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News Filed Under Plant Diseases

A woman handles a tomato plant growing in a wire frame.
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Diseases

Successful Mississippi gardens are filling up with beautiful tomatoes, but unless gardeners stay alert and act, these plants can succumb to summer insect pests and diseases.

Small white dots appear on a pruned crape myrtle branch.
March 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases, Trees

If you’ve got crape myrtles, you should be on the lookout for Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. This invasive pest can turn easy-to-care for shrubs and trees into high-maintenance plants covered in a black, sooty mold.

While the insects won’t kill the tree outright, the tree will eventually produce fewer and smaller blooms if the insects are allowed to reproduce year after year.

December 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Soybeans, Plant Diseases and Nematode Diagnostic Services

The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer free testing for a significant crop pest through Aug. 30, 2019.

Man leans over a 5-gallon bucket placed under a large mechanical unit inside a building.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts, Fruit and Nut Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s pecan yields will be down from last year, but the future looks promising.

Mississippi Pecan Growers Association President Max Draughn of Raymond explained that pecan yields alternate from year to year.

A pepper plant is shown in the garden.
August 14, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

 A brown clay pot contains a small bush with pink flowers.
June 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases
I love crape myrtles in the landscape. They flower all summer, and their beautiful exfoliating and peeling bark exposes cinnamon-brown trunks in the winter. It's no wonder that somebody way back when called them the Flowers of the South.
May 14, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Insects-Crop Pests, Plant Diseases

Two half-day training sessions next month will provide expertise on pest and disease control on small farms.

Four separate cucurbit crops grown in a field.
April 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Lawn and Garden, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Diseases

MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!

Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)

A group of ripening tomatoes are shown in a close-up.
January 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Specialty Crop Production, Vegetable Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

Bone-chilling temps have you stuck inside dreaming of that first home-grown tomato sandwich? Well, this is a great time to prepare for a healthy crop. (Photo by Alan Henn)

Spores of the Macrophomina phaseolina pathogen can be seen as transparent ovals in this microscopic image taken from an infected corn plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/ Clarissa Balbalian)
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Ornamentals Diseases

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- When impatiens planted as part of a Mississippi State University variety trial died within two weeks, researchers acted quickly and described a pathogen never before seen in this flower.

"We were growing SunPatiens, which are hybrid impatiens immune to downy mildew. This disease has been a big problem for the industry," Broderick said. "The plants were doing really well, but in July they started to look like they were wilting. The stems were collapsing and dying, and in a two-week period, they went from looking relatively healthy to dead."

Mississippi State University plant pathologist Tom Allen (left) said fungicide-resistant frogeye leaf spot in soybeans has recently become a major problem. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)  Producers rely on Mississippi State University recommendations to make management decisions related to kudzu bugs, such as these pictured (right), and other insect pests. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
October 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Weed Control for Crops, Plant Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers know how to handle ongoing threats posed by insects, diseases, and weeds, but new threats continue to surface that keep them on high alert and change the way they operate.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers and MSU Extension Service specialists work to monitor the arrival of new crop threats, determine the best way to address the problem, and pass on those recommendations to producers.

Insect pests …

This crape myrtle branch is encrusted in the white felt of crape myrtle bark scale, an invasive insect that damages the once low-maintenance trees. (Photo by MSU Extension/Blake Layton)
September 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases, Trees

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts found an invasive insect that attacks crape myrtles on the coast this spring and now have spotted the pest in two cities on opposite ends of the state.

The insects are crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, and they were found March 15 in Ocean Springs in Jackson County. In August, the insects were detected at five locations in Olive Branch and Southaven in DeSoto County.

January 27, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension, Plant Diseases

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rebecca Melanson recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service as a plant pathologist.

She will focus on disease management issues in fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Frogeye leaf spot fungus, such as the specimen seen on this leaf, causes serious yield losses when not treated in soybeans. Mississippi State University is surveying to monitor and limit the increasing resistance of the fungus to the strobilurin class of fungicides commonly used for late-season disease management in soybean fields. (Photo by MAFES/Sead Sabanadzovic)
November 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A statewide survey that Mississippi State University began this summer will continue next year as researchers look for a particular fungal disease that is developing resistance to chemical control.

In 2012, soybean fields in two Mississippi counties were found to have frogeye leaf spot fungi resistant to strobilurins, the class of fungicides commonly used for late-season disease management in soybeans.

Curiosity led Clarissa Balbalian, the manager of Mississippi State University's plant diagnostic lab, into her career as a plant pathologist. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Clarissa Balbalian’s job presents a new mystery every day.

“If you are analytical and like solving mysteries, this is the perfect job,” said Balbalian, the manager of Mississippi State University’s plant diagnostic lab. “I like working with people and helping them find solutions to their problems, too.”

Balbalian studied biology at Longwood University in Virginia, and then earned her master’s degree in forest pathology at West Virginia University.

Clarissa Balbalian receives a box of soil samples sent to the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab for evaulation. A proposed management strategy accompanies each set of test results. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soil Health, Plant Diseases, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two soil tests conducted routinely help Mississippi producers ensure the productivity of their farmland.

Soil tests in the fall to determine fertility levels and nematode tests in the spring to detect harmful pests help producers improve soil quality before spring tillage and planting begin.

Mississippi State University scientists at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville are trying to identify soybean varieties resistant to purple leaf blight, a disease that can reduce yields by more than 20 bushels per acre. (Photo by Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station/Rebekah Ray)
July 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University scientists are trying to identify soybean varieties resistant to a disease that can reduce yields by more than 20 bushels per acre.

MSU plant pathologist Gabe Sciumbato and research associate Walter Solomon are checking soybean varieties for purple leaf blight through MSU’s soybean variety trials. Both are Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Mississippi State University researchers tested an organic method of treating poinsettia cuttings to fight a devastating fungus that causes stem and root rot. Mississippi producers grow an estimated 200,000 poinsettias per year, valued at $1 million. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
December 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Researchers at Mississippi State University have found a cost-effective and environmentally friendly strategy for fighting one of the most serious soil-borne diseases in poinsettia production.

Pythium stem and root rot is a common problem in poinsettia production because the fungus thrives in cool, saturated and poorly drained soils, said Maria Tomaso-Peterson, associate research professor in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Gary Lawrence and undergraduate students Ben Berch and Patrick Garrard (from left) collect hyperspectral reflectance data from cotton plants infected with reniform nematodes for a grant-funded project at Mississippi State University.
July 14, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests, Remote Sensing Technology, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Researchers at Mississippi State University have developed technology that uses reflected light to analyze the presence of certain nematodes in cotton fields so producers can increase profits.

February 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Plant Diseases

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Auburn University officials needed help investigating an attack on part of their school’s history, they turned to Mississippi State University.

According to an Auburn University statement, school officials learned that a Jan. 27 caller to The Paul Finebaum Show, a nationally syndicated radio show based in Birmingham, claimed he had applied an herbicide to the soil around 130-year-old live oaks at Toomer’s Corner on campus.