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Weed seed destructor

SEED DESTRUCTOR: One of the more innovative ways to control weed seeds is with a weed seed destructor. The Redekop seed destructor unit is attached to a John Deere S680 combine. The machine was recently tested in soybean fields with waterhemp infestations in central Iowa.

Learn about new ways researchers are working to help farmers control weeds at the ISU Extension display at the Farm Progress Show.

Prashant Jha | Aug 24, 2022

SUGGESTED EVENT

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Farm Progress Show

Aug 30, 2022 to Sep 01, 2022

Controlling weeds in farm fields is an annual challenge — especially with more weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. Fortunately, producers have a wide range of options to counter weeds, including some creative ways that may not have been employed in the past.

At this year’s Farm Progress Show, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will showcase one of the more innovative and practical methods of controlling weeds: a weed seed destructor.

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Fitted to a combine, the weed seed destructor does what its name implies. It pulverizes and destroys seeds so that they cannot germinate.

The weed seed destructor (Redekop) will be attached to the back of a John Deere S680 combine and will be available for viewing outside of the ISU Extension and Outreach tent.

While the machine will not be operating during the show, visitors can see it in operation on a computer screen, and they can ask questions of weed science experts.

“We want to give the public a chance to see and ask about this innovative form of weed control technology,” says Prashant Jha, ISU professor and Extension weed specialist. “Farmers in central Iowa and in Harrison County are already using this technology, and we expect more will do so in the coming years.”

Alternative methods

Other methods of weed control will also be featured, including videos of chaff lining, a method that guides the harvested chaff into narrow bands as it flows out the back of the combine at harvest, which reduces the spread of weed seeds by more than 95% across fields and contains weed seeds in smaller spaces.

The harvester or combine is modified with a baffle that separates the chaff (containing the majority of weed seeds) from the straw. The chaff is directed into narrow central bands using a chute at the rear of the combine. 

Weed seeds in the chaff are subjected to decay, and burial of small-seeded weed species such as waterhemp in the chaff will potentially result in reduced emergence in the subsequent growing season. High application rates of herbicides or shielded sprayers can be used to selectively control emerged weeds in those narrow bands in the field. 

The weed control display will also allow visitors the chance to test their knowledge of weed specimens found in the Midwest. Sixteen different species will be available for visitors to identify.

Visitors will also have the chance to learn more about waterhemp, and how it can be suppressed using cereal rye as a cover crop.

Photos and sample trays will show the results of using no rye, rye terminated at 4 to 6 inches tall, and rye terminated close to heading.

“We’re going to be showing the potential for biomass [cover crops] to suppress weeds like waterhemp, and how the results vary based on the height of the cover crop,” Jha says.

Rye helps suppress weeds

Cereal rye has the best potential to suppress weeds because it accumulates more biomass than other cover crop species. A study that was done for the Farm Progress Show shows an incremental decrease in waterhemp based on the density of rye.  

Field studies indicate cereal rye biomass of 4,500 to 5,000 pounds per acre at termination can significantly suppress waterhemp emergence in soybeans, and reduce the size and density of waterhemp at the time of exposure to postemergence herbicides.  

Additionally, producers can view a map of where herbicide resistance has been documented in Iowa based on the recent survey, and ask questions to Jha and other specialists about their own experience with herbicide-resistant weeds.

Jha will be joined at the show by ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists Angie Rieck-Hintz, Meaghan Anderson, Gentry Sorenson and Mike Witt, and several weed science graduate students.

Jha is an ISO professor and ISU Extension weed specialist.

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Weed zapping

Do electrocution treatments have a place in weed control?

PUBLISHED ON 

Researchers used a tractor attachment called The Weed Zapper™ to electrocute eight types of weeds common in soybean crops, including herbicide-resistant waterhemp. (Stock photo via Ivan Radic, Flickr/Creative Commons)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Researchers from the University of Missouri recently conducted two field studies to explore the effectiveness of electricity in weed control. They used a tractor attachment called The Weed Zapper™ to electrocute eight types of weeds common in soybean crops, including herbicide-resistant waterhemp.

The first study showed that control was more effective in the later stages of weed growth and was most closely related to plant height and the moisture in the plant at the time of electrocution. Once the weeds had set seed, the treatments reduced viability by 54 to 80 percent across the weed species evaluated. A second study showed electrocution reduced late-season, herbicide-resistant waterhemp plants by 51 to 97 percent.

At some stages of growth, the soybean crops exhibited yield losses of 11 to 26 percent following electrocution treatments – though researchers say those results likely represent a worse-case scenario. In late-season treatments, for example, the clear height differential between waterhemp and the soybean canopy means the electrocution device can treat the weed without sustained contact with the crop.

The net takeaway: When used as part of an integrated control program, electrocution can eliminate many late-season, herbicide-resistant weed escapes in soybean crops and reduce the number and viability of weed seeds that return to the soil seedbank.

Want to know more? Read the article “The Impact of Electrocution Treatments on Weed Control and Weed Seed Viability in Soybean featured in the latest edition of the journal Weed Technology.

–Cambridge University Press
via EurekAlert!

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Soil Health and Pest Management: Challenges in the European Union

CERTIS

05/07/2022

Jackie Pucci of AgriBusiness Global sat down with Dr. Arben Myrta, Corporate Development Manager with Certis Belchim B.V., based in Italy, to discuss developments in soil health and pest management solutions at the company and wider trends he is witnessing in the space.

Dr Arben Myrta, Certis Belchim B.V.
Quality produce with good soil pest management
Damage by Fusarium wilt in melon
Destroyed tomato plants from the attack of Meloidogyne spp.
Damaged roots of tomato by the nematode Meloidogyne spp.
Nematode damage in carrots from Meloidogyne spp.

Can you talk about some of the key developments in ‘soil health management’ in agriculture and what is driving adoption in Europe?

Soil health in its broad scientific definition considers its capacity, thanks to biotic and abiotic components, to function as a vital living ecosystem to sustain plants and animals. A soil may be healthy in terms of the functioning of its eco-system but not necessarily for crop production. In agriculture, good soil pest management remains a cornerstone for the quantity and quality of production at farm level. When farmers cultivate the same plants for a long time in the same soil without crop rotations or other agronomic measures, the soil starts to evidence nutritional and phytopathological problems for the plants. This is more evident in horticulture, and particularly, in protected crops in Europe, where this problem is of major importance.

In the past, in Europe, soil pest management in horticulture was mostly covered by chemical fumigation, lead first by methyl bromide (MB). MB was later globally banned for depleting the ozone layer, while other fumigants, which were intended to replace it, were not approved during the regulatory renewal process, thus creating a gap between the farmers’ needs and the possibilities to have adequate solutions for their cropping.  Meanwhile, in the last decades there has also been huge progress in research and technology, developing more effective biorational soil products (beneficial microorganisms, such as fungi, bacteria, etc.., plant extracts, etc..) and increased public awareness around human health and the environment, followed by more restrictive legislation on the use of chemicals in agriculture.

Driven by the legislation and the general attention of society on the use of plant protection products in agriculture, the industry has been proactive in looking for new solutions with safer tox and eco-tox profile, focusing on biorational products, whose number, as new plant protection products for the control of soil-borne pests and diseases, is continuously increasing in the EU.

