Category Archives: Extension News

Ree Set to Retire After 30 Years with Extension

The Department of Entomology recently celebrated Extension specialist Bill Ree as he announced his retirement on August 31 with a special reception on August 13. Ree began his career in Extension in 1988 as an Extension Agent-IPM with a specialization in pecans. As an Extension Agent-IPM, Ree worked with pecan growers on protecting pecans from pests such as the pecan weevil.  In 2007, he was promoted to Extension Specialist III – IPM where he was also responsible for working with pecan growers on pest issues. Ree has been… Read More →

New research helps hay producers manage Bermuda grass stem maggot

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications OVERTON – A relatively new pest – the Bermuda grass stem maggot – is plaguing Texas hay producers this season, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. However, new research from Texas A&M AgriLife is helping growers better manage this pest. “Previously, there was no information on how damaging this insect was to hay production and thus no guidelines on when an insecticide was needed to protect yields,” said Dr. Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas. “Our field research documented… Read More →

Holly Davis Named Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Weslaco

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service want to welcome Holly Davis as the new Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for the Weslaco area. Davis will begin her position in Weslaco on September 1. Before being hired by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Davis was a Research/Extension Associate at Kansas State University from 2015 to 2019. At Manhattan, she worked closely with Extension agents and specialists on providing viable recommendations to growers on pest control measures to lessen the impact of pests. Davis also was co-owner… Read More →

Bynum leaves agriculture pest management behind; retires after more than 40 years

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications AMARILLO — With more than 40 years of service to Texas A&M AgriLife under his hat, Dr. Edsel “Ed” Bynum Jr. will no longer be traipsing out to fields across the High Plains and South Plains looking for the latest insects pestering agricultural crops. Bynum, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology specialist in Amarillo, is retiring June 30. A retirement party will be hosted from 5-7 p.m. on June 20 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo… Read More →

Students swarm to Insect Expo at McKenna Children’s Museum

Video by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications Story by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications NEW BRAUNFELS — Nearly 1,000 fourth-grade students from New Braunfels and Comal independent school districts recently attended the second annual two-day Insect Expo at the McKenna Children’s Museum in New Braunfels. “This event was presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in collaboration with these school districts and volunteer organizations,” said Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Travis County. “We had more than 20 stations with fun and educational activities for the kids to… Read More →

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Team, Charles Allen Win Superior Service Awards

Members of the Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Team and Dr. Charles Allen started the New Year off on a good note as they both received Superior Service Awards from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service during the AgriLife Conference on January 8. The Crape Myrtle Bark Scale Team consists of Dr. Mengmeng Gu (Horticulture Sciences), Dr. Mike Merchant (Entomology), Erfan Vafaie (Entomology), Laura Miller (County Extension Agent- Commercial Horticulture), Janet Laminack (County Extension Agent-Horticulture), and Dr. Yu Zhang (Ag Economics). The team was established in 2013 to help educate… Read More →

Cattle tick, handling demonstrations featured at 47th South Texas Cow-Calf Clinic

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications BRENHAM – Ranchers working cattle this fall and winter, or surveying pastures and wildlife, need to be mindful of ticks harboring on livestock and forage habitats. Dr. Pete Teel, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist in College Station, recently gave a tick update at the 47th South Texas Cow-Calf Clinic in Brenham. Teel discussed a variety of ticks common to Texas, including those that have not entered the Lone Star state and pose potential health consequences not just for cattle, but for… Read More →

Incredible Edible Insect Event in San Antonio a ‘tasteful’ experience

By Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANTONIO — More than 300 people attended the recent Incredible Edible Insect Event held in the culinary garden area of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The event, which included a four-course tasting of foods made with insect-based ingredients, was presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County in collaboration with the botanical garden and other nature-oriented organizations. Each tasting was of a chef-demonstrated recipe in which insects or insect-based ingredients were used. Featured chefs included Dave Terrazas,… Read More →

Children learn about insects, science at Summer Bug Camp

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANTONIO – For the past 10 summers, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist has been sharing her love of insects, nature and science with Bexar County youth. “Each summer we conduct three regular Summer Bug Camps for kids ages 7-12 along with a junior entomology camp for kids 4-6 years old,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, Bexar County. “The regular camps are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. over a three-day period and the junior… Read More →

Mike Merchant Receives Specialist of the Year Award During County Agents Annual Meeting

The awards keep coming for Dr. Mike Merchant as he received the District 4 Texas County Agricultural Agents Association’s Specialist of the Year Award during its annual meeting. Merchant is a professor and Extension entomologist currently working at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. He began his career as an entomologist in 1989 in District 4, which includes the Dallas area, where he started many outreach projects and programs in urban entomology. Merchant was the original author of “Texas Two-Step” method of controlling fire… Read More →