Notes from 2018 Ornamental & Turf CEU Meeting

Posted on Categories General, Growers, Integrated Pest Management, Notes, Programs

Below are some notes taken from some of the speakers at the 2018 Ornamental & Turf CEU Meeting held by Helena Chemical Company at the Rose Center, Tyler TX on June 26th. Disclaimer: the notes below do not represent endorsement, research, or vetting by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the AgriLife IPM Program Specialist Program. Notes below as provided as is from the speakers who provided the information.

Full program, including sponsors, is attached at the end of this document.

Rotation Strategies in Turf & Ornamentals – Kathie Kalmowitz, BASF

Irrigation Pond Management – Clint Formby, SePro

Key Turfgrass Insect Pests – Gary Brooks, Bayer

Laws & Regulations Update – Don Renchie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (additional links and resources included)

Rotation Strategies in Turf & Ornamentals

Kathie Kalmowitz, BASF

Integrated Pest Management:
  • Cultural; sanitation, water, environment, best management practices
  • Mechanical
  • Biological; use of biological controls
  • Genetic; such as resistant cultivars
  • Chemical
Our Geography plays a role, but not much we can do about it!
The disease triangle:
Suitable environment <-> Host plant <-> Induced stress – Human influences
Powdery Mildew:
  • Bedding plants where you are pushing out a plant within 10 weeks, you are constantly fighting to keep them clean.
  • Video of powdering mildew infecting a plant:
Rust Infections:
  • Plumeria spp.
  • Cedar apple rust
  • There could be alternate hosts in and/or around your nursery that are harboring rust infections.
    • i.e. a Juniper that is outside of your nursery! Rust will look different on different plants. Some growers even considering junipers “weeds” if they are growing lots of plants susceptible to rust.
Downy Mildew:
  • Downy Mildew is host specific! i.e. downy mildew that infect impatiens is not the same one that infects coleus or rose!
  • Downy mildew symptoms are very different from plant to plant; necrosis, thin white layer, dark purple spots, etc.
Black spot of rose:
  • Causes defoliation throughout the canopy of the rose
  • If you’re not getting the control that you need, then add adjuvant for control
Scab, Botrytis and Powdery on Poinsettias:
  • Affect different parts of development of the poinsettia
First steps in responding to disease:
  • Confirm diagnosis; find an expert, app, or lab that you trust
  • Provide lots of landscape information, but still very helpful for identification for growers as wel
BASF provides suggested insecticide rotation charts that includes products from other companies that you are most likely already using.
  • One for woody ornamentals
  • One for herbaceous plant producers
BASF also has a pest management guide
  • Groups products by mode of action
Preventative vs Curative Control of Alternaria spp.
  • Curative: can prevent new growth from having symptoms, but old leaves will still have it
  • Preventative: keep a clean-looking plant
Fungicide overview:
  • Ornamental fungicides can be defined by mode of action: general or specific biochemical reaction at site(s) in plant
  • ornamental fungicids can be defined by behavior in plant = topical mode of action
  • can be defined by group or family of pathogens that are controlled but generally more difficult to do
  • There is no perfect fungicide
    • Each fungicide has it’s strengths & weaknesses
    • All have the potential for resistance/tolerance
Your Part in resistance management
  • To delay pathogen resistance to fungicides:
    • Rotate MoAs of products
    • Tank mix multiple modes of action
    • Avoid low doses – follow labels
    • Take extra care with products that work very well; practice rotation
    • Don’t skip the contact applications
Maximizing your spray applications
  • Improve fungicide performance
    • Factors affect spray application efficiency:
      • Checking environmental conditions (dew, wind, rain)
      • Spray volume or dilution
      • Spray coverage and spray nozzle selection
      • Chemical mode of action
      • Water quality
      • Tank mixing of chemicals
      • Sprayer calibration-How often do you calibrate?
      • Water pH – should be closer to 6.5 to 7. If it’s more basic (i.e. 8), then add a buffer as well.
Contact fungicides:
  • Think of contact fungicides as ‘topical protectants’
  • They protect what they cover, much like paint
  • Can be broad spectrum or more specific to pathogen group
  • They do not move into plant tissue; effective on external fungi
  • Longevity can be compromised by inclement weather
Fungicide Specialists:
  • Recognize what specialists are and how to put together a good rotation.
  • A lot of new fungicides coming on the market are generalist – don’t need to know exactly what you have.
  • Growing resistance to Decree in the country; check to make sure that Decree is still working in your operation if it’s in your rotation
Bacterial problems are not controlled by fungicides
Build a good rotation program:
  • Make sure to rotate different mode of action groups. Rotating just different products is not enough!
When to use BASF Fungicides throughout production
  • Using different fungicides throughout different parts of the plants life cycle
    • Planning in a way to prevent back-to-back application of the same mode of action
  • products that have demonstrated, on top of fungicidal properties, the ability to help plant growth and protect against plant stress
Demonstrated that treating cold-exposed geraniums with Pageant helped reduce necrosis, bud drop and leaf drop as a result of the cold exposure.
  • Treated preventatively

Additional resources related to the above presentation:

Fungicide Resistance Action Committee:

Fungicide Resistance Action Committee | Publications:

Insecticide Resistance Action Committee:

Insecticide Resistance Action Committee | Mode of Action lookup:

As a general rule, remember to rotate through different modes of action! Rotating through different products or active ingredients is not enough if they are acting on the same mechanism in the pathogen/insect.

