Canadian Label Completed for New ‘SaniDate®FD Canada’

After receiving an Interim Letter of No Objection (iLONO) from the Canadian Health Department in May, SaniDateFD Canada will be ready for sale inside Canada’s border within the next few weeks.  The label created specifically for the country includes intervention applications for meat, poultry and ready-to-eat meat products.

SaniDateFD Canada is a peroxyacetic acid-based microbiocide developed for use in federally inspected meat and poultry processing facilities. When used as directed, it will help to reduce contamination and cross-contamination.  This product is intended to be used as an antimicrobial agent to control microorganisms in process water and ice used in the production and preparation of poultry, meat, processed meat and preformed meat.

For more information about SaniDateFD, please call our home office at 888-273-3088.

New for 2016 – SaniDateFD 17% PAA

BioSafe Systems introduces another new product for 2016, SaniDateFD 17% PAA. This product joins the lineup of BioSafe Systems’ other antimicrobial intervention products SaniDateFD and SaniDateFD PLUS.

While this new product is similar to other PAA intervention chemistries, SaniDateFD 17% has the added benefit of higher concentration of PAA without the reduced shelf life common with 20-25% formulations.

“In recent years many PAA manufacturers and distributors pushed to replace 15% PAA with 20-25% formulations, suggesting customers would use less product with only a small price increase. However, customers quickly found that these concentrations degrade at a much faster rate than 15-17% products.  After a couple weeks of storage, they were getting the performance of a 15% product while paying premium prices,” explained BioSafe Systems’ VP of Food Safety, Russell Owings. “Plants can easily transition from 15% and 20-25% PAA to SaniDateFD 17% for cost savings and confidence the product is going to remain stable.”

SaniDateFD 17% is a peroxyacetic acid-based microbiocide developed and approved for use as an antimicrobial agent to control microorganisms in process water and ice used in the production and preparation of federally inspected poultry, shell eggs, meat, processed meat, seafood and fruits and vegetables. SaniDateFD 17% complies with FCN #1501 and FCN# 1554. When used as directed at the maximum concentrations of peroxyacetic acid none of the other ingredients will exceed the maximum limits as established by the FDA.

For more information about BioSafe Systems’ new product SaniDateFD 17% contact BioSafe Systems’ Meat, Poultry and Seafood Sales Representative, Russell Owings at 540-256-8426.

Weeding Through The Water

Published by permission from Lawn & Landscape c/o GIE Media, Inc.  Originally printed July 2016.  Written by Neil Moran

Contractors who specialize in aquatic weed control will be in demand for the foreseeable future due to the unrelenting march of invasive species in lakes, ponds and other bodies of water. Treating these requires a good deal of knowledge of aquatic systems ecology, the plants that inhabit them and the treatment options available.

“The problem is huge,” says Jason Broekstra, vice president of Great Lakes Operations for PLM Lake & Management Corp. “People really don’t understand that if management of invasive species did not take place in our lakes, we wouldn’t have lakes. We’d have swamps; we’d have property values that would be worth nothing.”

Broekstra says his organization takes pains to educate people on aquatic weed control so they will understand why treatment of water bodies is often necessary.

“One of the misconceptions is that people think by using herbicides to manage nuisance species in lakes, everything is going to die,” he says. “Therefore, you’re going to throw off the balance in the ecosystem by taking oxygen production out of the lake and have fish kills. And basically, that’s not true.

A boat anchored in the center of a treatment zone allows workers from PLM Lake & Management Corp., to move the injection line throughout the treatment zone.

Photo courtesy of PLM

“If you manage the invasive species selectively, you can promote native plant diversity, get it more to its natural state. We’re trying to find the sustainability within that ecosystem. By controlling invasive species, you’re actually promoting native plants.”

Understanding aquatic weed management.

Aquatic weed management is a specialized area requiring a thorough knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, plant biology, plant life cycles and control methods. Aquatic weed control contractors like PLM Lake & Management Corp. employ biologists, environmental scientists and other professionals to treat specific invasive and nuisance weeds and algae.

“Management can be a lot of different things depending on the type of pond and what it is being used for,” says Rob Richardson, associate professor and Extension specialist at North Carolina State University and president of the Aquatic Plant Management Society.

Water weeds

Common aquatic invasive plants, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Invasive Species Information Center. Visit bit.ly/llaquatic for more information.

