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cotton bollworm

Cotton diseases and insect control as resistance appears

Growers will have to make some difficult decisions related to foliar diseases and Bt-resistant worm pests.

Brad Robb | Jan 25, 2018

Mid-South cotton growers face several tough decisions for 2018 as they deal with hard-to-control diseases and the increasingly difficult problem of Bt-resistant worm pests.

Tucker Miller, president, Miller Entomological Service Inc., Drew, Ms., speaking Thursday at the National Conservation Systems Conferences in Memphis, Tn., said growers will need to look closely at varieties as well as other management options.

Miller, a frequent speaker at the conference, spoke to a packed meeting room about his experience over the last several years with bacterial blight and target leaf spot, potassium-associated foliar diseases. “Growers are going to need to make several important variety selection decisions this coming season, and those decisions need to be made based on good information,” says Miller. “They’ll need a variety that is resistant to bacterial blight and, because there is no variety that provides resistance to target leaf spot, they’ll have to consider other management options to try to control its level and to lessen the effect or impact of the leaf disease.”

Options may include decreasing seeding rates to produce a thinner stand, aggressive Pix management, possibly growing skip row cotton, or selecting a variety or row configuration that lends itself to a more open canopy to help minimize the spread of target leaf spot. “Growers might also try to manage this disease with more timely irrigation methods or even less irrigation,” says Miller. “Leaf shed was so bad in many parts of the fields I worked, if you squatted and looked down the row, you could see a rabbit two-hundred yards away.”

The Mid-South is supposedly in the low to medium risk range of the country for this problem, but Miller questions those range boundaries. Several factors, including irrigation and over-fertilization of nitrogen, may be exacerbating the problem. “It’s hard to get farmers to cut back to 80 or 90 units of nitrogen when they’re accustomed to putting out 120, and they don’t want to run out,” says Miller. “Fungicides are another option, but at $40 an acre, if you spray it twice, I just don’t know if it’s a cost effective application.”

Fungicide

Based on one data set Miller received from 2016 target spot research, a fungicide application to control the disease may provide a significant yield increase only 20 percent of the time. “It’s difficult for me to suggest an application of fungicide at first or second bloom with an 80 percent chance it won’t help,” says Miller.

Miller also talked frankly about the resistant worm (heliothis) problems many growers across the Mid-South and Southeast experienced last year. According to Miller, the problem started with a generation of worms exposed to Bt corn with the two identical proteins found in Bollgard ll or WideStrike ll cotton varieties. “When worms go through a generation and come out of corn then move to cotton, they’re exposed to the same proteins twice, but the second time, they’re surviving,” says Miller.

Dried bloom tags were everywhere when Miller scouted some Bt fields last year. At one point of the season, a report to one of his grower customers listed a high-dollar combination shot of Besiege, Acephate and Pix. “I recommended Pix to control plant growth, Acephate for plant bugs and Besiege for worms on July 16, and by July 29, we had to do it again in one field of Bollgard ll cotton,” says Miller.

One problem researchers across the board are concern about is how long the third protein – VIP—will remain viable if the same scenario presents itself once growers begin planting corn and cotton with the VIP protein. “It’s going to take some careful management for sure,” says Miller.

The 21st Annual National Conservation Systems Conferences will likely set a new record. Growers, Extension specialists, and agricultural researchers covering many disciplines present over 120 presentations over the day-and-a-half conference.

 

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Int’l Conference on Soil Remediation and Plant Protection (SRPP 2018)
March 23-25, 2018 | Guilin, China | Final Submission Due: Jan. 31, 2018
Home |
Dear Colleagues,
As an influential international conference, SRPP 2018 provides the experts with a valued opportunity to communicate with each other. A lot of participants from many kinds of fields will join in this grand international conference.
Speakers
If you wish to serve the conference as an invited speaker, please send email to us with your CV for evaluation.
– Prof. M. E. Asadi, Golestan Agricultural and natural resources research and education center, Iran
Title: Healthy soils with conservation agriculture systems
– Prof. Muhammad Ashraf, University of Sargodha, Pakistan
Title: Integrated Nutrient Management: A Strategy for the Rehabilitation of Metal Polluted Soils
– Prof. Nativ Dudai, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Israel
– Prof. Rifat Hayat, PMAS- Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
– Prof. Rafiq Islam, Ohio State University South Centers, USA
– Prof. Yu-Cai Liao, Huazhong Agricultural University, China
Call for Papers
We cordially invite you to submit or recommend papers to our conference through paper submission system. All the accepted papers will be published by “Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection” (ISSN: 2327-4336). You’re also welcome to submit abstracts for oral presentation.
Contact Us
Any questions please do not hesitate to let me know.
Email: Rolinrolin@126.com

