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Raymond A. Cloyd, Cindy L. Galle, and Stephen R. Keith

In this study, we report on the compatibility of two commercially available predatory mites, Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis, with three miticides used in greenhouse production systems to control the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. We determined the lethal effects of the miticides chlorfenapyr, spiromesifen, and bifenazate to both predatory mite species 24 hours after exposure to spray applications in petri dishes. Two rates of chlorfenapyr (0.40 and 0.81 mL/2-L) and spiromesifen (0.15 and 0.31 mL·L–1), and one rate of bifenazate (0.62 mL·L–1) were used. All rates were based on the manufacturer label recommendations for twospotted spider mite. Both rates of chlorfenapyr and spiromesifen, and the single rate of bifenazate were not harmful to N. californicus with percent live mite values ≥85% for chlorfenapyr and ≥95% for spiromesifen, and 93% for bifenazate. However, these same miticides were substantially toxic to P. persimilis with percent live mite values of ≤63% for all the miticides tested. Based on the results of this study, the miticides chlorfenapyr, spiromesifen, and bifenazate are compatible with N. californicus whereas these miticides are toxic to P. persimilis indicating a difference in susceptibility based on predatory mite species.

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Richard E. Durham

The national eXtension Initiative officially launched its public web site on 21 Feb. 2008 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Outlook Forum in Washington, DC. Work on this initiative has been ongoing for several years. In 2005, eight communities of practice (CoPs) were funded to begin identifying and/or developing content for eXtension. Among these pioneer CoPs was one devoted to consumer horticulture that participated in the public launch using a more user-friendly identity of Gardens, Lawns and Landscapes. In the last few years, additional horticulture-themed CoPs have been developed, including All About Blueberries, Apple Rootstocks and Cultivars, and Grapes.

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R. McSorley

As an agroecosystem makes the transition from conventional to organic practices, changes in the pest management tactics used are often apparent. Despite varying degrees of efficacy among tactics, the issue of whether or not numbers of insect and nematode pests and their damage will become more severe in an organic system depends on the specifics of the pests and crops involved. Although many conventional systems rely on reactive strategies to deal with pest problems, an alternative approach is to redesign systems so that plant health is maximized, regardless of pest numbers, although this approach takes planning and time. An abrupt transition from conventional to organic may be risky if pest numbers are high and alternative practices are not yet in place. Hybrid systems, involving decreasing levels of conventional tactics and increasing levels of organic tactics, may be needed before the transitional period begins, in order to bridge the gap and lessen the impact of crop losses during the transitional period. The design of cropping systems with minimal pest impact requires a much more extensive and specific knowledge base than needed for reactive strategies.

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Robert J. Hoard and Michael J. Brewer

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was developed to encourage producer adoption of practices that promote resource conservation on lands in agricultural production. Reviewing the 2002 Farm Bill, EQIP rules, and local EQIP structure using Michigan as a case study, producers had ample opportunity to participate in EQIP. Yet past EQIP support of pest, nutrient, and conservation vegetation management was low among six states from 1997 to 2002, averaging 1.1% to 2.7% of total EQIP funds allocated. The past funding pattern and analysis of local resource concern priorities and incentive rates suggested that program modifications were warranted. The Michigan case study showed that participation in the NRCS advisory process, in partnership with commodity representatives and university specialists, was an effective avenue to recommend and obtain local EQIP modifications. After modifications were accepted in Michigan, increases were seen in producer participation in EQIP and in funds committed (about 15%) to adoption of a variety of techniques with pest, nutrient, and conservation vegetation value. This approach of analysis and engagement in the EQIP process is likely to work in other states, given common EQIP structure and governance, past funding patterns, and availability of supporting extension, research, and commodity partners.

