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Archive for the ‘Cultural control’ Category

Integrate Your Insecticide Rotation in the Greenhouse with Biological Control

Juang-Horng (J.C.) ChongBy Juang-Horng (J.C.) Chong|August 1, 2022

  • Greenhouse Grower

Predatory Mite Release biological control

Biological control can be used effectively as a part of an integrated pest management program. This image shows loose bran leftover from a predatory mite release. Photos: Juang Chong

In a perfect world, we can have our cake and eat it, too. Alas, this isn’t a perfect world. As much as we hope biological control can be a complete replacement for pesticides, it’s not. We may need to apply pesticides to prevent damage by a secondary pest. By a secondary pest, I mean a pest that’s not the primary target of your biological control program but can become a problem because it has no effective biological control option (such as lygus bug or striped mealybug) or its biological control agents are in short supply or unaffordable.

Multiple factors decide which pesticides to use when practicing biological control. You can consult Koppert’s Side Effects Database or Biobest’s Side Effect Manual to select compatible insecticides. But, understand that compatibility information isn’t available for all products, and databases from different companies may have different ratings for the same product. You’ll have to do a little homework. When multiple ratings are available, it’s prudent to go with the most conservative one or the “worst-case scenario.” The best aid in selecting compatible pesticides is the representative of your biological control agent supplier, who can help you select the most suitable products and fill information gaps, particularly information on sublethal impact of pesticides.

Today’s topic hasn’t been discussed in detail when folks talk about selecting compatible insecticides — how do you satisfy two critical requirements, i.e., insecticide rotation and compatibility with biological control agents, when selecting which insecticide to use against the secondary pest?

Avoid Pesticide Resistance

As part of an integrated pest management program, biological control is a great way to delay the development of pesticide resistance. Hopefully, a preventive biological control program is so successful that you don’t ever have to use pesticides. If you don’t use or use very little pesticides, then you don’t have to worry about pesticide resistance — as simple as that. But, if you need to make multiple applications to reduce a secondary pest population, you should consider rotating the pesticides you plan to use to avoid resistance development.

The process of developing an insecticide rotation program that’s compatible with your biological control program is the same as developing a rotation program for any other pest. This could be best illustrated by going through the steps of developing such a rotation program, say, against mealybugs (I’m too cheap to buy Cryptolaemus) while being compatible with the predatory mite, Neoseiulus cucumeris, used for thrips management.

Pests on Verbena

Multiple pests can occur on the same plant, such as spider mites and thrips on this verbena. Designing an insecticide rotation program will need to consider both pests and their biological control agents.

The first step is to have a list of insecticides effective against mealybugs. I can find pesticide efficacy information from several resources. I can read IR-4’s Research Summaries or the Comparative Efficacy and Ecotox table from Rutgers University’s Protecting Bees website. Alternatively, I can call or email my favorite entomologist for recommendations. At the end of Step 1, my fictional list includes acephate, bifenthrin, buprofezin, dinotefuran, flonicamid, horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, and pyriproxyfen.

Now, let’s select insecticides that are compatible with cucumeris mite from my list. For this step, I consult with the technical representative of my biological control agent supplier, Do-Good Bug Company. Acephate and bifenthrin are out because they are broad-spectrum and have residual toxicity that may last for weeks. Dinotefuran can be very detrimental to cucumeris mite when sprayed, but is safe as a drench, so I’ll use that as a drench. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap can also be detrimental when sprayed, but they have short residue, so I can use them just before releasing the predatory mites (the residue becomes harmless by release time) or at the end of the crop to clean up the mealybug population. Buprofezin, flonicamid and pyriproxyfen are compatible.

Steps for Mealybug Program

Here’s my mealybug program: I’ll start with a drench of dinotefuran followed with biweekly sprays of buprofezin, flonicamid, and pyriproxyfen. Remember that a good rotation program includes a sequence of non-repeating modes of action or IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee) numbers. I can find the IRAC numbers on the first page of the product labels, which are 4A for dinotefuran, 16 for buprofezin, 29 for flonicamid, and 7C for pyriproxyfen. All IRAC numbers in my rotation program are different, so I’m good to go. There you have it — an insecticide rotation program against mealybugs that’s compatible with cucumeris mite.

Of course, the example above is a simplified version of building an insecticide rotation program. Despite its simplicity, the same process can be repeated for any combination of (macro and micro) biological control agents and pesticides (insecticides and fungicides).

It is important to understand that insecticide rotation and compatibility with biological control should be considered within the context of the entire crop. Rarely do we deal with one pest or disease at a time. What we do to manage one pest or disease may have significant impact on the management efficacy against another pest or disease. Therefore, pesticide rotation and biological control programs should be designed carefully to consider multiple plant and pest species. It doesn’t matter how successful a biological control program is in managing the primary pest, a crop can still fail if a secondary pest management program ignores insecticide rotation and creates a resistant population that ultimately destroys the crop.

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Going the eco-friendly way to control pests

The rainy season brings a slew of problems for fruit growers, who struggle to save their crops from infestation by pests. The application of insecticides is not very effective and also poses environmental hazards, leading to a negative impact on soil health. Amid these challenging circumstances, the adoption of various eco-friendly techniques for managing pests targeting fruit crops has emerged as a viable option among farmers across Punjab.

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  • Updated At: Jul 18, 2022 07:32 AM (IST)
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Going the eco-friendly way to control pests

Bagging of guava fruit

Manav Mander

FRUIT cultivation faces a constant threat from insects. Several pests cause damage to fruit production, leading to a loss of yield. Among the pests that impede quality fruit production, fruit flies Bactrocera dorsalis and Bactrocera zonata can cause up to 100 per cent damage in the rainy season to the guava crop, 85 per cent (kinnow), 80 per cent (pear), 78 per cent (peach) and 30 per cent to mango as well as plum.

