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WSU News Pests and Weeds

Tri-Cities professor presents contrasting science about pesticide

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Felsot-mugRICHLAND, Wash. – A Washington State University Tri-Cities professor intends to “clear the air” of misconceptions surrounding the controversial herbicide Roundup when he speaks at ecology and pesticide workshops in Chile next month. » More …

Study points the way toward producing rubber from lettuce

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Prickly-lettuce-latex-smallPULLMAN, Wash. – Prickly lettuce, a common weed that has long vexed farmers, has potential as a new cash crop providing raw material for rubber production, according to Washington State University scientists. » More …

Fighting tulip weeds, diseases with cover crops

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

Skagit-Valley-tulipsMOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Rotating cover crops in tulip fields shows promise for fighting disease in the economically important flower bulb, according to early research findings at the Washington State University research center in Mount Vernon. » More …

March 14: Workshops explore west side wine grape growing

vineyard-careEVERETT, Wash. – Hands-on workshops about establishment and seasonal management of vineyards in western Washington will be offered in spring, summer and fall in and near Bow, Wash., by Washington State University Snohomish County Extension. » More …

Grafting research could rescue state’s watermelon crop

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

watermelonMOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The watermelon crop has declined dramatically in Washington because of disease. But Washington State University researchers are developing a solution that involves grafting watermelon plants onto squash and other vine plant rootstocks. » More …

Probiotic toxin fights coldwater disease in rainbow trout

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications

tail-lesion-230PULLMAN, Wash. – The rainbow trout is a work of art and diner’s delight. But when the freshwater fish falls prey to coldwater disease, its colorful body erodes into ragged wounds and ulcers. The bacterial infection can kill up to 30 percent of hatchery stock and costs millions of dollars in economic loss. » More …

Can mushrooms save the honey bee?

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Steve-Sheppard-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Research by a Washington State University bee scientist and a mushroom farmer indicates that extracts from the fungus might help honey bees fight off disease and parasites.  » More …

Invading stink bug eats Cinderella’s pumpkins

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

Stink-bug-80VANCOUVER, Wash. – Why an insect the size of a fingernail has been compared to a great white shark is becoming more apparent as the brown marmorated stink bug accelerates across the Pacific Northwest. » More …

Nature’s pooper scoopers: Can dung beetles aid food safety?

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

beetle-80PULLMAN, Wash. – For farmers, especially organic farmers, who are increasingly challenged by food safety guidelines, dung beetles could provide an elegant solution to a vexing problem. Entomologists at Washington State University are investigating whether the insects could suppress harmful foodborne pathogens in the soil before they spread to humans. » More …

Rock Doc: Plants respond to sounds of insects eating leaves

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Plants are not as dumb as they look.

At least to me, plants have never seemed like the brightest bulb in the box. They stand around, looking green, hoping for a sunny day but not able to walk, talk or turn on the TV. However, due to a recent university press release, I’ve got to rethink my attitudes about vegetation. » More …