Feb 7, 2024Keep an Eye Out for Corn Earworm in Spring Head LettuceTo contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
As part of the SW Ag Summit that recently took place in Yuma, we conducted a breakout session on Thursday, 23 February 2023 titled “Colorado River Water Shortage: Agricultural Perspectives”.
This session provided a brief review of the background and current situation on the Colorado River and included perspectives from members of the lower Colorado River agricultural community including the Palo Verde Valley, Imperial Valley, and the Yuma area irrigation districts. The program outline included the following participants:
Colorado River Water Shortage: Introductory Overview
Jeff Silvertooth, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Colorado River Water Shortage: Palo Verde Valley Perspective
Bart Fisher, Fisher Ranch, Blythe, CA
Colorado River Water Shortage: Imperial Valley Perspective
Larry Cox, Lawrence Cox Ranches, Brawley, CA
Colorado River Water Shortage: Yuma Perspective
Elston Grubaugh, Wellton Mohawk Irrigation & Drainage District, Wellton, AZ
Moderator: Jeff Silvertooth
For geographic reference, Figures 1 and 2 provide maps of the lower Colorado River Valley and Yuma agricultural irrigation districts.
The session was not recorded but we do have each of the presentations available in the following links.
https://live-azs-vegetableipmupdates.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/2023-02/2023SWAS_JCS SWAS_ColoR Ag Perspectives_23feb23_FINAL_post.pdf
https://live-azs-vegetableipmupdates.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/2023-02/2023SWAS_LC SWAS 23 February 2023.pdf
Also posted below is the link to an excellent video regarding Yuma Water and Ag that was recently developed and presented on 23 February by the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association.
Figure 1. Map of the lower Colorado River including the dams, diversions,
and some of the major canal systems.
Figure 2. Map of the Yuma area irrigation districts. Source: Yuma Water Users Association, 2015.
With melon season on full bloom, you will also start seeing diseases on melons. Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder is more of a problem on fall melons but they can also occur in summer melons. Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder is a cucurbit disease caused by a plant virus named Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV; genus Crinivirus, family Closteroviridae). This virus was first detected in southern California and Arizona in 2006 and infects cantaloupe and honeydew melon, watermelon, and various types of squash. CYSDV is transmittedexclusively by the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Symptoms always start from the oldest leave which is a diagnostic feature of the virus.
All biotypes of B. tabaci known to exist in North America can transmit the virus efficiently, including biotypes A, B and Q. Whitefly transmission is responsible for virus spread over short distances (e.g., within and between fields). However, with high winds whiteflies can move long distances and transport the virus. The virus can stay infectious within whiteflies for up to 9 days. As virus infection is systemic (meaning they have to be circulated inside the plant system to show symptoms) it can take 3 to 4 weeks for disease symptoms to develop following infection. This gives a window for infected symptomless plants can be unknowingly transported and can lead to epidemics. The virus is not transmitted mechanically (by touch, mechanical damage, cuts etc) or via seed. However, the virus can be efficiently transmitted even if there is low whitefly pressure in the field.
The best management approach is to monitor the whitefly population and be proactive with insecticides application. Rotate insecticides with different modes of action Group numbers to minimize development of insecticide resistance. Practice good weed management in and around fields to the extent feasible. Remove and destroy old crops/volunteers, enforce regional cucurbit -free period to eliminate the virus from the cropping system.
Sweet Shield and Novira varieties seem to do well in Yuma area.
At the 2023 Southwest Ag Summit Field Demo a couple of weeks ago, many of the latest technologies were demonstrated in the field. Most were related to pest control. Several of the technologies demonstrated or on display at the event are brand new to the Yuma, AZ area. The new technologies presented included an autonomous orchard sprayer (Fig. 1a), wide span (4 and 6 row) automated weeders (Fig. 1b, Fig. 1c), steam applicators for pre-plant weed control (Fig. 1d) and post-emergent weed control/crop desiccation (Fig. 1e) and a camera guided cultivator (Fig. 1f). This trend towards developing wider and more productive machine machines is indicative of a maturing industry. It will be interesting to watch these machines evolve further and become integrated in our cropping systems.
Fig. 1. New pest control technologies demonstrated/on display at the 2023 Southwest Ag Summit Field Demo included a) mini GUSS1 autonomous orchard sprayer, b) K.U.L.T.i - Select automated weeder, c) FarmWise’s Vulcan automated weeder, d) UC Davis/UofA band-steam applicator, e) X-Steam-inator’s steam applicator and f) Mantis Ag Technology’s camera-guided cultivator. (Photo credits Fig. 1d: Mazin Saber, University of Arizona)
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