Author Archives: Charlie Cahoon

Distribution of Herbicide-Resistant Italian Ryegrass in Eastern Virginia

Charlie Cahoon, Extension Weed Specialist

Eastern Shore AREC-Virginia Tech

Italian ryegrass is one of the most common and troublesome weeds Virginia small grain producers face.  The weed competes with wheat for essential nutrients, sunlight, and moisture and also interferes with harvest.  In the past, growers have relied upon herbicides, such as Axial XL, Hoelon, PowerFlex, and Osprey, for control of Italian ryegrass.  However, herbicide resistant Italian ryegrass biotypes have developed, limiting the herbicide options available to growers.

During the summer of 2016, the weed group at the Eastern Shore AREC traveled Eastern Virginia in search of resistant Italian ryegrass.  To broaden the survey, we solicited samples from extension agents and members of the agriculture industry.  In total, 82 samples were collected throughout Eastern Virginia (Image 1).  The objective of this survey (and subsequent resistance screening) was to determine the distribution of resistant biotypes in Virginia; allowing growers to tailor management strategies specific to biotypes in their area.

Italian ryegrass heads collected during the summer were allowed to dry down and then threshed to separate the seed.  Approximately 400 seed from each population were planted in a seed tray.  Once Italian ryegrass reached 3.5 to 4 inches in height (1 to 2 leaf), plants were treated with a 1X rate of Axial XL (16.4 oz/A), Hoelon (43 oz/A), PowerFlex HL (2 oz/A), and Osprey (4.75 oz/A). A non-treated check from each sample location was included for comparison purposes.  Visual injury was recorded at 28 days after treatment (DAT) for Italian ryegrass treated with Axial XL and Hoelon.  PowerFlex HL and Osprey are both ALS-inhibiting herbicides and act much slower than the ACCase-inhibiting herbicides (Axial XL and Hoelon).  Therefore, ryegrass treated with these products were evaluated 42 DAT.  Also at 42 DAT, Italian ryegrass biomass (and subsequent % biomass reduction) was determined by cutting and weighing the above ground portion of ryegrass.

Image 1. Locations of 2016 Italian ryegrass samples collected.

Overall, approximately 23% of all samples collected were resistant to Axial XL (Image 2) compared to 30% that were resistant to Hoelon (data not shown).  Most samples resistant to Hoelon were also resistant to Axial XL.  However, for 6 samples, Axial XL remained effective despite poor Hoelon activity.  Axial-resistant Italian ryegrass is widespread in two of Virginia’s major wheat producing regions (Eastern Shore and southern Chesapeake/Virginia Beach).  Of the 14 samples collected in Northampton Co., 9 were found to be resistant to Axial XL (64%).  In contrast, none of the 5 samples collected from Accomack Co. were Axial-resistant.  In southern Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, 5 of 6 samples collected were resistant to Axial (83% of samples).  Excluding the Eastern Shore and southern Chesapeake/Virginia Beach, only 9% of remaining samples were resistant to Axial XL; 1 samples east of Stony Creek in Sussex Co.; 1 sample south of Waterview in Middlesex Co.; 1 sample northeast of Newtown in King and Queen Co.; 1 sample northwest of Loretto in Essex Co.; and 1 sample south of Somers in Lancaster Co.

Image 2. Distribution of Axial-resistant Italian ryegrass in Virginia.

ALS-resistant Italian ryegrass is more widespread throughout eastern Virginia.  Of the surveyed populations, 92 and 93% were resistant to Osprey and PowerFlex HL, respectively.  Producers should keep in mind the presence of herbicide-resistant Italian ryegrass nearby does not automatically mean they have a resistant biotype on their farm.  Fields with escaped Italian ryegrass were purposely chosen for this survey.  It is best to rely on field history and performance of herbicides in the past when making management decisions.  However, it is always a good idea to rotate modes of action to delay the development of resistant biotypes.

Unfortunately, if ryegrass is resistant to Axial XL and the ALS-inhibiting herbicides (Osprey and PowerFlex HL), there are no postemergence options left.  In this situation, a residual product that includes pyroxasulfone (Anthem Flex and Zidua) is suggested delayed-preemergence or early postemergence.  These products offer residual control of ryegrass only (they will NOT control emerged ryegrass).  It is imperative that these products are applied and activated by a timely rainfall prior to ryegrass emergence.  Rotating away from wheat also presents an opportunity to control Italian ryegrass (and prevent seed production) with glyphosate early burndown prior to planting corn or full-season soybean.  Be aware that glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass is suspected in northeast North Carolina and eastern Virginia.  In this situation, paraquat plus a residual herbicide like s-metolachlor applied to fallow ground during the fall would be in order.

