January 24, 2017, St. Paul, MN – Fire blight is a serious disease of apple and pear plants that causes rapid wilting and discoloration of shoots and leaves resembling fire damage. The bacterial pathogen has been traditionally managed with streptomycin applications, but antibiotic resistance is limiting the effect of this control measure.The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation entitled Fire Blight and Streptomycin Resistance to help apple growers understand why the resistance has intensified and spread, and to discuss viable management options and new techniques currently under development. The webcast, developed by Quan Zeng, assistant plant pathologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, covers the biological mechanisms of the Erwinia amylavora pathogen and its history of growing resistance to streptomycin antibiotics. The presentation also discusses management strategies such as: Over-winter pruning, copper spraying, and canker treatments In-season antibiotic applications, insect control, and other biological controls Promising alternate, non-antibiotic management tools and techniques The 18-minute presentation is fully open access in the PMN Education Center webcast resource.
February 23, 2016, Guelph, Ont – Bayer announces the registration of Luna Tranquility as a foliar fungicide for bulb vegetables, small berries and tomatoes in Canada. The systemic fungicide is an all-in-one formulation that includes two groups, Group 7 (fluopyram) and Group 9 (pyrimethanil). “Luna Tranquility is already a valuable fungicide for apple, grape and potato growers and now protects against some of the most concerning diseases for bulb vegetables, small berries and tomatoes,” said Jon Weinmaster, portfolio manager of horticulture for Bayer CropScience Inc. “With both Group 7 and 9 modes of action, this broad spectrum fungicide offers growers excellent disease control resulting in improved yield, quality and post-harvest benefits.” According to the company, Luna Tranquility is highly plant mobile and shows minimal cross-resistance to other Group 7 fungicides. It also provides post-harvest latent disease protection for soft fruit, with research indicating reduced shrink and decreased fruit deterioration. The new expansion of the Luna Tranquility label means Canadian growers can now apply this product on: Bulb vegetables for protection against botrytis leaf blight, purple blotch and stemphylium leaf blight Small berries (including caneberries, bushberries, and low growing berries) for protection against powdery mildew and botrytis gray mould Tomatoes for control of early blight and septoria leaf spot In addition, the Luna Tranquility label is now expanded to include all crops within the pome fruit Crop Group. For more information regarding Luna Tranquility visit CropScience.Bayer.ca/LunaTranquility.
February 12, 2015, Mississauga, Ont – BASF Canada Inc. (BASF) has been granted a new label expansion for Pristine fungicide for control of bitter rot and black rot in the pome fruit group. Previously registered for control of scab, powdery mildew, flyspeck, sooty blotch and brooks spot in pome as well as a number of other key diseases in fruit and vegetable crops, Pristine uses both Group 7 and Group 11 active ingredients to provide broad-spectrum disease control. Pristine also provides growers with the benefits of AgCelence, which may increase growth efficiency and tolerance to minor environmental stress. For more information about Pristine fungicide, visit www.AgSolutions.ca or contact your retailer.
September 9, 2014, Winnipeg, Man – Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) Canada is please to announce the addition of Steve Lepper to their sales team. Lepper will cover the sales territory encompassing southwest Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan. He has more than 18 years experience in the crop protection business in western Canada, and is well suited to helping MANA Canada grow their strong market portfolio. Lepper has worked on both sides of the retail trade, initially on the retail side of the seed business, and as branch manager of a large farm retailer in southern Manitoba. For the last six years, he has worked with a major crop protection company as a territory sales manager and most recently was promoted to key accounts management. “We are excited to have Steve join the MANA Canada team. His depth of experience in retail sales and the crop protection business brings a unique blend of skills to MANA Canada,” says Andrew Mann, CEO MANA Canada at Winnipeg, Man. “He is a great fit for the team and I know that he will bring value and add success to our retailer network.” Lepper has a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics from the University of Manitoba. In addition, he has been active in the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers, serving on the board of directors, and acting as co-chair on the stewardship and agronomy committee. He is an active member of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists.
