Saturday, June 20, 2015

DODGING THE BLUE MOLD BULLET


Sprayer
A farmer in eastern North Carolina sprays Tracer for budworm and hornworm control on organic tobacco near Rocky Mount, N.C., on June 10.


No new incidence of blue mold. When blue mold was discovered in a burley greenhouse near Greeneville, Tn., on June 2, there was considerable concern that an epidemic was on the way. But since then it has not been confirmed anywhere else, although there was one false alarm south of Nashville.

Nevertheless. vigilance toward blue mold is still advised. "We definitely have the potential to see blue mold in the field here in Kentucky," says Emily Pfeufer, Ky. Extension plant pathologist. "I would say that central and eastern Kentucky are most at risk, with the risk less in western Kentucky." The swirling wind and rain of Tropical Storm Bill could certainly have spread blue mold spores over a wide area.

If you decide to treat for blue mold:
  • Manzate Pro-Stick is a good choice early in the season, but good coverage is important and check your contract, since some companies have a problem with residues. Pfeufer says that if you use Manzate very early, residues may wash away. If you can't use Manzate, Forum or Revus may be good substitutes. 
  • Other options are the azoxystrobin fungicides Quadris, Satori, AzoxyStar, or Azoxy 2SC, but that is not a good idea if an azoxystrobin fungicide was your most recent spray. There is a fairly high potential for development of resistance with the azoxystrobins, so you shouldn't use them back to back.
  • Once burley plants are 18 inches or larger, you can use Actigard, which has a much different mode of action. "Excellent coverage is not quite as critical with Actigard," Pfeufer says. "Its efficacy for control of blue mold is good, and the chance is very low that it will develop resistance." You can spray dark tobacco when it is 12 inches or larger.
  • The final option is Presidio. It is newly labeled on tobacco for black shank and blue mold and gives very good control of black shank, especially when alternated with other products. Pfeufer is conducting a blue mold trial with Presidio in Kentucky this season, with results to follow. 
Another fungicide on the way: Next year, another fungicide for tobacco will probably be available. Orondis from Syngenta is expected to be labeled for blue mold and black shank in all types of tobacco. 
In North Carolinaa few flue-cured farmers are already making their second application of sucker control chemicals, and many are making their first, says Matthew Vann, N.C. Extension tobacco specialist. The crop seems to be doing well although much of it is dry. "The Piedmont is getting rainfall in its border counties, but overall it is historically dry," he says. The Coastal Plain has generally been dry too except where heavy rain fell in connection with tropical storms.

In Virginia, 85 percent of the flue-cured crop had been transplanted through June 14, and 79 percent of the burley crop had been transplanted, according to USDA's Crop Progress & Condition Report. Both were behind the five-year average.

In Georgia, there was noticeable separation in the transplanting of the flue-cured crop. "The part that was transplanted prior to Easter has a lot of tomato spotted wilt virus," says J. Micheal Moore, Ga. Extension tobacco specialist. "Tobacco that was transplanted two weeks after Easter has less tomato spotted wilt virus but is growing off slowly." But he thinks a good crop can still be obtained.

In Tennessee and Kentucky, the dark tobacco crop  was almost entirely set in wet soil, says Extension tobacco specialist Andy Bailey. This has had some effect on the crop. "We have had more pythium than normal," says Bailey. "The wet conditions probably caused it." Some fields remain to be planted but Bailey says growers are winding down. "I expect we will be finished around June 25," he says.

Report from Canada: Most fields in southern Ontario, where substantially all Canadian tobacco is grown, are showing good progress at this time, according to the Canadian Tobacco Research Foundation. High winds at planting and early June lead to sandblasting on plants in open areas of some fields. The affected plants have been set back and are smaller but will recover...There was considerable rain in the first half of June. Rainfall from May 30 to June 15 at Tillsonburg totaled 5.23 inches...Plantings continue to fall. A total of 230 licensed growers in southern Ontario received approval to plant 15,539 acres. Last year, 241 growers were approved to plant 21,670 acres. All tobacco grown in Ontario now is flue-cured.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Tobacco Farmer Newsletter. If you would like to receive it regularly, please call me at 919-789-4631 or email me at chrisbickers @gmail.com. Thanks--Chris Bickers


DATES TO REMEMBER

  • June 25, Tobacco Field Day. UT Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center, Springfield, Tn. Contact: Barry Sims at 615-382-3130 orbsims@utk.edu.
  • July 16. South Carolina Tobacco Tour, Pee Dee Research & Education Center, Florence, S.C. Details to follow.
  • July 20-22. N.C. Tobacco Tour. Details to follow. Contact: Mina Mila at 919-513-1291 or almila@ncsu.edu.
  • July 29. Annual Tobacco Research Field Day. Southern Piedmont AREC, Blackstone, Va. Registration begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner. Tour will begin at 6 p.m. Contact: Margaret Kenny at 434-292-5331 or makenny@vt.edu.
  • July 30. Kentucky Corn-Soybean-Tobacco Field Day, UK Research & Education Center, Princeton Ky. Contact: Andy Bailey at 270-365-7541 orabailey@uky.edu.
GAP RECERTIFICATION MEETINGS
  • June 25, 7 p.m., Research & Education Center, 2255 East Allen's Bridge Rd., Greeneville, Tn. Greene County. Contact 865-310-2754 or jbeeler5@utk.edu.
  • June 29, 6:30 p.m. Christian County Extension Office, 2850 Pembroke Rd., Hopkinsville, Ky. 42240. Christian County. Contact 270-625-1560 or bailey@uky.edu.

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2 comments:

  1. TN is bad about harvesting mold. Have to be careful!

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