How important do you see soil health and soil pest management in the complete picture of agricultural productivity, and how has that view changed?

Soil health and good soil pest management practices in crop production have always been considered important. In Europe, the level of attention and knowledge on this topic has been higher among professionals and farmers working in horticulture, the ornamentals industry, nurseries and particularly protected crops, basically everywhere where long crop rotations are not easily practiced, and pest-infested soils become a big problem for the farmers.

The rapid banning or limitation of several traditional synthetic products used to control soil pests raised the question for field advisors and farmers of how to deal with soil problems in the new situation. In recent years European farmers have been facing particular difficulties in controlling plant-parasitic nematodes.

Biorational products available today in EU countries represent a very good tool for the management of several soil pests in many crops and targets, but are still not sufficiently effective to guarantee full satisfaction to the growers in important crops like protected fruiting vegetables, strawberry, carrots, potato, ornamentals, etc., which explains why ‘emergency uses’ are still granted at EU country level following the request of grower associations to cover the needs of their farmers. The continuous increase in the numbers of new biorational products in the future, and particularly the innovative formulations that will follow, will be of paramount importance for their role in soil pest management.

A second, but important obstacle, is the generally limited knowledge on soil components (including its fertility and capacity to suppress pests by beneficial microorganisms) and the correct use of the biorational products, which cannot be expected to be effective quickly or be used as solo products, as the ‘old’ chemicals were. They should be seen more in programs with other soil management solutions, as recommended by the integrated production guidelines. Here, a further important obstacle is the lack of an effective public extension service to advise farmers, which is limited or totally lacking in many European Countries.

Everybody in the EU is now convinced that soil management in the future will rely on biorational and integrated solutions, but the question is how to reach this objective gradually, being pragmatic and reliable, balancing the environmental, economic and agricultural perspective. Legislation always steers the direction of progress but should be carefully considering the real product capabilities to make it happen in a short time and not focusing on ‘emergency situations’ as has now been the case for more than a decade.

What are some of the perceptions, either correct or incorrect, and other challenges you are dealing with in the region with respect to products for soil health?

This market has seen a rapid change from chemistry to biorational solutions, but in the meantime is facing a lot of challenges in order to meet the expectations of the farmers for quantity and quality of produce. This topic is widely discussed in dedicated scientific forums like that of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences, of which the last International Symposium on Soil and Substrate Disinfestation was held in 2018 in Crete, Greece. A dedicated round table was organized with soil experts to discuss the important challenges faced by the European growers due to the lack of plant protection solutions for an effective control of several soil pests, most of all nematodes. I participated in that round table discussion, whose main conclusions were the following concerns, considered as target actions for the scientific community:

  • the farmer needs various tools for soil disinfestation (SD) in the light of the limited current arsenal of SD tools;
  • the lengthy and unpredictable European registration process (sometimes more than 10 years from dossier submission to the first national approval) of new plant protection products (including biorational) and the cautious approach of EU regulation, as well as restrictions imposed, has led to a reduction of active ingredients available in the past years;
  • a more effective and faster evaluation system is needed, especially for naturally occurring and low risk products (biological, plant extracts, etc.). That is, all products which are essential for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs;
  • following the implementation of Regulation EC 1107/2009, the only tool available to fill the gaps in local production systems is Art. 53 of the above-mentioned Regulation, which provides “derogations” for exceptional authorizations of plant protection products. Such authorizations increased exponentially in the last years, indicating that existing solutions in the European market are not considered sufficient;
  • the above-mentioned EU Regulation has a high socio-economic impact on various production systems in Europe and a Spanish case shows clearly the importance of maintaining a sustainable agricultural activity in local communities that, in the case of protected crops area, includes 13% of the active population employed in agriculture;
  • several European agricultural sectors are affected as the EU authority is allowing increased importation from extra-EU countries, considered unfair competition due to their more flexible registration system for plant protection products than that of the EU;
  • reduced capacity of soil pest research, where experts are retired and not being replaced, alongside weak, or in many areas non-existent, extension services together are causing the loss of soil knowledge and good advice for our farmers. Today, soil diagnosis is frequently completely lacking or insufficient before any soil pest and crop management decisions are taken.

The clear message from the scientific experts at that meeting was that these issues must be correctly addressed at all levels of stakeholders, in such a way that all available tools, including sustainable use of soil disinfestation, may be used in a combined IPM system to allow sustainable production in Europe.

What are some of the most exciting developments at Certis Belchim in soil health and pest management?

Since the establishment of Certis Europe in 2001, we have focused on soil pest and disease management. In 2003, Certis built the first CleanStart program providing integrated solutions for sustainable soil management, combining cultural, biological and chemical approaches. After more than a decade, in the mid-2010s, the CleanStart integrated approach started combining biological and chemical inputs with agronomic services (training to farmers and field advisors, soil pest diagnosis support for partner farms and stewardship product advice for applicators and/or farmers) to provide sustainable soil management for the future, aligned with the principles of the Sustainable Use of pesticides as per the EU Directive. All these activities were carried out successfully thanks to a wide international network created with many research institutes across Europe on soil pest management topics. This approach facilitated our participation in soil research projects funded also by the EU. Thanks to this experience we have been able to prepare and share many publications and communications, in particular the coordination for several years of an International Newsletter on Soil Pest Management (CleanStart).

Last year we were also granted a SMART Expertise funding from the Welsh Government, which is co-founded by Certis, in a research project lead by Swansea University, with Certis Belchim B.V. the industry partner, alongside major Welsh growers, Maelor Forest Nurseries Ltd and Puffin Produce Ltd. This project, now ongoing, looks to develop new and innovative products to control soil pests, primarily nematodes.

Thanks to this team involvement on soil topics, our present soil portfolio includes several biorational solutions such as Trichoderma spp. (TriSoil), Bacillus spp. (Valcure), garlic extract (NemGuard), etc. and this is continuously increasing through our research and development pipeline. With the soil biorational products we have developed a good knowledge not only on the products, but also in their interaction with biotic and abiotic soil components and with other similar products.

Our new company, Certis Belchim, in the future will continue to be particularly interested in this market segment and will be focusing mostly on biorational products. Our plans mainly encompass: (i) label extension to more crops and targets for the existing products; (ii) development and registration of new active ingredients for the control of soil borne pathogens, insects and nematodes; (iii) development of innovative formulations for soil use with focus on slow-release; (iv) field validation of effective programs with bio-solutions and other control methods.

In all these research and development activities, supported by the long experience we have in such topics, we are looking to generate our own IP solutions for soil pest management.

How have you seen this space evolve over the past of years, and what are you expecting the next years will bring?

From a technical perspective, we expect the nematode problems to increase globally in the future. This is due in part to the gradual global increase in average temperature, now recorded over recent decades, which will allow the most damaging nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., to establish at higher elevation and higher latitudes while in areas already infested, they will develop for a longer damaging period of time, thus leading to larger nematode soil population densities by the end of the crop cycle and, in turn, to greater damage to the succeeding crops.

