Category Archives: General Comments

Wheat Disease Update – April 20, 2017

Wheat is beginning to flower throughout Virginia, so it is time to make decisions about fungicide applications for both Fusarium head blight (FHB, also known as scab) and to protect the flag leaf as the grains begin to form. Currently, the risk for FHB is low in most parts of Virginia, even for susceptible varieties. The FHB Risk Assessment Tool can be found at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu. Keep in mind that this is a prediction tool and it will not predict FHB outbreaks 100% of the time. A current screen shot of the website is shown below. Rains are expected over the weekend, but dry weather over the past several weeks has not favored spore production by the FHB fungus, so risk of FHB infection is expected to remain low for wheat that is flowering over the next week. However, now may still be the time to apply fungicides for foliar diseases including stripe rust, powdery mildew, and leaf blotch. The flag leaf must be protected during grain development to maximize yields. Again, due to the dry weather some areas have very little disease, and scouting is still recommended prior to making a fungicide application. However, there have been numerous reports throughout the region of outbreaks of stripe rust (especially on Shirley) and powdery mildew. Do NOT apply a strobilurin or fungicide pre-mix containing a strobilurin after flag leaf emergence (Feekes 9) since this can increase DON contamination in the grain. Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline are the most effective products for reducing scab and DON contamination, and these fungicides will also control foliar diseases such as leaf blotch, stripe and leaf rust, and powdery mildew. A fungicide efficacy table for wheat can be found in a previous post.

Screen shots from the Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) on April 20, 2017. Currently, risk of FHB infection in wheat that is flowering is low in most parts of Virginia. The exception is along the Eastern Shore where conditions are typically more humid and favorable for spore production by the FHB fungus. For susceptible varieties such as Shirley, FHB risk is moderate to high in some areas. However, for moderately resistant varieties such as Hilliard, the risk is currently low. This illustrates the importance of variety selection in management of FHB and DON contamination in wheat.  

Wheat Disease Identification Guide

Copies of a Wheat Disease Identification Guide from Kansas State are now available and can be requested from Dr. Hillary Mehl at the Tidewater AREC (hlmehl@vt.edu). A PDF version of the guide can be downloaded here. Though not specific to Virginia, many of the diseases included in the guide occur in our region and detailed descriptions of symptoms and management recommendations are included. As always, if confirmation of a disease is needed for wheat or other agronomic crops, plant samples can be submitted to the Virginia Tech Tidewater AREC (6321 Holland Rd. Suffolk, VA 23437). When submitting samples, be sure to fill out the Plant Disease Diagnostic Form with as much information as possible as this will assist us with an accurate diagnosis. The form can be downloaded here: Plant Disease Diagnostic Form

EPA decision on chlorpyrifos

The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, signed an order last night denying the petition to ban chlorpyrifos (Lorsban). This decision will allow peanut growers in our area the continued use of this insecticide for the foreseeable future, perhaps until 2022 when the EPA is required to reevaluate safety of this product. The environmental group that filed the 2007 petition to ban chlorpyrifos has announced its plans to appeal the decision.  More information can be found here – https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-administrator-pruitt-denies-petition-ban-widely-used-pesticide-0

Scout now for marestail/horseweed

Recent mild temperatures and the mild winter are setting the stage for rapid development of marestail/horseweed (Conyza canadensis) this spring.  Marestail was particularly troublesome last year in soybeans.  Marestail can germinate in both the fall and the spring. It is more likely to overwinter in the rosette stage during mild winters.  If you wait until your typical burndown the marestail may start bolting and therefore be more difficult to control. Adding to this difficulty, many marestail populations are resistant to Roundup (and other glyphosate containing products). You should scout your fields targeted for soybeans now to identify overwintering marestail.  Marestail control can be achieved with 2,4-D  or dicamba now and still offer plenty of time to avoid plant back restrictions (up to 15 days for 2,4-D or up to 28 days for dicamba). Glyphosate resistant weeds and the difficulty in controlling more mature weeds underscore the need to scout fields earlier and use some alternative herbicides in your program.  Always consult the product label for specific instructions.

Reminder for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Strawberry Programs in Virginia Beach

The following is being issued on behalf of Roy Flanagan, Virginia Cooperative Extension ANR Agent, Virginia Beach (meeting information and registration forms can be found on my January 30, 2017 blog). This is a reminder for folks to register if you plan to attend any of the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Strawberry Programs in Virginia Beach. The room block with Fairfield Inns and Suites filled up quickly, we have increased that group of blocked rooms at the special rate of $86 per night.  If you tried to register and had issues, please email Roy Flanagan directly and he will get you in touch with the right person to get your room issues taken care of and get the reduced rate.

If you have questions, please contact Roy Flanagan.

Agriculture Extension Agent/ Virginia Beach

Office: 757-385-GROW (4769)

Email: RFlanaga@vbgov.com

Stakeholder input on Virginia’s State Pollinator Protection Plan

The following advisory is posted on behalf of Dr. Hunter Frame:

I want everyone to check out this letter for stakeholder input on the pollinator protection plan that is being developed by VDACS. So for the cotton producers the nearest meeting will be on February 22 from 6-8 pm at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk, VA. This is an important issue that needs to be discussed and solutions need to be developed so no tools for producers are lost and bees/beekeepers are able to thrive next to cotton and other crops! Look forward to seeing everyone there!

http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/pollinatorprotectionplanletter.pdf

Virginia Frost Advisory

The Virginia Frost Advisory predicts that a frost is expected next Monday morning (10/19) for Suffolk, Capron, Waverly, Skippers, and Lewiston.  A copy of the report can be downloaded below. For up-to-date frost advisories for the region, see the Peanut-Cotton Infonet (http://webipm.ento.vt.edu/cgi-bin/listfrost).

Frost Advisory 10-12-2015