Irrigation Pond Management

Clint Formby, SePro

Aquatic plant & Algae – top questions:
  • What is causing the problems?
  • Is the problem re-occuring or new?
  • What is the source of the problem?
  • What is the water used for (e.g. irrigation, aesthetics, swimming)?
  • Are there any fish present?
  • What are my current weed and algae control options?
  • What is the management budget?
Where to start:
  • site assessment
    • key questions – irrigation, flow, fish
    • surface area and average depth
    • identification
  • Prescription
    • Products
    • Rates
  • Implementation
    • Application, Frequencies
What species are causing the problem?
    • Dark green narrow threadlike leaves
    • Opposite or whorls of 3
    • Bushy appearance
    • Annual plant, seed reproduction
    • Floating and submerged leaves in an alternate pattern
    • Fruits are on spikes that often stand above the water’s surface
    • All these three can be seen floating together
    • Grows along the shoreline
    • Dealing with any stands of cattails anywhere you’re trying to manage water, it can get pretty bad
    • One that everyone has!
    • If people say they have “moss”, typically have filamentous algae
    • If left uncontrolled, it can take over the whole pond
    • Can clog up small irrigation emitters
  • Muskgrass (Macroalgae)
    • Can be confused for an aquatic weed, but actually an algae
    • Herbicide solution won’t do it!
Aquatic Herbicides
  • Currently 15 USEPA Aquatic Registered Active Ingredients
SePro offers several products for management of the species identified above.
  • The 1-2 punch for algae management
    • The Hammer (i.e. Curative) & The Broom (i.e. Preventative/Maintenance) strategy
Water quality management
  • Phosphorous; some parts of the country where there are phosphorous bans on fertilizers.
    • Can leach into rivers/creeks and contribute greatly to poor water quality
    • Sources of phosphorous include leaching, sediment reflux, precipitation and discharge
    • If you have a reclamation pond and regularly get algae blooms year after year, most likely have high phosphorous loads
    • high algae loads can get in the ears and cause problems (for people, dogs, or other animals); harmful cyanobacteria
      • Phoslock; tech that inactivates bio-available phosphorous & restores water quality. Considered “natural” – clay particles mined from Australia that have an affinity for phosphorous
      • Binds the phosphorous, goes to the bottom of the pond, and binds it to the sediment at the bottom of the pond

Key Turfgrass Insect Pests

Gary Brooks, Bayer

  • looks like a little piece of fertilizer; how to tell if its an insect? Squish it! If it bleeds, its an insect. They also produce honeydew, so if you have an infestation, the grass around them will be sticky
Bermudagrass aphids
  • also produce honeydew
  • also produce honeydew
  • white small scale and congregate near the node of the grass
  • Type of hard scale – do not produce honeydew
  • not considered a major pest, but can be found in larger numbers
  • Excavate a hole in the turf for their cicadas. Different from moles – moles will not leave a hole!
  • Once the cicada is stuffed in it, then she covers the hole.
  • Cause additional branching and stunted growth of the grass
  • Salivary toxin that acts as a growth regulator that causes internodes to stack up
  • feed under the leaf sheath, making them very hard to contact with a miticide
    • Not a lot of research on control, because its not considered a universal major problem
  • Not a lot of control options
  • Generation time of about 10 days
  • inverted yellow ‘y’ on the head and three long yellow stripes down the caterpillar
  • chewing mouth parts; damage similar to moving the grass with a really dull blade
    • eat the green off the leaves and can make the turf all appear yellow/brown as if dead
If you can control the insects at a younger life-stage, you can use less insecticide and get better control!
  • monitor to catch them early
Look for the weak link in the pest to manage
  • Example, fire ants are the only ants we have that produce their brood above-ground; workers will move them up and down to optimize the development rate of their brood.
    • Have multiple queens per colony, so you can have several colonies within a given area
    • Weak link: Great foragers! Can use very little bait in a large area and they will find it and lay down a pheromone bait for the others in the colony to find it
    • Have to make sure the bait is still attractive to them – if its old, it may have lots its attractive cues
    • April & October some of the best times to put out those baits. Make sure ants are foraging – can know if they are foraging by putting out a cheeto or piece of hotdog. Apply bait twice! Spring and Fall.
    • The mound is typically not where they enter and exit from the colony! The mound is the nursery, so they keep it concealed (unless the new brood is coming out). Entrance/exist can be some distance away – that’s where you want them to bring the bait in from, NOT by disturbing the mound and apply bait in there.
    • If treating a small area/targeted, then use something like TopChoice
  • have antennae that look like fingers; excellent sense of smell
    • Can be a multi-year lifecycle grub (2 – 3 years). Has an “m”-shaped butt
    • Half moon shaped butt and smaller larvae than the may/june beetle
    • Typically not a major concern. Feed on organic matter
    • Green june beetles make little mounds in the turf when they emerge
    • Can bring birds, armadillos, or hogs in and cause problems around these mounds
Tend to treat for white grubs more than we need to in Texas
  • damage causes yellowing of turf, lack of roots and can cause desiccation
Sources of lights can attract adult (and subsequently larvae) of white grubs
If you have root damage from white grubs, don’t apply pre-emergent herbicides! – That will hurt the turf as well. Never apply a pre-emergent if the turf is not already in good shape itself.
Additional Resource, Texas A&M two-step for fire ant control:

Laws & Regulations Update

Don Renchie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

  • To bring your attention to changes to the worker protection standard (WPS) and federal certification and training (C&T) regulations that will affect your business operations
  • To discuss strategies you may consider to positively impact and mitigate any negative consequences from the changes
Most farmers aren’t covered by WPS or C&T, because they do their own work using machines (i.e. cotton or corn)
  • Nursery and greenhouse still employees lots of workers, so these things apply
What is FIFRA?
  • The primary federal law regulating the manufacture, distribution, use and application, storage, and disposal of pesticides in the US
  • States are required to follow the FIFRA in their administration of pesticide laws
What is WPS?
  • The WPS is a federal regulation within the FIFRA. Originally passed in 1992, it is designed to protect individuals engaged in certain agricultural production activities. Revised/expanded in 1996 and most recently again in 2015.
  • WPS requires employers to: provide pesticide safety training, notify workers about pesticide applications, use personal protective equipment
Restricted entry into pesticide treated areas for minimum time intervals
Provide decontamination supplies within certain distances when workers are in treated or recently treated areas
Provide emergency medical assistance to exposed workers
Key revisions to WPS
  • Inform workers and handlers about potential exposure to pesticides
    • Annual training; no grace period for workers
    • Display & provide application information and safety data sheets
      • Can be requested by worker/handler, treating medical personnel or designated representative
    • Post signs!
  • Protect workers
Revision: Adopts by reference a subset of OSHA’s standard for respirators
  • fit test, medical evaluation, etc.
  • If you need to apply a pesticide that requires a respirator, then you give them an 8-page document to the employee that they must fill out. That goes to a medical professional – they approve whether you can go forward with respirator training.

Turn to your neighbors. Say you’re grateful that you came, because otherwise you would go to jail.

Don Renchie has a website with training materials on how to do respiratory training.
Application Exclusion Zones in Outdoor Production – includes an area around where the application is made. In an enclosed space (i.e. greenhouse), zone is restricted within enclosed area.
Mitigate any pesticide exposures that workers or handlers receive:
  • provide routing decontamination supplies for workers, handlers, and early-entry workers
  • Provide eyewash system for mixers/loaders if labeling requires protective eyewear
Anyone who comes in contact with ‘green material’ (i.e. soil or plants) that have been treated in the last 30 days, they need to be trained under WPS.
    • includes contract workers coming on site
    • can include ‘volunteers’, even if they are only being compensated with plants/other materials (rather than monetary compensation)
Turn to your neighbors. Say you’re grateful that you came, because otherwise you would go to jail.
If you have someone driving a tank of pesticide, and he/she has to get off to fix something on the tank, he/she must be trained as a handler!
  • Any time someone may be exposed to pesticide residue, they need to be trained as a handler.
If an employee is receiving pesticides (i.e. receiving a shipment and hauling it into an office), they need to be trained as a handler.
Aren’t you grateful that you came? Now you can stay out of jail!
Key changes with greatest impacts
Restrict Agricultural Establishment Worker Entry Age
  • Amend the WPS section to restrict agriculture/green sector establishment worker (children) entry into pesticide treated field/areas
  • i.e. if a worker stacking hay is not considered immediate family and the hay has any pesticide residue, they need to be trained as a handler
All training, included respiratory training, are in there in english and spanish (as a powerpoint or video)
  • Bookmark the PERC website (provided below in additional resources); it’s regularly being updated with new training materials
New specific training for field ag personnel using dicamba or 2,4-D. Part of it related to drift mitigation.
Additional Resources
Texas A&M Agricultural and Environmental Safety Unit | Pesticide and WPS training resources:
Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative | Contain training materials for WPS requirements:
WPS “How-to-Comply” Manual:
WPS Training Materials:
WPS Respiratory Protection Guide:
Updated WPS Poster(s):
WPS Protection Standard Comparison Chart (What has change):

2018 Tyler CEU Meeting – Full program and sponsor list

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