Jan 24, 2024Avoid Seed Corn Maggots in Spring Melons (2024)To contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
This disease commonly affects seeds and young transplants and is caused by the soil-borne fungi such as Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia etc. Infected seeds decay in the soil. Seedlings and young transplants will “damp-off” or rot at the soil line, before they eventually collapse and die.
The fungus, Rhizoctonia solani, causes wirestem. Stems of plants become constricted and brittle at the soil line. The plant becomes stunted and may rot at the soil line. This disease is more severe on fall cole crops when the soil is warm. We have seen lot of this problem in the fields last year. Make sure you get certified disease free seedlings.
Prevention & Treatment: Cultural controls include planting on raised beds and providing good drainage. In greenhouse where transplants are grown, use new potting soil and new or thoroughly cleaned and disinfested containers and trays. Wash used containers with soapy water to remove all traces of old soil mix, and then briefly submerse containers in a 10% bleach solution. Allow to dry before planting in containers. Both in greenhouse and fields: avoid overwatering and wet feet in plants/seedlings.
Black rot is another common disease we observed in the fields last growing season. Black rot is caused by a bacterium, Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris, and can affect all vegetables in the crucifer family. Above-ground parts of the plant are primarily affected, and symptoms may vary depending on the type of plant, age of the plant and the environmental conditions. In general, yellow, V-shaped lesions appear along the tips of the leaves with the point of the V directed toward a vein. When lesions enlarge, wilted tissue expands toward the base of the leaves. Veins turn black or brown. Infection may spread into the stems. Cutting into the stems often reveals a black-brown discoloration with a yellowish slime present. Symptoms on cauliflower may appear as numerous black or brown specks, black veins and discolored curds.
Prevention & Treatment: With no effective curative measures available, preventative measures are very important. The bacteria survive the winter on plant debris and on weeds, such as wild mustard and Shepherd’s purse. It also can survive in and on seeds from infected plants. It can remain alive on plant residue buried in the soil for up to two years. The disease is easily spread by splashing water, wind, insects and garden tools. High temperatures and humidity favor development of the disease.
Use certified disease-free seed and transplants. If source of the seeds is unknown, or infested seedlots must be used, treat seed with hot water to eradicate pathogenic bacteria. Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts can be treated at 122 °F for 25 minutes, while seeds of cauliflower, kale, turnip, and rutabaga are treated for 15 minutes. However, this treatment may reduce the viability of seed.
Choose varieties tolerant to black rot. Do not plant cole crops where black rot has occurred in the past two to three years. Select well-drained sites with good air circulation.
This disease is caused by the fungus Peronospora parasitica and can attack both seedlings and mature vegetable plants. Infected plants develop a gray mold on the lower leaf surface. The upper leaf surface of infected plants first turns yellow and then may turn brown or necrotic. Leaves wither and die. Symptoms differ from powdery mildew in that the downy mildew fungus grows only on the lower surface of the leaf. Development of the disease is favored by moist conditions.
Article source: https://hgic.clemson.edu/
A couple years ago, we conducted evaluations of various “new” technologies for cultivating weeds in cotton as compared to conventional methods. The new technologies included 1) a camera-guided side-shift hitch and 2) finger weeders, an in-row weeding tool (Fig. 1). Camera-guidance of the maneuverable hitch allows cultivating tools to be positioned close to the seed row. In the study, the uncultivated band was 3.5" for the camera-guided system, and 6” for the conventional cultivator. The aim of evaluating these technologies was to determine their efficacy in controlling herbicide resistant weeds. Trials conducted over 3 years showed that use of camera-guidance improved weed control by more than 30% and finger weeders removed about 45% of the in-row weeds. Overall weed control using the two technologies together was roughly > 90% for broadleaf weeds and about 85% for all weeds species.
Studies conducted by Texas A&M over two years showed similar results (Dotray et. al, 2021).
It is logical to think that similar type results would be realized in vegetable crops such as broccoli and cauliflower, plants that also have fairly long plant stems at the seedling stage of growth. A better than 40% reduction of in-row weeds would significantly lower hand weeding requirements. If you are interested in trying these technologies in vegetable or other crops on your farm, please contact me. We still have the equipment and I’d be happy to work with you.
A presentation given on the trial results and videos of the equipment used operating can be found by clicking here or on image below.
Dotray, P.A., Keeling, J.W., & Russell, K.R. 2021. Precision cultivation with finger weeder systems. Project No. 20-190 Final Report. Cary, N.C: Cotton Inc.
Project partially funded and supported by Arizona Cotton Growers Association, Cotton Inc., KULT-Kress, LLC and Keithly-Williams Fabrication. We thank them for their support.
Fig. 1. Technologies for precision cultivation and in-row weeding used in
efficacy trials included a a) a camera-guided side-shift hitch attached to a
cultivator and b) in-row weeding tools (finger weeders).
Fig. 2. Click on image above to watch presentation on precision cultivation and
in-row weeding technologies.
The following is the FIRST WEED SCIENCE ARTICLE OF THIS NEWSLETTER published January 13, 2010 by our friend Barry Tickes.
The selective grass herbicides are good rescue type treatments in vegetables for grasses that have gotten through Pefar, Kerb and Balan. These include Poast (sethoxydim), Select (clethodim) and Fusilade (fluazifop) and the generics of these products. These herbicides are all slow and even slower as temperature and day length drop. If you don't like weeds, you can have the satisfaction of watching them suffer for a long time. Treated grasses should stop growing immediately and will slowly turn yellow, red and gradually disappear as the crop grows. This will likely take 2 to 3 weeks. Poast is the slowest and Select is the fastest. All of these herbicides require the addition of a crop oil concentrate except for Select Max which you can use with either a crop oil concentrate or non-ionic surfactant. Some reports indicate that ammonium sulfate will help in cold weather. If you have used one of these products and don't see adequate control within 3 or 4 weeks, please contact us and we'll look at it with you.
As Barry promised in his 2010 article he will be looking at some field trials with me today!