From a regulatory perspective in Europe, if the approval process for new effective nematicides is not shortened and remains as restrictive as today, less effective solutions will be available, and there will be more reductions in rates and crops on which their use is permitted (e.g. not every year). This again will certainly lead to an increase in the severity of the nematodes that in many areas could be overlooked.

From a quarantine perspective, the globalization of trade has facilitated the introduction into Europe of new damaging nematodes and diseases and pests in general, events which are expected to increase in the future. The most critical situation can occur in protected and nursery crops, and for the production of healthy propagating material of annual crops, such as potato seed, bulbs and seeds of bulbous plant crops, including flowers, strawberry runners, woody nursery plants, of both crop and ornamental plants, and in all crops for which quarantine issues must be considered, especially when seeds, bulbs and any kind of plant propagating material are to be exported out of the EU.

The expectation is also that positive results will come from public research (more focus on resources is needed) and private industry where work is ongoing to bring to the market new biorational solutions and innovative methods with higher efficacy in controlling soil pests and to fulfill the increasing needs of this market. However, this will only be realized if regulatory hurdles are reduced in the EU, for example for low risk biorational solutions.

How are external factors (e.g., soaring input costs) impacting the adoption of these products?

Today agriculture and plant protection products, like the whole economy, are affected by higher prices due to the increased cost of energy and raw materials globally. Considering that the costs in agricultural production are already high and sometimes, those of soil pest control are not applicable for several crops, any further increase in production costs may lead to the abandonment of effective solutions, resulting in additional increase in the complexities of soil problems on our farms. This trend, if allowed to persist, will severely affect our agricultural sector.

This said, there will also be a potential increase in the new solutions entering the market in the coming years, which will face higher costs during development and the registration process as well.

From a technical perspective, the only way to reduce such risks is to support farmers with the right knowledge on how to use new soil products correctly (dose rate, timing and method of application, etc..) and increase cost effectiveness.

Can you share highlights of research and case studies that your company has conducted with respect to soil health?

Our company has been involved in many research and market studies dedicated to the soil pest management sector. The last important one was ‘Sustainability of European vegetable and strawberry production in relation to fumigation practices,’ prepared by a European team of independent soil experts. The aim of the study was to understand technically the role and economic impact of chemical soil fumigation in key European areas of vegetable and strawberry production. Three cases of representative crops were investigated: strawberries, solanaceous/cucurbitaceous crops cultivated under protected conditions and carrots as a relevant open field crop.

The study concluded that vegetable production is a key agricultural sector in Europe: including high-value crops like solanaceous and cucurbitaceous crops produced under protected conditions (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, cucumbers and melons), carrots and strawberries, the production value at farmer level is €12.5 billion; the cultivated area involved is roughly 330,000 ha. The importance of these crops is even greater when the entire food value chain, in economic and social terms, is also considered.

High standards in terms of food quality/safety and certificated production, along with affordable consumer prices and consistent availability across the seasons are demanded of European vegetable production and, as a consequence, are the drivers for the growers who have to protect such crops effectively and economically. The growers face very significant issues deriving from soil-borne pests, which are the key limiting factor to achieving quality and economically sustainable yields. As strongly indicated by farmers and crop experts, among the soil-borne pests, nematodes present the most impactful and frequent challenges.

According to the survey carried out in key EU countries (Spain, Italy, France, Belgium,…), the most common soil management practices for vegetable crops and strawberries are: chemical fumigation, crop rotation, resistant cultivars and rootstocks, followed by soil-less systems, non-fumigant treatments, soil solarization, biological products, organic soil amendments, catch and cover crops.

This shows clearly that soil pest management today and in the near future will rely on IPM systems combining and rotating different management practices, with a different degree of implementation depending on the cropping system.

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Poisonous hogweed infestation threatens to envelop European Russia by mid-21st century

Global Plant Council

01/07/2022NewsPlant HealthPlant Science

Skoltech researchers are forecasting that by 2040-60, Sosnowsky’s hogweed will likely exploit global warming to expand its habitat, threatening to infest almost the entire European part of Russia. Published in Scientific Reports, the study makes it clear that the aggressive poisonous weed has to be watched more closely and controlled.

Heracleum sosnowskyi, as it is known scientifically, is a tall plant with huge leaves and towering hollow stems topped with many white flowers in an umbrella shape. Described in 1944, the species was soon introduced from its native Caucasus to central Russia as an experimental forage crop to restore the war-torn agriculture. It proved to be toxic and cause burns, so its cultivation was abandoned.

But this didn’t stop the tenacious highlander plant from cultivating itself. Hogweed is not afraid of heat, cold, drought, shadow, and it grows on any soil, forcing out other species. If conditions become unfavorable, the weed can delay flowering for years before it finally delivers an average of 20,000 seeds. You get the point — it’s devious.

“People control hogweed with herbicides, root cutting, mowing, covering, flower head removal, and by replacing the it with other vegetation. But the plant is so fertile and unyielding that it takes several years of persistent control efforts to eradicate it,” the study’s first author, Skoltech alumna Diana Koldasbayeva said. “Our study points out that, if left to its own devices, in all likelihood hogweed is going to expand its habitat in the coming decades.”

The study reports hogweed habitat suitability predictions made by a machine learning algorithm trained on currently available data. To make the forecast, the algorithm relies on eight climate and soil characteristics: sand content in the soil, average temperature and precipitation during the wettest month of the year, and so on. The prediction for today matches what’s known about the current spread of hogweed. And the forecast for 2040-60 suggests considerable risks of new territories being infested, possibly up to the continent’s northernmost reaches.

“For the forecast, we examined six ways that the relevant climate parameters may evolve. They correspond to three popular global warming models, each considered for an optimistic and a pessimistic scenario for how well humanity manages to cut down on CO2 emissions. The bottom line is that regardless of the trajectory climate warming takes, almost the entire European part of Russia, barring the northernmost regions, will be at risk of hogweed infestation,” commented a co-author of the study, Skoltech PhD student Mikhail Gasanov from the Institute’s Research Center in Artificial Intelligence in the Direction of Optimization of Management Decisions to Reduce the Carbon Footprint.

Eradicating hogweed from any new lands it might potentially invade is a lengthy, costly, and painstaking process. The new study calls attention to the need for better control and monitoring of this aggressive weed already today, while it still has not advanced too far.


Read the paperScientific Reports

Article sourceSkolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

ImageHeracleum sosnowskyi, inflorescences. Wild-growing plant. The picture taken on border of the Caucasian State Biosphere Nature Reserve and the Sochi national park in vicinities of Krasnaya Polyana in the territory of Adlersky District of Sochi. Krasnodar Krai, Russian Federation. CreditSKas

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Largest UK weed survey reveals Italian ryegrass challenge

Farm Weekly

© Blackthorn Arable© Blackthorn Arable

Results from the UK’s largest survey on Italian ryegrass has shown a complex and variable picture of herbicide resistance in the weed, emphasising the need for growers to test and understand the populations on their farms to achieve better control.

However, rising levels of resistance to commonly used herbicides are not the only cause of control difficulties, reveals weed specialist John Cussans of Niab, who also highlights application timing and better use of diversified modes of action as important actions.

