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PRACTICAL CROR PROTECTION

This publication was developed by the Soil and Crop Management Branch of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Practical Crop Protection is a revision of the Guide to Crop

Protection in Alberta, 1988, Part II Non - Chemical.

Editor

Michael J. Dorrance

Diseases leuan R. Evans

Insects

Jim W. Jones

Michael G. Dolinski

Weeds

Denise Maurice

Walter Yarish

Shaffeek Ali

Dan Cole

Other Contributors

Bill Witbeck

Myron Bjorge

Keith Price

Published by:

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Publishing Branch

7000 - 113 Street, Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6H 5T6

Editor: Gerard Vaillancourt

Graphic Designer: John Gillmore

Copyright © 1994. All rights reserved by her Majesty

the Queen in tne right of Alberta.

Line drawings on pp. 56, 63, 69 and 71 excerpted from Weeds of Canada, 1955 and are reproduced

with the permission of the Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1993.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any

form or by any means, electronic, mechanical

photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission from the Publishing Branch,

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

ISBN 0-7732-6058-7

Printed February 1994

Preface

CONTENTS

vi

Strategies for implementing or enhancing

 

biological control

22

Steps involved in biological control of weeds

23

Introduction

1

 

Biological control of weeds

24

Basic concepts

1

Integrated pest management

2

Biological control of insects

26

 

Practices that harm beneficialinsects

27

Weed Prevention

3

Weed sanitation

3

Field Scouting

30

Prevent weed seed formation

3

Why scout fields

30

 

Scouting timetable

30

Practise fence line and iieadland control

4

 

Scouting frequency

30

Prevent spread with soil and equipment

4

 

What to look for

30

Prevent spread through feed and manure

4

 

The tools needed for scouting

30

4

Handling new weeds in your fields

Field scouting timetable

31

Scouting patterns

32

Prevention of Insect Pests

6

Basic information to aid in scouting

32

 

Basic weed scouting

33

Disease Prevention

7

34

Quarantines and inspections

7

Basic insect scouting Basic disease scouting

35

Quarantinable diseases of concern to Alberta

8

Disease-free certified seed

9

Weed Control

36

Sanitation

10

Weed biology

36

Pesticides

10

Choosing weed control measures

37

Minimum tillage and zero tillage

10

Weed management in specific crops

38

Crop rotation

11

Management of specific weeds

40

Crops commonly used for rotations

12

Bladder campion

40

 

Canada thistle

41

Seed Selection and Treatment

14

Chickweed

43

Use resistant varieties

14

Cleavers

44

Seed treatments for control of disease

14

Comspurry

45

Seed storage

14

Cow cockle

46

Insects

14

Dandelion

47

Rodents

14

Field bindweed

48

Seed testing certificates

15

Flixweed (wild millet)

49

 

Green foxtail

50

Seeding and Fertilization

16

Hemp nettle

51

Rates

16

Kochia

52

Depth

16

Lamb's-quarters

53

Timing

16

Leafy spurge

54

Seedbed preparation

17

Narrow-leaved hawk's-beard

56

Fertility

17

Night-flowering catchfly

57

Lime

17

Quackgrass

58

Crop placement

18

Redroot pigweed

61

Crop selection

18

Russian thistle

62

 

Scentless chamomile

63

Physical Control Of Pests

ig

Shepherd's-purse

66

 

Smartweed - annual

67

Harvest practices

19

 

Smartweed- perennial

68

Tillage

20

 

Sow-thistle -perennial

69

Grazing

Trap strips

Fire

Principles of Biological Control

Background

21

 

Stinkweed

71

21

 

Stork's-bill

72

21

 

