Feb 7, 2024Keep an Eye Out for Corn Earworm in Spring Head LettuceTo contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
The drought-related pressures on the Colorado River system that have been impacting the entire basin and region for 23 years have slackened briefly due to the wet winter in 2023 that included a good snowpack in the mountains, better rainfall throughout the basin, and improved flows into the river. The current water level at Lake Mead on Hoover Dam is 1,068.25 ft. above sea level on 3 January 2024. That level is 160.75 ft below full pool of 1,229.00 ft. (Figure 1).
In mid-December 2023 representatives from each of the seven Colorado River Basin states met in Las Vegas, NV during the annual Colorado River Water Users Association conference. The focus of current discussions among the basin states is to negotiate a new compromise for the guidelines of use under conditions of water shortage. These new guidelines will go into place at the end of 2026. The immediate goal is to draft proposals by March 2024.
The negotiations are incentivized by having the opportunity for the post-2026 guidelines being developed by the basin states themselves as opposed to litigation or legislation. A major concern driving this process among the basin states that basin state representatives should be able to do this better than turning the process over to people and entities that have less direct familiarity with the situation and no real “skin” in the game.
The 1963 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in of the Arizona v California case directed the federal authority on the management of the Colorado River to the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR). However, the basin states have the chance to negotiate their future management plans on the Colorado River. If they fail to do so in the allotted time, the process will be managed by the federal government.
The basic water budget challenge is based on the following basic statistics:
Some notable progress is being made for conservation of Colorado River water with agreements among lower basin states and tribes that will conserve more than 1.5maf/year through 2026. For example, California water agencies have recently agreed to conserve up to 643,000 acre-feet/year through 2025. The Quechan Indian Tribe has reached an agreement with federal water managers to save up to 39,000 acre-feet/year through 2025. Arizona has agreed to conserve up to 348.00 acre-feet/year through 2026. All these temporary agreements are being supported with federal funding.
With agriculture responsible for 70% of the diversions on the Colorado River, these negotiations are extremely important for the future of agriculture in this region and our capacity to support high population densities that are now common and rapidly growing.
These types of negotiations are certainly challenging in dealing with a limited water supply and a lot of demand. There are many competing interests involved. Yet, we are confident that the representatives we have will be able to work this out and come to a set of functional agreements.
Bacterial leaf spot is caused by the bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae pv. Aptata. Hosts of the pathogen include Table beet, Sugar beet, Spinach, Swiss chard, Snap bean, Dry bean, Cantaloupe, Pumpkin, Squash, Lettuce, and Pepper.
Bacterial leaf spot is most commonly found affecting table beet at early stages of growth. This may be because younger plants are more susceptible. It may also be related to the prevalence of cool, wet conditions at the beginning of the cropping season. These conditions are most conducive to infection and disease development. The disease may affect green leaf area in developing seedlings and in severe cases can lead to plant death. Diseased leaves will lead to weakened seedlings which may affect transplant success. Bacterial leaf spot does not directly affect root quality.
Figure 1. Bacterial leaf spot caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata of
table beet: (left) Small focus of the disease, and (right) 2-6 true leaf stage of
plants affected by the epidemic.
Bacterial leaf spot symptoms are irregular in shape and black to brown in color. The spots may occur across the leaf surface but have a tendency to occur on the leaf edges. Lesions are water-soaked not often accompanied by chlorosis (yellowing). Lesions may initially be small (up to ¼ inch in diameter) but if conditions are conducive may rapidly expand and coalesce but do not cross major veins. The leaf is usually puckered and deformed around the lesions, especially if they occur on the margins (Fig. 2). When the disease is severe, the affected the tissue may also tear giving the appearance of abiotic damage such as hail.
Figure 2. Symptoms of bacterial leaf spot on table beet (cv. Merlin). Note the
black color of the lesions and puckering and deformation of the leaves around
Bacterial leaf spot symptoms may be confused with other fungal foliar diseases (e.g. Cercospora and Phoma leaf spots; see complementary fact sheets for these diseases) and insect damage (e.g. thrips). Bacterial leaf spot lesions do not have black pin-head, fungal structures across the lesions as found in Cercospora leaf spot. Phoma leaf spot lesions also have small, black structures within the lesions but found in rings and usually accompanied by an ooze of spores.