See also: Tips on tackling five weed issues in no-till systems

“There is scope to improve practice, as there are too many fire brigade treatments being made,” he advises.

“It’s a complicated landscape when it comes to resistance mechanisms, but better attention to detail will help to avoid poor decision-making.”

Conducted by Niab with funding from Bayer, the survey of 197 samples from across the country investigated current on-farm control practice, as well as testing each Italian ryegrass sample for sensitivity to flufenacet, pinoxaden (Axial) and ALS herbicides (Atlantis).

In addition, 22 of the weed samples were used in a cross-resistance study, to understand any correlations between sensitivity to a wide range of herbicides, including glyphosate.

Post-emergence herbicides

“While the performance of post-emergence herbicides is significantly affected by resistance, it was lower than expected,” says Mr Cussans. (see “Post-emergence herbicide sensitivity”)

“The fact that a large number of samples are still susceptible to herbicides goes against the perception that many have about post-emergence chemistry.”

Dropping the use of perfectly good herbicides tends to happen when the resistance threat is exaggerated, he explains, which is why a better understanding of the situation on individual farms is so important.

Pre-emergence herbicide

When it comes to pre-emergence herbicides, all 197 samples were tested for sensitivity to straight flufenacet.

One-third of them showed either reduced sensitivity or resistance, reflecting that the selection pressure has been there for some time.

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“If you pile on flufenacet, you will select resistance to it,” he says. “Of course, in practice it isn’t used alone – it is tank-mixed and sequenced with other actives.”

There are some populations of Italian ryegrass that are completely resistant to flufenacet – which makes it different to the situation with blackgrass, where there has been a shift in sensitivity, rather than complete failure.

Post-emergence herbicide sensitivity (% of samples)
 Atlantis  Axial
S45.645.6
R7.7   6.2
RR24.132.3
RRR 22.615.9
Pre-mergence herbicide sensitivity (% of samples)
 Flufenacet
Sensitive70.6
Significantly Reduced17.3
No Control9.6

Resistance testing

Further analysis showed regional differences between the three herbicides tested, with control from flufenacet being lower in the South East, North and Midlands.

“If you have an emerging issue with pre-emergence herbicides, you need to know about it. Get resistance testing done, preferably on a field-by-field basis – national statistics will make no difference to managing your weed populations.”

Even populations collected from two fields on the same farm can show differences in herbicide sensitivity, he warns, reflecting the very variable herbicide sensitivity present around the country.

Cross-resistance findings

A subset of 22 populations was used to test more herbicides and understand any correlations between them, as well as to look at glyphosate sensitivity.

The strongest correlation is between the existing pre-emergence actives – flufenacet, pendimthalin and prosulfocarb – while aclonifen is weakly correlated with sensitivity to existing pre-emergence products.

“If you have flufenacet resistance on the farm, you need to bring in other modes of action,” advises Mr Cussans. “Where three actives are combined, such as Liberator + Proclus, it largely overcomes flufenacet resistance.

“Broadening the base by combining modes of action helps to stabilise ryegrass control. That fact that we have two new modes of action this year in aclonifen and cinmethylin, and another coming next year, will help.”  

Having a stronger, more diverse base for Italian ryegrass control is important, he stresses.

“Ryegrass is more capable of overcoming herbicides and we know there is a degree of cross-resistance between existing pre-emergence chemistry.

“For this reason, it’s important to combine modes of action.”

Glyphosate sensitivity

There has been a shift in sensitivity to glyphosate in some problematic UK Italian ryegrass populations, but it is not resistance, confirms John Cussans.

The status of 50 difficult weed populations collected in 2019 was checked for their sensitivity to glyphosate at a range of doses, with some variation showing.

“We do not have glyphosate resistance in the UK, but we are as close as we’ve ever been to it,” he cautions. “That’s why we must monitor it and steward the product.”

Glyphosate sensitivity is totally independent of in-crop herbicide use, with the correlation between glyphosate sensitivity and sensitivity to other herbicides being very poor.

However, there is no doubt in Mr Cussan’s mind that poor practice will lead to glyphosate resistance, as it has been possible to select for glyphosate resistance in high-risk scenarios in glasshouse work.

“We must avoid any survivors of glyphosate applications going on to set seed.”

As a result, growers must take ownership of this issue and follow published guidance, he advises.

That is a view shared by Roger Bradbury, technical specialist at Bayer, who stresses the need to apply glyphosate at the right time, with the right dose for the target weed and with good application technique.

He refers growers to the latest Weed Resistance Action Group guidelines, which recommend a maximum of two glyphosate applications after harvest, before drilling the next crop, and stress the importance of monitoring herbicide performance and investigating any reasons for poor control.

“Everyone needs to be aware of the risks and do all they can to prevent resistance to selective herbicides.”

Aclonifen approval in barley

Bayer’s Proclus (aclonifen) has been approved in a tank-mix with Liberator (flufenacet +  diflufenican) for pre-emergence weed control in winter barley, adding a new mode of action and expanding the options for grassweed control in the crop.

A lower application rate of 1 litre/ha + 0.6 litre/ha Liberator, compared with 1.4 litres/ha in winter wheat, means the levels of weed control are slightly less – with a 7% uplift in Italian ryegrass recorded in Bayer trials and a 5-6% improvement in blackgrass control.

Winter barley’s earlier drilling date and more limited herbicide choice can make it a challenging crop for weeds, says Bayer’s Tom Chillcott, who points out that including aclonifen in the pre-emergence mix gives more protection and helps with resistance management.

“Having a new mode of action in barley adds another layer of protection and helps to take the selection pressure off flufenacet.”

As aclonifen sits on the soil surface, weeds have to grow up through it before it takes effect, he adds.

“That means seed-bed preparation, drilling depth and application timing all matter, especially as aclonifen can be a bit hot in some scenarios, and barley is a more sensitive crop.”

A minimum sowing depth of 3.2cm and application within 48 hours are important, as is avoiding heavy rain soon after application.

It will be sold as a co-pack of Proclus and Liberator, as in wheat, and will add £10/ha to pre-emergence costs in barley.

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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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Advances in integrated weed management

Editor

Professor Per Kudsk is Head of the Crop Health Section in the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, Denmark. An internationally-known expert in integrated weed management, he is a former President of the European Weed Research Society. Professor Kudsk has played a leading role in EU research projects such as IWMPRAISE and the ENDURE Network as well as in the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO).

Dimensions:

229x152mm
6×9″

Publication date:

26 April 2022

Length of book:

452 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786767455

HardbackEbook (VitalSource)

£150.00View/buy chapters 

 Request Permissions

Description

Weed management continues to face many challenges, including herbicide resistance, invasive species, climate change and how best to deploy the range of non-chemical control methods available. To tackle these challenges, integrated weed management (IWM) needs to evolve to embrace a more holistic, landscape-based agroecological approach.

Advances in integrated weed management provides an authoritative review of the latest developments in IWM. The book covers new research on understanding weed ecology as a basis for more sustainable control, as well as developments in technology to better target IWM techniques. This collection also offers examples of how advances are being applied in practice for particular crops.