Tartary buckwheat

73

Toadflax

74

22

White cockle

76

22

Wild buckwheat

77

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2015

https://archive.org/details/practicalcropproOOdorr

Wild mustard

78

Wildcats

79

Insect Control

82

Biology

82

Assess the potential for insect damage

82

Economic thresholds

83

Management of insect pests

88

Alfalfa looper

88

Alfalfa weevil

88

Army cutworm

89

Beetwebworm

91

Bertha armyworm

92

Canola root maggots

94

Clover cutworm

95

Dark-sided cutworm

96

Diamondbackmotli

97

European corn borer

98

Flea beetles

101

Grasshopper

-Clear-winged

102

-Migratory

103

-Pacl<ard's

105

-Two-striped

106

Greenbug

106

Lygusbugs

107

Pale westem

cutworm

108

Pea aphid

110

Grey speck, manganese deficiency

 

1 33

Net blotch

133

Powdery mildew

133

Rusts

135

Scald

136

Septoria complex, speckled leaf blotch, glume blotch

1 37

Sharp eyespot

138

Smuts and bunt

138

Stem smut

140

Take-all

140

Tan spot, yellow leaf spot

141

Wheat streak mosaic virus

141

Winter injury, winterkill

142

Diseases of oilseeds

144

Aster yellows

144

Blackleg, canker, dry rot

144

Blackspot, alternaria black spot,

grey

leaf spot

1 46

Clubroot

146

Downy mildew, angular leaf spot

147

Frost and heat canker of flax

147

Fusarium wilt

148

Grey mold head rot

148

Grey stem, white leaf spot

149

Pasmo

149

Root rot, brown girdling root rot, root rot complex

1 50

Rust

150

Sclerotinia, stem rot, sclerotinia wilt, head rot

151

Prairie grain wireworm

 

Ill

Seedling blight, damping-off, root rot

1 55

Redbacked cutworm

113

Staghead, white rust

156

Red tumip beetle

114

Stem break and browning

156

Sweetclover weevil

116

Verticillium wilt, leaf mottle

157

Wheat stem sawfly

117

 

Diseases of forage legumes

158

Disease Control

120

Bacterial wilt

158

 

Black stem

158

Symptoms of disease

120

 

Common leaf spot, pseudopeziza leaf spot

1 59

Living (biotic) causes of disease

1 20

 

Crown rot, root rot

159

Non-living (abiotic) causes of disease

121

Disease development

122

Downy mildew

160

 

Grey leaf spot, stagnospora leaf spot and root rot complex

1 60

IMon-chemical seed treatment

1 22

 

Leaf proliferation

161

Chemical seed treatment

1 22

 

Powdery mildew

161

Methods of seed treatment

122

 

Sooty blotch, black blotch

162

General control measures for viruses

1 23

 

Target spot, stemphylium

162

Mycoparasitism

123

 

Verticillium wilt

162

Interference

123

 

Viral diseases

163

Diseases of cereals

124

Winter crown root rot snow mold

1 64

Anthracnose

124

Yellow leaf blotch

164

Aster yellows

124

 

Diseases of pulse crops

1 65

Bacterial blight

125

Barley stripe, fungal

stripe

126

Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV)

1 26

Appendixes

I66

Barley yellow dwarf virus, red leaf of oats

1 27

Barley cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 66

Bluedwarf virus, crinkle

127

Wheat cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 67

Browning root rot, pythium root rot

1 28

Oats cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 68

Cephalosporium stripe

128

Rye cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 68

Common root rot, seedling blight, damping-off

1 29

Triticale cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 68

Copper deficiency

130

Canola cultivar resistance to specific diseases

1 69

Ergot

131

Alfalfa cultivar resistance to specific diseases

170

Fusarium head blight, scab, pink mold, white heads,

tombstone scab

132

V

PREFACE

During the past decade, media attention has increasingly

focused on pesticide issues. These issues include residues in

food, ground water contamination, wildlife damage, habitat

loss and bystander exposure. Some of these problems can be dealt with by improved practices in the use and handling of

pesticides. In other cases a reduction in the use of some pesti-

cides may be the only answer. They cannot be dismissed as

"things we need to educate the public about."

In the United States of America, 10 per cent of community

wells and four per cent of private wells contain some contami-

nation from at least one pesticide. Canadian data are less com-

plete. However, we know contamination in Alberta is much less than in the United States. This book is dedicated to keep- ing it that way, while providing commercial farmers with

practical, economical solutions to pest problems.