The application of insecticides is not much effective and also causes environmental hazards, leading to a negative impact on soil health. Amid this scenario, the adoption of eco-friendly techniques for managing insect-pests of fruit crops has emerged as a viable option among farmers across Punjab.

Prominent among these techniques developed by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, are the fruit fly trap and the termite trap, while integrated management of snails in the citrus nursery, integrated pest management (IPM) of mango hoppers and bagging for fruit fly management in guava are also being practised.

Popular techniques for saving fruits

PAU fruit fly trap

Fruit fly trap

The PAU fruit fly trap is the most popular of these techniques. Till date, the university has sold around 52,000 PAU fruit fly traps, while 21,500 have been supplied to the fruit growers and government orchards for frontline demonstrations under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) projects, thus covering an area of 4,600 acres under fruit fly traps. This trap is being adopted by more than 90 per cent of the fruit growers of Punjab, besides being used in kitchen gardens.

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According to Dr Sandeep Singh, Senior Entomologist (Fruits) and team leader for developing these techniques, fruit growers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are purchasing PAU fruit fly traps from the university’s Department of Fruit Science.

Eco-friendly management of fruit flies can be done by fixing PAU fruit fly traps at the rate of 16 traps/acre in the second week of April, first week of May, third week of May, first week of June, first week of July and second week of August, respectively. Traps can be re-charged after 30 days, if needed, and one trap costs around Rs 100. It is best suited for the management of male fruit flies in kinnow, guava, mango, pear, peach and plum.

“In the rainy season, guava suffer maximum infestation due to the carry-over of fruit flies from other early-ripening fruit crops — peach, pear, mango, litchi, plum, grapes, loquat, jamun, sapota, pomegranate, fig, banana and papaya — and from vegetable crops, especially cucumber. The fruit fly trap is the most effective and economical way of controlling the menace,” says Gurusewak Singh, a farmer from Malerkotla.

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Termite trap

Termite trap

Termites in the fruit crop no longer bother farmers who use earthen pot-based traps. Eco-friendly management of termites can be done by burying gul (maize cobs without grains)-filled 24-holed earthen pots of 13-inch diameter with lid at the rate of 14 per acre in termite-infested orchards of pear, ber, peach, grape and amla during the first week of April and then in the first week of September. These pots should have their necks outside the soil surface. The pots should be removed from the soil after 20 days of installation and the termites collected should be destroyed by dipping in water containing a few drops of diesel.

A total of 4,578 termite traps have been supplied by PAU to the fruit growers and government orchards for frontline demonstrations under the NHM projects, covering 327 acres.

“I have been using termite traps for the past four years in my orchard. It is an eco-friendly technique as there is no pesticide residue in fruits, soil, plants and environment. The cost of fixing of earthen pots in the orchards is quite cheap (Rs 980/acre). A single pot has the capacity to trap more than 100,000 termites,” says Ravinderpal Singh.

Integrated management of snails in citrus nursery

In this technique, papaya leaves are spread in/around the nursery area to attract snails. Then, the snails are collected and put into a bucket containing salt water to kill them. Wet gunny bags are kept in the nursery area as snails try to hide under them.

IPM of mango hoppers

In this method of integrated pest management, the spray of PAU home-made neem extract and PAU home-made Dharek extract (5 litres per acre) is effective in reducing the population of hoppers in mango.

Fruit fly bagging

The mature green and hard fruits of guava should be covered with a biodegradable white-coloured non-woven bags of 9 inch x 6 inch from June-end to mid-July. For proper bagging of fruits, stapler or needle pins can be used. The bagged fruits should be harvested at the colour-break stage.

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Polyphagous menace

Fruit flies Bactrocera dorsalis and Bactrocera zonata are polyphagous pests that damage various fruit crops and multiply profusely. The female adult fruit fly punctures the fruit at the colour-break stage and deposits its eggs below the epicarp. On hatching, the maggots feed on the soft pulp of the ripening fruits. The punctured portion start rotting and the fruit fall down prematurely. The duration of activity of the fruit flies on mango fruits is from the last week of May to the last week of July. These flies also attack peach, plum, kinnow and guava crops. Isolated orchards are less infested by fruit flies. The duo can cause up to 100 per cent damage in the rainy season to the guava crop, 85 per cent to kinnow, 80 per cent (pear), 78 per cent (peach) and 30 per cent to mango as well as plum.

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JUNE 22, 2022

Timing is everything for weed management

by Jim Catalano, Cornell University

Timing is everything for weed management
Bryan Brown, integrated weed management specialist for New York State Integrated Pest Management, stands in a soybean field that lost 50% of its yield to weed competition, even after several herbicide applications. Credit: Cornell University

Farmers can tailor their efforts to control weeds more effectively by pinpointing when a particular weed will emerge, according to a new Cornell University study.

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences reviewed past studies on the peak timing of emergence for 15 troublesome weed species in the Northeast, as well as potential ways to use this knowledge, in their study, “Improving Weed Management Based on the Timing of Emergence Peaks: A Case Study of Problematic Weeds in Northeast U.S.,” published June 21 in the journal Frontiers in Agronomy.

