease pressure and report on… Read More →

New caveats for Texas auxin herbicide training

Writer: Kay Ledbetter Producers will need to pick up a second round of auxin training this year if they plan to use dicamba products, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. In late October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will extend the registration of dicamba for two years for over-the-top weed control in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean. The extended labels include changes to ensure these products continue to be used effectively and to address concerns about off-target movement, said Scott Nolte, Texas A&M AgriLife… Read More →