May 5, 2021Summer Sanitation Is Important as Ever
To contact John Palumbo go to: jpalumbo@ag.Arizona.edu
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.
We have learned a lot about viruses and one of the striking features of most plant viruses is that they always need a host. And the relationship between a virus and its host plant is very specific. So where do the viruses go when we do not have lettuce or melon in the field? And how do they come back at the right time to infect the crops? (clue insect vector). The answer is weeds. A lot of the most economically important viruses are economically important viruses not just because of the losses they cause, but also because of the losses they cause in variety of plants. Viruses have small genome size that allows them to evolve faster. Viruses over time have evolved to adapt and increase their host range.
Below are some common viruses in agriculture and the number of plants they infect/overwinter. Keep in mind that there are many plants that can act as a reservoir for virus but have not been reported yet, so this is not an exclusive list.
Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV): Alfalfa, lettuce, endive, sunflower, datura, amaranth, different species of pigweed, milkweed, annual fleabane, oxeye daisy, hairy galinsoga, smallflower galinsoga, different species of mustards, common lambsquarters, hedge bindweed, field bindweed, cucurbits, different species of clover and vetch, beans, broad beans, lima beans, lupine, pea soybean, ground Ivy, healall, okra, purslane, pimpernel, black nightshade, pepper, tomato, petunia, eggplant, potato, garden pansy etc.
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV): pigweed, horseweed, oxeye daisy, coffee weed, Canada thistle, bull thistle, hairy galinsoga, Jerusalem artichoke, prickly lettuce, wild chamomile, hawkweed, groundsel, Canada goldenrod, sowthistle, endive, sunflower, lettuce, mustard, radish, chickweed, lambs quarters, morning glory, cucurbits, common teasel, alfalfa, beans, lima beans, mung beans, geranium, ground Ivy, okra, purslane, jimsonweed, ground cherry, horsenettle, black nightshade, pepper, tomato, petunia, eggplant, potato, burning nettle, garden pansy.
Lettuce mosaic virus (LMV): lettuce, bristly oxtongue, spinach.
Bidens mottle potyvirus: lettuce, endive, horseweed, hairy beggarticks, virginia pepperweed, Mexican pricklepoppy.
Celery mosaic virus (CeMV): Celery, giant hogweed
Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV): Bur cucumber, creeping cucumber, balsom pear, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, summer squash, pumpkin, gourd, winter squash, butternut squash,
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV): Tomato, potato, pigweed, hairy beggarticks, oxeye daisy, coffeeweed, prickly lettuce, annual sowthistle, ebdive, sunflower, lettuce, shepherd’s pruse, chickweed, hedge bindweed, cantaloupe, muskmelon, bean, broad bean, mung bean, cutleaf evening primerose, broadleaf plaintain, purslane, jimsonweed, bittersweet nightshade, black night shade, pepper, tomato, petunia, eggplant, potato.
Tobacco mosaic virus(TMV): White campion, jimsonweed, pepper, tomato, tobacco.
Turnip mosaic virus(TurMV): pigweed, wild carrot, bachelo’s button, Canada thistle, hairy galinsoga, smallflower galinsoga, common catsear, pineapple weed, dandelion, endive, sunflower, lettuce, mustard, brassicae crops, corn cockle, chickweed, common lambsquarter, spinach, cucumber, alsike clover, lupine, redstem filaree, ground Ivy, okra, velvetleaf, common pokeweed, purselane, jimsonweed, black nightshade, tomato, petunia..
Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) : mustard, common lambquarters, spinach, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, buttercup, red clover, common vetch, alfalfa, beans, lupine, pea, henbit, common mallow, okra, common pokeweed, jimsonweed, nightshade,
Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) : cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, gourds.
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.