Another concern is the erosion of large areas of farmland by

excessive and incorrect tillage practices. Erosion is also linked to poor crop rotations and practices such as summer fallow

that leave the soil surface exposed without vegetative cover.

While pesticides and tillage are essential production tools, we

now know that overuse of either causes problems. The issues

listed above are directly related to current pest control prac- tices. Future practices will require new methods used together

to obtain control. These methods must be environmentally

sound and sustainable.

Many farmers have expressed an interest in reducing or

eliminating the use of chemical pesticides in crop produc-

tion. Some are concerned about pesticide costs or exposure.

Other farmers wish to take advantage of a developing mar-

ket for "organic" foods. Whatever their reasons, farmers

wishing to control weeds, insects and diseases by integrated management techniques require more information. These methods require a detailed knowledge of the pest, its life cycle and its weaknesses that may be exploited for control

purposes. Chemicals can be used to retrieve a situation

where pests are out of control. Non-chemical methods must

rely on prevention if they are to be successful. Proper crop

selection, cultural practices and rotations are of cardinal

importance.

General principles are reviewed in the introductory part of the text while details on controlling specific pests follow in

each appropriate section.

vi

INTRODUCTION

This book is about solutions to weed, insect and disease problems associated with large scale prairie agriculture.

The emphasis is on a sustainable approach to integrate

many or all control measures into a profitable operation.

Many books on "integrated pest management", "alterna-

tive agriculture" or "organic agriculture" seem to focus

on small scale farms with practices closer to gardening than to the large scale production practised on the

Prairies. We have focused on the commercial producer and emphasize an approach applicable to large-scale

operations.

Our approach is not organic, pro-pesticide, anti-pesticide,

anti-tillage or anti-fertilizer. We favor a common sense

approach to all of the above and embrace the use of crop

rotations, preventive measures, biological control, and

careful selection of resistant varieties or immune crop

species to control pest buildup. Good agronomic practice in fertility, seeding technique, row spacing, plant popula-

tions and use of well-adapted varieties will help to estab-

lish strong plants that can withstand pest damage and compete with weeds. Pesticides should be used as needed

with care and attention. Do not rely on pesticides as the only control. Proper application of cultural, biological and chemical controls are more cost effective and will be less likely to damage beneficial species.

In modern agriculture, good farm practices are combined

with good government and community programs. Because

seed cleaning plants are expensive, it does not make sense for every farmer to own one. Biological control requires

that agents be collected, screened and made available by

governments. Integrated pest control in today's world includes techniques that operate on a larger scale than a

single farm unit. Decisions about which control techniques

may be used have also moved beyond the farm level.

Regulation often determines which control may be used. Regulation may also be the only way to achieve uniform,

effective control of some pests. In other cases, co-operation

between neighbors will be most effective. Increasingly the control decision is determined by regulators and most

importantly - by the consumer. A variety of methods are

required to prevent pest buildup, slow or stop the develop-

ment of resistant pests and still allow efficient large-scale

production.

In the 1990s, pest controls must be effective, safe, environ-

mentally sound and sustainable. Of course they must also

be economically viable.

This book provides a broad strategy for pest management

and techniques for managing specific pests. To apply an

integrated approach requires an understanding of the

underlying concepts of pest management, knowledge of

appropriate techniques and the ability to adapt those tech-

niques to unique situations.

Basic Concepts

There are thousands of species of plants and animals in

Alberta. Most are beneficial, some are occasional pests and a few are always in conflict with human interests.

It is not desirable to destroy plants and animals unless

they are causing or likely to cause damage. However,

most pest control operations kill many non-target organ-

isms. Tillage, pesticides and even crop rotations kill

non-target species. Any habitat change will kill or dis-

place many species. Lethal control is often unavoidable, but we do need to be careful about what we kill acciden- tally. Destruction of the predators and parasites of our

pests can cause a resurgence of the pest in numbers even greater than before. This is why application of broad spectrum pesticides has been described as a pesticide

treadmill. This term refers to the treatment of pests and the accidental mortality of their predators. The pest pop-

ulation usually recovers faster than its predators and

another pesticide application is required. This may cause

a reoccurring need to apply pesticides to the point where

the pest eventually develops a resistance to the pesticide.