 

 

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BCPC News

Aussie scientists develop microwave device that kills weeds instantly

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-22 08:53:32|Editor: pengying

SYDNEY, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — Australian scientists on an experimental farm have developed a revolutionary method of killing weeds using microwaves.

Graham Brodie, a food and agriculture lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s agricultural campus, an experimental farm in Dookie, 226 km north of Melbourne, has developed the method of using trailer-mounted microwave generators to combat weeds.

A bank of four microwave generators, approximately double the power of an average microwave oven, is put on the back of the trailer which is then driven over the weeds, killing them immediately.

The generators “cook” the weeds from the inside, just as a microwave oven does with food, leaving them wilted and dead rather than burned or shrivelled.

The range of radiation is limited to between two and three centimeters, enough to kill the weeds while making the device safe to operate.

“It kills the plants almost instantaneously,” Brodie told the university’s internal publication on Wednesday.

“The big gain is that we can kill weeds without herbicides, so we don’t have to worry about weeds that are now evolving chemical resistances, and it kills the seeds left in the soil too so the weeds don’t grow back.

“It can also be done in any weather, it isn’t a fire hazard, and farmers can sow their crops immediately instead of having to wait for the herbicide to clear.”

The device could save the Australian agricultural industry more than 3 billion U.S. dollars which is spent by farmers on herbicides every year.

Testing of Brodie’s device found that it was marginally more expensive than using herbicides but had added benefits such being longer lasting, enriching soil and killing pests such as snails, fungi and parasites.

Brodie said the microwaves did kill worms that were within five centimeters of the surface but deeper-lying worms were unharmed.

The device has been patented and will be subjected to a large-scale trial

 

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miniaturerobots_111417

 

Mini Robots Could Cut Pesticide Use, Food Waste, and Help Harvests


UNITED KINGDOM – Could miniature robots be joining the ranks of farmhands around the globe? According to The Guardian, yes, but optimistically, not for another couple of years. Developing in laboratories now, academic farming experts are researching whether miniature robots are a solution to chemical use, food waste, and labor shortages on farms, and posit that while a possible solution, mini robots might not be the answer farmers are seeking yet.

As reported by the source, current blanket practices waste 95% to 99% of pesticides and herbicides as the method “blankets” chemicals across entire fields, allowing pests and weeds to grow resistant, harming helpful pollinators like bees, and essentially rendering the chemicals ineffective over time.
Toby Bruce, Professor of Insect Chemical Ecology, Keele University

Toby Bruce, Professor of Insect Chemical Ecology, Keele University“Farmers have been heavily reliant for decades on the heavy use of pesticides. Some spraying is very desperate,” said Toby Bruce, Professor of Insect Chemical Ecology at Keele University, according to The Guardian. “Farmers are spraying [chemicals] to which there is resistance. They will not be killing pests as the pests have evolved resistance. They will be killing other insects [such as pollinators].”
In order to reduce pesticide waste and its harmful side effects, researchers are programming the robots to be able to apply tiny quantities of pesticides directly to the plants that need them.
Robots aiding in farming a cabbage field

Robots aiding in farming a cabbage field

The robots are also able to detect when fruit and vegetables are too small or malformed to be harvested. Because malformed produce typically has a lower market value, this would help reduce food waste and allow produce enough time to be harvested when it is ready.
With labor shortages worrying farmers worldwide, the mini robots could also provide the extra hands needed to harvest crops in the field. And this isn’t the only place in our industry seeking extra help from artificial intelligence. Last month, Giant Foods stores piloted Marty, and Walmart began testing shelf-scanning robots in over fifty stores.
While robots seem to be an easy solution, The Guardian reported that the technology is not at an advanced enough stage to implement in the field just yet, and noted that start-ups are needed to spearhead this innovation as many farm technology companies are unwilling to give up their current business models.
With technology advancing every day and offering different ways to rid pests and minimize waste, are mini robots the future of sustainable farming? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on the robot takeover.

