Thresholds triggered across state for Codling moth control

Codling moth is on the move! In the graph below, we have degree day models for 4 different sites across Ohio (Piketon, Columbus, Wooster, and Ashtabula). As expected, the southern sites (Piketon, Columbus) show higher Codling moth activity compared to our more northern sites (Wooster, Ashtabula). Make sure to time first or second cover sprays in line with egg-laying hatch. Generally, the first cover spray can be applied when eggs are at 3-5% hatch and then a second application around 10-14 days later.

Degree day model of Codling moth activity across 4 sites in OH. Data was taken from NEWA.

Depending on the insecticide product you want to apply, you can use the following table to determine when applications are needed based on the development of Codling moth in your area. For example, if you are looking to target Codling moth populations with insect growth regulator like Rimon, make sure you make your first application between 50–75 degree days. However, if you are planning to use Exirel wait until 150-250 degree-days. As you consider your insecticide program for the second generation of Codling moth, make sure you rotate your chemistries or IRAC codes. Please note that there are other products to control Codling moth, and this is not an exhaustive list of insecticides that can control Codling moth. Consult your Midwest fruit pest management guide for more options and information.

Please note that this DOES NOT include all options to control codling moth in apple.

Spotted Lanternfly Video – Scouting Tips  

Article contributions by Jim Jasinski, Amy Stone, Thomas Dehaas, Ann Chanon (Dept. of Extension)

While it has generally been a cooler than average spring this year, a few hot days have pushed accumulated degree days past the point where Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) have begun emerging from their overwintering egg masses from known populations in Cleveland. Given the northern emergence location of this pest, it is nearly certain emergence has begun all over the state.

Slf map by degree days

To help scout for early SLF stages, Amy Stone of Ohio State University Extension is featured in a video describing how to locate and identify SLF egg masses and nymphs, both black and red stages (https://youtu.be/jhcURU2yCGE).

In general, the early nymphs are smaller and mostly black with white spots, almost spider or tick like, while the last nymph stage is the largest and mostly red with black and white spots.

Spotted Lanternfly has been detected primarily in the northern and eastern parts of the state but can be easily transported to any corner of the state so we hope the general public and growers remain vigilant in looking for this new pest. If a suspected SLF stage is found, please report to ODA (https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/invasive-pests/slf) or any OSU Extension educator. Take pictures, collect stages and carefully note location as someone will be sent back to confirm detection.

Striped Cucumber Beetles Already Active

My Extension colleague in Pickaway County sent me a quick note and picture over the weekend that the Striped Cucumber Beetle is actively searching and feeding on transplanted or emerged cucurbit crops. Given how cool the temperatures have been the past few weeks I thought it was a bit early but these past few days of 80+F have certainly activated them out of their overwintering locations and into nearby fields. Like the canary in the coal mine, this pest alert from southern growers should help growers in central and northern Ohio prepare to scout and manage transplants or emerged seedlings of cucumber, squash, zucchini, pumpkin or melon.

Striped cucumber beetle.

The active ingredient applied in the picture below is imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide which is very effective at controlling beetles, as evidenced by the pile of dead cucumber beetles on and near the treated plant. Because this product is systemic in the plant, there are also residues that will accumulate in the pollen and nectar. Foraging honey bees, bumble bees, squash bees and other pollinators that collect these food resources may not be outright killed but more subtle sub-lethal effects might be detected when brought back to the nest. So, decisions about pesticide selection, pest severity, timing and non-target impacts need to be considered before use.

dead cucumber beetles

Dead cucumber beetles, Champ Henson.

To prepare for the arrival of striped cucumber beetles, consider reviewing a short but detailed video of several management options (beetles/plant thresholds, systemic seed treatment, use of transplants and in-furrow application) posted to the OSU IPM YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/RSzTT_gbma4).

Foliar insecticide recommendations for all crops including cucurbits can be found in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (https://mwveguide.org/uploads/pdfs/27-Cucurbit-Crops.pdf).

