Tom Nassif: CA Farmers Face the Most Stringent Regulations in the World
By Cory Lunde, Western Growers
In response to the recent announcement that the California Department of Pesticide Residue (DPR) is acting to ban the use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“California farmers are universally committed to the safety of their food, the health of their workers and communities, and the sustainability of their land. At every turn, they strive to achieve efficiencies in their use of resources like water, fertilizer, and pesticides and seek to minimize both the human and environmental impacts of these inputs.
“California farmers also face the most stringent regulatory environment in the world, one that often limits their access to many of the tools still available to farmers elsewhere in the U.S. and in foreign countries, including certain types of pesticides. Indeed, over the last 20 years, California regulatory actions have removed several of the most important crop protection tools farmers rely on to fight pests and diseases.
“With … [the] announcement that DPR will initiate the cancellation of chlorpyrifos, one of the most widely studied and globally approved insecticides, California farmers now stand to lose yet another arrow in their quiver—without effective and ready replacement tools—making their quest to grow the safest, healthiest and most abundant food supply in the world even more difficult.
“California farmers are resilient, but the long-term viability of our farms in California depends on proper support from the Administration and renewed cooperation of the state’s regulatory agencies, especially in light of the many other unique and expensive regulations that place California farmers at a growing competitive disadvantage.”
Avoid Planting Near Earlier Planted Crops
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
Silver leaf whitefly can be a severe yield-robbing pest in melons, but there are ways to prevent the damage, according to Tom Turini, a UCANR Vegetable Crops Adviser in Fresno County.
“A tactic is going to depend upon planting. If you’re able to put the crop into an area where you’re not next to earlier planted melons or cotton or known sources of whitefly, your likelihood of experiencing damaging whitefly levels is going to be lower,” Turini said. “Growers can’t always do that, but that’s part of the approach when you can. You’ll limit your risk.”
Turini said the pest could mainly be a problem when you’re putting in those late melon fields when whitefly populations are higher.
“Whiteflies are not good fliers, so when you put those fields in areas where you don’t have sources of whitefly nearby then you will have less pressure for sure,” Turini said.
“Then there are some insecticide programs that you can look at, particularly when you know you’re going to have pressure,” Turini explained. “If you’re coming into high temperatures, and you’ve got late-planted melons, you may want to start with soil-applied insecticides, through the drip. It could be Admire; also Sivanto is a newer material that that has registration and has shown efficacy in desert production areas, which have much higher pressures and more consistent pressures than we do in the San Joaquin Valley.”
Lettuce Aphid Pressure Has Been Steady
By John Palumbo, University of Arizona Professor/Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology
This season has been a banner year for aphids in the desert. Aphid pressure has been steady on most crops throughout the spring. Consistent with the warm weather we have been experiencing lately, Lettuce aphids, Nasonovia ribisnigri, (aka., Red aphid) have shown up in desert lettuce again.
The last time lettuce aphid was this abundant on desert produce was the spring of 2012. However, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve identified lettuce aphid appearing on both head lettuce and romaine in Roll and Wellton. I’ve also had reports of the aphid showing up in the Imperial Valley.
At the Yuma Ag Center, we began seeing lettuce aphid a couple of weeks ago on untreated lettuce, and they have recently built up to high numbers. Previous experience has taught us that daytime high temperatures in the 80’s are ideal for population growth. A few things to remember about lettuce aphids relative to the other aphids we commonly see.
First, the immature nymphs are small and have a red appearance, whereas the apterous adults are typically a large brown colored aphid with dark bands running across the abdomen. Second, among the crops we grow locally, lettuce aphids are only found on the lettuce types(Lactuca spp.)
Lettuce aphids prefer to colonize the terminal growth, and can often be found in heads or hearts, whereas green peach aphids are often found on the frame leaves in high numbers before moving into the heads. Sampling should be focused on the terminal growth of young plants and in the heads and hearts of older plants. Third, they can reproduce prolifically, producing many more winged alates than other species, which can quickly lead to widespread abundance throughout a field or a growing area. Finally, as the saying goes “he who hesitates is lost”.
If lettuce aphids are found on your lettuce, it is recommended that you respond quickly with an insecticide treatment. The product of choice is Movento at 5 oz/ac. Because of its systemic activity, Movento will reach aphids in the protected terminal growth.
Be sure to include a penetrating adjuvant for best results at a rate of at least 0.25% v/v. It normally requires 7-10 days of activity before a significant reduction in the infestation is observed. For more information on lettuce aphid please refer to Lettuce Aphid on Late Season Produce. If you’re finding lettuce aphid on organic lettuce, you’re out of luck; none of the registered biopesticides will control this aphid.
Serenade Offers Big Dividends to Growers Fighting Pests
By Kyle Buchoff, CaliforniaAgToday Reporter
In this new frontier of pest and disease controls with biological fungicides and insecticides, Dr. Jonathan Margolis, the Vice President of Biologics Research for Bayer CropScience at the company’s new West Sacramento Research Facility, recently commented on Serenade, a major biologics product used by many growers. “When I joined Bayer in 2005, I would never have expected that we would still be spending this much effort on fundamental basic research on understanding Serenade and its mode of action, and ultimately on improving it.”
“We’ve invested a tremendous amount of resources on characterization of the chemistry that’s produced by the microbe,” Margolis explains, “on understanding how it interacts with plants—the signals it exchanges with plants to stimulate their growth and turn on host defense responses. Even more importantly, we want to understand the fundamental genetics of the organism so, in the future, we can use physiological cues, nutrients and growth conditions to change the way it produces these biologic chemicals in terms of increased efficiently.”
The company states that Serenade is a fungicide and bactericide that stops harmful spores from germinating, disrupts cell membrane growth, and inhibits attachment of the pathogen to the leaf. Biologic applications target Botrytis, Sclerotinia, Xanthomonas, and Erwina on grapes, strawberries, leafy vegetables, potatoes, pome fruit and tree nuts.
(Featured photo source: “Enhancing Global Food Security, Facts and Figures 2012-2013 Bayer CropScience”)