Image 3. Axial XL-susceptible Italian ryegrass collected near Nassawadox, VA treated with no herbicide (left), Axial XL at 16.4 fl oz/acre (middle), and Hoelon at 43 fl oz/acre (right).

Image 4. Axial XL-resistant Italian ryegrass collected near Cheriton, VA treated with no herbicide (left), Axial XL at 16.4 fl oz/acre (middle), and Hoelon at 43 fl oz/acre (right).

 

 

Eastern Shore AREC Field Day CANCELED!

Due to impending rain Tuesday and Wednesday and already saturated soils, the Eastern Shore AREC field day scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, 2017 has been canceled. Let’s hope Hurricane Irma keeps tracking further west. We certainly do not need any more rain!

Eastern Shore AREC Field DAY: September 13th, 2017

Please join us for Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (ESAREC) 2017 Research Field Day on Wednesday, September 13th. Registration is free, open to the public and will begin at 8:00 AM at the ESAREC complex located at 33446 Research Drive, Painter, Virginia 23420. The field tour will begin at 9:00 AM and conclude with lunch at 12:30 PM.  See the attached flyer for specific projects to be highlighted and more information.

If you would like more information or are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Lauren Seltzer at 757-414-0724 ext. 11 or email at mlpeyton@vt.edu.

2017 ESAREC Field Day Announcement

Warrant and Cool, Wet Soils

Charlie Cahoon

Extension Weed Specialist, Virginia Tech

Warrant is an encapsulated formulation of the herbicide acetochlor and has widely become a part of our postemergence (POST) herbicide program in cotton.  Although Warrant does not control emerged weeds, it does provide excellent residual control of pigweed, other small seeded broadleaves, and annual grasses (with the exception of Texas panicum).  This makes it an excellent tank mix partner for glyphosate (Roundup) or glufosinate (Liberty) in our first, second, or both POST sprays, especially in fields heavily infested with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.  However, because of its encapsulated formulation, Warrant can also be applied preemergence (PRE) to cotton.  You may remember the days of using the EC formulation of acetochlor, known as Harness, in corn.  This formulation was not encapsulated and significant injury would result if applied PRE or POST to cotton.  This is not the case with Warrant.  The encapsulated version affords much more cotton safety that the old EC formulation.  In my experience, PRE applied Warrant has been very safe on cotton.  As is the case with all residual herbicides, environmental conditions influence cotton response to PRE applied Warrant.  Unfortunately, conditions we are currently experiencing in Virginia and northeast North Carolina; cool, wet soils and overall less than ideal weather for planting cotton are conducive to Warrant injury.

I saw this in my on research trials during the spring of 2016.  Our cotton planted at the Tidewater AREC (near Holland, VA) on May 15, 2016 took approximately 9 days to emerge whereas cotton planted May 26, 2016 emerged in roughly 5 days.  The weather was mostly to blame for the differences in vigor of the two plantings, but Warrant compounded the problem.  So why the difference?  We all know that cotton planted into cool wet soils is slow to emerge.  Cotton tolerance to Warrant all hinges on the breakdown of the tiny capsules used to encapsulate acetochlor versus the time it takes for cotton to emerge.  The key to avoiding injury from PRE applied Warrant is for cotton to emerge prior to the majority of these capsules breaking down and subsequent release of acetochlor.

Nontreated check plot.

Under ideal planting conditions this is not an issue.  On the other hand, if cotton is slow to emerge, giving the capsules more time to breakdown and the seedlings have to push through a higher concentration of acetochlor, the potential for injury is greater.  This is exactly what I saw in 2016 and have heard complaints about in years prior.  Cotton that laid in the ground longer than usual and received Warrant PRE was stunted about 25%.

Weed control by Warrant alone.

My cotton eventually recovered and by the end of the season no yield differences were observed.  Cotton that emerged quickly showed no injury in response to PRE applied Warrant and was one of the safest and cleanest treatments.

Weed control by Warrant plus 10 oz/A Reflex.

I routinely recommend Warrant PRE especially where Palmer pigweed is a problem.  The fact is that all of our residual herbicides are capable of injuring cotton if the weather does not cooperate.  As the planting progresses, I would advise you to factor in the planting conditions when choosing your PRE herbicides.  Any conditions delaying emergence of cotton is conducive to injury from Warrant PRE.  With that said, it may be wise to leave Warrant out of the tank until planting conditions improve.  Do not let this stop you from using a residual herbicide all together.  Alternatives to Warrant include Cotoran, Direx, Prowl, Reflex, and fluridone containing products (Brake FX and Brake F16).  With all the herbicide resistance issues knocking on our door, it is imperative that we continue to use residual herbicides early burndown, around planting, and in-season.  Once cotton land dries out and soil temperatures rise, Warrant will again be one of our best residual options.