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W. Jack Rowe II, Daniel A. Potter, and Robert E. McNiel

Twenty-six purple- or green-leaved cultivars representing 12 species of woody landscape plants were evaluated in the field for defoliation by Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica Newman) over three growing seasons. We further evaluated the hypothesis that, within closely-related plants, purple cultivars generally are preferred over green ones by comparing beetles' consumption of foliage in laboratory choice tests and their orientation to painted silk tree models baited with Japanese beetle lures. Cultivars of Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. and hybrids of that species [e.g., Prunus ×cistena (Hansen) Koehne, Prunus ×blireiana André] were more heavily damaged than nearly all other plants tested. Among maples, Acer palmatum Thunb. `Bloodgood' and A. platanoides L. `Deborah' and `Fairview' were especially susceptible. None of the cultivars of Berberis thunbergii DC, Cercis canadensis L., Cotinus coggygria Scop., or Fagus sylvatica L. were heavily damaged, regardless of foliage color. In the choice tests, purple Norway maples were preferred over green ones in three of four comparisons, but preference varied within the other plant genera. In fact, more beetles oriented to green-leaved tree models than to purple ones. Our results indicate that within a genus, purple-leaved plants do not necessarily sustain more damage than green-leaved ones. Widespread use of certain purple-leaved cultivars of generally susceptible plant species probably contributes to the perception that purpleleaved plants, overall, are preferred. Purple-leaved cultivars of redbud, European beech, smoketree, and barberry, or the purple-leaved Prunus virginiana L. `Canada Red' or Malus ×hybrida Lemoine `Jomarie' may be suitable substitutes for more susceptible purple-leaved plants in landscapes where Japanese beetles are a concern.

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Megan M. Kennelly, Timothy C. Todd, Derek M. Settle, and Jack D. Fry

Moss is common on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting greens, and more control options are needed. Spot treatment of sodium bicarbonate (44.2 g·L−1) was compared with broadcast sprays of carfentrazone-ethyl (50.5 or 101 g a.i./ha), chlorothalonil (8.2 or 12.8 kg a.i./ha) and a tank mixture of chlorothalonil, mancozeb, and thiram (8.2, 9.8, and 11.5 kg a.i./ha) in 2006 in Lemont, IL. Sodium bicarbonate suppressed moss growth equally as the conventional products. These results led to further experiments in 2008 in which moss suppression was evaluated within standard and alternative putting green management regimes in Manhattan, KS, and Lemont, IL. The standard approach included spring and fall applications of carfentrazone-ethyl (101 g a.i./ha) for moss control, biweekly applications of urea (46N–0P–0K) at 15 kg N/ha, and applications of chlorothalonil (8.2 kg a.i./ha) on a 14-day interval. Conversely, the alternative approach included spring and fall spot treatments of sodium bicarbonate (44.2 g·L−1) for moss control, biweekly applications of a natural organic fertilizer (8N–1P–3K) to provide nitrogen at 15 kg N/ha, and applications of chlorothalonil (8.2 kg a.i./ha) only when dollar spot reached a predetermined threshold level. Standard and alternative regimes were compared at both 3.2- and 4.0-mm mowing heights; synthetic and organic fertilizers applied alone without pest control approaches were included as controls. In Kansas and Illinois, moss coverage using the alternative management regime was not significantly different from that on greens managed using the standard regime. In Kansas, moss severity at a 3.2 mm was 1.6-fold higher than at the 4.0-mm height. In Illinois, sodium bicarbonate suppressed moss equivalently to the carfentrazone-ethyl treatment, and in the fertilizer-only controls, mowing at 3.2 versus 4.0 mm led to more moss coverage. These studies demonstrate that moss can be effectively suppressed on greens using spot applications of sodium bicarbonate and reduced moss encroachment is possible with higher mowing heights.

