DEVELOP IMPROVED TECHNOLOGIES FOR SOILLESS GREENHOUSE PLANT PRODUCTION TO MINIMIZE WATER, LABOR, AGROCHEMICAL INPUTS & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Location: Application Technology Research Unit
Title: NEW, INNOVATIVE RESEARCH IN PESTICIDE APPLICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Submitted to: International Crop Protection Compendium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2006
Publication Date: May 22, 2006
Citation: Krause, C.R., Zhu, H., Derksen, R.C., Reding, M.E., Zondag, R.A., Frantz, J., Locke, J.C. 2006. New, innovative research in pesticide application technologies. International Crop Protection Compendium.
The Application Technology Research Unit (ATRU) conducts fundamental and developmental research on new and improved application technologies to protect the American Green Industry (i.e. floricultural, nursery, landscape, turf and other horticultural crops) from plant diseases, pests, and adverse environmental conditions, while safe-guarding environmental and food quality as well as improving profitability and worker protection. Production of woody ornamental and floral crops represents over 12% of American agricultural receipts. Effective fungicides and insecticides must be applied to produce aesthetically pleasing plants. Many ATRU investigations conducted in production nurseries and greenhouses require monitoring meteorological conditions.
ATRU, in cooperation with the nursery crop producers, have created a network of research weather stations to correlate temperature, humidity, precipitation, leaf wetness, etc., with biological phenomena. Such data is critical to study fungal diseases like apple scab caused by Venturia ineaqualis that result in millions of dollars of nursery crop losses each year. More complete knowledge of the fate and behavior of fungicides will lead to reduced pesticide use with less off-target deposition. A 5-year field study has been completed: to directly evaluate and correlate fungicide coverage with the amount of apple scab disease occurring on crabapple (Malus spp.) using electron beam analysis and disease indexing; to assess the effects of sprayer/nozzle type on efficacy and disease control; and to assess any drift or non-target deposition from two types of sprayers in nurseries. The above research will lead to improved disease-control spray application based on weather-triggered alerts and forecasting of insect-disease onset, and plant conditioning related to dormancy/emergence and enhanced nursery production.