Edited by Professor Per Kudsk, Aarhus University, Denmark, Advances in integrated weed management will be a standard reference for weed scientists, researchers in crop protection, agronomists, farmers, companies supplying/manufacturing pesticides, and government and private sector agencies supporting sustainable agriculture.

Key features

  • Summarises the current advances in IWM, such as the use of technology to allow for more informed decision making (e.g. decision support systems (DSS) and sensor technology) 
  • Discusses the challenges continually faced by the sector, including herbicide resistance, invasive species, climate change and how best to deploy the range of non-chemical control methods available 
  • Provides examples of the practical application of IWM and its optimisation in the field on different crops (cereals, vegetables, pasture, grasslands)

Sample content

Not sure what you’re getting if you buy this book? Click on the cover image below to open a PDF and preview pages from the book.  Alternatively, watch our informative video introduction.

 https://www.youtube.com/embed/8HlriyTJ91ohttps://www.youtube.com/embed/ArWZeIk3ZyY

What others are saying…

“With the evolution and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds, as well as the spread of invasive weeds and new weed challenges with climate change, weed management is becoming increasingly problematic. This volume provides information and insight from a group of distinguished experts on new approaches to tackling these problems with integrated weed management. I look forward to its publication.” Professor Stephen O. Duke, National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, USA

Table of contentsView/buy chapters

Part 1 Weed ecology
1.Advances in understanding the contribution of weeds to the functioning of agroecosystems: Sandrine Petit, Séverin Yvoz, Alexandre Ploteau, Camille Zuccolo and Stéphane Cordeau Agroécologie, AgroSup Dijon, INRAE, Univ. Bourgogne, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France;
2.Advances in understanding the dynamics of weed communities in integrated weed management systems: Jonathan Storkey, Sustainable Agriculture Science, Rothamsted Research, UK;
3.Advances in managing arable weed propagules: Bärbel Gerowitt, University of Rostock, Germany; and Barbara Baraibar, University of Lleida – Agrotecnio, Spain;
4.Advances in understanding allelopathic interactions between weeds and crops: Çağla Görkem Eroğlu and Aurélie Gfeller, Agroscope, Plant Production Systems, Herbology in Field Crops, Switzerland; Anna Elizabeth Louw-Gaume, Agroscope, Corporate Strategy, Switzerland; and Judith Wirth, Agroscope, Plant Production Systems, Herbology in Field Crops, Switzerland;
5.Advances in understanding invasive characteristics in weed species: Ahmet Uludağ, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey; Mehmet Arslan, Erciyes University, Turkey; İlhan Üremiş, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey; and Necmi Aksoy, Düzce University, Turkey;

Part 2 Intelligent weed control technologies
6.Modelling the effects of cropping systems on weed dynamics: the trade-off between process analysis and decision support: Nathalie Colbach, AgroSup Dijon, INRAE, Université de Bourgogne, France;
7.Developing decision support systems (DSS) for weed management: Panagiotis Kanatas, University of Patras, Greece; and Ilias Travlos, Ioannis Gazoulis and Alexandros Tataridas, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece;
8.Advanced detection technologies for weed scouting: C. Fernandez-Quintanilla, J. Dorado and J. M. Peña, Instituto de Ciencias Agrarias (CSIC), Spain; and D. Andújar, Centro de Automatica y Robótica (CSIC), Spain;
9.Advances in precision application technologies for weed management: Ran N. Lati, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel; Roland Gerhards, University of Hohenheim, Germany; Hanan Eizenberg and Maor Matzrafi, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel; Lior Blank, Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, Israel; and Svend Christensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;
10.Advances in mechanical weed control technologies: Bo Melander and Margaret R. McCollough, Aarhus University, Denmark;

Part 3 Case studies
11.On-farm implementation of integrated weed management: M. M. Riemens and M. Elings, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands;
12.Optimising integrated weed management in narrow-row crops: L. Bonin, ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal, France; R. Leskovšek, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Slovenia; C. Moonen, Institute of Life Science, Italy; W. Smith, NIAB, UK; and M. Sønderskov, Aarhus University, Denmark;
13.Integrated weed management in grasslands: Urs Schaffner, CABI, Switzerland; Heinz Müller-Schärer, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; and Andreas Lüscher, Agroscope, Switzerland;
14.Integrated weed management in perennial woody crops: Verónica Pedraza and José Luis González-Andújar, IAS-CSIC, Spain; Victoire Huet and Paul Tuteirihia, NIAB EMR, UK; and Julien Lecourt, Pôle Scientifique des vignobles Bernard Magrez, France;
15.Evaluating the economics of integrated weed management: Pieter de Wolf, Saskia Houben, William Bijker and Koen Klompe, Wageningen Plant Research, The Netherlands;

Editor’s note: If you are interested in purchasing this book go to: Web: www.bdspublishing.com |

IAPPS members receive a 20% discount. The discount code is IAPPS20

E.A. Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

eheinrichs2@unl.edu

For more information contact:

Katherine Lister | Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing

Marketing Executive

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 839365 | Mobile: 07801509992

Katherine Lister katherine.lister@bdspublishing.com

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In this issue:

From the President
75th Anniversary Symposium and Conference
Photo Competition
NZPPS Medal

2021 Scholarship Winners 
 Members in the News
 Related Events
NZPPS Books
NZPPS Corporate Members
Contacts


We look forward to your feedback.From the President
         The next conference, at the Christchurch Town Hall, in August 2022, will be a celebration of 75 years of the Plant Protection Society. Several ideas to mark the 75th anniversary are in progress, some of which are reported in this newsletter. To begin with, a special 75th anniversary logo was designed for this year, which is depicted in this newsletter and on the website. Those of you with keen eyes may notice some slight modifications to the logo. Since we engaged a professional graphic designer to create the 75th logo and a new banner, it was a good opportunity to make some improvements to the existing logo. The revised logo is higher resolution, and the arrows embracing the plant have been tightened and made more fluid. The colour version uses a two-tone approach, with light and dark green, giving a more unique and modern look.

Importantly, the logo remains the same, as it still captures the essential purpose of the Society ‘to pool and exchange information’ related to plant protection. Given the anniversary occasion, it is timely to reflect on the history and meaning of Society’s logos, past and present. In the formative years of the Society, as a weed-control conference, there was no logo but, from 1962 until 1983, the cover of the published proceedings featured an illustration of a weed or pest. In 1984, the Society developed its first logo, which was the depiction of a weed (possibly a buttercup species) and a pest (a scarab grub), contained within a hexagon. The weed was in the light (aboveground) section, and the scarab in the dark (belowground) section. At a glance, it is a literal depiction of the focus of the Society at the time, weeds and pests.However, the logo possibly had greater significance, reflecting a shift in thinking at the time, away from pesticides as the panacea, towards integrated pest management. Hexagons are ubiquitous in nature and used to symbolise harmony. And the perfectly balanced dark and light halves of the harmonious hexagon conjure a yin and yang interconnectedness.

As the scope of the society further evolved, encompassing plant protection research and extension activities in the broadest sense, a new logo was needed. In 1996, the Society adopted its current logo, which was described by the President at the time, Richard Falloon, in his Presidential Address at the 49th conference. The arrows indicate interactions and information exchange that occurs through the interdisciplinary approach to plant protection. The protective circle conveys plant health resulting from plant-protection activities, and sustained plant health is depicted as the plant grows through the circle.