  • Alligatorweed
  • Caulerpa, Mediterranean clone
  • Common reed
  • Curly pondweed
  • Didymo
  • Eurasian watermilfoil
  • Giant reed
  • Giant salvinia
  • Melaleuca
  • Purple loosestrife
  • Water chestnut
  • Water hyacinth
  • Water lettuce
  • Water spinach

“The site may also dictate whether specific plants should be controlled or not,” he says. “Irrigation ponds generally need to be weed-free. In contrast, vegetation is desirable in water bodies managed for waterfowl. High-risk plants like state and federal noxious weeds should be controlled. Native, non-aggressive plants may not need to be controlled depending on the setting.”

There is a lot of information out there, such as that offered by the Aquatic Plant Management Society, for the contractor who wants to offer these services. It’s imperative, though, that they contact state and local environmental and licensing agencies to see what the protocol is for applying chemicals to a water body in a specific locale.

Survey the water body.

The first task of an aquatic weed contractor is to survey the body of water that is to be treated. Broekstra says that every lake is different in terms of depth, concentration, flow and hydraulic retention time (the average length of time water remains in a storage unit, such as a lake or pond.)

“The first thing is to conduct a full survey of the lake and document the density of invasive species throughout, get an idea of how many acres of invasive plants you have,” Broekstra says. “Is it widespread or just pockets? We’ll determine what the client’s interest and financial abilities are, then we’ll look at a variety of herbicide options from auxin-based to 2-4D or contact ones.”

Identify the plant.

Any plant regulated as a noxious weed that interferes with the form and function of the body of water should generally be controlled, Richardson says.

There are many avenues for identifying the species of plants that need to be controlled or eradicated. Contractors can talk to local and regional university extension agents, search the internet or identify it using the NCSU Aquatic Plants App. From there, they can choose which products to use.

“We work with vendors and they come up with a prescription for us based on environmental factors and the state we’re working in,” says Greg Blackham, aquatic specialist with SOLitude Lake Management, a company that services the mid-Atlantic states.

There are dozens of invasive species that keep people up at night. Some of the more common ones are Eurasian water milfoil, phragmites (mostly a shoreline species of common reed) and different species of hydrilla, which Blackham says is marching into the more northern states.

Applying herbicides.

Aquatic control companies attack invasive species by land, sea and air. In most situations they can go out in a boat with a sprayer or boom and deploy the chemicals needed to control species. In other situations, like managing huge swaths of phragmites, companies deploy vehicles with tracks and may even attack it from the air.

“We had an ATV go airborne trying to get through phragmites,” Broekstra says. He says they resorted to using a land rover type of vehicle with tracks to get through it. He added that they have also sprayed from an airplane. In dense wetland areas, airboats are deployed by companies like SOLitude who work in these environments.

The company owns the airboats, which can cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Richardson says there are about 14 herbicides registered with the EPA for aquatic application. Some companies are also using mechanical and biological control measures.

Mechanical control is removing the plant, root and all. An example of biological control is using beetles to control purple loosestrife and bacterial-based applications.

Herbicides can be applied in granular form and be distributed over an infested area like you might spread a product on a lawn. Companies can also insert a hose beneath the water and release the herbicide. Contact applications with sprayers is also used for many different species.

“Emergent plants are typically treated with foliar spray of liquid products,” says Mike Mumper, technical specialist for SePRO, a plant protection and management products developer.

Aquatic weed control can be performed using boats with a sprayer or a boom, or by vehicle or airplane.

Photo courtesy of PLM

“Submersed and floating plants can be treated with liquid and pellet or granular products.”

He says aquatic weed technicians use sprayers with mix tanks for liquids, backpack blowers for small granular treatments and boat-mounted spreaders or other equipment to disperse granules for larger treatments.

Aquatic specialists agree that the earlier the troublesome species comes to light and is treated, the better it is in terms of getting it under control with the least expense to the property owner.

“It is much easier to reduce or eliminate an early infestation,” Mumper says.

“Heavy infestations can produce copious amounts of propagules (in sediments), outcompete beneficial native species and spread to other waterbodies.”

He says mature plants are more difficult to control with herbicides, require more of them and can produce large amounts of decaying biomass that can deplete oxygen in the water, potentially putting fish in distress.

“In small ponds, most plants can be brought under control or possibly eradicated,” Richardson says. “It is more difficult to eradicate plants from large water bodies and on a regional basis.

Well-established weeds like Eurasian watermilfoil, hydrilla, water hyacinth, etc., are far past the point of regional, or greater, level of eradication.”

Managing invasive species isn’t a one-shot deal. Depending on the water body and level of infestation, aquatic weed control companies will monitor a pond or lake on a monthly basis, or at least two or three times a year.

“We’re making a lot of headway,” Broekstra says.

The author is a freelance writer based in based in Michigan.