Failed Corn Stand: Starting Over

Charlie Cahoon and Michael Flessner

Virginia Tech Weed Science

Over the past few days we have had several questions concerning replanting corn behind an already failed corn stand.  Our biggest concern in this situation is how to terminate emerged corn from the first planting.  The best option for small corn (4-8 inch) is clethodim (Select Max or generics).  The label for Select Max (0.97 lb active ingredient/gal) specifies 6 oz/A must be applied at least 6 day prior to replanting.  Clethodim products that contain 2 lb active ingredient/gal and are labeled for this situation should be applied at 3 oz/A, while adhering to the same plant-back restriction.  As is the case with many weeds, timeliness is critical.  Control of larger corn by clethodim is variable (> 8 inches).

Poor corn stand as a result of bird damage. Painter, VA 2017.

Producers not wanting to wait 6 days before replanting should use paraquat (at least 3 pt/A of a 2 lb/gal product or 2 pt/A of a 3 lb/gal product).  Paraquat should not be used alone; adding atrazine (1 pt/A) and suggested adjuvants to paraquat will enhance control.  Research conducted by Dr. Kevin Bradley (University of Missouri) and Larry Steckel (University of Tennessee) concluded Liberty did not consistently control Roundup Ready corn.  Although not listed on the bag, many corn hybrids are tolerant to glufosinate (active ingredient in Liberty).  For these reasons, producers should be wary of using Liberty to terminate a failed corn stand.

Another common question when replanting corn is whether to reapply residual herbicides such as atrazine. Atrazine and other residual herbicides should not be reapplied. If additional atrazine is desired in a postemergence application, just note that the cumulative total atrazine for your first and second planting of corn cannot exceed 2.5 lb active ingredient per acre per year.  Other products have similar restrictions.

On a normal year, growers are usually asking if soybean can be planted behind corn.  And our answer to this is usually no.  This is mostly due to the fact that most everyone uses atrazine preemergence and planting soybean following atrazine if very risky.  The label of most atrazine products says “Do not rotate to any crop except corn or sorghum until the following year, or injury may occur” and “If applied after June 10, do not rotate with crops other than corn or sorghum the next year, or crop injury may occur”.

 

Cotoran in Short Supply; What Are My Options for Ragweed?

Alan York, NC State Extension Weed Specialist

Charlie Cahoon, Virginia Tech Extension Weed Specialist

In the past few days, several people have told us that Cotoran is unavailable.  Naturally, the conversation turned to alternatives.

Cotoran was once used almost universally on cotton.  Prior to the mid-90’s, we basically told growers to buy the Cotoran first, and then buy the cotton seed.  We felt Cotoran was that important.  But, things have obviously changed in the past two decades, primarily because of Roundup Ready and LibertyLink.  And, we have some additional PRE (preemergence) herbicides today.  Although some growers still like and use Cotoran, the percentage of acres receiving Cotoran has decreased substantially.

A shortage of Cotoran is probably nothing to be highly concerned about.  For most growers, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth is the driver weed.  And, frankly, Cotoran is not our best PRE herbicide for Palmer amaranth.  However, in northeastern North Carolina and Virginia, glyphosate-resistant common ragweed is often more problematic than Palmer amaranth.   And, as we have been saying in winter grower meetings, Cotoran is the material of choice for PRE ragweed control.

In the absence of Cotoran, what are the alternatives where common ragweed is an issue?  Prowl, Staple, and Warrant have little to no activity on ragweed (see table below).   Brake F16, Direx, and Reflex, on the other hand, may not be quite as effective on ragweed as Cotoran, but they should still provide good control.  And, a mixture of Direx plus Reflex should be as good as Cotoran on ragweed.  Brake F16 contains a mixture of fluridone plus the active ingredient in Reflex.  Brake FX contains a mixture of fluridone plus the active ingredient in Cotoran.  Brake FX is registered for sale in Virginia and North Carolina although Brake F16 seems to be the material being most promoted by the manufacturer.  Brake FX should do a very good job on ragweed.

Poor common ragweed control by Caparol. Painter, VA 2016.

We had a trial in 2016 at a site heavily infested with common ragweed.  The weatherman cooperated, and we could not have asked for better herbicide activation.  Nevertheless, we had essentially complete ragweed control with Brake F16 and with combinations of Reflex + Direx, Reflex + Warrant, Direx + Warrant, and Direx + Staple.  Knowing that Staple and Warrant are poor on ragweed, that leads us to believe that either Direx or Reflex would be good alternatives to Cotoran.  If used alone, we suggest 1 pint of Reflex or 1.5 pints of Direx.  If tank mixed, we would suggest 1 pint of Direx plus 12 to 16 ounces of Reflex.