I do not know who designed either of the logos, and I have possibly over interpreted the first logo. If any members know more about the logos or their designers, please get in touch. In the coming months, the Executive will be reaching out to previous Presidents and others who have had an enduring impact on the Society to invite them to share their reminiscences, learn about past success stories, and receive advice for the future. Mark your calendars, submit your abstracts, and stay tuned for more news about this year’s symposium and conference.
Mike CrippsThe NZPPS Executive are delighted to advise that theNZPPS 75th Anniversary Symposium and Conferenceare proceeding as in-person events at the
Christchurch Town Hall.
Dame Juliet Gerrard will give the  conference opening address on Tuesday 9 August.Symposium: 8 August 2022  
Plant pathogens that keep us awake: past, present and future threats to native species.
https://nzpps.org/events/nzpps-symposium-2022/A day of invited presentations focussed on microbial threats to our native taonga plants. Leading scientists, kaitiaki, international experts and representatives from government agencies will bring attendees up to date with progress on myrtle rust, kauri dieback, Pacific biosecurity, Ceratocystis, Xylella and more. The day will conclude with a networking and poster session. Those interested in submitting a poster for the symposium should submit an abstract (maximum 250 words) to Renee Johansen (JohansenR@landcareresearch.co.nz) by 31 May 2022. Conference: 9-11 August 2022
Celebrating 75 years of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society
https://nzpps.org/events/nzpps-conference-2022/
Three full days of presentations including special sessions, conference dinner with 75th anniversary cake for dessert and a slideshow of competition photos

The first session on Tues 9 August has been reserved for participants who wish to present a talk on the symposium topic. Abstract submission for the 2022 conference is openDeadline is 30 April 2022.NZPPS 75th Anniversary
Photo Competition
 Get clicking and enter your pictures here for the 75th anniversary photo competition. The photo within each category with the most member votes wins. Categories: Plant protection in action Plant pests Plant diseases  Plant weeds The growing crop Plant protection science People in plant protection Winners and their photos will be showcased on the NZPPS website, at the conference and in the newsletter. Closing date: 30 June 2022. NZPPS Plant Protection MedalThis medal has been instituted by the New Zealand Plant Protection Society to honour those who have made exceptional contributions to plant protection in the widest sense. The medal will be awarded based on outstanding services to plant protection, whether through research, education, implementation or leadership.Details of the nomination process are available here.

Deadline 1 July 2022.2021 NZPPS Research ScholarshipAshleigh Mosen is an MSc student at Massey University.Development of a novel disease control strategy to protect Pinus radiata from Dothistroma needle blight.
The hemibiotrophic fungus Dothistroma septosporum is a foliar pathogen of Pinus radiata that causes a disease known as Dothistroma needle blight (DNB). This forest tree disease is destructive to pines, resulting in dieback of needles, premature defoliation and in severe cases tree death. Necrotic lesions, which are seen on infected needles become a brick-red colour, characteristic of the fungus producing a toxic virulence factor called dothistromin. DNB is an economically important disease impacting upon New Zealand’s forest industries, costing the NZ economy ~$20 million per year. Current control measures include copper fungicide spraying, silvicultural methods such as pruning and thinning, and breeding pine trees for increased resistance to pathogen attack. A radical new approach, spray-induced gene silencing using RNA technology, has great potential to control DNB.

 My project explores the potential for applications of this technology by using RNA molecules, that specifically target and silence pathogen genes, to effectively lower the virulence of the pathogen. The candidate genes DsAflR (dothistromin pathway regulatory protein) and eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) were pursued as targets for RNA silencing trials. As a result, dothistromin production and virulence of the pathogen is expected to be reduced, and decreased DNB symptoms on pine. Confocal microscopy analyses have been performed demonstrating dsRNA uptake into fungal cells. In vitro and in planta silencing trials suggest no clear evidence whether there is knockdown of AflR and eGFP. However quantitative real time PCR analyses are in progress to determine if there is a reduction in transcript levels. Disease symptoms have been monitored on infected pine needles and are showing reduced lesions, as a result of spraying with dsRNA targeting AflR. In combination, biomass assays will verify if there is a reduction in fungal biomass and hence suppressed virulence. The effects of timing and concentration of the dsRNAs have been established to achieve maximum silencing.

By the end of my project I hope to determine if treatment with the dsRNA has had any effects in terms of suppression of the target genes and create a framework to optimise silencing in this forest pathogen for future studies. This could be an effective solution to augment current control measures and could be applicable to agricultural and horticultural disease control. My project is of great importance to NZ, its forest industries, and other plant-based industries. This will be the first study of its kind in NZ, which will be a blueprint for controlling other forest, agricultural and horticultural pathogens.Dan Watkins Scholarship in
Weed Science


Robert Gibson II is a PhD student at Lincoln University.

Establishment risk of wilding Pinus radiata and its hybrid in New Zealand high country.

Non-native conifers have been well integrated throughout New Zealand’s landscape for amenity and shelter, erosion control, and commercial forestry purposes. Unwanted individuals that self-perpetuate from these cultivations are categorised as wildings. Wildings are the largest weeds in New Zealand and one of the biggest weed problems, posing a significant threat to the biodiversity and functioning of native ecosystems, particularly on the South Island. The conifer species most tightly interwoven throughout New Zealand’s landscape, industry, and culture is Pinus radiata. As a result, P. radiata propagules are genetically bred and widely distributed across both main islands with sufficient mutualists; all factors that can increase the risk of wilding. From a commercial forestry and afforestation perspective, previous research suggests Pradiata has a limit of establishment around 700 m due to cold-intolerance (i.e. reduced germination, growth, and cone production). As a result, a natural hybrid between Pradiata and Pattenuata is being assessed as commercial forestry and afforestation programmes shift to higher elevations. The aim of this research is to assess the potential threat of wilding establishment of both taxa in high country native grasslands and shrublands. This will be achieved through evaluating the potential biotic and abiotic barriers associated with these ecosystems on the fate of seeds and seedlings along an elevation gradient from the putative limit of establishment (< 700 m) to the high country (900 m and 1100 m). Across six sites and three microhabitats, this study is investigating: 1) seed viability, seed loss to predation and the potential for deposition into the soil seed bank; 2) emergence and seedling establishment; and 3) the response of 12-month-old seedlings to herbivory, and the interaction between herbivory and climate. This study isolates each seed and seedling stage with a different experiment to disentangle the influence of different barriers and how the magnitude of those barriers may fluctuate across multiple life stages to gain insight into the big picture of what may induce establishment failure of these two taxa. Lastly, this research will determine whether the information around the elevation limitation of P. radiata establishment from commercial plantations holds under natural conditions, and whether any of those barriers may be surpassed by the inclusion of the hybrid into high country ecosystems.Members in the News2018 NZPPS Medal winner Barbara Barratt has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi for pioneering internationally relevant research into the biosafety of introduced biocontrol agents for insect pests and for leading a major theme in a multi-agency research collaboration focused on border biosecurity risk assessment.  Read more here.NZPPS editor Ruth Falshaw is the latest person to be profiled in the  “Women in Horticulture” series published in the NZGrower magazine. The publisher Horticulture NZ and author Elaine Fisher have given permission for the article to be reproduced and it can be viewed hereRelated EventsCanterbury University is running a webinar entitled: Mahi Tahi: work together to build biosecurity capability on 13 April 2022. Find out more at: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/biosecurity-innovations/news-and-events/mahi-tahi-.html12th International Symposium on Adjuvants for Agrochemicals Bordeaux 24 – 29 April 2022.  https://www.isaa2022.org/general-information/The Weed Management Society of South Australia (WMSSA), on behalf of The Council of Australasian Weed Societies (CAWS), will be hosting the 22nd Australasian Weeds Conference (22AWC) at Adelaide Oval from 25-29 September 2022. https://eventstudio.eventsair.com/22AWCThe 8th International Weed Science Congress: “Weed Science in a Climate of Change” will be held in Bangkok from 4 – 9 December 2022.https://www.iwsc2020.com/Books