March 1, 2017, Calgary, Alta – Chateau herbicide, by Valent Canada, Inc. is now registered for use on broccoli and caneberry. Broccoli and caneberry growers in Canada now have another tool to assist in the control of Group 2-acetolactate synthase (ALS) resistant weeds, such as red root pigweed, green pigweed, eastern black nightshade and common ragweed. Chateau, containing flumioxazin (51.1 per cent), is a residual pre-emergent herbicide. A PPO inhibitor, Chateau’s mode of action is different than many other herbicides, so it helps fight resistance, while providing long-lasting control of tough weeds including Group 2-resistant weeds. “Chateau has proven to be an effective herbicide on a wide range of crops” says Maria Dombrowsky, horticulture specialist at Nufarm Agriculture Inc. “I am pleased that this tool is now available to broccoli and caneberry growers for incorporation into their IPM program.” Chateau should be used in rotation with other herbicide modes of action. Chateau is also registered for use on other crops, including pome fruit, blueberries and strawberries. For more information, consult the complete product label at www.nufarm.ca/product/chateau/.
September 28, 2016, Lawrence, KS – A greenhouse experiment featured in the most recent issue of the journal Weed Technology shows that herbicide spray drift from the 2,4-D and dicamba can severely damage wine grapes planted near agronomic crops.
Jan. 21, 2016, Urbana, Ill. – Weeds are a major scourge for organic growers, who often must invest in multiple control methods to protect crop yields. A relatively new weed control method known as abrasive weeding, or "weed blasting," could give organic growers another tool. The method, recently field-tested at the University of Illinois (U of I), is surprisingly effective. In conjunction with plastic mulch, abrasive weeding reduced final weed biomass by 69 to 97 per cent compared to non-weeded control plots, said U of I agroecologist Samuel Wortman. Abrasive weeding involves blasting weed seedlings with tiny fragments of organic grit, using an air compressor. For the current study, grit was applied through a hand-held siphon-fed sand-blasting unit connected to a gas-powered air compressor, which was hauled down crop rows with a walk-behind tractor. The study looked at a number of grit sources: walnut shells, granulated maize cob, greensand, and soybean meal. If applied at the right plant growth stage, the force of the abrasive grit severely damages stems and leaves of weed seedlings. Wortman found no significant differences between the grit types in terms of efficacy. "When it leaves the nozzle, it's at least Mach 1 [767 mph]," Wortman noted. "The stuff comes out so fast, it doesn't really matter what the shape of the particle is." Because ricocheting particles can pose a risk to the applicator, Wortman advises using protective eyewear. Blasted grit does not discriminate between weed and crop seedlings, which makes it important to use this method in transplanted crops that are substantially larger than weed seedlings at the time of grit application. Although some visible damage occurred on stems and leaves of both tomato and pepper crops, the damage did not affect marketable fruit yield. Studies are ongoing to determine whether abrasions on crop tissues could result in increased susceptibility to disease, but early results show little effect. Importantly, plots with plastic mulch and one or more blasting treatment achieved the same fruit yields seen in hand-weeded plots, and 33 to 44 per cent greater yields than in non-weeded control plots. An additional benefit of weed blasting is the potential for growers to use organic fertilizers, such as soybean meal, as blasting material. "We expect that abrasive weeding could contribute between 35 and 105 kg nitrogen per hectare [31 – 94 lbs per acre] to soil fertility." The idea that a grower could both fertilize and kill weeds in a single pass is appealing, but it is still unknown whether the fertilizer would be available for plant uptake within critical windows. According to Wortman's research, weed blasting does affect some weeds more than others. Essentially, the smaller the seedling, the better. Also, seedlings whose growing points are aboveground (annual broadleaf species) are more susceptible to blasting than seedlings whose growing tips are located belowground (grasses and broadleaf perennials). Finally, Wortman noted that the presence of plastic mulch seemed to factor strongly into the equation. Weed blasting alone "is not a silver bullet, but it is an improvement," he said. The method is now being tested in different horticultural crops, including broccoli and kale, with and without additional weed control methods. Early results suggest that the presence of polyethylene mulch or biodegradable plastic mulch strongly enhances the success of weed blasting, as compared with straw mulch and bare soil. Wortman and his collaborators have also developed a mechanized grit applicator, which they are currently testing. The paper, "Air-propelled abrasive grits reduce weed abundance and increase yields in organic vegetable production," was published in Crop Protection. Funding was provided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative.