Why you should “GreenClean” the “Blue-Greens,”

Why you should “GreenClean” the “Blue-Greens,” (or “Never in Blue-Greens, Babe”)

(cyanobacteria).

Tom Warmuth

Aquatics Technical Representative – BioSafe Systems

Because of its ability to overwinter, it’s important to understand “blue-green algae;” what it is and ways to prepare and control it.

First, the two names blue-green algae and cyanobacteria are often used to describe what many would group into “algae”.  We should really stick to one name, CYANOBACTERIA.  This classification or phylum of bacteria is more or less that, a bacteria…..and not so much an algae.  They are green like algae because they contain the chlorophyll which they use to produce their own food utilizing energy from the sun.  They both also live in water, but that is about where the comparisons or differences will end for the purposes of this article.  To the naked eye, when observing a pond with algae, they certainly look the same, the water is green because of their presence (planktonic, pea soup) or the green hair like (filamentous) material and mats growing on the shoreline all looks similar.  But again, they are much more like bacteria than algae, and they should be treated as such.

So, how does one or should one treat bacteria, or in this case a cyanobacteria?  I would say treating bacteria would best be done with a powerful, effective, and yet sustainable bactericide.  BioSafe Systems has an extensive line of products for several markets that are designed to do just that, treat bacteria.  In the aquatics market BioSafe Systems has its GreenClean line of algaecides, GreenClean Liquid 5.0 and GreenCleanPRO.  These algaecides work to effectively treat nuisance algae and cyanobacteria.  The GreenClean chemistries work by breaking down and penetrating the defenses of the target, the cell wall and the thick protective mucilage coating outside.  These two barriers of many cyanobacteria are often where other algaecides fall short. The GreenClean Liquid and GreenCleanPRO algaecides not only work effectively, but after they are put to work they harmlessly break down into oxygen and water.

Additionally, these chemistries will also still work effectively in varying water chemistries (high alkalinity, high hardness, a wide pH range, and temperature). Early control of some algae and cyanobacteria may have water temperature as one more factor to consider when choosing GreenClean Liquid 5.0 for treatment. Its chemistry can be effective in colder water temperatures.  When you know that nuisance algae in your pond will become more and more of a problem as the spring and summer gets warmer, you should plant to treat at the first signs of the algae growth.

As you can see in the picture, the chemistry works quickly.  In this microscope image a sample of cyanobacteria, Oscillatoria, was treated with GreenClean Liquid 5.0 using a standard field use rate. Within 8 minutes, the Oscillatoria is showing signs of chlorosis (bleaching of the chlorophyll). These are sure signs that the GreenClean Liquid 5.0 chemistry has penetrated the cells and that this algae sample has been effectively controlled.

Osc. before&after

Application method of the product can also be important when using either the granular or the Liquid formulation.  Depending on what kind of algae you are treating and the water chemistry of the water body, you may want to adjust your method, possibly the adjuvants or think about using a tank compatible partner with the GreenClean Liquid 5.0.  We have several users of our commercial algaecides in Florida.  In many other areas across the country, including Florida, high alkalinity and hardness can vary and these water chemistry conditions can greatly reduce the efficacy of copper based algaecides.

GreenClean Liquid 5.0 can be used in a wide range of water chemistry and conditions. Hardness, alkalinity, pH, salinity, and temperature are all non-factors with GreenClean Liquid 5.0.  One Florida lake manager had their first experience using our GreenClean Liquid 5.0 on the cyanobacteria, Lyngbya, and they were quite satisfied with the fast results.  The application was made; the site was observed five hours later where it was clear that the Lyngbya had been effectively treated as it was showing clear signs of chlorosis. By one week after the treatment the treated area was looking excellent. The floating mats were well controlled and great progress made in getting ahead of this nuisance cyanobacteria.

 

Fall Crop Alternatives That Can Increase Your Sales

Published by permission from Greenhouse Grower, written June 9, 2016 By: Janeen Wright

Retrieved from http://www.greenhousegrower.com/varieties/fall-crop-alternatives-that-can-increase-your-sales/ 7/14/2016

 

Mums are the money-making “poinsettia” of the fall season for growers. They’re classics that deliver the vivid smack of color consumers crave amidst the neutral, brown tones of autumn. Too bad their bloom time is short-lived, and there’s a glut of them on the market. Not to mention, consumers want a fresh look.

Conveniently, the line-up of new varieties to grow for 2017 holds loads of opportunities for growers looking to expand fall sales and offer something beyond mums, whether it is crops that only last from summer to winter or those that can be planted in fall for spring color.