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SW FarmPress

ll weevil numbers in Texas at lowest level since erdication effort began.

After years of challenges, boll weevil eradication program making progress

Eradicating the boll weevil will insure that cotton will continue to be the No. 1 cash crop in the nation’s largest cotton-producing state.”

Logan Hawkes 3 | Oct 06, 2017

 

Cotton producers have a lot to worry about every year. But, one thing they aren’t worrying about as much as once they did is the dreaded Anthonomus grandis, or boll weevil, for generations the scourge of U.S. cotton farmers.

A little more than a century ago, the National Cotton Council notes, the tiny pest migrated from Mexico to the U.S., and  spread rapidly throughout the cotton belt. Over subsequent decades, it has cost America’s cotton producers more than $15 billion in yield losses and control costs.

In 1958, the council officially recognized the economic havoc the pest represented for U.S. cotton production, and with congressional support, a USDA Boll Weevil Research Laboratory was created, followed by eradication experiments, a trial eradication program, and an area-wide boll weevil control program implemented in the Texas High Plains and Rolling Plains to halt the weevil’s migration northward out of Mexico.

Based upon the results of those efforts, in the 1970s a boll weevil eradication program was launched by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), beginning with eastern seaboard states. Not long afterward, several state boll weevil groups were founded, including the Texas Boll Weevil Foundation, Inc.

ON THE FRONT LINE

Texas has long been on the front line of eradication efforts because of the common border it shares with Mexico. Boll weevil problems across the Rio Grande have been a serious issue, including potential for migration of the pest — mostly carried by wind — and sporadic outbreaks that have been problematic in parts of Texas, especially along the border corridor.

Much like other issues in the cotton industry, 2017 has had its share of challenges for the boll weevil eradication program, says Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Lindy Patton. But in spite of huge increases in cotton acres, weevil reinfestations into eradicated areas, and plenty of weather-related obstacles, such as Hurricane Harvey, the Texas boll weevil eradication program made excellent progress toward eliminating the dreaded pest.

Things haven’t always been smooth, however. After decades of successful eradication efforts, occasional weevil outbreaks have largely been limited to deep south Texas. But in 2015, a troubling trend seemed to be developing. It was a very wet year in the Lower Rio Grande valley and across the border in Mexico’s Tamaulipas State. Trapping and treatment efforts in the Valley were troubled, especially considering the large migration of weevils from Mexico.

Eradication officials in Mexico said they were experiencing problems in addition to heavy rains. They included funding to conduct control methods, and involuntary cotton that was increasing as homeowners planted cotton seeds and nurtured their year-round development into tall plants, and even tree-size plants for shade. Weevil populations exploded.

In Texas, the fight was on to prevent migration of the pest further north into the state. Despite foundation efforts, weevil captures in early 2016 totaled 15,705 weevils in the Winter Garden area, with a few trapped near Alice.

COOPERATIVE EFFORT

“But things began to improve for the eradication effort in 2016,” Patton says. “Texas and Tamaulipas growers, along with program personnel from both nations, have worked to together to make both programs more effective. Changes to the eradication program in Tamaulipas greatly reduced migration, and the foundation started to get a handle on the weevil problem.”

Thanks to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, with assistance from other agencies like USDA and the North American Plant Protection Organization, help was offered to Mexico with both trapping and treatment programs, as well as identifying voluntary cotton and its removal. By late 2016, the boll weevil problem was improving across the border in Mexico, and in Texas.