Good common ragweed control by 1 pint/A Reflex. In the absence of Cotoran, Direx plus Reflex would be a wise choice for common ragweed control while also delaying PPO-resistance. Painter, VA 2016.

In this age of herbicide resistance, we routinely recommend at least two herbicides (two mechanisms of action) applied PRE.  The exception is high organic matter soils where Warrant, and to a lesser extent Staple, are the only products that work.  For mineral soils, and especially where Palmer amaranth is a problem, we will continue to recommend two or three mechanisms of action PRE.  The goal is to hopefully prevent resistance to our PRE herbicides, especially Reflex, and to improve overall control.

Reflex is one of many PPO inhibitors being used in multiple crops.  You have probably read in the farm press about the issues they are having in the Mid-South with PPO-resistant Palmer amaranth.  At least some of their populations are resistant to PPO inhibitors applied PRE or POST.  Obviously, we want to avoid that or at least delay its occurrence as long as possible in our area.  To do that, we need multiple mechanisms of action PRE followed by an effective POST program.

Table 1. Weed response to preemergence cotton herbicides

So, what does that have to do with common ragweed?  A ragweed population on the Virginia/North Carolina border has been confirmed as having multiple resistance to glyphosate, ALS inhibitors, and POST-applied PPO inhibitors.  Brandon Schrage, a graduate student at NC State, is in the process of determining if that population is also resistant to PPO inhibitors applied PRE.  Preliminary findings suggest it is.  That should encourage us to use a tank mix of Direx + Reflex if common ragweed is our problem.

After the PRE application, we can control glyphosate-resistant ragweed escapes with timely applications of Liberty, XtendiMax or Engenia (XtendFlex cotton only), or Enlist Duo (Enlist cotton only).  Envoke is also an option unless you expect ALS resistance.

 

Wild Mustard and Wild Radish

This fall I have noticed quite a few fields plagued by wild mustard/wild radish.  These species are difficult to control primarily due to size at burndown time.  Some of the fields I have passed are already knee high and I would suspect very difficult to control now, let alone next spring.  The 7 day weather outlook is showing a warming trend with temperatures peaking near 70 degrees on Saturday.  This would be a good time to get ahead of wild mustard/wild radish.  My first suggestion for cleaning up these field would be Roundup plus 2,4-D.  Although the risk of injuring neighboring plants is less this time of year, it is not absent.  If you do decide to treat with this combination, please pay attention to what susceptible plants may be around.  Below is an article that goes more in depth about management of wild mustard/wild radish I authored for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Weed Management Guide and Virginia Pest Management Guide.  Excerpts similar to this one covering additional weed species can be found in both of the aforementioned publications.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

problem-weed-mustard-and-radish

Dicamba Registered for Cotton and Soybean

Last week Monsanto received EPA registration for XtendiMax with Vapor Grip Technology for use on XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean.  Attached is an article authored by Dr. Alan York at NC State pertaining specifically to cotton.  I share Dr. York’s sentiments concerning this technology and will echo these same points at winter meetings.

york-dicamba-article

 

New Label for Sandea on Cucumber

Gowan has a new supplemental label for Sandea on cucumber, allowing for a 14 day pre-harvest interval.  This label will be on the bottle next production run, but for the time being growers wanting to use the supplemental label will need to have a copy of the supplemental label on file.  This new label will replace the 24c (Special Local Needs label) label that covers the same use.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.  Below is the supplemental label.

Sandea 81880-18 cucumbers (aprvd 5-11-16)

 

 

Screening for Herbicide-resistant Italian Ryegrass

Italian ryegrass is one of the most troublesome weeds infesting small grain fields throughout Virginia.  Currently, only Hoelon-resistant ryegrass has been confirmed in Virginia.  However, many growers have complained the ALS-inhibitors (Osprey and PowerFlex) and Axial XL (ACCase-inhibitor) have failed to control ryegrass.  To get a better handle on herbicide-resistant Italian ryegrass in Virginia, the VT weed team plans to screen ryegrass from across the state for herbicide resistance.  Year 1 of the project will focus on the I95 corridor east.  We will be traveling this area and collecting ryegrass seed for herbicide screening this fall.  However, if you have had complaints of resistant ryegrass in your neck of the woods and are interested in screening it this year, we welcome your samples and will add them to our screen this fall.

If you are interested, see the sample information sheet below for sample, handling, and shipping information.  For the sample, GPS coordinates are critical.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

HR Ryegrass Sample Info Sheet

“One year to seed; seven to weed”