December 22, 2015, Ridgetown, Ont – At the recent 70th annual meeting of the North Central Weed Science Society (NCWSS) in Indianapolis, Dr. Darren Robinson, associate professor with plant agriculture, received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research. Darren’s research focuses on high value vegetable crops including tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, green and lima beans, field peppers, carrots, red beets, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and peas. Selection for this award is based on demonstrated excellence and creativity in research activities through conducting research and applying the results to solve problems in weed science. As a well-respected Ontario agricultural scientist, Darren has published 85 peer reviewed manuscripts, authored or co-authored three book chapters, supervised or co-supervised 14 graduate students, presented 74 papers at scientific conferences and given over 120 extension presentations and helped deliver 19 short courses. Darren has served on the board of the Canadian Weed Science Society and is an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science and Weed Technology.
November 4, 2014, Mississauga, Ont – Growers in Eastern Canada now have a new and improved weed management solution for pre-plant and pre-harvest use. BASF recently announced it has received registration from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for Eragon LQ herbicide for the 2015 season. Eragon LQ delivers weed control in a new liquid formulation for faster fill-up times and improved tank cleanout. Eragon LQ is a unique Group 14 chemistry that uses the active ingredient Kixor to help growers improve their glyphosate burn down in the spring and improve their harvest in the fall. It provides improved control of weeds like lamb’s-quarters and Canada fleabane, including Group 2-, triazine- and glyphosate-resistant weed biotypes. “We know growers prefer liquid formulations and Eragon LQ is another example of BASF’s commitment to providing growers with the solutions they need to produce the best crop possible,” said Sean Chiki, brand manager for corn and soybean herbicides at BASF Canada. “Eragon LQ has also received registration for pre-harvest weed management applications in cereals. Aside from pre-plant applications, this new use pattern gives growers another application window to manage tough to control weeds, combine cereals more efficiently and control perennials for cleaner fields in the spring.” For more information about Eragon LQ, visit www.agsolutions.ca.
Growers face a two-pronged challenge when trying to defeat weeds in a potato field. On the one hand, they want to kill the weeds; on the other, they want to grow potatoes. This challenge was highlighted in two presentations Pam Hutchinson, an associate professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences at the University of Idaho, delivered at the recent Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford, B.C. Hutchinson made two key points to growers: herbicides should be matched to soil conditions to ensure developing tubers are adequately protected against competition, while being sure that the materials they’re using don’t stunt the growth of potato plants while they’re doing what they’re supposed to – suppress weeds. Hutchinson came packing a tonne of data from research trials that underscored how tightly managed herbicide applications need to be for maximum effectiveness. The information reviewed work with Chateau, Outlook, Prism, Prowl H20, and the new offerings Lorox and Reflex. Hutchinson said sandy soils may offer good drainage, but the same quality also lets highly soluble herbicides like Matrix and Outlook leach out of the rows, allowing weeds to take hold. She recommended Chateau and Lorox, which are not as soluble, in these conditions. A less soluble herbicide, such as Prism or Metribuzin, can also provide adequate coverage in fields with heavier soils and prone to clodding. She also encouraged growers to time herbicide applications as close to emergence as possible. While weeds can be taken out with a cultivator when potatoes have put out a couple of leaves, Hutchinson advised applying herbicides when the potatoes are hilled, which usually occurs four to eight weeks after