Owen Taylor

Spider Mites Put Up A Tough Fight – Here’s Why

December 4, 2011
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The tiny two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) causes much anxiety for farmers and has been, to date, a scientific mystery. It feeds on over 1,100 species of plants, including 150 greenhouse plants and crops, such cotton, corn, soybean and a host of vegetables and permanent crops. By one estimate, farmers spend $1 billion a...

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Cottonseed Oil Contributes To Biofuel Land Speed Record

November 27, 2011
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As reported this week by Inhabitat, a Chevy S10 has set a new world land speed record for a truck powered by biofuel — in this case, a blend of cottonseed oil and sunflower oil. The vehicle, tricked out with a Cummins diesel, hit 155 miles per hour at El Mirage Dry Lake in...

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Mississippi Soybeans: Keys To Sustainability

October 26, 2011
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Larry Heatherly, who fostered significant advances in how Delta farmers grow soybeans, has filed a 7-part blog series on sustainable soybean production. The blog is tied into the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board’s web site. Heatherly, a retired research agronomist with USDA’s Stoneville, Mississippi, facility, is now coordinates rearch and technology transfer for Mississippi’s soybean...

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Australia – If Mad Max Had Driven A Pickup, This Would Be It

October 6, 2011
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When I attended the Australian Cotton Conference sometime in the mid 1990s, one of the things that fascinated me was the way Australian pickup trucks had evolved. Long before Americans recognized the versatility of 4 doors on a work truck, the Aussies had long been building what we refer to as crew cabs and...

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Texas Drought: When Will We See The Last 100-Degree Day In 2011?

July 12, 2011
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Another indication about how early this year’s heat developed in the Sunbelt states comes from Bob Rose, Chief meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority, an entity in Austin, Texas, that manages Hill Country reservoirs that supply municipal water and irrigation supplies. This year’s triple-digit heat started in May, points out Rose, whose commentaries...

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California Cotton’s Main Competitor In 2012

July 11, 2011
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Alfalfa might pull some acres out of California’s cotton crop in 2012. The two crops always have had kind of a tidal relationship, with one or the other flowing across more land in one or two seasons, then receding to let the other regain acreage. Cotton has gained ground over the last two seasons,...

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In Georgia, The Heat Also Came Early

July 11, 2011
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As noted in the previous post, excessive heat hit Texas early this year. The same can be said of Georgia, albeit at a lower level. Sharon Johnson, an Atlanta-based cotton analyst, noted in a Sunday night memo that one of the local TV stations ran a comparison on high temperatures this year, specifically those...

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In Texas Drought, The Heat Came Early

July 8, 2011
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Todd Baughman, the Texas A&M Extension peanut specialst, noted this week in our newsletter, PeanutFax, that the oppressive heat came on early by any standard. “One of our local TV stations cited comparisons to illustrate how bad the heat has been,’ he said. “In 1980 – the landmark year everyone uses for comparisons – we...

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Texas Drought May Have Enough Momentum To Persist After La Nina Fades, Says Bob Rose

June 10, 2011
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Bob Rose, chief meteorologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority — which manages key reservoirs in the Hill Country of Texas — says that this year’s drought may have enough momentum to carry it through the summer, even when the La Nina effect weakens. LCRA supplies water to Austin and other cities in the...

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Mississippi Company Promoting U.S.-Grown Bamboo

June 8, 2011
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Bamboo inventory.

Nothing in our back yard grows quite as fast as bamboo that crept into a back corner from a neighbor’s yard. So, living in Mississippi where bamboo can really take off, it was fascinating to find that a Jackson man has formed a company aimed at growing bamboo here for commercial sale. Here’s the...

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