Soybean Oil as a Summer Spray for Apple: European Red Mite Control, Net CO2 Assimilation, and Phytotoxicity

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  • 1 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] oil was applied to apple trees [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] as a summer spray in six studies to determine if it controls European red mites [Panonychus ulmi (Koch.)], how it affects net CO2 assimilation (A), and if it causes phytotoxicity. Sprays of 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% soybean oil {TNsoy1 formulation [soybean oil premixed with Latron B-1956 (LAT) spreader-sticker at 10 oil: 1 LAT (v/v)]} reduced mite populations by 94%. Sprays of 1% and 2% soybean oil reduced mite populations to three and four mites per leaf, respectively, compared to 25 per leaf on water-sprayed plants. Soybean oil concentrations of 1.0% and 1.5% applied to whole trees reduced A for less than 7 days. Phytotoxicity did not occur when soybean oil was applied with an airblast sprayer at concentrations of 1.0% and 1.5% or with a mist bottle at 2%. Phytotoxicity occurred when soybean oil was applied with a mist bottle at 4% and 6%, which left soybean oil leaf residues of 0.22 to 0.50 mg·cm-2. No phytotoxicity occurred with 4% SunSpray, which resulted in a mean leaf residue of only 0.13 mg·cm-2. Spraying 1% soybean oil tended to give better mite control than 1% SunSpray Ultra-Fine oil, but caused greater oil residues and a greater reduction in A.

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