Recall that while seedlings can survive and outgrow minor beetle damage, it is key to prevent bacterial wilt transmission while the plants are most susceptible prior to the 3-4 leaf stage. Bacterial wilt infected plants will become symptomatic once there is high demand to translocate water from the roots to the shoots, such as the time of fruit enlargement. No treatments are available to reduce bacterial wilt once a plant is infected.

Springtime is Spray Time: Here are Some Tips for Better Spraying -Erdal Ozkan

Applying pesticides requires a high level of skill and knowledge. Increases in the size and complexity of sprayers over the years require even more attention to efficiency, efficacy, and safety. Although each crop requires a slightly different approach to the application of pesticides, some general principles apply to almost all spraying situations. Here are my top 10 recommendations (not in a particular order) that will make spraying efficient and effective resulting in a higher level of biological efficacy expected from pesticides applied:

1. Select the best nozzle type and size for the job. Although each component of the sprayer plays a role in achieving success in pesticide application, nozzles play the most significant role. Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Each type is designed for a specific target and application. Most manufacturers’ catalogs and websites have charts showing which nozzle type is best for a specific job. Any of the following factors may be the deciding one when selecting the most appropriate nozzle for the job: Sprayer operation parameters (application rate, spray pressure, ground speed); the type of chemicals applied (herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, fertilizers); mode of action of the chemical (systemic or contact) for spray coverage requirement; application type (broadcast, band, directed, air-assisted); risk of spray drift; and specific nozzle or droplet size requirement given on the product label. Once you determine the best nozzle that will be best for a specific spraying situation, you need to determine the appropriate size of that nozzle that provides the application rates (gal/acre) prescribed by product labels under various operating conditions (spray pressures and travel speeds). More information on selecting nozzle type and size is outlined in Ohio State University (OSU) Extension publication FABE-528, “Selecting the Best Nozzle for the Job.” (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-528).

 

  1. Carefully read and follow the specific recommendations provided in sprayer operator’s manuals and labels of pesticides applied. For example, the labels of 2,4-D or Dicamba herbicides include specific requirements for nozzles and operating pressure ranges. If you use any other type and size of nozzle and operate them outside the pressure range requirements given by the pesticide manufacturers, you are violating the pesticide label, and therefore the law. Remember, the label is the law!
  2. Keep spray drift in mind when spraying. Although complete elimination of spray drift is impossible, problems can be significantly reduced by awareness of the major factors that cause drift, while taking precautions to minimize their influence on off-target movement of droplets. The nozzle you select and the weather conditions at the time of spraying are the two most influential factors affecting generating as well as reducing spray drift. Keep nozzles as close to the target as possible while still producing a uniform distribution of spray on the target. If weather conditions (wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, inversions) are not favorable, and there is concern about spray that might result in drift, wait until there is no longer that element of doubt. Extensive information related to factors influencing spray drift, is in OSU Extension publication FABE-525. “Effect of Major Variables on Drift Distances of Spray Droplets.” (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-525).
  1. Maximize pesticide deposit and coverage on the target which may be different part of the crop canopy. For example, when applying a fungicide to manage Fusarium head blight or “head scab,” on small grains, the target is the head, not the leaves. On the other hand, when spraying for soybean sclerotinia stem rot (white mold), the most critical area that needs to be treated with fungicides is where flowering takes place. Nozzle selection has a significant influence on whether or not the droplets reach the specific target location in the canopy. For example, the twin-pattern nozzles or a single flat-fan nozzle tilted at a forward angle of 30 to 45 degrees down from the horizontal is definitely best for the application of fungicides for wheat head scab. It is, however, the worst setup for soybean insects and diseases, such as aphids and white mold, respectively.
  1. Slow down when spraying. Spray coverage is usually improved at slower speeds. The higher the travel speed, the greater likelihood of spray drift.
  2. Calibrate the sprayer. A sprayer can only be effective, efficient, and safe if properly checked and calibrated well before the sprayer is taken to the field, and periodically during the spraying season. Some may argue that most sprayers are now equipped with sophisticated rate controllers and ground speed sensors, and calibration is not necessary. Unfortunately, not all electronic controllers can detect flow rate changes on each nozzle on the boom, and none can detect changes in spray pattern. The primary goal with calibration is to determine the actual rate of application in gallons per acre, and then make adjustments if the difference between the actual rate and the intended rate is greater or less than 5% of the intended rate. There are several ways to calibrate a sprayer. One easy method is explained in the OSU Extension publication FABE-520, “Calibrating Boom Sprayers.” (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-520). Be safe. Wear protective clothing, goggles and rubber gloves, and respirators if required on the label, when calibrating the sprayer, doing the actual spraying, and cleaning the equipment.
  3. Check uniformity of application. How uniformly the chemical is deposited on the target is as important as the amount applied. Maintain uniform deposition of spray material on across the entire width of the target area. Non-uniform coverage results from using misaligned or clogged nozzles, using nozzles with different fan angles, or from uneven nozzle height across the boom. These common problems result in streaks, untreated areas, or over-application of chemicals.
  4. Understand how to calculate the amount of chemical product to mix in the tank. Although your sprayer may be in good condition and calibrated frequently, if the correct amount of chemical is not put into the tank, it can still result in unsatisfactory pest control. Detailed information on how to calculate the proper amount of chemical to add to the spray tank is provided in the OSU Extension publication FABE-530. “How Much Chemical Product Do I Need to Add to my Sprayer Tank.” (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-530).
  1. Take advantage of technological advancements in spray technology, such as GPS, automatic guidance systems, and independent control of nozzles using the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). Update and upgrade your sprayer with these technologies that can be easily integrated in your existing sprayer.
  1. Consider using a sprayer that is equipped with air-assisted boom when coverage in lower parts of the canopy is essential for control of some insects and diseases especially under full, dense canopy conditions, such as soybeans sprayed in late season.