Figure 3. Schematic diagram of the potential sources of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata inoculum which may contribute to Bacterial leaf spot epidemics in table beet.
P. syringae pv. aptata may be introduced to the table beet crop through several ways (Fig. 3). P. syringae pv. aptata is seedborne and infested seed is a common means of pathogen introduction into table beet fields. The pathogen can also be present in the infested crop residues from the previous season as well as the alternative hosts. Alternative crop hosts include typical Chenopods (e.g. spinach, sugar beet, and Swiss chard) but also other non-related species including beans, cucurbits, and lettuce. Cool temperatures between 45-60°F and wet conditions typical of those that occur in early spring in upstate New York are conducive for pathogen infection and disease development. These conditions are similar to those that predispose table beet also to Phoma leaf spot. The pathogen can spread within the field through infested seed and irrigation water.
One of the most critical factors to achieve management of bacterial leaf spot is the use of certified seeds (Fig. 4). Other factors that will also contribute to reducing the initial inoculum and hence risk of disease include: (i) tillage to bury plant residues to promote breakdown, (ii) rotation between host crop species of at least three years; and (iii) drip or furrow irrigation to avoid dispersal of the pathogen through water splash. Currently, little is known of differences in cultivar susceptibility to bacterial leaf spot. Anectodal reports have described severe epidemics in cvs. Merlin, Boro, and Pablo.
Figure 4. Complementary practices towards the management of Bacterial leaf spot of table beet.
In-season control. If bacterial leaf spot is severe, applications of copper-based products should be considered to prevent disease spread. There are a range of conventional and OMRI-listed copper-based products available, including: Cueva (copper octanoate; FRAC M1), Badge X2 (copper oxychloride + copper hydroxide; FRAC M1), and Kocide 3000-O (copper hydroxide; FRAC M1). Remember to check the label for rates, re-entry intervals, and pre-harvest intervals applicable to your state and crop. Avoid applying copper-based products on transplants before hardening off, and in high temperatures due to the risk of phytotoxicity.
Time flies. February is right around the corner and that means it is farm equipment/ag trade show season. Upcoming regional events include the World Ag Expo, Tulare, CA, February 13-15, the Southwest Ag Summit, Yuma, AZ, February 20-22, and AgroBaja, Mexicali, Mexico, March 7-10. If you are interested in the latest ag tech and farm machinery, all are outstanding events and well worth attending. For more information, click on the links below.
Fig. 1. Upcoming farm equipment/ag trade show events: World Ag Expo, Tulare,
CA, February 13-15, 2024 theSouthwest Ag Summit, Yuma, AZ, February 20-
22,2024 and AgroBaja, Mexicali, Mexico, March 7-10, 2024.
Before making decisions for weed control it’s imperative to have a proper identification of the plant species. There are two names for plants:
The common name, which is a name that people come up with in a certain region to describe a particular weed and it varies by region and therefore can be confusing. Then we have an exact scientific name for each species that is based in the binomial nomenclature system started by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. This binomial (or two term) system includes the genus and the species, which is used worldwide1.
Some very close species from the same family can be controlled by the same product but occasionally their herbicidal susceptibility varies. Such is the case of Chenopodium murale (goosefoot) and Chenopodium album (lambsquarter) two very close and similar species. A product like Pursuit (Imazethapyr) has good activity on goosefoot but can’t control lambsquarters. With accurate identification in a mixed population, you would be able to determine what strategy to use or select the herbicide that would control both species.
There are about 75 weeds most common in Arizona and are included in the PCA2 study guide, but many other species could be introduced to the State and complicate our crop production systems. Two great tools for weed identification are the books “An Illustrated Guide to Arizona Weeds” that lists 172 species, and “Weeds of California and Other Western States” which has at least one photograph of 735 weeds.
Another weed identification tool is the book “Weeds of the West”.
Additionally, there are many phone applications that can be used as identification tools such as “id weeds”, “PlantNet”, “PictureThis”, “iNaturalist”, “Seek”, “PlantSnap” and “LeafSnap”. When we have problems with weed ID we contact the UA herbarium.
Thank you for sending samples for Weed ID to the IPM Team it is always a learning experience.