Nov 11, 2020Weather Breaking, But Don’t Relax Yet
Name that pest
How many aphid species are present in the image below? Name them.To contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
Name that pest
How many aphid species are present in the image below? Name them.
Clovers can be very difficult to control weeds here, but it is also a major crop and common ornamental. Clovers can survive under poor growing conditions and are not controlled with glyphosate and seem to get worse every year. There are more than 50 types and 300 species of clover and they can be easily misidentified. They are all in the legume (Fabracea) family and can use a bacterium (rhizobium) in the soil to convert nitrogen in the atmosphere to a form that they and other plants can use for fertilizer. There are only 4 or 5 clover species that are agricultural pests here. The ones we get the most questions on are white and yellow sweet clover. These are in the Melilotus family. White sweet clover (Melilotus albus) is tall for a clover and can get 3 to 5 foot in height. The leaves are thinner than most clovers and this difficult to control weed lives at least 2 years and sometimes longer. Glyphosate and most of the contact herbicides do not control it. The plant growth regulator herbicides work best. Yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) is less common here. The flowers are yellow, and it is not as tall and vegetative as white sweet clover. Yellow is more common at higher elevations. California burclover (Medicago polymorpha) and Black medic (Medicago lupina) are in the same genus as alfalfa and are more of a problem in landscapes, parks and golf courses than in agricultural fields here. They do not grow upright and spread below the crop or turf. The true clovers are in the Trifolium genus and include white and strawberry clover. These creep along the ground and root at the nodes of the stem. These are more of a urban landscape weed and not considered an agricultural problem. Creeping woodsorrel or Oxyalis looks like a clover but it is not related. It is a turf weed that spreads rapidly along the ground and can live for several years. Preemergent herbicides are effective against all these clovers before they become established. The postemergence herbicides that are most effective in controlling these clovers are the plant growth regulators. Contact herbicides and glyphosate are generally ineffective.
Fungal transmission of viruses:
Several viruses have been shown to be transmitted by soil-inhabiting fungi and protists. Two of the common fungal species that transmit viruses in vegetable cropping system are Olpidium spp. and Polymyxa spp. There is specificity between the zoospores of the fungi and virus particles for successful transmission to occur. Not all soilborne fungi can transmit viruses.
Olipdium brassicae is an obligate parasite, meaning the fungus always needs a host plant to survive (brassicae, cucumber, carrot, lettuce). The fungius that act as vector of s viruses survive the time in between crops by producing resting spores. A virus that we often see in the desert, Lettuce big vein virus, is transmitted fungus Olpidium brassicae . Lettuce big vein virus is acquired by the zoospore (motile spores) as well as resting spores of the fungus.
The other soilborne virus we see in the desert it Tomato bushy stunt virus is soilborne but has no known vectors. Thought it was predicted to be transmitted by a fungus Olpidium brassicae, new research findings have rules out the particular fungal vector. But there is a possibility that the virus has some soilborne vector.
Common viruses with fungal vector:
Cucumber necrosis virus: Olpidium bornovanus
Beet necrotic yellow vein virus: Polymyxa betae
Beet soilborne mosaic virus: Polymyxa betae
Beet soilborne virus: Polymyxa betae
Beet virus Q: Polymyxa betae
Nematode transmission of viruses
Two genera of viruses; Nepoviruses (Nematode transmitted polyhedral viruses) and Tobraviuses (Tobacco rattle virus) are transmitted by nematodes. Xiphinema (Dagger nematodes), Longidorus (needle nematodes), Trichodorus and Paratrichodorus (stubby root nematode) vector transmit different species of viruses.
Virus transmission by nematodes happens in 7 different but interrelated steps.
1. Ingestion: The process where the nematode ingests the virus particle along with the plant material/sap.
2. Acquisiton: The unique receptor in the nematode identifies the virus, so he virus particles stay intact within the nematode.
3. Adsorption: The phenomena of the virus being intact instead of disintegrated in the nematode digestive system.
4. Retention: Once adsorption, the virus particle can be retained in nematodes anywhere from months to even years.
5. Release: The virus particles are released onto new plants when nematodes commences feeding on new plant.
6. Transfer: The virus particles get transferred to new plant.
7. Establishment: The virus particles establish themselves in the new host plant.
It is a sophisticated and thankfully a very specific relationship. Not all nematodes transmit virus, neither do nematodes vector all plant viruses. Nematodes and nematode transmitted viruses are of a bigger problem in perennial agriculture system such as citrus orchards and grapevines.
Viruses transmitted by nematodes:
tobacco rattle virus: beans, beets, peppers, potatoes, and spinach and 100 others tomato ringspot virus-tomato, cucumbers, peach rosette mosaic virus: peach, blueberries cherry
rasp leaf virus: cherry, apple
grapevine fanleaf virus: grapes and grape hybrids
Mark C. Siemens
Vol. 12, Issue 9, Published 5/5/2021
Automated thinning machines have been commercially available since 2012. These machines identify crop plants and intermittently deliver an herbicidal spray or dose of liquid fertilizer to thin the stand to the desired plant spacing. Some growers have converted older machines to spot apply pesticides to crop plants rather than thin lettuce. Spot spraying just the crop plant makes sense – it reduces applied chemical amount by about 1/3rd as compared to band spraying and by roughly 90% as compared to broadcast. I have heard reports of improved efficacy with this technique, perhaps due to better coverage, however this potential benefit has not been validated in formal trials.
A drawback with automated thinning machines is their high cost. Retail prices for machines are approximately $25,000 per seed line, or about $200,000 for a 4-row, 2-line machine. Another option might be to use automated systems designed for spot spraying weeds. These devices have been commercially available since the mid 90’s and function similarly to automated thinning machines in that they use optical sensors to detect plants and solenoid activated spray assemblies to intermittingly spray unwanted plants (Fig. 1). The cost of these devices is quite reasonable – about $3,000 per unit, or about $24,000 for a 4-row, 2-line machine.
Automated spot sprayers are typically used in agriculture to control weeds in fallow fields (Fig. 2), but could easily be adapted to apply pesticides or even fertilizer to vegetable crops. Spot applying foliar fertilizers to vegetable crops is an interesting concept and is being investigated in California with lettuce.
Another potential use of spot sprayers is to control herbicide resistant weeds. The device can be positioned between crop rows to spot spray a non-selective herbicide to target weeds. Placing the sprayer in a hooded enclosure prevents unwanted drift onto crop plants. We are conducting trials using this technique in cotton this season (Fig. 3). We are also looking for collaborators interested in trying the device as a pesticide and/or fertilizer spot applicator in vegetable crops for this upcoming season. If you are interested collaborating or would like to see a demo of the device, please feel free to reach out to me.