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Showing posts from March, 2013

Take a Lawn Care Survey, Win an iPad Mini!

University of Minnesota Extension is still seeking feedback from members of the public through the month of March to help direct future lawn care and turfgrass education programs.

Take a brief (10-15 minute) survey and be entered into a drawing for two chances to win an iPad Mini. Congratulations to Karen Wennberg ('82 Horticulture) - the iPad Mini winner from the first drawing!

The remaining two drawings will be held on February 28th, and March 31st 2013. Find the survey here.

Lawn Care Survey

For questions regarding this contest or the survey, please contact:
Sam Bauer, Extension Educator - Turfgrass Science
University of Minnesota Extension
Phone: 763-767-3518

Editor's note:

We always appreciate the time you take to inform us of your needs and wishes. Your input guides our programming. Thanks for taking the time communicate with us!

Coffee Rust (La Roya) Epidemic Sweeps Central and South America

M. Grabowski, University of Minnesota Extension

H. Schwartz, CSU,
Photo 1: Coffee Rust

Although coffee does not grow here in Minnesota, it is a regular part of daily life for many Minnesotans. Some might even suggest that they could not survive without their morning coffee. In the major coffee producing regions of Central and South America an epidemic of the fungal disease coffee rust (or la Roya in Spanish) is taking a devastating toll on the coffee crop this year.

Coffee rust is caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix which causes powdery yellow to orange spots on leaves. These leaf spots eventually turn brown and infected leaves drop from the coffee plant prematurely. Severe defoliation by coffee rust weakens the coffee plant, reduces yield and can eventually kill the coffee plant.

The powdery yellow spores that form on infected leaves spread easily on wind and splashing water. It is estimated that a single rust pustule on a coffee leaf contains 150,000 spores and a sin…

Boxelder Bugs in Homes

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

People have recently been experiencing problems with boxelder bugs in their homes, sometimes in large numbers.  Despite the circumstantial evidence, these insects are not reproducing indoors; all of the boxelder bugs you see now entered homes last fall.  When they get into wall voids, attics, and similar places, they often cluster in large groups.  As the outdoor temperatures warm up (or sometimes as people turn their heat up), the outer layer of these insects will receive the most warmth and become active.  They will then move to the inside of buildings where it is warm.  Eventually another layer of insects becomes active and so on.  This is why boxelder bugs and other dormant insects do not all emerge at the same time.

Jeff Hahn
Photo 1: Boxelder bugs will stay dormant until warm temperatures 'wake' them up.

Unfortunately, there are not many good options for dealing with boxelder bugs and other overwintering insects at this time of year…