For more information on this topic, please read the OSU Extension publication FABE-532, “Best Practices for Effective and Efficient Pesticide Application.” (ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-532). Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a specific question that was not addressed in this and other OSU Extension publications I mentioned in this article.

Happy spraying!

Ticks and tick-vectored diseases are major concerns

Ticks and tick-vectored diseases are major concerns to humans, companion animals, and livestock in Ohio.  We have gone from one medically important tick twenty years ago in Ohio to five now, adding two in the past couple of years.

There is also a new fact sheet on the Asian Longhorned tick that can supplement this programming.

Why Should You Calibrate Your Sprayer Even If it has a Rate Controller? -Erdal Ozkan

tractor cabWhenever I give a presentation about the need to calibrate a sprayer and how to do it, there is always someone asking me this same question: “I have a rate controller in the cab that regulates the flow rate of the sprayer regardless of the changes in sprayer ground speed. I just enter the gallons per acre application rate, and the controller does the rest, just like a cruise control in a car. So, should I still calibrate the sprayer? The answer is, Yes, a calibration should be done. Although the rate controllers do an excellent job with regulating the flow rate of nozzles to keep the application rate constant regardless of the changes in travel speed, a manual calibration at least once a year is needed for two reasons: 1) to ensure the rate controller is functioning properly, 2) the rate controller is not forced to operate outside the pressure operating range for the nozzles on the sprayer boom. Let me elaborate on both points I made and share with you the reasons why a manual calibration of a sprayer is a good idea.