Thus far in 2017, weevils were found only in two areas of Texas, the Winter Garden area around Uvalde, and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. A total of 1,022 weevils have been captured in the Winter Garden area. The good news is that 747 of those were captured in the first two weeks of the year, with only 275 trapped the rest of the growing season. Strong cooperation from area farmers, and diligent work on the part of foundation personnel, are being credited for that success.

“So far in 2017, the eradication program has been able to bring weevil numbers to their lowest level since the program began,” Patton says. “Fewer than 30,000 weevils were trapped through the end of September, on nearly 200,000 planted acres of cotton.”

Program Director Larry Smith says he is extremely proud of the progress made. “Our program personnel have worked extremely hard, and have done an amazing job of bringing weevil numbers down to these record low levels. Many cotton producers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley have taken ownership of this important program, and have encouraged their neighbors to be diligent in destroying cotton stalks and volunteer cotton.”

He emphasizes that producers and the eradication program must work together to finish the job. “The last weevils are the hardest to get rid of, and we must work together to find and eliminate all volunteer cotton, destroy stalks in a timely fashion, and encourage folks to help by not planting cotton in difficult-to-treat places.”

With the weevil eradicated from over 98 percent of the state’s cotton fields, Patton says, the farmer-run Texas Foundation is helping producers achieve some amazing yields, and survive in some really tough times. Eradicating the boll weevil will insure that cotton will continue to be the No. 1 cash crop in the nation’s largest cotton-producing state.”

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Nepal group.jpg

Please Join Us October 18th for a

WEBINAR: Neem-based Pesticides in IPM

Please click the above link for more information regarding this webinar.

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From PestNet

medicago

Medicago plants to study how mycorrhizal symbiosis affects their growth. Credit: Cornelia Spetea Wiklund, University of Gothenburg

Most crops can form symbiosis with fungi to gain key nutrients. The fungi in turn gain carbohydrates generated through the plant’s photosynthesis.

This type of symbiosis is called arbuscular mycorrhizas and is of key importance to sustainable agriculture since it helps crops utilise better the phosphate in fertilisers.

‘This symbiosis is very important since the leakage of phosphate from farm fields contributes to harmful eutrophication of rivers, lakes and seas,’ says Cornelia Spetea Wiklund, professor at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

By developing a symbiotic relationship with fungi, plants not only become more tolerant to diseases but can also help contribute to more sustainable agricultural practices. This is the conclusion of a new study from the University of Gothenburg.

The Symbiosis Protects against Drought and Diseases

The fungal symbiosis also makes the plants more tolerant to certain diseases and environmental factors such as drought. In order to learn how to better utilise the symbiosis in agriculture, the researchers have explored what causes the increased hardiness of plants. One mechanism involved seems to be that the fungi increase the plant’s levels of several hormones in both its roots and shoots.

‘Studies of the legume Medicago truncatula show that the synthesis and signalling of two important plant hormones increase in plants that form this symbiosis,’ says Lisa Adolfsson, researcher at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

One of the hormones (ABA) makes the plant more drought tolerant, since it reduces the evaporation of water through the stomata of the leaves. The other hormone (jasmonate) helps increase the production of secondary substances that protect the plant against stress and diseases.

The Symbiosis Has Hormonal Effects in Plants

By measuring the levels of various substances in the shoots of the legume, which lives in symbiosis with fungi, and combining the results with large-scale genetic studies, the researchers have found that the levels of secondary substances (flavonoids and terpenoids) rise in the shoots as a result of the increased hormonal levels.

‘This is an interesting finding that may explain the increased tolerance to various stressors and diseases,’ says Spetea Wiklund.

So, the results show that symbiotic fungi influence the hormonal levels of crops.

‘The legume Medicago truncatula is used as a model for other legumes. Consequently, the findings are applicable on commercially important crops such as soybeans,’ says Adolfsson.

Explore further: Feeding fat to fungi: Evidence for lipid transfer in arbuscular mycorrhiza

More information: Lisa Adolfsson et al, Enhanced Secondary- and Hormone Metabolism in Leaves of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Medicago truncatulaPlant Physiology (2017). DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01509

Provided by: University of Gothenburg

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-tolerant-symbiosis-fungi.html#jCp

 

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