“There are lot of different weed management tactics out there, and most of them can be improved with some consideration of what weed species you have and when they emerge,” said lead author Bryan Brown, integrated weed management specialist for New York State Integrated Pest Management and adjunct assistant Professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science’s Horticulture Section, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “In this paper, we provided a framework starting with those tactics that are easiest to tailor or adjust—all the way up to revamping a cropping system—based on avoidance of certain weed species.”

As an example, Brown pointed to common ragweed. “We found that in most of the literature, common ragweed had finished up its emergence by June 1,” he said. “So, if you’re able to wait to till and plant your field until after June 1, then you’ve effectively avoided common ragweed for the season.” Conversely, if a field is riddled with mid- or late-season weeds, planting earlier can help give crops a head start to outcompete them.

When it comes to controlling weed seedlings using herbicides or shallow tilling, control is most effective soon after weeds emerge, so knowing when different weed species grow can help farmers plan ahead.

Farms with flexible crop rotations can leave the ground bare, or perhaps cover-cropped, during the period when their most problematic weed emerges. By controlling that species, they essentially remove its weed seeds from the soil so it will be less of a problem in the future.

The researchers found that the timing of weed emergence varied among previous studies due to factors such as weather, soil temperature and moisture.

“Naturally, that’s going to vary from year to year and from study to study,” Brown said. “But the big surprise to me was that among previous studies that modeled weed emergence, when we input identical weather data, there was still variation in when they expected weeds to emerge. That highlights the regional differences in soils and weed genetics.”

As the models improve by incorporating regional differences, the researchers hope to work with the Network for Environment and Weather Applications to give farmers direct access to weather-based weed emergence predictions.

“As weed management becomes more challenging, I think that this type of planning is going to become more important,” Brown said. “Hopefully, as those emergence models become more accurate we’ll be able to use these tactics to even better use and really fine-tune the timing of our weed management.”


Explore further

Examining the impact of herbicide-resistant crops on weed management


More information: Bryan Brown et al, Improving Weed Management Based on the Timing of Emergence Peaks: A Case Study of Problematic Weeds in Northeast USA, Frontiers in Agronomy (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fagro.2022.888664

Provided by Cornell University 

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Manage insects and other pests in rice production before they manage you

Brian Irelanddfp-ricefield-bireland (6) copy.jpg

Recently planted rice emerges in fields near Rayne, La.

Insects must be identified and managed in rice production before the effects impact a growers yield.

Brian Ireland | Jun 01, 2022

fps-generic.jpg

Insects and other pests can destroy a crop at any stage, reducing yields and grower profits.  

Over the past few years, Louisiana has experienced a multitude of pests attacking the rice industry. Growers and researchers continue to be diligent in finding ways to combat the issues that arise to have a successful and productive harvest. 

Blake Wilson, a Louisiana State University field crop entomologist specializing in sugarcane and rice, works with the major pests faced by Louisiana farmers, including the invasive apple snails.  

“Pests come in waves and can destroy rice yield if not properly managed,” he said. “From armyworms and weevil in the early season to rice stink bugs in the late season.” 

The LSU Rice Research Station, located in Rayne, La., works with producers to select varieties that are resistant to pests and learn how to properly treat and control pests before they become a problem. 

Rice water weevil 

Rice water weevil is a major concern for the rice industry. According to Wilson, rice water weevil is most damaging in water seeded rice, but it also infests dry or drill-seeded rice. 

The primary treatment for controlling and preventing infestations remains to be insecticidal seed treatments, while certain practices can significantly reduce the impact on rice yield. 

“Rice water weevil can be controlled by a variety of methods,” he said. “Foliar application is less effective once the weevil larvae reach the roots.” 

Adult beetles fly into rice fields to feed on the leaves. This causes narrow scars that run lengthwise on the leaf, while this feeding rarely causes yield reduction. 

Females lay eggs at or below the water line beginning soon after a permanent flood is applied. The larvae feed on the roots, reducing plant growth and rice yields. 

Water-seeded and early flooded rice are the most susceptible to yield losses during infestations.  

“Seed dealers can apply insecticidal seed treatments before planting,” he said.  

Fall armyworm 

In 2021, Louisiana, as well as the rest of the Midsouth, experienced a major outbreak of fall armyworms.  

The armyworm is an early-season concern for rice growers. Larvae feed on the leaves of young rice plants, often resulting in the seedlings being pruned to the ground.  

Infestations typically occur on elevated areas in and around the field, where the worms can escape drowning in high water. Fall armyworms can devastate a field of rice that is too young to be flooded so scouting should occur after the germination of seedlings and continue weekly according to the LSU AgCenter. 

Since adult worms lay eggs on grasses in and around rice fields, larval infestations can be reduced by managing weedy grasses. Flooding-infested fields for a few hours can be effective under the right conditions. Parasitic wasps and pathogenic microorganisms can help reduce armyworm populations.  

“Some states had to apply for emergency approval to utilize new or different insecticides,” Wilson said concerning last year’s worm invasion.  

Rice stink bugs 

Rice stink bugs are a big threat to headed rice later in the season and can reduce yields as well as grain quality. Females lay eggs in two-row clusters on leaves, stems, and panicles.  

Nymphs and adults feed on the rice florets and suck the nutrients from developing rice grains in the early milk stage which can reduce yields. According to LSU AgCenter, the most economic losses arise from a reduction in grain quality that results from stink bugs feeding on developing kernels. 

Insecticides such as neonicotinoid Tenchu (dinotefuran)  can be used before flowering to control stink bugs. There are several insecticides available but be sure to choose the right one for that time as some cannot be applied 21-days before harvest. 

Apple snail 

Another major issue rising throughout Louisiana waterways is the invasive apple snails.  