  • If you are stopped by a police officer for speeding, telling the police officer that the car was in cruise control set to the speed limit will not get you out of getting a ticket. Cruise controls go bad, so will the rate controllers. That is why it is best to manually check the flow rate of nozzles to make sure the gallons per acre application rate you enter on the controller matches the gallons per acre rate provided by the nozzles.
  • Your controller may be in good shape, but if the ground speed sensor is giving inaccurate data to the controller, it will not work accurately. For example, if the speed sensor works based on revolutions of the tractor wheels, the ground speed determined may not be accurate, because of the slippage that may occur under some ground conditions. Even the tire pressure being off just a few psi may change the tire revolutions per minute leading to erroneous travel speed readings.
  • Unfortunately, most standard electronic controllers cannot detect flow rate changes on each nozzle on the boom. So, if a nozzle is plugged, or extremely worn out, the rate controller cannot warn us about these problems that happen all the time. It will still try to maintain the constant application rate by changing the system pressure and force other nozzles on the boom to spray less or more to overcome the problems with one or several nozzles on the spray boom.
  • Finally, controllers don’t show changes in spray patterns that may happen when a nozzle is defective, plugged, or worn-out. If several of the nozzles are not maintaining the proper spray angle the proper overlap between adjacent spray patterns cannot be established. This will result in untreated areas and streaks under the boom, or some areas may receive excessive deposition of the pesticides applied. So, we will have to continue manually checking the flow rate of the nozzles, and visually observing the changes in spray patterns until the technology is developed to do these observations remotely, and on-the-go.
  • As you know, to achieve best results from pesticides, the application rate, as well as the droplet size must remain relatively unchanged during the entire spraying. When sprayer speed goes up, to maintain the pre-set application rate, the controller requires the system pressure to go up to increase the nozzle flow rate. This, unfortunately, results in more drift-prone droplets coming out of the nozzle, especially if the nozzle used is designed for low application rates within the recommended pressure ranges. Conversely, when the sprayer slows down, the opposite happens: the controller forces the system to lower the pressure, in order to reduce flow rate of nozzles. This will result in production of larger than the desired size of droplets, leading to inadequate coverage. If you are spraying Dicamba or 2,4-D herbicides, you need to pay even more attention to operation of rate controllers. As you know, only a small number of nozzles at specific ranges of pressure can be used to spray these products. Significant changes in ground speed may force the rate controller to make significant changes in spray pressure that may be outside the allowable legal pressure range required to spray these herbicides. Without you realizing it, you may find yourself in violation of the label. Make sure the nozzle size selected will allow the controllers to make necessary changes in the flow rates while still staying within a safe, applicable, and allowable pressure range.

How to calibrate a sprayer?

It usually doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to calibrate a sprayer, and only three things are needed: a watch or smart phone to record the time when measuring the nozzle flow rate or the travel speed, a measuring tape, and a jar graduated in ounces. Please look at the Ohio State University Extension publication FABE-520 for an easy method to calibrate a boom-type sprayer.  Here is the URL for this publication:

http:// ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-520 

By
Erdal Ozkan
Professor and Extension State Specialist
The Ohio State University
ozkan.2@osu.edu

Questions about tillage? Can you provide some answers?

While it is still cold and wet in most of Ohio right now, if you have a mug full of hot coffee and a few minutes, help us figure out how tillage fits into your vegetable operation.

Dear farmers,

Rue Genger and Claire Strader at UW-Madison are surveying vegetable growers on use of reduced tillage production methods as part of a larger research study into methods that increase resilience to extreme weather events. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Your participation will help us develop better research and education programs for reduced tillage in vegetable production. A most sincere thank you!

To start the survey, please scan the QR code below or click this link: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eleWVfVQpM5ue9g

QR code

 

 

 

 

Farm Office Live – April Edition

The Farm Office Team will be back on April 22nd at 10 AM, for the next installment of Farm Office Live.  A look at what you can expect from April’s Farm Office Live includes:

  • State and Federal Legislation Update
  • LLC Liability Protection Review
  • 2021 Midwest Farm Performance Preview
  • Fertilizer and Crop Budgets Update
  • FSA Program Updates
  • Ohio General Assembly Website Tour

The Farm Office Team provides the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis, and other issues dealt with in your farm office.  Targeted to farmers and agribusiness stakeholders, our specialists digest the latest news and information and present it in an easy-to-understand format.

To register, please visit https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive.

