Extension Agricultural Entomology
The Agricultural Entomology program at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center of Dallas (a part of the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology) aims to identify pests of crucial agricultural crops, and to understand and disseminate the best methods of control.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Small Grains, Forages and Soybeans
Extension educational programs focusing on IPM in these areas are presented annually in support of County Extension Programs throughout North Texas. Our programs emphasize pest identification and management using a combination of cultural and biological control practices alongside judicious use of insecticides based on field scouting and economic threshold. Management guidelines are distributed as bulletins and on-line, while applied field studies are conducted at Texas A&M facilities at McGregor, Greenville, and in fields of cooperating growers.
The Sugarcane Aphid
The Dallas Center entomology program was integral in producing an ongoing Extension educational program to provide sorghum and forage sorghum producers with the most recent research on controlling the sugarcane aphid, after the pest caused extensive crop loss in 2014. The resulting integrated pest management (IPM) program for sugarcane aphid was published as an Extension bulletin and distributed statewide. A program by Dr. Allen Knutson of the Dallas program has helped growers manage sugarcane aphid through research-proven field scouting methods, economic thresholds, judicious use of effective insecticides, and the preservation of aphid natural enemies. Field trials are now underway to identify sorghum hybrids with genetic resistance to this new pest.
The Bermudagrass Stem Maggot
The Bermudagrass setem maggot is identified as a new pest of Bermudagrass forage in Texas. Extension programs have provided certain information on identification and management to hay growers as an applied research program now seeks to identify economic thresholds and monitoring methods to better manage this new pest.
Biological Control of Exotic, Invasive Weeds
Saltcedar - A collaborative effort among USDA-ARS, NRCS and many other cooperators has overseen the release of three species of introduced leaf beetles as biological control agents of saltcedar. This invasive shrub has invaded the riparian areas of all of west Texas, from the Canadian River to the Rio Grande. Progress of the released beetles continues to be evaluated.
Giant Salvinia - Our collaborative effort with Texas Parks and Wildlife has overseen the release of an exotic weevil to control giant salvinia in Caddo Lake. This exotic and invasive aquatic weed is infesting lakes in East Texas as the weevil's progress continues to be evaluated.