“Apple snails have existed throughout much of south Louisiana for the last 10 to 15 years,” he said. “Over the past five years, apple snail population growth in rice and crawfish production systems has become an issue.” 

While not an insect, this pest can easily damage seedling rice in water-seeded fields. 

“These snails can be highly detrimental to crawfish production,” he said.  

Apple Snails are believed to be introduced through irrigation with infested surface water.  

“The spread of snails has been slower due to farmers using well water to fill their crawfish ponds or rice fields,” he said. “Flooding events or movement of materials or equipment from infested ponds can spread the snails into new fields.”  

Copper sulfate has been shown to be an effective treatment for apple snails but can be detrimental to aquatic life such as crawfish. 

There remains no shortage of pests. The trick is figuring out how to control all insects and other pests like invasive apple snails while maximizing yield. Remember there are individuals in the agriculture industry who specialize in identifying and controlling insects or other pests. 

TAGS: RICE

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Competitive sorghum crops will dent weed invasion

The Land

Bob Freebairn

14 Mar 2022, 5 a.m.

Cropping

Closer row spacing and heavier sowing rates play a vital part of reducing weeds in grain sorghum crops. Closer row spacing and heavier sowing rates generally have little to no detrimental adverse effect on crop yield.

 Closer row spacing and heavier sowing rates play a vital part of reducing weeds in grain sorghum crops. Closer row spacing and heavier sowing rates generally have little to no detrimental adverse effect on crop yield.

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Grain Sorghum Weed Control Guide, written for Pacific Seeds by nationally recognised weed authority Andrew Summervaille, is a comprehensive and outstanding publication dealing with all control aspects. These include herbicides, with lots of insightful comment, fair but often acknowledging limitation of specific products, as well as the important contribution of agronomic aspects to help combat weeds’ effect on yield.

Contributed by Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries research agronomist Michael Widderick, is an important section covering weed suppression by growing a competitive sorghum crop. Research over two years has shown that growing a competitive sorghum crop with increased density and reduced row spacing can significantly suppress growth and seed production of weeds like barnyard grass and Feathertop Rhodes grass.

While trial results were not always consistent, crops sown in 0.5 m rows generally suppressed weeds better than in the more traditional 0.75 and 1.0m row spacing. Increasing sorghum plant density from more traditional 5.0 plants sq/m to 10 plants sq/m also generally contributed to a more competitive crop against weeds.

Different varieties (of those tested) had no impact on suppressing weed growth, suggesting cultivar choice will have a lesser impact on sorghum competitiveness than agronomy. However, the researchers note that impact of cultivar may differ across seasons and locations. Also especially noteworthy, was that at least in favourably growing conditions sorghum at narrow row spacing and increased density, did not have any negative impact on sorghum yield.

Weed control in grain sorghum is important for crop yield, as well as for driving down the soil weed seed bank. A combination approach is important for weed control.

 Weed control in grain sorghum is important for crop yield, as well as for driving down the soil weed seed bank. A combination approach is important for weed control.

Therefore, gains in competitiveness and reduction in weed growth can be achieved without reducing yield. Again the researchers note that rarely will a sorghum crop be grown without herbicides, whether they be residual or knockdown, or a combination of both. Integrating a competitive sorghum crop with herbicides should provide an additive effect on reducing in-crop weed pressures, growth and seed production. Over time, this strategy should deplete the weed seed banks, and reduce their impact on sorghum production.

Also read: Perfect growing season sees great sorghum crops in north-west

A further valuable part of the publication is discussion of the role of Imidazolinone technology in sorghum, developed by Advanta Seeds. Sorghum has well and truly joined the list of crops with varieties that provide tolerance to Imidazolinone (IMI herbicides). Note this is not GMO technology. This technology allows the application of a new range of registered herbicides at recommended rates without causing crop damage.

Intervix (imazamox + imazapyr) is an example of an IMI herbicide. IMI products have broad spectrum activity with variation in the activity of individual herbicides for pre-emergence and post-emergence control. Control of broadleaf weeds post-emergence is normally limited to small weeds and relies to a measure on the effectiveness of crop competition occurring subsequent to application particularly for less susceptible species. While IMI herbicides like Intervix control a wide range of broadleaf and grass weeds it does, like most herbicides, have its limitations like not controlling fleabane or Feathertop Rhodes grass.

Grain Sorghum Weed Control Guide, written for Pacific Seeds by nationally recognised weed authority Andrew Summervaille, is a valuable reference.

 Grain Sorghum Weed Control Guide, written for Pacific Seeds by nationally recognised weed authority Andrew Summervaille, is a valuable reference.

Excellent tables are presented in the publication that covers aspects like effect of various herbicides on specific weeds. These are detailed in tables for pre-emergent and post emergent. Tables also detail aspects like plant back intervals, application timing, rates per ha, rainfall requirement and the like.

Especially valuable is Andrew Summervaille’s discussions about various herbicide products. He highlights advantages and disadvantages of the various herbicides. Planning for control of difficult weeds, like fleabane, Feathertop Rhodes grass, and even well known weeds like barnyard grass and liver-seed grass that have or are developing resistance to some herbicides, requires carful choice of herbicide and their application.

Further details obtain the booklet via http://www.pacificseeds.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Pacific-Seeds-Grain-sorghum-weed-control-guide-_Low-Res.pdf

Next week: Ensuring legumes are a vital part of the pasture mix.

  • Bob Freebairn is an agricultural consultant based at Coonabarabran. Email robert.freebairn@bigpond.com or contact (0428) 752 149.