Big Color For Instant Impact Trending With Fall Plants

“When we look at the fall market, we see consumers focusing on decorating and instant gratification, looking for instantaneous color to put on the deck or porch. We have seen a difference in consumers looking for other options in fall crops. They are after something new to complement their mums,” says Kevin Roethle, Head of New Product Development at Ball Ingenuity.

Westhoff’s Bracteantha Cottage Series is one option with a long bloom time that offers textural appeal that mums cannot. The series comes in seven colors that can be mixed in combos. It also includes an Autumn Mix.

Roethle says Ball Ingenuity is looking at plants that expand the fall palette to other species besides mums, but it also wants to push the envelope within the mum category. One result is the ‘Key Lime’ mum, the first truly green garden mum, which turns chartreuse when mature. It has medium-sized flowers, which work great for decorating with other fall crops.

Fall Combo Containers Offer Unlimited Opportunities

Much of gardening has become about decorating. More than any other season, fall seems to inspire nature-based decorating schemes in many homeowners. Consumers want their porches and decks festively decorated with mums and combination planters that provide the perfect backdrop for pumpkins, cornstalks, and scarecrows. They want on-the-spot color that comes in a full autumn palette, and they want it to last.

There is no better way to dress up mums than fall combo containers. Offering combo components either separately or in a ready-made mix is a great way to extend fall sales. Ornamental grasses and veggies such as kale and cabbage are popular thrill-and-fill items, while trailers like violas, heuchera, and dusty miller can provide the spill.

Zoltan Kovacs, Perennial Product Manager at Dümmen Orange, has developed some perennial combos, growing components together in liners that finish at the same time. These mixes are made up using 15 different perennial varieties that don’t require vernalization. The possible combinations are endless and offer added value for consumers. Kovacs is making it easy for consumers to get the same look by mapping out the component recipes.

Green Fuse Botanicals, Kieft Seed, and Darwin Perennials also displayed some promising perennial combos at Spring Trials.

Edibles With Ornamental Appeal, A Perfect Fit For Fall

Ornamental-veggie combinations in both landscapes and containers are a popular trend with gardeners, as well, and a natural choice for fall.

“We’re seeing more veggies mixed into fall containers and in the ground,” says Heather Kibble, Home Grown Marketing Manager for Sakata. “The dark-green and burgundy of fall vegetables like kale, lettuce, beets, and Swiss chard supplement traditional fall flowers. I have also noticed veggies in decorative fall arrangements and table decorations, even for fall wedding décor and bouquets.”

Why not consider offering a line of fall vegetables? It could be a mix of “veggimentals,” edibles with ornamental appeal, such as flowering kale, cabbage, or ornamental corn and millet. or foodies, Sakata’s new ‘Fresh Start’ and ‘Fresh Cool’ beetless-beets, grown for their baby greens, are quick crops that can be planted closely together for maximum yield.

PanAmerican Seed’s Handpicked Collection, which includes the Simply Salad varieties and herbs, works well for fall gardening. There’s also the new ‘Sedona Sun’ and ‘Hot Pops Purple’ ornamental peppers that would add a splash of color to containers and landscape beds. And Burpee’s Masterpiece pea offers a unique addition for cool-season growing.

Another edible pick is Syngenta Flower’s ‘Prizm’ Kale, an All-America Selections award winner, with ornamental appeal that works for both containers and the landscape.

 Other Alternatives For Fall Production

Snaptastic snapdragons, another new variety from Syngenta, also has potential for fall. This series stood out for performance at the Costa Farms Season Premier in Florida and at EuroAmerican Propagators’ in-ground trials in California. These snapdragons are aggressive bloomers with nice, bright colors. The series includes five colors.

A new intergeneric cross between a mukdenia and a bergenia, Mukgenia ‘Nova Flame’ (Terra Nova Nurseries) is a vigorous grower with good late-season color.

In addition to color, timing is an important consideration for growers when selecting fall crops. Celosia fits in naturally because it times well with mums and has long-lasting blooms. American Takii showed the potential for marketing celosia to consumers with its Spring Trials display promoting its Armor series ofcristata-type celosia. The display, titled the Zombie Zone, played off the popular zombie craze with an “Armor Yourself” theme and fun, kid-focused marketing materials.

Although not a new introduction for 2017, Sakata’s Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath,’ a seed-propagated, plume-type celosia, fits this category. And PanAmerican Seed displayed a new blood-red Celosia ‘Dracula,’ while Ball Ingenuity showed off a new Twisted series of vegetative celosia that included a nice Orange color. Beekenkamp has some new celosias out, too. The Kelos Fire and Kelos Atomic series are daylength neutral and have a wide color range.