For sale
There is a 10% discount for NZPPS members on NZPPS titles purchased from Nationwide Book Distributors:

351 Kirikiri Road, Oxford 7495
Phone:
 0800 990 123
Email: books@nationwidebooks.co.nz
Web: http://www.nationwidebooks.co.nzBest sellers include:
Farewell Silent Spring – the New Zealand Apple Story
An Illustrated Guide to Common Weeds of New Zealand (Third Edition)
An Illustrated Guide to Weed Seeds of New Zealand
An Illustrated Guide to Common Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of New Zealand
A Guide to the Identification of New Zealand Weeds in Colour
Free to NZPPS members:Hard copies of:

Future Challenges in Crop Protection 
Surveillance for Biosecurity2010 Microbial Products 
Paddock to PCR
The Plant Protection Data Toolbox 
Utilising Plant Defences for Pest Control 


Contact the Secretary at secretary@nzpps.org if you would like one.NZPPS Corporate MembersAgResearch Ltd
Adama New Zealand Ltd
Arxada New Zealand Ltd
BASF New Zealand Ltd
Bayer New Zealand Ltd
Corteva Agriscience
Environmental Protection Authority
Foundation for Arable Research
Horticulture New Zealand
Ministry for Primary Industries
New Zealand Apples & Pears Inc.
New Zealand Avocado
New Zealand Winegrowers
Nufarm NZ Limited
Peak Research Limited
Scion
Staphyt Research Ltd
Syngenta Crop Protection Ltd
The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd
UPL New Zealand Ltd
Zespri International Ltd
ContactsPresident                             
Dr Mike Cripps
AgResearch
Christchurch
Ph: (03) 325 9936
mike.cripps@agresearch.co.nz
 
Vice President
Dr Hayley Ridgway
Plant & Food Research
Christchurch
Ph: (03) 325 9450
Hayley.Ridgway@plantandfood.co.nz

Immediate Past President
Dr Eirian Jones
Lincoln University
Christchurch
Ph: (03) 423 0746
Eirian.jones@lincoln.ac.nz
 
Secretary
Jenny Taylor
PO Box 21839
Henderson 0650
Ph: (09) 8128506
Mob: (027) 477 9821
secretary@nzpps.org
 
Treasurer
Dr Jason Smith
Horteye Ltd
Nelson
Mob: (027) 249 9370
jason@horteye.co.nz
 Journal Editor/
Communications Manager

Dr Ruth Falshaw
Mahana Editing Services
Rotorua
Mob: (027) 380 9839
nzppeditor@outlook.com
 
Website Editor
Mike Barley
mike@hortplus.comCommittee Members
Rebecca Campbell, Plant & Food Research, Motueka

Joy Tyson, Plant & Food Research, Auckland

Stephen McKennie, Arxada NZ Ltd, Auckland

Laura Tomiczek, Ministry for Primary Industries, Auckland

Rebecca Fisher, Horticulture New Zealand, Wellington

Dr Soonie Chng, Plant & Food Research, LincolnCopyright © 2022 New Zealand Plant Protection Society Inc.All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
secretary@nzpps.org

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APRIL 18, 2022

Scientists record first case of harmful bacteria in ubiquitous weed found throughout US

by University of Florida

Scientists record first case of harmful bacteria in ubiquitous weed found throughout U.S.
Credit: University of Florida

Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have recorded the first North American case of a harmful phytoplasma disease known for its threat to fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops in South America and the Middle East.

https://f40be17f455b1ef360cd678b25b2431d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

To make matters worse, scientists confirmed the host for the disease to be one of the most noxious and rapidly spreading weeds commonly found in a wide range of environments throughout the United States and into Canada.

Findings of the “First report of ‘Cadidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense‘ in North America and in a new host, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)” were just published in the journal Plant Health Progress.

“The host of the disease is known as one of the most widespread and problematic weeds found everywhere—called yellow nutsedge,” said Brian Bahder, assistant professor of entomology at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center. “It is one of the most aggressive weeds that commonly grows in lawns, home landscapes, vegetable and flower gardens and agricultural systems.”

The phytoplasma species called Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense is documented in regions of Brazil and Peru to harm hibiscus, papaya and cauliflower. Subsequently, research showed the same species infects peaches in the Middle East country of Azerbaijan.

Bahder and his team confirmed the phytoplasma and host in Fort Pierce. They found it while conducting research for a different disease—lethal bronzing—that attacks palm trees. Scientists were surveying and testing samples of grasses in hopes of finding a reservoir for lethal bronzing.

Research has shown that the adult planthopper insect that carries lethal bronzing feeds on the palm’s canopy, and the nymphs have been recorded among more than 40 species of grasses and sedges.

Because of the close association of nymphs with grasses and sedges, speculation has risen about the ability of these plants to serve as a reservoir for the lethal bronzing phytoplasma, Bahder said.

For the survey, scientists sampled three of the most abundant weeds known to serve as a host to the nymphs, yellow nutsedge being one of them.

While testing the samples, three of the outcomes resulted in a positive result.

“We thought we had found lethal bronzing in one of the grasses, so we proceeded to genetically sequence the sample,” said Bahder. “The results confirmed it was not lethal bronzing but that it was another phytoplasma.”

The DNA sequencing of that specimen confirmed their findings of a new phytoplasma in this weed, recorded for the first time in North America.

Implications of the disease and its spread through this weed cause scientists to consider it a threat to agriculture and ornamental industries. UF/IFAS scientists are seeking funding for the next steps of research.

“The next logical step is to find out which insect is spreading the disease. The good news is that we caught this early,” said Bahder. “We don’t know if this is an isolated incident or if the insect is spreading in the grass, and if it will feed on the papaya, hibiscus or cauliflower—which are economically important in Florida. The point is that we don’t know the extent of this disease in Florida or what threat it poses.”