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IAPPS Region X Northeast Asia Regional Center (NEARC)

Present committee members

Dr. Izuru Yamamoto, Senior Advisor

Dr. Noriharu Umetsu, Senior Advisor

Dr. Tsutomu Arie, a representative of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, the chair of Region X

Dr. Tarô Adati, a representative of Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology

Dr. Hiromitsu Moriyama, a representative of Pesticide Science Society of Japan, the secretary general of Region X

Dr. Rie Miyaura, a representative of The Weed Science Society of Japan

The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Pesticide Science Society of Japan became official partners of IYPH2020 by FAO of UN and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan and endeavored to educate the society on plant protection. https://www.maff.go.jp/j/syouan/syokubo/keneki/iyph/iyph_os.html

Annual activities related to IAPPS especially to IPM of plant diseases, insects and weeds, and plant regulation (from April 2020 to March 2021)

The Phytopathological Society of Japan (PSJ)

2020 Kanto District Meeting, Online; Sep 21–22, 2020

2020 Kansai District Meeting, Online; Sep 21–22, 2020

2020 Tohoku District Meeting, Online; Oct 12–14, 2020

2020 Hokkaido District Meeting, Online; Oct 15, 2020

2020 Kyushu District Meeting, Online; Nov 24–26, 2020

2021 Annual Meeting, Online; Mar 17–19, 2021

Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology (JSAEZ)

65th Annual Meeting, online, March 23-26, 2021

28th Annual Research Meeting of the Japan-ICIPE Association, online, March 25, 2021

Pesticide Science Society of Japan

37rd Study Group Meeting of Special Committee on Bioactivity of Pesticides, online, Sep 18, 2020

40th Symposium of Special Committee on Agricultural Formulation and Application, Yokohama, Kanagawa; Oct 15–16, 2020 (Cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19)

43th Annual Meeting of Special Committee on Pesticide Residue Analysis, online, Nov. 5–6, 2020

46th Annual meeting, Fuchu, Tokyo and Online, March 8–10, 2021

The Weed Science Society of Japan (WSSJ)

2020 Annual Meeting, The Weed Science Society of Kinki, Online; Dec 5, 2020

35th Symposium of Weed Science Society of Japan, Online; Dec 12, 2020

2020 Annual Meeting, Kanto Weed Science Society, Online; Dec 22, 2020

22th Annual Meeting, The Weed Science Society of Tohoku, Japan, Online; Feb 25, 2021

2020 Study Group Meeting of Weed Utilization and Management in Small Scale Farming, Online; Feb 26, 2021

Hono-Kai (means, Meeting who are appreciating agriculture)

35th Hono-Kai Symposium was cancelled due to the epidemic of COVID-19

Japan Biostimulants Association

rd Symposium, Online; Nov 2–30, 2020

Nodai Research Institute

2020-1 Biological Control Group Seminar, Setagaya; Tokyo; Jun 16, 2020 (Cancelled due to the epidemic of COVID-19)

2020-2 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Nov 13, 2020

2021-1 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Jun 15, 2021

2021-2 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Nov 9, 2021

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Cover Crops Attract Pest Predators which Reduce Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2021) Cover crops create habitat that draw in pest predators and help mitigate crop injury, finds research published in the journals Agroecosystems and Biological Control from scientists at the University of Georgia. Expanded predator diversity can reduce pest pressure that drives conventional chemical farmers to apply toxic pesticides, and the authors of the study find the practice to be economically viable within these cropping systems. “There’s a motion of change going on where growers are thinking more about using natural systems instead of just using pesticides,” said co-author Jason Schmidt, PhD in a news release. “Producers must use all tools available to make a profit, so if they can promote beneficial insects in the system to aid in pest control,  fewer inputs are needed and that should lead to reduced costs of production. ”

To determine how beneficial cover crops were to cotton production, researchers began with experimental crops established over two years in 2016 and 2017 in Georgia. Twelve cover crops plots were established with crimson clover and rye, while a plot not planted with cover crops was used as a control. Researchers planted the cover crop in early November after the previous cotton crop was harvested, and terminated and rolled the cover crop 2 weeks prior to a May cotton planting. Cover crop residue was sucked up with a reverse leaf blower the scientists created and sampled six times at random locations. Analysis was then conducted on the gut content of the pest predators retrieved in order to determine what pests they were consuming.

Predator communities were found to be much more diverse (7 to 10x more) in cover cropped fields. While the cover cropped fields contained a range of spiders and other predaceous bugs, control fields mostly contained a specific type of beneficial beetle. Researchers found the benefits of cover cropping to be most pronounced in the early spring. But as the cover crop degrades, differences between cover cropped and control plot predator communities began to even out.

“There are early-season benefits of cover crops when cotton plants are small, said Dr. Schmidt. “The cover crop residue forms a complex habitat matrix with cotton seedlings popping out of it and there are insect predators in there that can defend those young plants from pests.” Dr. Schmidt indicates that the change occurs when there is more of the cotton crop above ground than the cover crop.  “Later in the season, you see similar communities. So, even though there’s a little bit of habitat on the ground from those cover crops, it doesn’t seem to matter in terms of the overall community in the system when cotton plants become the primary habitat available.”

A deeper review of the findings show that thrip populations, which can often hinder cotton crops in early growth stages, are mitigated by increased cover cropping. Cover crops also bring in predators that hamper stink bug damage to cotton bolls. An economic analysis found cover cropping to be a cost effective approach comparable in expense to a completely conventional chemically managed system. “These results suggest that conventional growers utilizing cover crops could reduce insecticide inputs through natural reductions in pest pressure, and overall do not incur additional production costs,” reads the study in Biological Control.

