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Celeste Welty, Sandra Alcaraz, and H. Erdal Ozkan

Insecticide application techniques were evaluated to find the most effective way to spray contact insecticides to control aphids on leaf crops under field conditions. A hydraulic boom sprayer was tested with several nozzle types, nozzle positions, and pressures, and compared with an electrostatic sprayer and a controlled droplet applicator (CDA). Spray deposition in the canopy and drift were evaluated with moisture-sensitive cards. Trials were conducted on collards and red leaf lettuce in 1989, mustard greens in 1990, and turnip greens in 1991. Green peach aphid [Myzus persicae (Sulzer)] was the major species in all trials. Among hydraulic boom treatments in all trials, aphid control was not significantly different when insecticide applied at 60 psi (414 kPa) was delivered by hollow cone, twin flat-fan, or standard flat-fan nozzles mounted directly on the boom. In most trials, hollow cones were more effective when mounted on drop pipes and directed sideways into rows than when mounted on the boom and directed over rows. Hollow cone nozzles used at 150 psi (1035 kpa) vs. 60 psi did not control aphids significantly better, but higher pressure caused significantly more drift. Contact insecticide applied by an electrostatic sprayer controlled aphids somewhat less satisfactorily than by a conventional hydraulic sprayer. Insecticide applied by a CDA controlled aphids the same as by a hydraulic boom sprayer but with slightly less drift. The desired objective of maximum aphid control, good coverage of downward-facing surfaces in the canopy, and minimum drift was most consistently provided by the hydraulic boom sprayer with hollow cone nozzles on drop pipes directed sideways into the canopy using a pressure of 60 psi.

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Salvador Vitanza, Celeste Welty, Mark Bennett, Sally Miller, and Richard Derksen

The impact of pesticide application technology and crop stand density on bell pepper production was evaluated in a series of field trials, during 2004 and 2005, at the North Central Agricultural Research Station, Fremont, Ohio. In 2004, one trial tested three sprayers, at a speed of 8 and 4 mph, using insecticides at half the recommended rate and one treatment at full rate. Sprayers evaluated included an air-assisted electrostatic sprayer, a Cagle sprayer equipped with AI-11005 or AI-110025 nozzles, and an air-blast sprayer with XR-1003-VS or XR-110015-VS nozzles. In 2005, one experiment tested the interaction of two application technologies, three planting distances within row, and single vs. twin rows. Another experiment compared the Cagle sprayer (with TJ60-11003 or AI-110025 nozzles) and the airblast sprayer (with XR-110015-VS nozzles), at a speed of 4 mph, and insecticides at half the recommended rate. In 2004, the Cagle sprayer with air-induction nozzle, half rate, at 8 mph obtained the highest fruit yield. There was not significant improvement in European corn borer control by applying insecticides at full rate with the Cagle sprayer and all treatments achieved significantly better bacterial soft rot control than the untreated control. In 2005, the trials were terminated early due to crop destruction by Phytophthora capsici. Red fruit weighed less at high than at medium or low plant stand densities. Clean yield of red fruit was significantly greater in single rows than in twin rows. Marketable yield of green fruit was greater using the TJ60-11003 than using the AI-110025 nozzles.

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Robert J. Precheur, Brad Bergefurd, Thom Harker, Richard M. Riedel, and Celeste Welty

Pumpkins are Ohio's third-largest fresh-market vegetable crop. Many non-traditional growers are planting pumpkins to increase gross income. Experienced growers have noticed that new producers are successful with low input. Are intensive production practices needed for a good crop? High and low input production schemes were studied, over 3 years on pumpkin yield and quality. High input consisted of Furadan at planting, reflective mulch, trickle irrigation, and a routine fungicide and insecticide spray program. Low input consisted of no mulch, no supplemental irrigation, and a reduced fungicide and insecticide program. The number of insecticide plus fungicide sprays for high vs. low input were: 10 vs. 5 in year 1; 5 vs. 3 in year 2; and 12 vs. 8 in year 3. Number and weight of marketable orange fruit in high-input plots were significantly higher than low input plots in year 1 and 3. Plastic mulch conserved soil moisture and resulted in 91% plant stand in high input vs. 57% in low input in year 1. The only year without a significant yield difference was when the difference in pesticide sprays was two. High input is suited for retail markets where the expectation is good yields of high quality pumpkins. Wholesale producers can probably get by with reduced inputs in certain areas.

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Mary H. Meyer, Rhoda Burrows, Karen Jeannette, Celeste Welty, and Aaron R. Boyson

The North Central Consumer Horticulture Working Group developed and distributed a 14-question survey to determine the confidence of north-central U.S. extension Master Gardeners (MGs) in making integrated pest management (IPM) recommendations and their use of IPM. The online survey was completed by 3842 MGs in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. MGs indicated they personally engaged in a range of IPM practices, including prevention, monitoring, cultural, and chemical controls. However, 81% indicated a need for more training in identifying diseases, and 65% say they needed more training in identifying insects. Only 16% indicated they had received advanced pest management training within the past 5 years. These MGs had higher mean scores for confidence, as well as prevention, monitoring, and cultural control and chemical awareness/control practices than those not participating in advanced training. Years of experience as an active MG and confidence in using IPM-related garden activities were correlated positively (r = 0.261). MGs with advanced pest management training were more confident in making IPM recommendations to other gardeners and were much more likely to use IPM practices than MG without advanced training.

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Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Cynthia Haynes, Denise Ellsworth, Sarah Ellis Williams, Celeste Welty, and Karen Jeannette

The North Central Consumer Horticulture Integrated Pest Management Working Group developed an online learning module entitled, “Introduction to Diagnostics for Master Gardener Volunteers: Approaches to Plant Pest Diagnosis.” The module is online in the campus or learn section of eXtension and is composed of three parts: part 1 covers the difficulties in diagnosing plant problems; part 2 discusses how to gather the information necessary for the diagnostic process; and part 3 covers the Ohio State Fact Sheet, “20 Questions on Plant Diagnostics.” The self-paced module takes a minimum of 2 hours to complete, although participants have access to the information for 10 weeks. The module costs $10 and the income is distributed between the module author(s), the state which the Extension Master Gardener (EMG) is from, and eXtension. Within 11 months, 451 people purchased the training. Participants reported a higher comfort and knowledge level of diagnostics after taking the training.