New calibrachoas are coming out in harvest colors and don’t have to be limited to spring and summer. Proven Winners’ Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Tropical Sunrise’ generates masses of orange-colored flowers and can withstand frost. The Calibrachoa Chameleon Series from Westhoff and Dümmen Orange, is an industry first with ever-changing colors. Daylength, temperatures, and the weather cause dramatic changes in the coloration of this series for the fall season.

Finally, there’s a new intergeneric cross from Terra Nova Nurseries with great fall color. Mukgenia ‘Nova Flame’ is a vigorous grower with the vibrant, late-season color of Mukgenia ‘Crimson Fans’ and the beautiful rose-pink flowers of bergenia. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

 

GhouseGrower

Fungicide Application for Management of Potato Late Blight in the Columbia Basin

Published by Permission from:

Dennis A. Johnson, Philip B. Hamm, and Jeffrey S. Miller. Washington State University, Pullman, WA; Oregon State University, Hermiston, OR; and Miller Research LLC, Rupert, ID, respectively.

POTATO LATE BLIGHT MANAGEMENT

Management of potato late blight (LB) in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon requires a combination of several strategies: strict sanitation practices, proper irrigation management, good cultural practices, and proper application of fungicides. Sanitation practices (such as not planting infected seed and using a seed treatment containing mancozeb or cymoxanil, and destroying cull piles before planting), and proper cultural practices (such as not planting within 80 – 100 ft. of the pivot center and preventing wet areas to develop in fields) will reduce disease pressure and increase the effectiveness of foliar fungicides.

Ø Fungicides are most effective when they are applied to foliage i) before infection occurs or ii) when the disease is in very early stages of development and cannot be detected yet by the human eye. Later applications are helpful in reducing the rate in which the disease spreads but are not nearly as effective as early applications. Late blight is very difficult to manage once infections become established in sprinkler-irrigated fields because the microclimate within the canopy usually favors further disease spread whenever the field is irrigated. In other words, preventing infection is far better and likely cheaper than trying to manage LB in fields where infection has occurred.

Ø Total crop and canopy coverage with fungicides is essential for late blight management. The late blight organism, Phytophthora infestans, will most likely find and infect any plants or plant surfaces skipped during application. Given the nature of the potato canopy after row closure, achieving complete coverage of leaves and stems with fungicides can be difficult if proper application methods are not followed. Application skips from air, chemigation, or ground applications have frequently resulted in large areas of late blight infected plants.

POTATO LATE BLIGHT FUNGICIDES

Many fungicides are labeled for use against potato late blight. Each product has specific conditions for use and is labeled with details regarding rates and application method. Fungicides work against late blight by inhibiting one or more of the following: germination of spores (and as a result, reduced infection of plants), growth within the plant, production of spores (sporulation), and formation or development of lesions.

Spore suppression. Some combinations of fungicides, such as Forum (dimethomorph) plus an EBDC, Curzate (cymoxanil) plus an EBDC, and Oronidis Opti (oxathiapiprolin + chlorothalonil) have post-infection activity that inhibits sporulation and/or restricts lesion expansion (5,6). These fungicides may also help reduce tuber infection when applied during and after tuber bulking. Their use at times can be very beneficial, but they should never be used as a predetermined “rescue” instead of using protectant fungicides when recommended because control likely will not be adequate. Again, proper use of protectant fungicides, prior to infection, will ensure good and economical protection.

Soil barrier. Mancozeb and Polyram (metiram) when worked into fungicide programs during tuber maturation are effective on the soil surface in protecting against tuber infection (10). Shallow daughter tubers and soil cracks are main avenues allowing the pathogen to access tubers (11). Plant seed tubers as deep as possible and adequately cover hills with soil to help prevent tuber infections. Cultivars with tubers moderately resistant to late blight include Umatilla, Gem, Alturas, Legend, and Defender. Tubers of Bannock and Ranger are very susceptible and require extra management.