The scientists indicate that they will continue their work to better understand the complex interactions that occur between pest and predator in crop fields. “That’s our ultimate goal, understanding the functioning of diversity and the beneficial roles species play in production systems and best harvest these services for production systems, like cotton,” said Dr. Schmidt.

The study’s results are likely to be unsurprising for organic farmers and even many home gardeners that make certain they keep their soil covered with organic matter year-round. Key to soil conservation are practices that minimize soil disturbance, increase plant diversity, and continually keep soil covered with live plants or roots in the ground.

The study results are encouraging in the context of a system primarily reliant on chemical inputs. Termination of the cover crop utilized an unnamed chemical herbicide, for instance. Although herbicides are intended to target plant material, products like glyphosate threaten a broad range of species. A federal biological assessment published late last year found that glyphosate itself is likely to affect 93% of endangered species. Thus a range of predator insects that may have assisted in further, or more sustained pest management may have been killed off by the use of a chemical to terminate the cover crop. Non-toxic cover crop termination options include mowing, or the utilization a roller/crimper machine that bends plant residue uniformly over the surface of soil.

In study after study, results show that creating habitat that increases diversity enhances plant productivity and reduces toxic pesticide use.  Conventional cotton production can utilize these practices and see some ephemeral benefits, but when properly maintained, these practices decrease pest pressure and create more stable ecological systems that provide lasting ecological and economic benefits. To truly break out of a reliance on chemical inputs, conventional systems must move not only towards cover crop diversity, but crop diversity in general, as multi-crop farming practices produce higher yields than monoculture farmlands.

Most organic farmers, required to maintain or improve soil health under organic standards, are already conducting practices that work with natural systems. Help continue to grow organic, so that more farmers will adopt these safer practices, by purchasing organic products whenever possible. To help become part of the organic solution, join Beyond Pesticides today, and support our fight to maintain the integrity of organic standards from attacks by the conventional chemical industry.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: AgroecosystemsBiological ControlUniversity of Georgia news release

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Is THIS the key to wiping out ? Removal of moisture has a 100% success rate at killing the invasive plant – and is much more effective than herbicide, study finds

  • Scientists said removing moisture from Japanese knotweed kills invasive plant
  • They had a ‘100 per cent success rate’ after drying out plants in lab conditions
  • Their discovery shows that the plant it ‘not as indestructible’, researchers said
  • Japanese knotweed is a plant found in many areas of Europe and North America

By SAM TONKIN FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 07:06 EDT, 19 August 2021 | UPDATED: 07:39 EDT, 19 August 2021

Japanese knotweed is a devastatingly invasive plant that can leave homeowners and gardeners in a bind. 

But scientists might just have a new solution on how to kill it that they say is much more effective than herbicide.

It involves removing moisture from the plants by drying them out in a lab, although researchers said more tests in the field are needed to see how this would work in the real world before any advice or commercial product is made available to the public.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.476.0_en.html#goog_1797203280PauseNext video0:24Full-screenRead More

The study by the National University of Ireland Galway and University of Leeds found that removing moisture had a ‘100 per cent success rate’ in killing Japanese knotweed, which can break through bricks, concrete and mortar.

Their discovery shows that the plant is ‘not as indestructible’ as thought, according to the study’s co-author Dr Mark Fennell.Scientists might just have a new solution on how to kill Japanese knotweed that they say is much more effective than herbicide. Pictured are some of the samples they experimented with+6

Scientists might just have a new solution on how to kill Japanese knotweed that they say is much more effective than herbicide. Pictured are some of the samples they experimented withJapanese knotweed (pictured) is a problematic plant found in many areas of Europe and North America. Notably, in the UK, the species can cause issues with mortgage acquisition+6

Japanese knotweed (pictured) is a problematic plant found in many areas of Europe and North America. Notably, in the UK, the species can cause issues with mortgage acquisition

Japanese knotweed 

Japanese Knotweed is a species of plant that has bamboo-like stems and small white flowers.

Native to Japan, the plant is considered an invasive species. 

The plant, scientific name Fallopia japonica, was brought to Britain by the Victorians as an ornamental garden plant and to line railway tracks to stabilise the soil.

It has no natural enemies in the UK, whereas in Asia it is controlled by fungus and insects.

In the US it is scheduled as an invasive weed in 12 states, and can be found in a further 29.

It is incredibly durable and fast-growing, and can seriously damage buildings and construction sites if left unchecked.

The notorious plant strangles other plants and can kill entire gardens. 

Capable of growing eight inches in one day it deprives other plants of their key nutrients and water.https://5772890968515b3f00a684ae0e95aa20.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The research found that incorrect herbicide treatment cannot control the growth and regeneration of Japanese knotweed, but that fully drying the plant material in a lab environment allowed it to be returned to the soil without risk of regrowth.

It also showed that if there are no nodes attached to the rhizomes (root-like underground shoots) there is no regeneration. Nodes are the points on a plant’s stem where buds and leaves originate.

Senior author of the study, Dr Karen Bacon, from NUI Galway, said: ‘Our finding that the removal of moisture has a 100 per cent success rate on killing Japanese knotweed plants and preventing regrowth after they were replanted also raises an important potential means of management for smaller infestations that are common in urban environments.’

She said it ‘requires additional field trials’ that her university hopes to carry out soon.

Japanese knotweed is a problematic plant found in many areas of Europe and North America. Notably, in the UK, the species can cause issues with mortgage acquisition. 

