Water-wise Tips for Turfgrass offered

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu Contact: Dr. Becky Grubbs, 979-845-0603, bgrubbs@tamu.edu COLLEGE STATION – Lawn owners may be second-guessing their regular maintenance practices, especially in the hottest and driest months. Dr. Becky Grubbs, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service turfgrass specialist in the Department of Soil and Crops Sciences in College Station, has published a Water-Wise Checklist for Texas Home Lawns and Other Turfgrass Areas to help with lawn maintenance this summer. “We know this is the time of year when Texans become particularly concerned about their lawns,” Grubbs… Read More →

Turfgrass researchers gather in College Station

By: Beth Ann Luedeker Contact: Dr. Ben Wherley – b-wherley@tamu.edu Members of a collaborative research project funded by the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative recently met at the Scotts Miracle-Gro turfgrass facility at Texas A&M University for an update on the project. The group is studying the persistence, survival and recovery of warm-season turfgrasses under limited irrigation and long-term drought in an effort to produce more sustainable urban landscapes. This group is comprised of twenty-four researchers from Texas A&M, the University of Florida, Oklahoma State University, the University… Read More →

Texas A&M releases new Ace cowpea

Writer: Adam Russell, 903-834-6191, adam.russell@ag.tamu.edu Contact: Dr. Gerald Smith, 903-834-6191, gerald.smith@ag.tamu.edu A new forage cowpea variety – Ace – blends a number of desirable characteristics into into a well-rounded option for livestock, wildlife and improved soil health, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research expert. Ace is a small-seed cowpea cultivar developed for forage and hay production, as a cover crop and as a wildlife supplemental planting, said Dr. Gerald Smith, AgriLife Research plant breeder in Overton. Cowpea is a warm-season, drought-tolerant legume. Diverse varieties are used as… Read More →

Engineered cotton uses weed-suppression chemical as nutrient

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677- 5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu Dr. Keerti Rathore, 979-862-4795, rathore@tamu.edu   COLLEGE STATION – A newly developed fertilizer system will provide nutrition to engineered cotton crops worldwide and a deadly dose to weeds that are increasingly herbicide resistant, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. The new system applies phosphite to cotton crops engineered to express a certain gene — a gene that makes cotton able to process the phosphite into nutrition while the same compound suppresses weeds that are unable to use it, researchers said…. Read More →

Guar producer uses Texas A&M AgriLife support to prompt revisions in NRCS guidelines

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu Contact: Dr. Curtis Adams, 940-552-9941, Curtis.Adams@ag.tamu.edu Dr. Calvin Trostle, 806-746-6101, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu VERNON – When a Texas Rolling Plains guar producer found himself to be potentially out of compliance with government guidelines, he turned to Texas A&M AgriLife to help get the guidelines updated. Guar has been grown in Texas for more than a century and is becoming more attractive to producers because of its drought tolerance and relatively low water use, said Dr. Curtis Adams, Texas A&M AgriLife Research crop physiologist in Vernon. “Guar… Read More →

Corn Whiskey Research in Aggieland

Story and Photos by Beth Ann Luedeker   Dr. Seth Murray, Texas A&M Soil and Crop Sciences Associate Professor and Butler Chair, primarily focuses his research on improving the productivity, sustainability and quality of agriculture production through scientific research; most of his work is in corn (maize). He has recently branched out, slightly, to help his graduate student, Rob Arnold, search for the ideal Texas-grown corn for the production of whiskey. Arnold, who is working on his doctoral degree in Plant Breeding under Murray, is also the head… Read More →

Soil and Crop Science Faculty on X-Grants teams

Written by: Beth Ann Luedeker   Part of President Michael Young’s excellence program, X-Grants is an interdisciplinary program intended to find creative solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the global society. Several projects selected to receive X-Grants funding include Soil and Crop Sciences faculty. “CRISPER Gene Editing for Healthier Foods and Crop Resistance” is led by Dr. Michael Thomson; “Multi-functional and Sustainable Materials for 3-D Printing Environmentally Adaptive Resilient Buildings” is led by Dr. Paul Schwab; and Dr. Cristine Morgan is involved with “Monitoring Rapidly… Read More →

Yaupon control discussed at 32nd Annual O.D. Butler Forage Field Day

Story and Photos by : Beth Ann Luedeker Contact: Vanessa Corriher-Olson  vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu   Landowners fight a constant battle against invasive species of plants. Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Soil and Crop Sciences professor and AgriLife Extension forage specialist from Overton provided several control options for yaupon during the 32nd Annual O.D. Butler Forage Field Day and Camp Cooley Ranch. Yaupon can be controlled mechanically or chemically, Olson told attendees. During her presentation Charles Fuchs with CF Mulching Services of Easterly demonstrated yaupon removal using a mulching machine. “Mechanical control gives… Read More →

AgriLife Research and Forage Genetics International sign multi-year agreement

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu Contact: Dr. Bill Rooney, 979-845-2151, wlr@tamu.edu COLLEGE STATION – A greater interest in forage sorghums from the beef and dairy industries has led to a multi-year agreement between Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Forage Genetics International LLC, or FGI, a subsidiary of Arden Hills, Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes Inc. “FGI is excited to collaborate with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Dr. Rooney,” said Shawn Barnett, FGI president in Arden Hills, Minnesota. “For more than 25 years, FGI has led the forage industry with innovative… Read More →

Rancher’s Leasing Workshop

Contact: Tiffany Lashmet, tdowell@tamu.edu or 806-677-5681   Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has scheduled three workshops focused on the grazing, hunting and livestock leases for this fall. These half-day seminars provide information beneficial to both landowners and lessees, and are offered free of charge. Tiffany Lashmet, AgriLife Extension Specialist – Agriculture Law, grew up in a ranching family before attending law school and understands both sides of the leasing equation.  In her straightforward and often humorous way, she presents leasing laws without the dry, confusing language typically associated with… Read More →