Examples of late blight fungicides

Ø EBDC (ethylene bis-dithiocarbamate) fungicides. Examples: Metiram (Polyram), Mancozeb (Dithane M-45, Manzate Pro-Stick and Penncozeb), and Maneb (Manex). Chlorothalonil (Bravo, Echo)

Ø Cyazofamid (Ranman) plus an EBDC or chlorothalonil

Ø Cymoxanil (Curzate) plus an EBDC or chlorothalonil. Tanos contains 25% cymoxanil and 25% Famoxate

Ø Dimethomorph (Forum) plus an EBDC or chlorothalonil. Zampro contains ametoctradin + dimethomorph

Ø Propamocarb hydrochloride (Previcur), plus EBDC or chlorothalonil

Ø Mandipropamid + difenoconazole (Revus Top)

Ø Zoxamide (Gavel = zoxamide + mancozeb, Zing = zoxamide + chlorothalonil)

Ø Oxathiapiprolin (Oronidis Opti = oxathiapiprolin + chlorothalonil)

Ø Fluazinam (Omega, Omega Top MP)

Ø Phosphorus Acid (Phostrol and other salts of phosphorous acid) – Two to three foliar applications at two week intervals (beginning at initial tuber bulking, tubers 14 to 70g in weight) provide excellent tuber protection in storage, but little protection on foliage. Two applications are effective for cultivars with moderately resistant tubers such as Umatilla and three applications are needed for cultivars with very susceptible tubers such as Ranger (7). Post-harvest application of tubers is effective if late blight is found in tubers prior to harvest, or if late blight is present in the field at the end of the season. The phosphorous acid application cannot cure infected tubers, but keeps healthy tubers from becoming infected if they are exposed to spores of the late blight pathogen during the harvest operation.

Fungicides not recommended

Ø Mefenoxam (Ridomil Gold, Ultra Flourish) prepacks are not recommended for management of late blight when the pathogen population is resistant (US-8 and US-11 for example); in addition, mefenoxam can be effective for management of pink rot and Pythium leak.

Ø Super Tin by itself will not adequately control severe late blight, but it is effective when mixed with Polyram or another EBDC fungicide.

Ø Copper fungicides alone will not adequately control foliar late blight in conventional (non-organic) fields in the Columbia Basin. Copper may be an alternative for organic potatoes.

To read the full release please visit: http://www.nwpotatoresearch.com/

 

Downy mildew confirmed on cucumbers in Ohio and Michigan

Downy mildew confirmed on cucumbers in Ohio and Michigan

On 7/11, it was reported that early infection of downy mildew found in Michigan. Other states that have reported downy mildew outbreaks include Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Florida.

Muskmelon, cantaloupe and watermelon are also highly susceptible to the downy mildew pathogen and should be protected with fungicides at this time, especially if irrigated overhead. Last year in Michigan, outbreaks of downy mildew also occurred on hard squash, but the symptoms appeared differently than the angular lesions that commonly occur on the cucumbers and melons.

The Worst Weeds, Ranked

Published by permission from AGWEB c/o Farm Journal Media originally printed 4/4/2016.

Written By Ben Potter AgWeb.com Social Media and Innovation Editor

 

What’s the most troublesome weed in the U.S., according to hundreds of weed scientists and Extension agents? The survey, conducted by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has crowned Palmer amaranth the worst of the worst.

 

“We certainly weren’t surprised to find Palmer amaranth at the top of the U.S. list,” says Lee Van Wychen, science policy director at WSSA. “This weed can have a devastating impact on crop yields. Its stems are tough enough to damage rugged farm equipment, and it is extremely prolific. A single Palmer amaranth plant can produce as many as a million seeds during a growing season.”

 

The WSSA survey asked participants to list weeds most frequently seen, as well as species that are the most difficult to control. Here are the top five responses in each category.

graph2

Canadian weed scientists were also surveyed. In Canada, the “worst weed” landscape looks quite a bit different. The top five most troublesome weeds listed are gallium, wild oat, Canada thistle, kochia and wild buckwheat.

 

A 2015 Farm Journal Pulse poll revealed more farmers felt waterhemp was enemy No. 1 (35%), followed by marestail (19%), ragweed (14%), palmer amaranth (13%), “other” (11%) and grass species (8%). A 2013 Pulse poll showed similar results.

graph

Whitefly Warning From UF|IFAS

Retrieved from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences 7/13/2016

 

The Q-biotype whitefly, a significant pest that could damage agriculture, has spread from Palm Beach to seven other Florida counties, according to a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher.

Crops that could eventually be affected include tomatoes, squash, beans, watermelons and many other vegetables and ornamentals, said Lance Osborne, an entomology professor at UF/IFAS.

The whitefly species has now been reported in homeowners’ yards and on plants in retail nurseries are destined to be planted in yards as far north as Duval County. It’s also in Broward, Highlands, Hillsborough, Martin, Pinellas and Seminole counties, Osborne said.

In April, the whitefly was found for the first time outside greenhouses and nurseries in Florida. Known scientifically as Bemisia tabaci, the Q-biotype or Mediterranean whitefly is a light-colored, tiny flying insect. This marks the first time the Q-biotype of Bemisia tabaci has been found outside a greenhouse or nursery in the United States since it was found on an ornamental plant in a greenhouse in 2004-2005, said Osborne.

Inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are in the process of tracing the flies back to the wholesale nurseries that shipped the plants to the retail stores. From there, nurseries can work with UF/IFAS on appropriate management practices.

If homeowners suspect they have a Q-biotype whitefly in their yard, they should use soap and oils that are sold as insecticides or just call a professional exterminator.

Researchers with UF/IFAS are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and FDACS to manage the whitefly. The following measures are recommended to control the spread of Q-biotype whitefly:

  • Homeowners who suspect they have a whitefly infestation should contact their UF/IFAS Extension county office. Office locations may be found at http://bit.ly/1Q8wguw.
  • For identification purposes, infested leaves and dead insect specimens should be brought to local Extension offices. Wrap in a dry paper towel and place in a seal-able plastic bag and then in an envelope. Freezing the specimen overnight before transport is highly recommended. Live insects should not be transported.
  • Because new populations have built up resistance to chemicals, it is recommended that suspected whitefly infestations be confirmed before chemically treating the insects, as it may be needless to spray pesticides.
  • Landscapers and pest control operators should inspect for signs of whitefly pests, communicate with neighboring properties and homeowners associations, employ good management and growing practices, and implement whitefly management guidelines available at http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/lso/bemisia/bemisia.htm.

CRYSTAL CLEAR: GOLF COURSE AQUATIC MAINTENANCE

Published by permission from Golf Course Industry Magazine c/o GIE Media originally printed 6/2016.  Written By Rob Thomas

 

Superintendents are often required to develop an aquatic maintenance plan to care for their courses’ water features. Our experts provide valuable insight to turn you into a pond specialist.

Rob Thomas

To maintain an environmentally sound pond, Jim Skorulski, an agronomist with the USGA Green Section, suggests the prevention of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from entering the pond system. This is done by managing clippings, using buffers, preventing fertilizer applications and redirecting drain tiles if possible.

“Secondly, oxygenate the water column to improve water quality and support microbial activity and help reduce nutrient availability,” Skorulski says. “Third, remove nutrient sources or make nutrients unavailable to algae and plants in the pond, i.e. dredging sediments, using alum and other products that bind with nutrients. Fourth (not in importance), deepen the water column. Shallow ponds will always be problematic in regards to aquatic plants and algae.”

When coming up with a maintenance plan, many superintendents turn to pond specialists, such as David Ellison, aquatic biologist and regional director with SOLitude Lake Management, based in Virginia Beach, Va., who provides lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products nationwide.

Air infusion

According to Doug Hicks, president and CEO of Koenders Water Solutions, aerating the water can produce an environmentally sound pond. Add oxygen through aeration:

  • Provides oxygen for aerobic bacteria;
  • Aids in the breakdown of nutrients;
  • Helps to keep algae and weeds at bay;
  • Vents foul odors and carbon dioxide;
  • Lowers risk of fish kill; and
  • Decreases insect larvae growth.

There are two main types of aeration systems: bottom-up aeration and surface aeration.

“Bottom-up aeration systems are designed to aerate water from the bottom of the pond,” Hicks says. “This is by far the most effective aerating method. Air is compressed into the airline and driven down to the bottom areas of the pond where airstone diffusers take the compressed oxygen and turn it into thousands of tiny oxygen bubbles that dissolve directly into the pond body.

“Dissolving oxygen into the water at the bottom of the pond allows the oxygen to more efficiently mix with the water and it provides a filtration system effect,” he says. “As the oxygen bubbles (column) rises up through the pond, they pick up organic debris that is suspended in the pond body – thus burning off excess organic debris that causes pond stagnation, algae and weeds. The more time the oxygen has in the water, the more efficient the dissolving process is, helping avoid fish kills and supporting an overall healthier ecosystem in the pond. The deeper the aeration, the larger the bubbles will grow and the larger the column expands in the pond, thus acting as a means of water circulation.”

Bottom-up aeration systems use less energy than surface aeration systems. Fountains or surface aeration suck up and pump water in the air several feet. This requires a lot of energy – thus higher costs of operation and lower life expectancies because the motor on the fountains are working much harder.

“Surface aeration is less efficient than bottom-up aeration for the oxygen that is added to the pond water is derived only from the splashing of the water on the surface of the pond,” Hicks says. “Essentially, the splashing traps oxygen in the top 6 inches to 1 foot at the surface of the pond water. Decorative nozzles can be used to increase the oxygen capture and depth that the surface aeration will go down. The deeper the water splashes on the surface of the water, then the better the oxygen penetration is, which also helps with the circulation flow in the pond.”