It can grow up to 10ft in height and can dominate an area to the exclusion of most other plants. 

Controlling Japanese knotweed is complicated by its ability to regenerate from small fragments of plant material; however, there remains uncertainty about how much rhizome is required and how likely successful regeneration is under different scenarios. 

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ALL LATEST NEWSNEWS AUGUST 2021NORTH AMERICASMART FARMINGSUSTAINABILITY

Benefit of cover crops: Covering up weed seeds

on August 12, 2021

More in All latest News:

Cover crops are not free, but they don’t have to be a cost. In fact, they can save farmers money. Researchers and farmers talked about the benefits during a recent session hosted by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in Canada, as Matt McIntosh reports for Farmtario.

While there is always variability, weed suppression and population reduction are the chief – though not necessarily only – ways cover crops can better a farm’s bottom line. Cover cropping could be justified as another tool to help keep down weed populations as farmers struggle with more herbicide-resistant weeds.

More weeds equal more weed seeds if left uncontrolled. Over time, the weed seed bank within a given area can be substantial, requiring more time, resources and cash to address the problem. Herbicide-tolerant weeds can increase the price tag of effective control. 

Cover crops don’t have to be expensive or complex to have noticeable impacts. Cowbrough’s work shows oats, a comparatively cheap and available cover crop option, broadcast with potash at 50 pounds per acre, add an extra $16 per acre to production costs. Weed populations were much lower. 

Mike Cowbrough, weed management specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says cereal rye is another cheap “gateway” cover crop option that can drastically reduce weed populations, including those of common and problematic pigweed species, lamb’s quarters and others. 

“Smaller plants are much easier to kill with your herbicide program,” says Cowbrough. 

Source: Farmtario.com. Full story here
Cover photo: Start simple with cover crops and choose species based on goals. Courtesy Farmtario

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What have we learned about kochia management?

TAGS: MANAGEMENTPhoto courtesy of Nevin LawrenceKochia in a continuous corn field after four years of ALS-inhibiting herbicideKOCHIA CONTROL: Kochia is a tough weed to beat, and it can cause real trouble in crops if it is not controlled. In this photo, you can see the kochia pressure in a continuous corn field after four years of using an ALS-inhibiting herbicide.Extension Crop Connection: Kochia remains a tough weed, but integrated weed management can help win the battle.

Nevin Lawrence | Apr 12, 2021

Kochia remains one of the most challenging weeds to control in western Nebraska. Kochia can be resistant to Group 5 (atrazine), Group 2 (imazamox), Group 9 (glyphosate) and Group 4 (dicamba) herbicides in western Nebraska.

While there are still many herbicides available to irrigated corn growers, those who grow dry beans and sugarbeets have few options because of crop rotation restrictions. When a grower runs out of herbicide options, what can they do?

IWM to the rescue

Integrated weed management is often discussed as the solution. A simple definition of IWM is the strategic use of all the tools a farmer has available, including herbicides, tillage, crop selection, crop rotation, cover crops and other cultural practices.

Does IWM actually work? In 2014, a study was established in Scottsbluff, Neb., to find out. The study ran for four years, concluding in 2017. The goal of this study was to use IWM to target kochia in an irrigated crop rotation.

Each site was established by seeding a mix of kochia biotypes of which 95% were susceptible to Group 2 (ALS-inhibiting herbicides) and 5% were resistant to Group 2 herbicides. The seed mixture used created a “low level” of resistance in the seed bank, which simulates the early stages of herbicide-resistance development.

3 strategies

There were three IWM strategies, including the use of tillage, crop rotation and herbicide strategy. The tillage strategy used two different treatments — minimal tillage or intensive tillage.

Four crop rotations were established — four years of continuous corn; a corn-sugarbeet-corn-sugarbeet rotation; a corn-sugarbeet-corn-dry bean rotation; and finally, a small grain-sugarbeet-corn-dry bean rotation.

The final strategy was herbicide use, with three different treatments. This included a Group 2 herbicide-only treatment, where only herbicides that wouldn’t control the resistant kochia were applied every single year.

Table shows Kochia density per square yard on various crops after 4 yearsAnother was a herbicide mode-of-action rotation, where a Group 2-alternative herbicide rotation and herbicide effective for Group 2-resistant kochia were used every other year. In corn for example, the effective herbicide was a tank mixture of glyphosate and dicamba.

The last treatment was mixing MOAs, where an effective herbicide treatment was mixed with a Group 2 herbicide each year. For the rotation herbicide treatment, in 2014 and 2016, the alternative herbicide was used, and in 2015 and 2017, the Group 2 herbicide was used.

Results are in

After four years, kochia density ranged from as low as 0 to 40 kochia plants per square yard, with seed production as high as 8,000 seeds per square yard. Yield reduction was significant — sugarbeet and dry bean plots experienced total yield loss, and corn yield was reduced from 200 to 60 bushels per acre from the highest kochia densities. Wheat, however, was not greatly affected by kochia competition, always yielding between 55 to 60 bushels.

So, what worked in reducing kochia numbers over four years? The obvious winner was using herbicide mixtures, with low kochia density observed regardless of tillage system or crop rotation.

But what if good herbicides are not available? Including wheat in the rotation helped tremendously, even when an ALS herbicide was used every year. In the sugarbeet-corn and sugarbeet-corn-dry bean rotation, kochia density was reduced from near 40 plants every square yard down to only seven, even when using an herbicide that didn’t work.

Wheat, in irrigated systems, is great at reducing kochia emergence early in the season. Although this study didn’t consider wheat as a cover crop, a similar benefit may be observed by using any small grain — wheat, barley, oats, rye or triticale — as a cover crop preceding other crops. Small grains close rows quickly and smother early plants before they have a chance to emerge in the spring.

