|KEEP YOUR CITRUS SAFE
Lot for gardeners, citrus growers to learn on final day of farm and ranch show
October 27, 2010
by Jack Goodwin, Victoria County Master Gardener Intern
edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
MASTER GARDENER ASSOCIATION
|PHOTO BY JACK GOODWIN/VICTORIA COUINTY MASTER GARDENER INTERN
Even backyard citrus trees, like this lemon tree, should be checked for citrus greening.
First symptoms on the tree include yellowing of one or more twigs or branches, or yellowing or chlorosis of the leaves and fruit.
|LEFT: PHOTO BY NANCY KRAMER/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
These Meyer Lemons are bright yellow with dark green foliage and are free of the citrus greening disease.
RIGHT: PHOTO BY CHARLA BORCHERS LEON/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Satsumas, like any citrus, are susceptible to citus greening. Double check when trees are being purchased and only buy at reputable sources.
|PHOTO BY JERRY PARSONS/TEXASSUPERSTARS.COM
A healthy, disease-free tree can produce ample fruit of high quality. But even a health tree can be attacked and killed by the psyllid insect that spreads the disease.
|Don't miss your opportunity to learn from Texas AgriLife Extension Service speakers and Master Gardeners at this week's South Texas Farm and Ranch Show.
Educational opportunities, valuable information on plant diseases and pests, plus the latest data on safety and proper use of pesticides are all on tap on Thursday at the Victoria Community Center. Farm equipment displays, training seminars and more than 125 booth displays of farm-related information, are all open to the public free of charge.
The Line-up for the Day
Victoria County Master Gardeners and farmers can earn CEUs for seminars on "Citrus Greening," "Grasshopper Control," "Proper Safety and Use of Pesticides" and "Pesticide Compliance" from top educators.
Cattleman's College will provide training on "Forage Quality-Stocking Rates," "Economics" and "Estate & Retirement Planning for Ranchers and Farmers."
Once again this year, the "Pasture to Pyramid" program for pre-registered third-graders will be put on by the Master Gardeners. This is an educational program to teach children about nutrition, as well as healthy eating and drinking related to agriculture.
Citrus Greening - A New Problem
Do you have a citrus tree of any kind in your yard? There is a potential new problem coming our way that is devastating to citrus. We are learning how to recognize this disease so that we can prevent it becoming a huge problem in Texas and in our own back yards.
According to Texas AgriLife Extension, citrus greening (also known as huanglongbing) is a citrus disease, which South Texas has not yet encountered but one for which we need to be on the lookout. It can slash citrus production by up to 20 percent, severely reduce the quality of the fruit and can kill the affected tree. This disease is caused by bacteria that are transmitted by an insect, the Asian citrus psyllid.
Citrus greening was detected in Florida in 2005 and in Louisiana in 2008. Our concern is that it could be moving into Texas. Let's stop it before it takes a foothold.
What Can You Do?
Examine citrus in your area for symptoms such as bitter or lopsided fruit, profuse wax, leaf molting or the presence of an unusual winged insect. Early detection may help curb this problem in Texas. If any of these are present, contact Victoria County Extension Agent Joe Janak at 361-575-4581.
The citrus greening seminar is at 11 a.m. Thursday and is led by Julian Sauls, extension horticulturist-citrus, Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Weslaco.
Grasshoppers - Another Persistent Pest
Hop, hop and more hop. Extension says there are 12,500 species of grasshoppers. These pests can be trouble to gardeners, farmers and ranchers, doing extensive damage to pastures and crops. They might even nibble on your favorite flowers and vegetables.
Many of the 12,500 species are in Victoria County and this seven-county area. Some of these are among the most destructive types of all.
What can be done about these creatures leads us to the training seminar at 11 a.m. Thursday led by Roy Parker, extension entomologist in Corpus Christi.
Proper Use and Pesticide Safety
Don Renchie, extension program leader for ag and environmental safety of College Station, will be our guest speaker for the luncheon at noon Thursday. He will speak on proper use and safety of pesticides.
Renchie is well known in Texas as an authoritative and entertaining speaker. His ability to make his audience laugh will guarantee it will not be a boring lunch hour talk. Renchie will hold hold another session concerning pesticide compliance from 1 to 3 p.m.
Master Gardener Info
The Victoria County Master Gardeners will be among the 125 or so booths. We will display various helpful and informative brochures concerning horticulture needs and concerns to gardeners, farmers and ranchers in this area.
Master Gardeners will be at the booth at all times during the show. Come by and see us if you have questions about gardening. If we do not have an answer to your inquiry, we know how to get the information for you.
|MASTER GARDENER ORGANIZED PROGRAMS
AT THE SOUTH TEXAS FARM & RANCH SHOW
11 a.m. - "Grasshopper Control"
by Roy Parker, extension entomologist, Corpus Christi
11 a.m. - "Citrus Pests & Citrus Greening"
by Julian Sauls, extension horticulturist-citrus, Weslaco
Noon - "The Watch Ain't Over: We Still Need To Be Vigilant"
by Don Renchie, extension leader in ag and environmental safety, College Station
1-3 p.m. - "Compliance: It Is Not That Bad" by Don Renchie
WHERE: Community Center Annex
2905 E. North Street, Victoria
|The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or email@example.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.|