Fortunately, there are many practices that decrease non-

target mortality. We can use less pesticide, apply pesti-

cides at times when beneficial organisms are less vul- nerable, use more specific pesticides and apply pesti- cides only when necessary. This will also save money

and delay the development of resistant pests. Integrating

the use of pesticides with cultural and biological con-

trols in a planned, systematic approach is known as

I. P.M. or Integrated Pest Management.

With attention currently focused on the adverse effects

of chemicals we must remain aware that any control

measure can have adverse effects. Tillage makes soil

vulnerable to erosion. Resistant varieties may produce a lower yield or a less desirable product (in the absence of

pests). The farmer must constantly balance short-term

versus long-term considerations, cash flow versus long-

term profits and other considerations. Recently, better

tools have been developed to assist in making these

decisions.

The concept of threshold populations helps producers

decide when pests have increased to a level where con-

trol measures are economically justified. Field scouting techniques have been developed to measure pest popu-

lations so that threshold tables may be used. Better field

guides enable producers to easily identify pest species.

New publications for identification of beneflcial species

are being developed. Finally, better record keeping sys- tems are now available. This book describes these tools

in detail.

1

Integrated Pest Management

Many pest control programs rely on the use of chemical pesti-

cides. The normal procedure is to identify pests in the field,

estimate the potential damage and decide whether to apply a pesticide. This process fails to anticipate pest buildup or

understand why the pest buildup occurs. Broad spectrum

insecticides, for example, may also damage populations of

beneficial species, contributing to the development of sec- ondary infestations of the original pest species and occasional- ly, different pest species.

Integrated management considers the overall management of a

pest species, not just the control measures used during destruc- tive outbreaks. Indeed the objective is to prevent the pest out-

breaks from ever occurring.

Integrated pest management combines chemical, biological, mechanical and cultural controls together in a production sys- tem. Preventive measures and treatments are employed as

needed. Treatments are not employed on a scheduled basis but

are used only in response to the situation identified during pest

monitoring. The treatments are selected for least disruption of

the natural environment because natural pest control agents often provide the best and certainly the cheapest form of pest

control.

In Alberta we often overlook what is probably our most important natural method of pest control - severe weather. Many pests cannot survive Alberta winters. Consequently, we

have many fewer pests than our southern neighbors. Farmers

can exploit this natural control to a larger degree by making a

few management changes. Similarly, our dry climate protects

our crops from many disease organisms. Throughout this book

we will refer to many control practices designed to take

advantage of our weather. A few examples are:

cooling stored grain to kill insects,

fall tillage to expose weed roots to freeze-drying over winter,

tillage conducted in hot, dry weather to deprive weeds of

moisture and disrupt their normal growth.

Integrated pest control systems involve not only monitoring

pest populations but also attempting to understand why the

pests are there. Perhaps the crop rotation presents the pest an

opportunity or maybe the most resistant variety is not being

used. How did those new weeds get on your farm in the first

place? Maybe the cause was you. In addition to simply control- ling pests when they appear, the farmer using I.P.M. must con- stantly monitor, plan and analyze. This requires a good knowl- edge of pest biology and trends. To analyze trends, we must

have data; a I.P.M. program requires the farmer to keep differ-

ent and more extensive records than has been the custom.

Record keeping is time consuming and repetitive. Its value is

often not immediately apparent. Unlike spraying or other con-

trol measures it does not seem urgent, so to ensure it is done at all it must be planned. As you begin to keep detailed produc-

tion records you will notice different responses to planting

dates, fertilizer input, disease, herbicides, previous crops in the rotation and other practices. The pest situation in a field or on

a farm is usually based on events of the previous or earlier growing seasons. The combination of events and treatments are too complex to remember without the help of written

records. Recorded, organized information is more reliable and complete than relying upon memory. It can also be analyzed

by outside resource people. We suggest you consider using a

record keeping system, either manual or electronic, to ease the job of collecting, organizing, and analyzing records.