Lawrence is a Nebraska Extension weed management specialist.

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Cedar fight goes across fence and state lines

TAGS: CONSERVATIONLIVESTOCKCurt ArensA few members of the Bristow, Neb. area crew pose in front of the trucks they purchased to help on prescribed burnsCRUCIAL CREW: A few members of the Bristow, Neb., area crew pose in front of the trucks they bought to help on prescribed burns. Over the past eight years, this group has burned more than 30,000 acres in their fight to reclaim grasslands from invasive eastern red cedar.Working together has been a successful formula for Nebraska and South Dakota advocates of prescribed fire.

Curt Arens | Dec 23, 2020

Gathering landowners to work together on prescribed burn projects has been a winning model in the successful defeat of eastern red cedar encroachment on grazing lands. Normally, prescribed burn associations work across fence lines with neighboring landowners.

Over the past decade, eastern members of the Niobrara Valley Prescribed Fire Association, covering much of north-central Nebraska, have not only reached across fence lines, but also state lines into neighboring South Dakota, to beat the invasion of ERC.

Related: New strategy in battle against invasive cedars

It started in 2010 when Jerald Dennis, Bristow, Neb., sheared ERC trees in a large portion of family-owned grasslands on the south shore of Lake Francis Case in South Dakota, behind Fort Randall Dam. He piled the dead cedar trees for curing. In 2011, Dennis deferred grazing on the tract, to grow fuel for the prescribed burn he was planning the following spring.

“It took an entire year to plan the burn, coordinating between five landowners, four government agencies along with local law enforcement and fire departments,” Dennis explains. On that burn with Dennis, Dave Steffen from Gregory, S.D., and other interested landowners in the area watched as observers.

Dennis has worked at Nebraska State Bank in Bristow for nearly 40 years. Most of that time, he has also served on the Bristow Fire Department. His family owns about 2,000 acres of pasture in both states, so he’s been involved in prescribed burning for the past 13 years. The Prescribed Fire Association that Dennis works with has conducted burns on just over 30,000 acres since 2012.

They normally develop their burn schedule at a meeting each February, so 10 to 12 people can plan to be involved with each burn. The local members of the association bought two Army surplus pickup trucks to transport skid water pumping units with 250-gallon tanks, hoses and a reel they borrow from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The burn near Fort Randall encompassed 3,145 acres. “We had a well-seasoned crew of 12 from Nebraska working that burn,” Dennis says. “It also helped that we had Lake Francis Case to the north and a highway to the south.”

Steffen watched the Nebraska crew and became interested in conducting more prescribed burns locally. “The following year, Steffen and a few other interested parties came down from South Dakota and attended our local meeting, and a few controlled burns,” Dennis says. “We collaborated on burns in South Dakota by helping that group develop burn plans and assisting with the burns. Our motivation was to teach their group how to safely conduct controlled burns, so they could teach others in the state.”

In 2017, the South Dakota group formed its own Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association —the first in the state — with Steffen and several neighbors as driving forces in the effort.

“Cedar trees were just beginning to become a problem,” Steffen recalls. “I looked at maps that showed the encroachment problems, especially big bunches along the Missouri River.”  The aerial maps showed about one-third of Gregory County with cedar tree problems. “Thanks to funds from the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, we sent out a questionnaire, asking landowners about cedars on their land, and if they would consider prescribed fire as a control.”

Jerald DennisA prescribed burnLIGHTING IT UP:  Two years before the actual burn near Fort Randall Dam in South Dakota, Jerald Dennis sheared several large cedar trees and pushed them up against mature live trees. In 2012, when they started their prescribed burn in that area, the sheared trees ignited easily and burned into the live trees.

Steffen says that working with the Nebraska group helped their association in South Dakota organize and conduct burns of its own.

“We’ve had burns in the hundreds of acres so far, mostly in Gregory County, but also in Charles Mix County. That included a couple of big ranches,” Steffen says. “In many cases, nonresident landowners contact us about conducting a burn on their property. In most cases, we like it when landowners participate in the burn themselves, but with some nonresidents, we accept a payment for doing the burns.”

The Mid-Missouri River group now covers four counties, including Gregory, Charles Mix, Brule and Lyman.

“From the prescribed burns, we have witnessed tremendous recovery of warm-season native grasses on those grasslands where there was grazing management to go along with it,” Steffen says. “There has been fantastic recovery to a typical native plant community in the rough hills and breaks of the Missouri River.”

Cedar treesDEAD TIMBER:  At specific heights, cedar trees do not stand a chance against a well-run prescribed burn. Most of the trees pictured here are completed destroyed. Grass recovery in an area like this is surprisingly rapid.

Steffen says that landowners are amazed with the amount of new grass growth there has been within a year’s time. “Keep in mind, we’ve had plenty of rain in recent years to grow grass, so we have been above normal in soil moisture,” he adds.

For the group based in Bristow, fire has been a worthwhile tool in their war against ERC for more than a decade. “We add new, younger members to our group every year,” Dennis says. “Most of them are members of the fire department, so they are comfortable with conducting a burn. We all work together, and it is great knowing that the other guys have got your back.”

Learn more about Nebraska prescribed fire associations at the state’s Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever website, nebraskapf.com. Learn about the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association of South Dakota online at midmissouririverpba.com.RELATEDYoung farmers get involved in ag groupsNovember 17, 2020Landowners band together to confront eastern red cedarJune 22, 2020

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