The Field Crops Entomology Program conducts research and technology transfer activities to identify pest management tools that can be used strategically when pest pressure warrants, and to integrate pest management decision aids into cropping management systems, locally and area-wide. The program works with industry, Research, Extension, and education partners to focus on priority and emerging pest management issues relevant to fiber and grain crops of South Texas while contributing to regional and national goals in pest management.
- Improve pest management practices by assessing plant response to pest and beneficial insects in new management systems and under changing environmental conditions.
- Develop pest management decision support for cropping systems by linking harvest damage with in-season insect and plant monitoring activities.
- Contribute to area-wide insect management by evaluating plant stress and cropping system effects on pest risk.
- Transfer technologies working with pest management professionals.
Dr. Michael (Mike) Brewer. I am located at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi, on graduate faculty within the Department of Entomology at TAMU College Station and have adjunct status at two sister TAMU campuses (TAMU Kingsville and TAMU Corpus Christi). I apply research findings generated from applied insect ecology questions to the development of management approaches for field crop pest and beneficial insects. I publish in regional, national, and international outlets (including over 90 peer-reviewed articles and 7 book chapters) and participate in technology transfer and outreach functions (including over 40 outreach publications). I develop and sponsor student learning experiences such as graduate assistantships (currently 5 Ph.D. students), undergraduate internships (over 20 the last six years), and other outside of the classroom experiences. Additional information about entomology activities at the Corpus Christi Research and Extension Center can be found at my lab’s web site (https://ccag.tamu.edu/entomology/). Please don’t forget to look at the ‘for students’ link, which includes accomplishments of lab members (https://ccag.tamu.edu/student-information/).
In my most recent thrust in economic entomology and applied insect ecology, collaborations have been essential in the Development of Compatible Integrated Pest Management Tactics of Sugarcane Aphid on Sorghum. Research on sorghum susceptibility to sugarcane aphid have yielded research-based thresholds. Research on sorghum resistance to aphids and their compatibility with natural enemies benefited from collaborations from sorghum breeders and fellow entomologists, systematists, and geneticists. Agricultural impact of sugarcane aphid research and outreach is indicated by increasing grower success in managing sugarcane aphid. In my South Texas area of primary effort, there has been no grain sorghum acreage reduction since the first outbreaks of 2013, use of aphid- resistant hybrids has increased to about 50% of the acreage, and remaining acreage is managed with research-based economic thresholds that result in no greater than one insecticide spray for this aphid needed on average annually. Career-length scholarly impact includes synthesis of this and related research in three Annual Review of Entomology articles. Recognition includes the 2019 SW Branch nominee for the Entomological Society of America Excellence in IPM award.
Many thanks to the Research Entomology staff and students working on these projects, and to the following for their support and collaborations: Extension and Research personnel at Corpus Christi, Weslaco, Lubbock, and College Station; South Texas private consultants and growers; students and colleagues at TAMU Kingsville and Del Mar College, and regional industries and grower associations.
Michael (Mike) Brewer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Entomology
10345 Hwy 44
Corpus Christi, TX 78406