Explore further

Palm tree disease in Florida transmitted by traveling bug from Jamaica


More information: Brandon Di Lella et al, First report of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense’ in North America and in a new host, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus), Plant Health Progress (2022). DOI: 10.1094/PHP-03-22-0027-BR

Provided by University of Florida 

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BCPC’s GM/Biotech Crops Report – April 2022

5th April 2022

  • GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Reports (BELOW) form part of BCPC’s free three-tier Biotech Crops Info service.
  • This service also includes a weekly round-up of news from around the globe – see BCPC Newslink GM Crops section.
  • Plus – Free access database on over 300 GM/biotech products covering 23 crops in the global market visit BCPC’s GM/Biotech Crops Manual – Register here for free access.
  • Already registered? Click here

GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report April 2022

Lettuce in space

Astronauts that spend a long time in space can suffer from a loss of bone density due to the reduced gravity but now a team at the University of California have developed a genetically-modified lettuce that produces a drug that can offset this loss and that can be grown in space to provide the astronauts with fresh green leaves to eat. Pic: Mel Edwards. Full Story.

Antibiotics on crops

While Europe bans neonicotinoids to ensure no harmful effects to bees, America is spraying apple and pear orchards with streptomycin to control the bacterial disease fire blight. A study has shown that bees exposed to the streptomycin are less active and collect less pollen than those that are not exposed to the antibiotic.
Full Story.

An elixir of youth

Some people try blood transfusions from young people to recapture that youthful zest for life and now a study has produced some evidence supporting that hope. Young mice blood contains packets of chemicals (extracellular vesicles) budded off from dividing cells that, when injected in to old mice, restores grip strength, stamina and motor coordination. Sadly the effect wears off after a couple of months but another injection can restore it.
Full story

BT maize resistant to stem borer attack

An evaluation of BT maize in Uganda has confirmed a reduction of leaf damage and stem attack that has led to yield increases of 30 – 80%.
Full Story.

Salt-tolerant cotton

A relative of Arabidopsis has yielded a trait that can be used to confer salt tolerance to cotton which could allow the crop to be grown on more land but could also boost yields in areas where it is already grown.
Full Story

Herbicide-tolerant tomatoes

Scientists in Korea have used gene editing to alter three enzymes in tomatoes. The benefits of changes to PDS and EPSPS enzymes are unclear but the changes to the ALS enzyme can confer tolerance of ALS herbicides similar to the naturally-occurring tolerance recently introduced in sugar beet.
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Potato genome decoded

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute and the Ludwig Maximillian University have decoded the entire genome of potatoes and this knowledge is to be used to develop improved varieties for future cropping. The following link takes you to the German text which can be translated by computer.
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Gene expression imbalance boosts wheat yields

Researchers at Kansas University have found that varying the expression of various genes in wheat can affect the grain size and final yields. This knowledge can possibly be used to optimise yields of new varieties.
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Control of Fall Army Worm

Pilot studies in Brazil have shown that release of Oxitec’s ‘Friendly’ male army worms can reduce the populations of army worms due to the males carrying a male only trait and that this reduction will help to protect the Bt maize that is grown there from resistance developing in the wild population. It is very target specific and has no effect on other species such as bees.
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USDA approved gene-edited cattle

The USDA has decided that gene-edited beef cattle that have shorter hair than unedited cattle pose no safety concerns and can be marketed without waiting for a specific approval:
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Europe approves transgenic maize with stacked traits

The EFSA finds no safety concerns in GM maize with stacked traits for insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate and glufosinate. This permits the import of these crops but it still does not allow them to be grown in Europe.
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Stripe rust resistance in wheat

An international team has identified the specific gene that confers resistance to stripe rust in the African bread wheat variety ‘Kariega’ and now this trait can be transferred to other varieties.
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Gene-silencing for weed control

Colorado University has developed a spray that contains antisense oligonucleotides that penetrate the leaves of the weed Palmer amaranth and silence essential genes in the weed. Palmer amaranth has developed resistance to a number of herbicides but this spray is specific to this weed and has no effect on the crop or non-target organisms.
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Nutritional Impact of regenerative farming

The University of Washington has compared crops grown on land under regenerative farming management with crops grown on adjacent conventionally farmed land and has shown that the regenerative farming crops have higher levels of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. They don’t give any comparison of the yields achieved though and perhaps the higher levels of vitamins etc are simply due to them being distributed through lower yielding crops.
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Transgenic sugarcane

Sugarcane with overexpressed sucrose-phosphate synthase has been trialled in Indonesia has shown increased tiller number, height and yield than conventional varieties without affecting bacterial diversity or gene horizontal flow in the soil.
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Potato virus Y resistance

Researchers in Iran have used gene-silencing techniques to develop potatoes that exhibit resistance to potato Y virus.
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GM barley trials in the UK

Fertiliser prices have gone through the roof and NIAB in conjunction with Cambridge University at the Crop Science Centre are to trial gene modified and gene edited lines of barley to see if they can improve the nitrogen and phosphorus uptake of the plants and make them less reliant on applied fertilisers. If successful on barley, it could be rolled out to other crops.
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Palm oil replacement

Palm oil is widely used in many products but the proliferation of palm plantations is responsible for a lot of habitat loss throughout the world. Now a team at Nanyang technological University in Singapore have developed a technique for producing the oil from common microalgae.
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Corn borer resistant maize

Zhejiang University in China has developed a genetically modified maize that has insect resistant traits and a 5 year study has shown it can give up to 96% reduction in corn borer damage and a 6 – 10% yield increase over conventional varieties.
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THE LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE  GM/BIOTECH DATABASE ARE:

The latest approvals of biotech crops to report this month:

• GMB151 – soybean tolerant of isoxaflutole herbicide approved for food use in Canada and for environmental use in America

FOR INSTANT ACCESS TO GM BIOTECH MANUAL CLICK HERE (Registration required)

Already Registered? Click here to access

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Biocontrol agent released to fight invasive weed in Australian national park

Source: Xinhua| 2022-03-24 12:47:00|Editor: huaxia

   

CANBERRA, March 24 (Xinhua) — Australia’s national science agency has deployed a biocontrol solution to an invasive weed that poses a major threat to shorebirds including penguins.

A team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on Thursday released the fungus Venturia paralias into Victoria’s Port Campbell National Park to prevent the spread of the invasive coastal weed sea spurge.

The sea spurge, also known as Euphorbia paralias, is a flowering plant native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It can alter the structure of sand dunes and displace vegetation, disrupting the nesting patterns of shorebirds.

“The weed also has a sap which can cause irritation to animals as well as humans,” CSIRO scientist Gavin Hunter said in a media release.

“Sea spurge grows along Australia’s southern coastline and is a concern for coastal ecosystems. We’re hopeful the biocontrol agent will help reduce the dense weed from penguin nesting sites at Port Campbell, and many other beaches along the coastline where the weed occurs.

“There are many challenges with current methods for removing sea spurge so finding a biocontrol agent for the weed was important to complement existing management strategies of hand pulling and chemical sprays that are very labour intensive, costly, and can not easily be deployed in difficult-to-access beaches,” the release said.

Discovered on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France, Venturia paralias causes lesions on the stems and leaves of sea spurge plants.

Following extensive tests at the CSIRO’s quarantine facility in Canberra researchers decided it was safe to release into the national park, which is a popular tourist destination due to its penguin population.

“Our research found that the fungus is highly specific toward sea spurge. Based on our results, the fungus was approved by the regulator for release in Australia,” research technician Caroline Delaisse said. ■

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