planting. “You’ll get the herbicides down where you need them and they’ll last into the growing season until a little beyond row close, when you start having a crop to help compete with those weeds,” she said. But there’s another variable – the weather. Suppressing weeds is desirable, but potatoes are also susceptible to the effects of some materials. While they can metabolize products as diverse as Roundup and Chateau, little will happen without a good run of sun. “The only way the potato can be safe ... is to metabolize that herbicide, break it down to a non-herbicidal chemical,” Hutchinson said. “So if it’s cloudy or cool, the potato is not growing very fast and not metabolizing anything very fast.” Hutchinson’s trials indicate that the plants can recover, but even a brief slowdown in the plant’s metabolism can lead to short-term stunting and a slight reduction in yield. Outlook presents a different scenario. It’s typically applied at a higher rate, particularly on coarse soils, and this can lead to early season injury – leaf crinkling and chlorosis – if the weather at application is cold and cloudy. But once it warms up and the potatoes are growing, Hutchinson said there’s no reduction in yield. A particular challenge for growers in Idaho, however, is protecting potatoes from the carryover effects of Roundup (glyphosphate) as well as dicamba and pyralids. The problem particularly affects seed potatoes, which get a dose late in the season when Roundup is applied in adjacent grain fields. Roundup drifts on to foliage, and from there, travels to the tuber. Carryover of the material has dogged growers. It persists for up to eight months in tubers, stunting growth the following season. While potatoes can metabolize the herbicide, the process requires sunlight and warmth – something the tubers don’t get in storage. While a high concentration can prevent sprouting, even small concentrations can inhibit emergence and be expressed in low vigour and foliar injury. Recovery is possible, of course. Tests of seed stock from treated Russett Burbank and Shepody plants stayed hard and intact throughout the growing season – until the eight-month window required for metabolizing the glyphosphate was up. Then they started sprouting. Similarly, the granddaughters of affected tubers were fine. To protect themselves, Hutchinson told growers to avoid cross contamination of their equipment, having equipment dedicated to Roundup if at all possible. Talking with neighbours whose fields abut their own is also a wise move, so that everyone knows when, where, and what concentration of Roundup is going on fields.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist Bob Vernon continues his work with wireworm controls for good reason.
A non-descript building in an industrial park in the Okanagan region of B.C. could be the setting of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
October 5, 2016, Guelph, Ont – A potato IPM training module has been launched and can be found on the Ontario CropIPM website. The module is a great educational tool with information for the common insect pests, diseases, viruses and disorders of potatoes in Ontario. For each pest or disease, summarized information can be found in the Beginner tab and more detailed information can be found under the Advanced tab. In the “often confused with” section of the entries you can view side-by-side photos of insects, disease, and disorders that cause similar symptoms. You can also find more information on soil diagnostics, weed identification, herbicide injury, and links to additional resources. Make sure to bookmark the page today and use it as a resource for any IPM and pest related issues on potatoes.
April 28, 2016, Charlottetown, PEI – Christine Noronha, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, has designed an environmentally green trap that could be a major breakthrough in the control of wireworms, an increasingly destructive agricultural pest on Prince Edward Island and across Canada. In this exslusive webinar hosted by Potatoes in Canada magazine, Christine will share details about the Noronha Elaterid Light Trap (NELT). Don't miss the opportunity to ask questions and learn more from Christine Noronha. Date: May 12, 2016 Time: 2 p.m. ADT (1 p.m. EDT) Cost: $20 Register today!
