Aug 9, 2023Protecting Crops at Stand EstablishmentTo contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
On Tuesday, 15 August 2023 officials from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) presented their 24-Month study reports with projections and operational plans for 2024 (USBR, 15 August 2023). We are still dealing with the drought but there is some improvement in the 2024 plans for Colorado River water allocations for Arizona.
The wet winter and spring experienced in the Southwest in 2023 has provided some relief on the dire situation we were facing on the Colorado River system and reservoir levels have improved. But unfortunately, one good precipitation season does not solve all the problems and they will still need to be dealt with.
The current plan for lower Colorado River water management is basically a return to the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) Tier 1 schedule (Figure 1).
Fgure 1. Drought Contingency Plan Tier reductions for Arizona.
Tier 1 plans take us back to an 18% reduction or 512,000 acre-feet (KAF) of Arizona’s Colorado River allocation of 2.8 million acre-feet (MAF). Arizona was operating under Tier 1 guidelines in 2022.
The irrigation districts in central Arizona that have lost access to Central Arizona Project (CAP) water will not be receiving any additional water in 2024 based on this plan. The districts immediately adjacent to the mainstem of the Colorado River will continue to receive the same amount of water as they have been receiving the past two years. For Arizona and the other lower basin states, these are basically the same water allocation guidelines that were in place in 2022.
The urban areas and American Indian tribes will not experience any additional reductions based on the USBR plans. However, some cities and tribes have volunteered to reduce their Colorado River water allocations in exchange for payments from the federal government.
For example, in 2023 Arizona, California, and Nevada agreed to a plan that will conserve an additional 3 MAF of Colorado River water through 2026 in exchange for $1.2 billion from the federal government. If approved by the USBR, this plan would reduce Colorado River allocations to the Imperial Irrigation District in California, which has some of the most senior water rights on the river.
The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), which has a Colorado River allocation of 653 KAF, committed in April 2023 to relinquish temporarily 125 KAF in exchange for $400 per AF from the federal government. The federal government is also funding GRIC infrastructure projects to increase wastewater reuse in irrigation.
Thus, some of the Colorado River water that is technically allocated to Arizona under Tier 1 guidelines will stay in Lake Mead due to previously agreed upon conservation measures.
Regarding other lower basin states and the current USBR plan, Nevada will have slightly more Colorado River water in 2024 than in 2023. Mexico will deal with a 5% reduction in Colorado River water from their base and once again California will not be suffering any required cuts in their Colorado River water allocation.
Overall, this is good news. We have some temporary relief on the Colorado River system and no additional reductions will be required in 2024. This puts the seven Colorado River basin states and Mexico in a better position to negotiate the guidelines and agreements required for 2026 since all the existing agreements expire in two years.
USBR, 15 August 2023. 24-Month Study reports.
In the past few weeks we have seen increase in cucurbit samples submitted to the plant disease diagnostic clinic infected with bacterial wilt. PCAs have also reported increase in number of cucumber beetle in the fields.
Bacterial wilt is a common occurrence in commercial fields and residential gardens. This destructive disease can potentially result in complete crop loss even before the first harvest. Hosts Cucumber and muskmelon (cantaloupe) are highly susceptible; squash and pumpkin are less susceptible; watermelon is resistant.
Initially, individual leaves or groups of leaves turn dull green and wilt (Figure 1), followed by wilting of entire runners or whole plants. At first, plants may partially recover at night, but as disease progresses, wilt becomes permanent. Collapsed foliage and vines turn brown (necrotic), shrivel, and die (Figure 2). Wilt symptoms may be noticeable in as few as 4 days from infection on highly susceptible hosts but can take up to several weeks to become evident on crops that are less susceptible. Plant growth stage can also affect disease progress, which is more rapid on young, succulent plant tissues.
