Archive | October, 2013

Thornless Primocane- Fruiting Blackberry

prime-ark-blackberryPrime-Ark Freedom, a new variety developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is the world’s first thornless primocane-fruiting blackberry. Freedom is the fourth in the division’s Prime-Ark line of primocane-fruiting blackberries, which flower and fruit on each season’s new branches, called primocanes, said John R. Clark, Division of Agriculture fruit breeder. Most blackberries only bear fruit on second-season canes, known as floricanes. “This unique type of blackberry fruits on current-season canes and second-season canes, potentially providing for two cropping seasons,” Clark said. Information about all fruit varieties is available from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and can be found at

This article appears in the October 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Glyphosate-Resistant Pigweed Project

Weed control Amaranth-pigweedPalmer amaranth, commonly known as pigweed, is one of the most common — and problematic — weeds in soybean crops across the southern United States. Because it is difficult to control, it is best to combat the weed before it emerges. The journal Weed Technology offers results of field tests of resistant Palmer amaranth in glyphosate-resistant soybean crops in Arkansas conducted over a two-year period. In this study, 250,000 glyphosate-resistant pigweed seeds were incorporated into the soil, and their emergence was evaluated five times during the growing season. Three farming practices were tested — deep tillage, planting a cover crop of rye and doublecropping a field with wheat and then soybeans in the same growing season.

This article appears in the October 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Citrus Growers Use Biocontrols

citrus d2002-1Citrus growers in California are now turning to a natural solution after pesticides have been shown to be ineffective. Teams of invasive species experts have started releasing tamarixia radiate, a tiny parasitic wasp, to control the invasive Asian citrus psyllid population. Asian citrus psyllid can spread a disease which causes greening, devastating citrus production. This use of biological pest control demonstrates that the use of toxic chemicals is unnecessary as safer alternatives have already been proven effective.

This report appears in the October 2013 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Seed Selection: Starting Your Corn Seed Management System

GEM2008_FieldDay_RowsSeed selection is one of the most important tasks a sustainable farmer takes on every year, but knowing what seeds to save takes some experience and expertise.

First, one note: We are entering the science of genetics when selecting seed. Every trait of a corn variety is genetically driven.

Now, we know are primarily interested in harvesting the largest yields possible and must not allow your seed variety selection to place limitations upon your fields. From experience, we know that corn variety numbers vary greatly under certain conditions, and even in identical conditions they may differ in yields as much as 10 to 50 bushels per acre.

Every farmer has his favorite seed corn numbers that consistently produce well. The problem develops when he wants to select some new variety of number to replace some that appear to be playing out. The question becomes, how should he select a new number for test purposes? Does he choose the new number at the recommendation of a seed salesman simply because he is a friend who farms and sells seed as a sideline? Does he take the advice of a part-time salesperson or go elsewhere for advice? Continue Reading →