May 5, 2021Summer Sanitation Is Important as Ever
To contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
The off-target movement of Dicamba and 2,4-D that was applied to resistant cotton and soybeans in the Midwest and south has been in the news for the last few years. It has exploded recently with the cancellation of these uses by a Federal court and the EPA. There have
not been serious problems with these herbicides here in Arizona. The focus of this article is to explain why not.
Much of the cotton, corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. was Glyphosate resistant for several years. The number of Glyphosate resistant weeds have increased every year and new concerns about the effect of Glyphosate on human health and environmental safety have arisen. In response to this problem, new varieties of cotton, corn and soybeans have been developed that are resistant to a couple of old but highly effective herbicides, Dicamba and 2,4-D. These herbicides have high vapor pressures and can volatilize after application. They change from a liquid or solid to a gas after application and can move, sometimes long distances, in the air. Any herbicide can drift onto sensitive crops during application and cause injury. This is different than volatilization. New formulations of 2,4-D and Dicamba have been developed, however, that have significantly lower volatility. Studies have shown that while the potential is lower that it still can occur. Volatilization of both Dicamba and 2,4-D have caused widespread problems to field crops, trees, parks, school yards, landscapes… to cause “Silent Spring “type conditions in the Midwest and south. Volatility problems occasionally occur but widespread and serious problems have not been encountered in Arizona.
The extreme conditions that exist during the summer in the low deserts of Arizona all contribute to herbicide volatility. High temperature, low humidity and the occurrence of temperature inversions have always made it difficult to use volatile herbicides here. Growers and Pest Control Advisers have learned to be cautious when using these products. They are rarely used after daytime temperatures go much above 90 degrees.
Acreage and Crop Diversity
Crops are grown in Arizona on a smaller scale and more intensively than they are in the Midwest and south. This is especially true in the southwestern counties. The acreage of cotton in 2019, for instance, was 173,000 acres in Arizona,4,350,000 in Texas,1,305,000 in Georgia,550,000 in Oklahoma and 497,000 in Alabama. This smaller scale allows Arizona growers to practice more careful management. Sprayers are cleaned more carefully or dedicated to spraying only volatile products. Fields and surrounding area are checked more frequently. In high acreage states, tens of thousands of acres can be treated at the same time with the same products. The amount of herbicide in the environment at those times is very high. In Arizona not only are crops grown on a smaller scale, but they are more diversified. It is not uncommon to see 3 ,4 or more different crops being grown at the same time on a 20 acre block. When fields are sprayed it is done very carefully.
Newer formulations and Varieties
New formulations of both Dicamba and 2,4-D have been developed that are much less volatile than the old formulations. Although some of these are promoted as non-volatile, they can still move. Some studies have shown that they are 30 to 50% more stable. It will be variable and dependent on many factors. It is important to choose those cotton varieties that have been developed to tolerate Dicamba or 2,4-D. According to Randy Norton, U of Az. Cotton Specialist, upwards of 60% of the cotton varieties being grown in Arizona this year are Dicamba resistant. Randy states that these varieties were selected for their yield and lint quality more so than their resistance to Dicamba.
Lettuce dieback is a soil-borne disease caused by two closely related viruses from the family Tombusviridae Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV) and Lettuce Necrotic Stunt Virus (LNSV) that has been reclassified as Moroccan Pepper Virus (MPV). The disease has been observed throughout the main lettuce producing areas of California and Arizona.
Since December in 2019, we received some samples that looked like lettuce dieback disease. The samples came positive for a new virus tentatively named as Lettuce dieback associated virus. We have been seeing symptoms in resistant cultivars (with Tvr1 gene) which suggests that the new virus is involved in the symptomology.
Little is known about the virus as of now, as it is still a work in progress. What we know so far, is that the virus is soilborne, and has been found to have more correlation with the dieback disease more than Tomato bushy stunt virus.
Dr. William Wintermantel (pictured above, email@example.com ) has been working on the virus and has developed protocol for virus testing.
Dr. Wintermantel has also shared the protocol with Trical Diagnostics so if you want rapid molecular diagnosis please contact Steve Koike (SKoike@trical.com).
If you have plants showing symptoms of Tomato bushy stunt virus, please bring the samples to Yuma Plant Health Clinic for diagnosis.
Vol. 12, Issue 4, Published 2/22/2021
Keeping up to date with the latest developments in automated weeding machines is challenging. It’s a very fast-moving space with significant private and public investment. At the “Advances in Weed Control Technologies” breakout session at the 2021 Southwest Ag Summit, university experts and cutting-edge innovators will provide updates on the latest developments in automated weeding, autonomous ag robots and non-chemical weed control. The first presenter will be Tony Koselka, COO and Vice President of Engineering, Vision Robotics Corp. Tony will be giving a history on the evolution of automated thinning/weeding technologies and real-world examples of how vision systems and artificial intelligence (AI) is being used with automated weeding machines today. Following Tony will be Paul Nagel, Chief Revenue Officer, Stout Industrial Technology, Inc. Paul will be discussing AI technologies available today, their capabilities, and where the technology is headed. Jaime Eltit, Head of Commercial Farming Operations, FarmWise, Inc. will be also be discussing AI technology and how machine learning is used for robotic in-row weed control. Additionally, he will be presenting information on the latest developments in autonomous weeding robots and their application in Arizona vegetable production systems. Finally, Dr. Steve Fennimore, Weed Scientist, UC Davis will be presenting information on a novel technique for using steam heat to control sclerotinia lettuce drop, Fusarium wilt of lettuce and in-row weeds in vegetable crops.
The session will be held TOMMOROW Thursday, February 25th from 1:30-3:30. If you are unable to attend the live session, recordings of the presentations will be available on March 2 and March 3. For those interested in CEU’s, the session offers 2 AZ/CA PCA and CCA credits. One last thing, you must be registered for the 2021 Southwest Ag Summit in order to attend the session. To register or for more information about the Southwest Ag Summit, visit https://yumafreshveg.com/southwest-ag-summit/. Hope to see you there for what promises to be an enlightening and informative session.
The Yuma County Leaf Wetness Network remains in place for the 2018/19 vegetable season. Growers and PCAs may access information generated by the network by entering the following internet address: http://184.108.40.206:460
Upon entering the address above, you will be transferred to internet page that provides a series of tabs at the top of the page. Simply click on the tabs to access the information of interest.
Results of pheromone and sticky trap catches can be viewed HERE.
Results of pheromone and sticky trap catches can be viewed HERE.
Corn earworm: CEW moth activity increased a bit in the past 2 weeks but remains well below average for late spring.
Beet armyworm: Moth counts increased slightly, but remain very low consistent with seasonal temperatures, and below average for this point in the season.
Cabbage looper: Significant increase in activity in Dome Valley, Gila Valley and Tacna, but moth counts remain unusually low for this time of year, as they have all season.
Whitefly: No adult movement recorded across all locations and overall low numbers consistent with temperatures.
Thrips: Thrips adult movement beginning to pick up considerably, particularly in Yuma and Dome Valleys. Movement is below average for late March.
Aphids: Seasonal aphid counts down considerably compared with the Feb and Jan. Counts highest in Bard and Gila Valley. Below average movement for this time of year. Majority of species found on traps were green peach aphid.
Leafminers: Adult activity up slightly in some locations, but well below average for late season.