Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NMSU's Extension Service to Hold Plant Clinics in Belen and the Albuquerque Area

Specialist's from the Extension Plant Sciences Department will hold plant clinics at the Belen Growers' Market and two growers' markets in the Albuquerque area this coming weekend. Please come see us at one of the following locations and don't forget to bring your problem plants and insects for identification!

On Friday evening, October 16, the group will be present at the Belen Growers' Market located at Anna Becker Park, on Hwy 309 and Reinken Ave. The market begins at 4:30 PM.  The question-and-answer session will be hosted by four specialists: Carol Sutherland, entomologist; Leslie Beck, weed scientist, and Jason French and Natalie Goldberg, who are experts on plant diseases and disorders. In addition, the county Extension agent, Newt McCarty, will be available to help answer questions.

Advertising flyer for the Belen Growers' Market Plant Clinic
Belen Growers' Market Plant Clinic Flyer
On Saturday morning, October 17, the group will divide into two and provide plant clinics at two Albuquerque area growers markets. Leslie Beck, Jason French and, Bernalillo County Horticulture Agent, Graeme Davis, will be at the Los Ranchos Growers' Market located at 6718 Rio Grande Blvd. NW starting at 8:00 AM. Carol Sutherland, Natalie Goldberg, and Bernalillo County Agriculture Agent, John Garlisch, will be at the Downtown Albuquerque Growers' Market located at Robinson Park starting at 8:00 AM.
Advertising flyer for the Downtown Growers' Market Plant Clinic
Downtown Albuquerque Growers' Market Plant Clinic Flyer
Advertising Flyer for the Los Ranchos Growers' Market Plant Clinic
Los Ranchos Growers' Market Plant Clinic Flyer

Monday, October 12, 2015

Common Pests of Sunflowers

Sunflowers are garden favorites for their festive flowers and tasty seeds---that is, until some common insect pests hijack them.

Sunflower Moth
If a sunflower head looks distorted or ‘dirty’ with webbing and gritty beads on it, it could be infested with larvae of the sunflower moth, Homoeosoma electellum. The larvae consume the developing seedsas well as contaminate the entire head with their silk and frass (poop); this, in turn creates a great environment for fungus growth.

Picture shows a black and green sunflower moth larvae
Sunflower moth larvae, Homoeosoma electellum.
(Photo: C. Sutherland NMSU)

Sunflower Stem Borer
The hatchling ‘sunflower stem borer,’ Dectes sp., bores into the pith of its host, weakening the plant and/or the flower stem. Parts of affected plants may wilt permanently, or entire plants may flop over in the wind. This particular larva is the immature stage of a ‘long horned beetle’---NOT a caterpillar.

Picture shows a white larvae of a sunflower stem borer
Sunflower stem borer larvae Dectes sp.
(Photo C. Sutherland NMSU)
For more information about theses sunflower pests please contact Dr. Carol Sutherland.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

NMSU's Extension Service to Host Plant Clinics in Lordsburg and the Mimbres Valley

New Mexico State University’s Extension Plant Sciences department will host a Plant Clinic at several farmers’ markets this summer and fall, to help educate the community about horticultural practices and pest management, including identification of insect, weed, and disease problems.

“We encourage anyone who is interested in gardening and has a question that they have not been able to get answered, to come out and visit with us,” said Natalie Goldberg, department head of NMSU’s Extension Plant Sciences. “If they have problem plants or pests that they would like to have identified, they are encouraged to bring us a sample of the plant or pest.”

The question-and-answer sessions will be hosted by three specialists: Carol Sutherland, Extension Entomologist; Leslie Beck, Extension Weed Scientist, and Goldberg, Extension Plant Pathologist. In addition, the county Extension agent will be available to help answer questions.

“Some problems people bring to the clinic might be resolved on the spot, but others might need more background information to complete an answer, so we’ll make sure we have the client’s contact information and specific question written down so we can contact them later,” said Sutherland, who will have a collection of insects on display for additional questions.

Goldberg added they hope to answer most questions but if they can’t, they will either take back samples for further analysis or connect clients with other experts.

“Plant Clinics are a great way to interact with people not familiar with the great variety of information available through the Cooperative Extension Service,” Sutherland said.

Advertising flyer for Hildago plant clinic
Flyer for farmers' Market plant clinic in Lordsburg, NM

Advertising flyer for the Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival
Flyer for Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival plant clinic