March 14, 2016, Prince Edward Island – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada entomologist Dr. Christine Noronha has designed a simple and environmentally green trap using hardware store items that could be a major breakthrough in the control of wireworms, an increasingly destructive agricultural pest on PEI and across Canada./span> The Noronha Elaterid Light Trap, or “NELT”, is made with three pieces - a small solar-powered spotlight, a plastic white cup and a piece of screening. The light is set close to the ground to attract the source of the wireworms, the female click beetles that emerge from the ground in May and June. Each of these beetles can lay between 100 and 200 eggs that produce the larvae known as wireworms. In a six-week test with 10 traps, more than 3,000 females were captured in the plastic cups, preventing the birth of up to 600,000 wireworms. The screening prevents beneficial predator insects from being caught in the trap. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Office of Intellectual Property is trademarking the trap name and design and work is underway to find a manufacturer who might be interested in mass-producing the trap. The NELT is the latest in a series of wireworm control measures being developed by a team that includes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the PEI Potato Board, the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Cavendish Farms, the PEI Horticultural Association, growers and consulting agronomists. Wireworms live in the soil and drill their way through tuber and root crops like potatoes and carrots. The PEI Potato Board estimated wireworm damage to the province’s potato crop alone at $6 million in 2014. To learn more about the NELT, be sure to sign up for an exclusive webinar with Christine Noronha, hosted by Potatoes in Canada magazine, on May 12.
March 1, 2016 - A new invasive vinegar fly is threatening Ontario’s soft-skinned berry and tender fruit crops. But thanks to the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP), researchers and farmers are learning more about Spotted Wing Drosophila and how they can keep the pest from destroying their fruit. Unlike common vinegar flies that are attracted to spoiled fruit, Spotted Wing Drosophila goes after healthy fruit just before harvest. It lays eggs underneath the skin of intact fruit, and as the larvae feed, the fruit tissue breaks down and becomes soft and leaky, resulting in decreased fruit quality and yield. “Spotted Wing Drosophila has been on the radar in North America since 2010 and it was first identified in Ontario late that year following identification in other provinces and in the United States,” explains Hannah Fraser, horticulture entomology program lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “It’s a new pest so we lacked a lot of knowledge on how it behaves in Ontario and how it moves across the landscape,” she adds. “And growers lacked awareness of the pest such as how to manage it and what kind of damage it can do. It takes a long time to learn about a new pest and we collaborate with researchers across Canada, the United States and Europe.” Fraser and other researchers gathered information on the population dynamics of the fly in Ontario, investigated techniques to track risk and assess management strategies, and developed a platform for timely and efficient communication to growers and consultants. Baited traps were used to monitor activity in all of Ontario’s major fruit growing areas. Weekly fruit samples were collected at some sites to track infestation levels. Salt tests with ripe fruit were used as a quick method to assess infestation levels at harvest and gauge the effectiveness of pest management strategies. “The early regions of discovery are in Southwestern Ontario and Niagara, but we have found them as far north as New Liskeard,” says Fraser. “Through weekly blogs and newsletters, we can let growers know when Spotted Wing Drosophila is active and can recommend control measures they can take.” This includes making changes to crop management, such as tightening of picking schedules, crop sanitation, well-timed insecticide sprays, and better post-harvest handling to preserve fruit quality. Fraser says although they’re still learning about the pest, the information gathered so far has increased understanding of its behaviour in Ontario and helped growers manage its presence here. In addition to trapping for adults, fruit should also be sampled at harvest to determine whether the fly is present on-farm and to avoid sending infested fruit to market, and salt water tests will help determine whether changes to sanitation or spraying schedules should be made, Fraser says. “Because of research we’ve been able to do through this project, growers can strengthen pest management to avoid catastrophic loss and continue to produce great quality berries. If you don’t manage this pest, you can lose your crop,” she adds. For the Ontario Berry Growers, the OFIP support was invaluable. Research into emerging pests is cost prohibitive for individual growers and allowing the organization to access funds to address this immediate, on-farm research need on behalf of all growers in the province means information can be gathered and shared quickly and effectively.
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2017 Muck Crops ConferenceWed Apr 12, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
2017 Canadian Produce Marketing Association ConventionTue May 09, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
2017 Potato Growers of Alberta Golf TournamentThu Jul 06, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
18th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Trade ShowMon Jul 17, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM