The recent conjectures about the Asian giant hornets (AKA murder hornets) have been a topic of several news stories. Extension team and I have received several calls and inquiries for identification of wasps confused with the Asian giant hornet. While there have been no confirmed sightings of the Asian giant hornet in Arizona, we do however have cicada killer wasps, which are also very large, at first glance can be confused with the Asian giant hornet, and can be found in large number due to the recent emerging of cicadas. Gene Hall, Peter Ellsworth and Naomi Pier have developed a new Short publication to set the record on differentiating between the two wasps.
Insects, including alfalfa weevil (AW), are known for their genetic ability to develop resistance to insecticides. In a population of an insect species, there may be a few individuals that carry the genes for resistance to a chemical. Upon exposure to insecticides, insects that do not carry the resistance genes die, thus allowing the individuals with the resistance genes to survive and reproduce, creating more resistant insects. With every subsequent generation and continued selection, the number of resistant insects increases; therefore, the insecticide becomes less effective in controlling the pest population. Ayman Mostafa and Kyle Harrington of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Field Crops IPM Program investigated lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior II™) against AW to test for any resistance by comparing the dose response of field populations of AW from seven states using feeding and contacting assay. The results of these experiments will be helpful to growers and the agriculture industry in the western region and around the nation as they decide which insecticides to use on their crops and which ones are most effective. https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1834-2020.pdf
Among the potentials for enhancing production, profitability, and nutrition efficiencies of alfalfa crops is through effective use of fertilizers. For many soils in the low desert of Arizona, phosphorus (P) as a phosphate fertilizer is very commonly applied prior to planting alfalfa. Potassium (K) is assumed to be abundantly available in desert soils; therefore, not typically applied to crops. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is generally not applied for alfalfa production since alfalfa can obtain its own N from N-fixing nodules. Specific information about the interactions and effects of P and K on alfalfa yield and quality for Arizona has not been developed. This publication by Ayman Mostafa and Worku Burayu of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Field Crops Program investigated and demonstrated the importance of balanced fertilizer applications to maximize alfalfa yield. https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1833-2020.pdf