Ellison agrees nutrient management should be the main focus when searching for best practices.

“Preventative measures such as aerating the waterbody and establishing beneficial vegetation and pond buffers to reduce nutrient loading are highly beneficial to overall pond health,” Ellison says. “These measures will often help in the uptake of nutrients and can help limit the amount of pesticides required for algae and aquatic weed control. Professional assessment will often allow for the staff at SOLitude to provide a prescription for the lake or pond to target the specific plant species in need of control.”

Treat the source of a pond’s problems and not the symptoms of the problem, says Doug Hicks, President and CEO of Koenders Water Solutions.

“With proper prevention, treatment and maintenance, your pond will be clean and clear without the use of chemicals,” he says. “Natural pond maintenance means your pond will become easier and less costly to treat every year. It also means that you will be reducing your nutrient pollution contribution to today’s fresh water environmental challenges.”

The biggest mistake Vincent Dodge says his colleagues make is reacting to problems instead of proactively preventing them from happening.

 

“Instead of controlling the golf course, the golf course controls them,” says Dodge, CGCS at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Lake Vermilion, Minn. “A successful superintendent takes measures to control or limit an issue before the issue becomes a problem.”

Take an algae-infested pond as an example, Dodge says. The quick and reactive solution is to contact a chemical sales rep to ask what’s available to eliminate algae and then apply it.

“The proactive solution is to ask yourself why is there an algae problem in the first place,” he says. “Too much phosphorus fertilizer? Poor aeration in the lake? Is the lake too shallow or is the water circulation poor? Figure out what the actual cause of the problem is and take the appropriate measures. Adjust your fertilizer program, add an aerator to the lake, and dredge the lake to make it deeper or add a bubbler to circulate and/or aerate the water. The go-to answer is not always the chemical control … a mistake commonly made.”

Many superintendents fail to leave a proper buffer between their ponds and their grass, choosing to manicure and cut grass right to the edge of the pond, which will cause grass clippings, fertilizer and other run off to seep into the pond, Hicks says.

“Use tall grass, or cattails to create a natural barrier,” he says. “Even a longer cut grass can filter some of the run-off. The denser and longer the turf you have around the pond the better the filter.”

This can be especially prevalent around areas with snow, because as the snow and ice melts and runs into the pond it picks up everything along the way and carries it into the pond, Hicks says. The barrier catches some of the run off and stops it from being washed into the water. He also advises to only use the amount of fertilizer needed, as excess fertilizer will run off into the nearby bodies of water.

Another common mistake is using herbicides and algaecides to kill off weeds, which only deals with the symptoms of the problem, and not with the root problem in the pond water, Hicks says.

“This practice only serves to further pollute these bodies of water and make them more prone to further algae blooms and weed regrowth,” Hicks says.

If it’s too late and the pond is a mess – aesthetically and biologically – there are solutions, Ellison says.

“Proper assessment would be the first step to remedy an aesthetically poor pond,” he says. “The typical cause of the excessive growth is a nutrient issue and a professional evaluation by a lake manager can establish a plan to remedy the situation.

Treating the source of a pond’s problems and not the symptoms is the approach used by The Wilderness at Fortune Bay (Minn.) superintendent Vincent Dodge. “The proactive solution is to ask yourself why is there an algae problem in the first place,” he says.

“Water testing is often a good idea and can provide valuable information in solving the problems,” Ellison adds. “The plan may include the establishment of aeration, aquatic weed and algae treatments and an annual maintenance program.”

 

Superintendents fortunate to start with a clean slate during new pond construction should build ponds to a minimum depth of 8 feet, if possible, to minimize light reaching the bottom, Skorulski says. “The deeper water column should remain cooler, as well,” he says. “The ponds should be built with a more shallow shelve around the perimeter where some plant growth is encouraged. The plants are beneficial and useful on many fronts.”

Build a pond that adheres to the local storm water regulations, Ellison says. “An improperly built pond can have a significant effect on the sedimentation rate and length of time before dredging the water body may become a necessity,” he says. “Proper construction will also benefit the establishment of a healthy fish population, if that is a desired goal.”

When building, prepare with the future in mind, Dodge says. “During the construction process, it is always a good idea to route power lines to golf course ponds and lakes to accommodate future placement of fountains/aerators,” he says. “Most places I have worked at that did not do this, sooner or later regretted not doing so.”

Dodge suggests the creation of no-mow, longer grass buffer zones around all lake edges to help protect water quality.

With proper care and maintenance, even the most neglected pond can become an environmentally friendly and attractive water feature.