My name is Kate Harrell, I am the new integrated pest management (IPM) agent for Wharton, Jackson and Matagorda counties. If I have not had the chance to meet you yet, allow me to give a little background. I grew up on a farm up in the southern high plains near Plainview, Texas. During high school, I worked for Greg Cronholm, the IPM agent for Hale and Swisher county, and the summer after I finished my undergraduate I worked for the new IPM agent in the same counties, Blayne Reed. Despite growing up only 45 minutes from Texas Tech, I decided to go to Texas A&M, where I graduated with a bachelors in entomology and agronomy in May of 2013. I am currently working on my masters in entomology at Texas A&M as well. I moved to Wharton at the end of August, and started working in the Wharton county extension office in September. Please feel free to come by the Wharton county extension office or give me a call if you have any questions or would just like to meet with me.
There is currently one day left in the comment period for the EPA decision on the section 18 emergency exemption application for Transform on sorghum for the sugarcane aphid. As you are all aware, this insecticide has been a good tool for helping control the sugarcane aphid in sorghum. While most of the extension studies have shown Sivanto to have a longer residual and higher efficacy in controlling the aphid, I am leery of approaching the growing season with only one insecticide available for use on the aphid. Using only one tool on any pest is not the best approach, and being left with only cultural practices (such as planting early) and one labelled insecticide leaves me uneasy. This morning there were a total of 203 comments on the emergency exemption application ruling. I know many of you are in the field and running fertilizer rigs, but if you have the time to make a quality comment on this, please do. The comment period closes on February 11th at midnight.
Here is the link to the website you can post a comment: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0643-0005