Mechanization-Automation in Vegetable Production: It’s Personal and Important

The big picture is that (vegetable) farming has been mechanizing and automating aggressively for more than a century, although the pace seems to be accelerating and the range of tasks targeted for improvement seems to be increasing. There are many reasons for these trends, but all may come down to the fact that technology that addresses peoples’ needs is personal and, therefore, important. Indeed, read nearly any issue of The American Vegetable Grower Magazine (or its online counterpart https://www.growingproduce.com/), The Vegetable Growers News (https://vegetablegrowersnews.com/magazine/), or other farmer-focused magazine, blog, or newsletter, watch videos or listen to podcasts, or attend industry programs and you will be exposed to personal stories of how specific machines or pieces of equipment are assisting growers in some new way at some point from seeding through post-harvest handling. Stories come from input suppliers, growers, people in extension and research, equipment manufacturers and retailers, and others. Collectively, these stories have given me many lessons but three will be highlighted here.

First, overall, mechanization and semi- to full automation of core farm activities will continue. Trends begun long ago are fully established with incentives to mechanize/automate increasing and obstacles to the process decreasing. Second, growers have various options now and will have others going forward. “There’s an app for that” was popularized about thirteen years ago (and trademarked soon after). However, it now also seems to apply to equipment or machines designed to help farmers since some see nearly every major vegetable seedling or crop production activity historically requiring people as eligible for some form of mechanization or automation. GPS and/or laser-guided automatic weeders/cultivators demonstrated at a recent industry program in Ontario, Canada (https://onvegetables.com/2022/02/28/tomato-day-coming-on-march-10-2022/) and available for rent were especially impressive to me, although many other examples of grower-friendly options are available or in the pipeline (e.g., “scouts,” sensors/actuators, samplers, seeders, transplanters, sprayers, harvesters, etc). Examples are often on display at conferences, tradeshows, and expos in and around Ohio and farther away (e.g., https://www.worldagexpo.com/ – see list of exhibitors at 2022 program). It is also important to note that some machines or pieces of equipment are being designed with more than completing the task in mind (e.g., environmental sustainability). The third lesson available from paying attention to mechanization-automation in the vegetable and specialty crop sector is that off-the-shelf technology that reduces down-time, increases efficiency and/or productivity, or provides other benefits is increasingly practical to an increasingly diverse range of vegetable growers, regardless of the size, location, or other characteristics of their operation. Formerly most relevant to very large, heavily capitalized operations, current generations of machines and pieces of equipment are available to a much larger group of vegetable farms. Some developers, manufacturers, and retailers are more willing to discuss or offer: a) machinery and equipment applicable across more production conditions (including farm size) and b) lease or lease-to-own access. So, access to viable options for mechanizing-automating is increasing, and the time may be right to experiment on your farm.

There is much to consider and a lot at stake when mechanizing-automating and various approaches are used. The farmers responsible for https://www.growingproduce.com/vegetables/why-one-small-vegetable-farm-adopted-mechanization/ emphasize relying on input from other farmers, including via YouTube. Going forward, we will feature grower experiences with tools improving vegetable production we are helping pilot, including systems increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of high tunnel ventilation (temperature, humidity) management.

1 Week until OHIO Specialty Crop Partners Virtual Listening Session

If you have thoughts on how Extension and OSU Department Specialists can help your operation or a particular industry, this is the time for you to participate.

Get Started Now On Your Ideas for the …

OHIO SPECIALTY CROP PARTNERS VIRTUAL LISTENING SESSION

March 25, 2022

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. EST

You have received an invitation to join this quality conversation about CFAES research and Extension support for Ohio Specialty Crops Partners. CFAES will:

  • Provide updates on our priorities, existing support for specialty crops, and actions we are taking related to research and education for specialty crops.
  • Explore emerging trends for specialty crops agriculture in the state.
  • Listen to the industry needs and how CFAES plays a role in the industry.

We’re anxious to get started in this conversation and want to give you time and opportunities to give us your thoughts. If you would like to, please go ahead and get started by answering a few questions for us at this link https://go.osu.edu/listenspecialtycrops .

Please plan to attend the virtual session even if you complete this form. We want you to have as many opportunities as possible to provide feedback and have your voice heard.

Please send your thoughts back to us no later than March 23.  

And don’t forget to register for the virtual session no later than March 24, 2022 at register me now!