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Susan L.F. Meyer, Inga A. Zasada, Mario Tenuta, and Daniel P. Roberts

The biosolid soil amendment N-Viro Soil (NVS) and a Streptomyces isolate (S 99-60) were tested for effects on root-knot nematode [RKN (Meloidogyne incognita)] egg populations on cantaloupe (Cucumis melo). Application of 3% NVS (dry weight amendment/dry weight soil) in the soil mixture resulted in significant (P ≤ 0.01) suppression of RKN egg numbers on cantaloupe roots compared to all other treatments, including 1% NVS and untreated controls. Ammonia accumulation was higher with the 3% NVS amendment than with any other treatment. Adjustment of soil pH with calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] to the same levels that resulted from NVS amendment did not suppress nematode populations. When cultured in yeast-malt extract broth and particularly in nutrient broth, S 99-60 was capable of producing a compound(s) that reduced RKN egg hatch and activity of second-stage juveniles. However, when this isolate was applied to soil and to seedling roots, no suppression of RKN egg populations was observed on cantaloupe roots. Combining S 99-60 with NVS or Ca(OH)2 did not result in enhanced nematode suppression compared to treatments applied individually. The results indicated that NVS application was effective at suppressing RKN populations through the accumulation of ammonia to levels lethal to the nematode in soil.

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Nicole L. Shaw and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Mini or “baby” vegetables have become increasingly popular items for restaurant chefs and retail sales. Squash (Cucurbita pepo) are generally open-field cultivated where climate, insect, and disease pressures create challenging conditions for growers and shippers who produce and market this delicate, immature fruit. In order to overcome these challenges, in Spring 2003 and 2004, 18 squash cultivars, including zucchini, yellow-summer, patty pan/scallop, and cousa types, were grown hydroponically in a passively ventilated greenhouse and compared for yield of “baby”-size fruit. Squash were graded as “baby” when they were less than 4 inches in length for zucchini, yellow-summer, and cousa types and less than 1.5 inches diameter for round and patty pan/scallop types. In both seasons, `Sunburst' (patty pan) produced the greatest number of baby-size fruit per plant, while `Bareket' (green zucchini) produced the least. The zucchini-types produced between 16 and 25 baby-size fruit per plant in 2003. The yellow summer squash-types produced on average 45 baby fruit per plant. The production of the patty pan/scallop types ranged from 50 to 67 baby-size fruit per plant depending on cultivar. The cousa types produced approximately 30 baby-size fruit. Total yields were lower in 2004 due to a shortened season. Squash plants will produce numerous high quality baby-sized fruit when grown hydroponically in a reduced pesticide environment of a greenhouse where they can be harvested, packaged, and distributed to buyers daily. The cultivars Hurricane, Raven, Gold Rush, Goldy, Sunray, Seneca Supreme, Supersett, Butter Scallop, Sunburst, Patty Green Tint, Starship, Magda, and HA-187 could be used for hydroponic baby squash production.

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Richard E. Durham, John R. Hartman, and Monte P. Johnson

A home landscape integrated pest management (IPM) extension program has been initiated in the Univ. of Kentucky College of Agriculture. In order for this program to be effective, activities must integrate aspects of general landscape management with pest management. The main tenets of the project encompass four areas: making wise choices when selecting plants for the landscape; practicing proper planting and transplanting techniques; maintaining the health of the plant in the landscape using proper watering, fertilizing, and pruning techniques; and practicing an integrated approach to managing pests in the landscape. Outreach mechanisms for this project include the preparation and broadcast of radio scripts, the production of educational videos for use by county agents, print material, and addition of a home landscape IPM section to the Univ. of Kentucky IPM web page. Examples of these activities will be presented. The initial emphasis of the program is on woody landscape plants; however, other areas of landscape management, including annuals and perennials, turf, and home fruit and vegetables, will be added as time and funding allow. This outreach program may be the first exposure many people have to IPM principles and thus it will play an important roll in educating the public to integrated pest management practices that are a vital part of modern agriculture production.

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H.S. Costa, K.L. Robb, and C.A. Wilen

We thank T. Pinckard, J. Virzi, S. Parker, K. Stringer, and the Mycotech Corporation for technical assistance. This research was funded in part by the Univ. of California Integrated Pest Management Program. The cost of publishing this paper