May 5, 2021Summer Sanitation Is Important as Ever
To contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
Contact herbicides are those that only affect the part of the weed that they “contact” They don’t move into or affect any other part of a plant. They were the first herbicides used and surprisingly, they still are better at controlling some weeds than any other products that have been developed. They usually control only small weeds with good coverage although some of them will kill large malva , Purslane and some other difficult to kill weeds. Goal, Sharpen, Treevix and Gramoxone, which are all contacts, will kill malva and purslane while systemic herbicides like Glyphosate and 2,4-D, misses them. Maestro or Bucril (Bromoxynil), also an old contact, will kill swinecress while many systemics like the growth regulators ,miss it. Glufosinate( Liberty, Rely) is a contact that is very broad spectrum and kills more grasses and broadleaves than many systemic herbicides. These all work very fast and in this age of immediate gratification ,you don’t have to wait long. Most have little soil residual activity (except Goal, Chateau and a couple others) Goal and Chateau are contacts but used mostly preemergence to the weeds. They “ contact” the weeds when they emerge at the surface. which is a benefit where double or triple cropping is common. Most( again except Goal) are not volatile but will cause pretty clear contact injury when the spray moves to sensitive crops. Paraquat was registered in 1959 and is still a very useful tool for desiccating plants. Many restrictions have been put on its use because of its toxicity to humans. Most contact herbicides are non-selective and will injure most living plant tissue. They are used selectively with directed spray or timing. Adjuvants are often required to increase absorption, spreading and sticking.
Plant viruses cannot penetrate the intact plant cuticle and cellulose cell wall that acts as barrier to infection. The virus overcomes the problem by either avoiding the need to penetrate (example seed transmission) or by using the wound in plants as infection site, or transmission by insects, nematodes or fungi as a vector.
Mechanical transmission involves the introduction of infective virus or viral RNA into the wounds of plants. Viruses such as Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), Potato virus X are highly stable, and reach high concentration in plants. As you all know TMV can readily contaminate hands, clothings, and implements and can be spread by worker. TMV can even spread mechanically by tobacco smokers as the virus is present in cured tobacco leaves.
Mechanical transmission is of great importance. In field and greenhouse, great amount of caution has to be implemented to not transmit the infection. Field sanitation, tool sanitation is very important to avoid the spread of virus.
However, in experimental world mechanical transmission is a very useful tool to study viruses. Mechanical inoculation of virus to a heathy host plant is done for assays, to produce local lesions, in the propagation to of viruses for purification, in host range study, diagnosis, and to understand the interaction between virus and susceptible cells.
Seed transmission: About 1/7 th of the known plant viruses are transmitted through seeds. Different viruses have different host ranges (the plants that they can infect). Tobacco mosaic virus, Cucumber mosaic virus are some viruses with a very wide host range, and they may not be seed transmissible in all plants they infect. Seed transmission plays a huge role in virus epidemiology. Not only they can be a primary source of infection, leading to an epidemic in the field upon conducible environment, seed transmission is an effective way for long distance travel of the virus, thus introducing the virus to new places. You have heard of USDA regulations/restrictions on different crops, from certain foreign countries to avoid introduction of infected seeds/plant materials.
Seed transmission can occur simply by contamination of seeds, as in tomato seeds by Tobacco mosaic virus. This can be readily inactivated by seed treatments.
The second type of seed transmission occurs when the virus is present in the embryo tissue that can happen prior to fertilization or takes place at pollination. Pea seed-borne mosaic virus is a well-studied plant virus in this category.
Pollen Transmisison: Some viruses are transmitted from plant to plant via pollen. As in seed transmission, pollen transmission has two mechanisms, gametic infection of embryo and direct infection of mother plant.
Vegetative propagation: An important horticultural practice, and unfortunately a very effective method for perpetuating and spreading viruses. In clonally propagated plants, an infected mother plant which could be asymptomatic could be used to make hundreds and thousands of daughter plants, which will all have the virus. Any vegetative parts such as bulbs, corms, runners, and cutting will be infected.
Grafting: Essentially a form of vegetative propagation, once the organic union has been established and plants (Scion and Stock) function as a single plant. In experimental front, grafting is used as a virus transmission method, when all other methods fail.
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.
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.