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Monday, February 27, 2017

Progressive Growers Breakfast Set for 8am February 28, 2017

Progressive Growers Breakfast Set for 8am February 28, 2017
Old Mexico Restaurant,
2003 W 5th, Plainview, TX

               Greetings all.  It has been a bit since we have had a Progressive Grower’s Breakfast, last fall to be specific.  Everyone was busy with harvest, ginning, and family.  Now 2017’s early work, and decisions, are upon us.  Now is the time to be setting the specifics of our production plans for the season and what better way to do so than taking an hour or so gathered around the coffee pot with some knowledgeable folks over breakfast discussing the questions you have.  This month we will be meeting at the Old Mexico Restaurant in Plainview at 8am.
               Joining us will be our new Hale County Crop County Agent Mark Brown, CEA-Crops Lubbock & Hale and as usual myself, Blayne Reed EA-IPM Hale, Swisher, & Floyd.  Once everyone has coffee, etc., Blayne and Mark will give a quick update, then turn the floor over to you for your questions about your 2017 crop production.  The only cost would be your order, everything else will be an open question and answer type discussion.  Hope to see you there!  

Blayne Reed

Friday, February 24, 2017

“The Science and Politics of the GMO” Free Online Cornell Course Launches March 1, 2017

Written by: Sarah Davidson Evanega, PhD 
Subject: FREE online Cornell course on GMOs launches March 1

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On Wednesday, March 1, we will re-launch “The Science and Politics of the GMO” our Cornell- EdEx Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).   Please join us!

This is a five week online Cornell course free to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. 

Enrollment for the course is now open, and instruction begins March 1st.  The course is self paced and learners can log on at any time that is convenient for them to go through the material.  Each week we will host approximately one optional live session through an online platform called ShinDig. New content is released each week on Wednesday, but learners can take more than a week to move through the content.  The course assumes only a high school biology background.  It is very accessible.

Studying the science of GMOs helps us to understand biotechnology’s potential role in addressing eminent challenges in agriculture. In this free, 5-week introductory course, students will learn the basics of genetic engineering, explore the political debate around the GMO, and review the arguments for and against the technology’s use. We will study the politics surrounding the GMO and its impact at both an individual level and on society as a whole, including problems, perceptions, benefits, and risks associated with GMOs. 

To learn more about the course, the instructors, and to enroll, visit:

Follow us on Twitter @CUgmoMOOC . Friend us on Facebook

Our goal is that this MOOC will impact people’s understanding of science, what it can and can’t do, and how information is transmitted. The intent is not to influence how people feel about GMOs, but to provide the critical thinking and scientific literacy tools necessary to make informed decisions—and to understand the broader impacts of those decisions. 

We first ran this course in September 2016.  In that inaugural run we engaged  6000 learners from 44 countries.  75% of the course participants were under the age of 40. We hope to build on that first success as we relaunch the course next week.

Please help us get the word out about this free course. Please forward this message to your curious neighbors, your aunties, your colleagues, your local grocer, your foodie friends and more!

All the best,
Thanks Sarah!

Blayne Reed

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sugarcane Aphid Management Videos from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomology Team

Sugarcane Aphid Management Videos from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomology Team

               The High Plains Texas A&M AgriLife Entomology team has put together 9 short sugarcane aphid management videos based on our experience and research in dealing with this pest over the past three years.  These are myself, Dr. Pat Porter, Dr. Ed Bynum, and Dr. Katelyn Keshiemer going over our presentation slides and talking about sugarcane aphid management practices.  The following link will take you to the Texas Sugarcane Aphid News blog site to watch the videos in YouTube.

Blayne Reed

Monday, February 13, 2017

District 2 Cotton Insect research trial report released

Dr. Suhas Vyavhare, District 2 Cotton Entomologist, has just completed his first year on the job.  This week he has completed and compiled his 2016 research trial report.  I think you will find some interesting and informative results regarding insect efficacy trials for thrips, fleahoppers, grasshoppers, and stink bugs, some of which we lend him a hand with.  I think you will find the information good and worthy of a bookmark, to review when and if you face these pests in your cotton fields in the future. 

Thanks Dr. Vyavhare!

Don't forget you can reach all of our Plains Pest Management research trials dating back to 2013 at

Select IPM at main menu and then select a IPM annual report.  Today we still have posted our 2013, 2014, and 2015 reports.  These reports combines our impact on the area with our annual programing plans, sums the growing season, and then contains all of that season's research trials we conducted so they are available to you 24/7/365.  We are steadily hammering on our 2016 reports and hope to have them available within a month or so.


Blayne Reed