The diagnostic feature for this disease is the emission of a slimy, sticky ooze (exudate made of polysaccharides and bacterial cells) from cut stems. Field diagnosis can be confirmed using a simple “bacterial ooze test.” With a sharp knife, cut through a wilted (but not dead) vine; use a section near the crown (Figure 3A). Touch the cut ends together, and then slowly pull them apart. Fine thread-like strands of bacterial ooze will be drawn out (Figure 3B) when bacteria are present. This test works well for cucumber and muskmelon but is less reliable for squash or pumpkin. If this disease is present, a cloudy string or mass of bacterial ooze will flow into the water from the cut stem pieces (Figure 3C).
Bacterial wilt is caused by Erwinia tracheiphila; striped and spotted cucumber beetles (Fig 4 and 5) serve as vectors, carrying the bacterium from plant to plant during the growing season. The life cycles of the bacterial wilt organism and its vectors are closely associated, and bacterial wilt is directly correlated to striped and spotted cucumber beetle populations. These beetles hibernate through winter under leaf litter and in other protected sites; all the while, the bacterial wilt pathogen overwinters within the gut of the striped cucumber beetle. The beetles become active once temperatures remain above 55°F in spring. As soon as cucurbit seedlings begin to break through the ground, the beetles begin to feed on cotyledons and later feed on leaves, stems, and flowers. Striped cucumber beetle larvae also feed on root systems, causing damage that can result in wilt. The bacterial wilt organism is deposited through beetle mouthparts and the frass deposited onto/ into wounds created during beetle feeding. Once the bacterium invades a plant’s water conducting vessels (xylem), it spreads rapidly throughout the plant. The matrix of bacteria and ooze obstructs water movement in the xylem vessels, which causes wilt symptoms. Further spread of the pathogen occurs when beetles feed on diseased plants and then feed on nearby healthy plants. Close to harvest, a second generation of striped cucumber beetle may acquire the bacterium while feeding on infected plant tissues. Fall-planted cucurbits may be infected by this generation. These late-season adults will overwinter with the live bacterium in their gut and possibly transmit the pathogen to young plants the next spring. The bacterium cannot survive in infected plant debris from one season to the next.
Prevention of bacterial infections is dependent upon preventing cucumber beetle vectors from feeding on cucurbit plants. Early protection is critical for long-term disease management, which should begin as soon as seedlings emerge or when plants are transplanted into fields or gardens. Once it is evident that plants are infected, they should be removed from the site and destroyed. An early, aggressive management approach has been shown to reduce amounts of disease later in the season.
Start an insecticide program as soon as seedlings emerge or immediately after transplanting. This is critical to protecting very small plants from beetle feeding and, ultimately, from bacterial wilt. Bactericides are not recommended for management of bacterial wilt disease. Plastic and reflective mulches, crop rotation have shown promising effect against the insects.
More information: http://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/
Mark C. Siemens, Department of Biosystems Engineering
Vol. 14, Issue 16, Published 8/9/2023
Pre-Season Vegetable IPM Workshop
Mark C. Siemens
Vol. 14, Issue 17, Published 8/23/2023
The Pre-Season Vegetable IPM Workshop will be taking place TOMORROW, Wednesday, August 23rd at the Yuma Agricultural Center. Come learn about the latest IPM products, practices and trial results from university and industry experts. Registration begins at 7:30 am and the program starts at 8:00 am. Agenda below. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
In the absence of Dacthal (DCPA) growers are looking for different herbicide options for Broccoli and Onions.
The following is data from a broccoli trial done in 2010 by Tickes/Pena, which compares Prowl, Goal Tender, Prefar, Treflan, Devrinol and Dacthal at different application timings. Plots were visually evaluated for weed control of Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale), Malva (Malva parviflora), and Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus oficinalis). The label recommendations for Devrinol are “Use the lower rate on light soil (coarse textured-sandy), and the higher rate on heavy soil (fine textured-clay)”. The rate goes from 1-2 lbs on the DF-XT 50% formulation.
We hope this information is useful in our decision making for broccoli herbicide programs.