Creating a set of field records requires that data be gathered in

an organized way and that you know what to look for. Start by

recording all operations and treatments on a field by field

basis. Include fertilization, crop kind and variety, tillage, pesti-

cide applications, etc. Supplement this information with obser-

vations and measurements that you take and record. Rainfall,

hail storms, floods and other natural events will be part of the

record. Finally you will conduct specific operations in the

field. This will include an overview to check for seeding or

fertilizer misses, soil problems, wind row effects, erosion,

patchiness or other patterns. Next you will check in detail for weeds, insect damage, sick or dying plants and you will iden-

tify and record pests present and their densities. The field

scouting chapter has detailed directions on how to do this.

Pest populations may develop resistance after repeated expo-

sure to an effective control measure: naturally resistant pests are left to repopulate the area each time a control is used.

After many generations the entire pest population can become

resistant. In other cases a natural or induced mutation can

occur in which the mutant is entirely or partly resistant to the

control. This type of resistance is difficult to predict because it

occurs at random. Resistance is not a unique response to pesti-

cides. Pests either develop resistance or partial resistance to an

effective practice or the pest will decline or become extinct. In all cases, however, resistance in pests must be combated through a strategy of rotating control practices, preferably

unrelated practices.

The use of resistant varieties combined with crop rotation,

foliar fungicides, seed treatment and tillage to bury infected

crop residue, in combination or rotation, can prevent disease

buildup.

2

WEED PREVENTION

Preventive control involves all measures taken to fore-

stall the introduction and spread of weeds. Although pre-

ventive measures will reduce infestations, no program

can eliminate the wide variety of weed species on a given piece of land. Success of a preventive program varies

with the weed species and the amount and constancy of

effort that you devote to prevention.

Weed Sanitation

Scentless chamomile is present in about 80 per cent of

Alberta municipalities. However, through a combination

of sanitizing techniques, some municipalities are

chamomile free. They accomplished it through the per-

sistent application of some basic principles:

The sanitation process started when the weed was not

present in the municipality or when there were only

several small infestations.

Complete control and subsequent monitoring and con-

trol continued on the infested sites for up to ten years

after the original infestation.

Extensive awareness campaigns were launched to

alert residents to the potential problem. Incentives

were provided to landowners to report the problem

rather than hide it. Information was disseminated by

newspaper articles, letter stuffers, booths at local fairs

and other forms of publicity.

Scentless chamomile may be elevated to the "restrict-

ed" list within a municipality, providing the munici-

pality with the authority to destroy any known site.

Since the major source of chamomile seed is forage

seed, the awareness and control measures were target-

ed at users of forage seed, producer's right-of-ways,

managers, pipeline operators, and others.

In areas near irrigation canals and other water bodies, a campaign of picking, bagging and disposal through incineration or land filling occurred.

All control operations scheduled to occur before the

onset of seed production.

Preventive programs can also be implemented on an indi-

vidual farm, and can start with several basic steps:

Weed Free Seed

Any weedy plant in a seed field poses the risk that some

weed seeds will find their way into the crop-seed supply

even with the best cleaning techniques. However, the

more effective the cleaning technique, the less the poten-

tial for infestation.

A 1986 - 1989 weed survey in Alberta identified the sources of seed used by the average producer.

Table 4. Source of seed used by farmers for various crops

Crop

Other

Seed

Elevator

Seed

grown

Farmer

grower

agent

company

unknown

%

%

%

%

%

Wheat

73

12

11

4

3

Barley

62

21

15

3

1

Canola

10

6

41

27

18

Oats

53

35

11

1

Fall rye

67

,

33

The greatest potential source of weed seeds comes from

seed that is not inspected. The sources of these seeds are

"home grown" and "other farmers". Alberta has a good record of sanitation because 98 per cent of this seed was subsequently cleaned at a co-op seed cleaning plant (64%) a

private commercial plant (15%), on farm (6%), or in the

local elevator (6%). With the exception of the "on-farm" and

the