Effective this fall (2014) there will be a fairly significant change to the Alion herbicide label for California orchard and vineyard crops. Growers and PCAs will want to be aware of this as you're planning your dormant-season herbicide programs now that many areas of the state are getting some rain.
The use patterns for Alion (active ingredient: indaziflam) has been modified for tree nuts, grapes, stone fruit, pome fruit, and olive (citrus uses were not changed).
Most important changes include:
- Maximum use rates now have a restriction based on soil organic matter (OM) content
Grapes: if soil less than 1% OM, max rate is 3.5 oz/A (0.045 lb ai) and if over 1% max rate is 5 oz/A (0.065 lb ai)
Nuts, Pome, Stone, Olive: if less than 1% OM, max rate is 3.5 oz/A; If 1-3% OM, max rate is 5 oz/A; if OM above 3%, max rate 6.5 oz/A
Previously there was a 6.5 oz rate max for all crops except grape which had a 5 oz max rate. Although it presents another thing to think about when writing recommendations, a soil OM restriction is not unusual. Because of the charge characteristics of organic matter (as clay particles), soil OM content can greatly affect the proportion of herbicide in "soil solution" - that is, herbicide that is not bound to soil. Rate refinements based on OM can avoid the situation where lighter soil is over treated and also should increase the margin of crop safety because light or coarse soils do not hold herbicides in the surface zone (where the weeds are) as well.
- The label now restricts Alion use in flood-irrigated orchards. It also prohibits irrigation within 48 hrs after the applications.
This is designed to ensure crop safety by giving the herbicide sufficient time to bind to surface soils before a large amount of water is intentionally applied. It should also help maximize weed control because any residual herbicide that is moved too deeply into the soil is likely to lose some efficacy on some weeds - this is especially true for herbicide like Alion that primarily affect weeds as they first germinate but have less of an impact on established weeds.
- The manufacturer has also offered some best use guidelines for this herbicide that are very positive (in my opinion):
- Use the highest rate for local conditions for best performance
- Consider tank mixes with other PRE herbicides such as Matrix, Chateau, Goal, GoalTender (this is good for both broadening the weed spectrum and managing selection of herbicide resistant weeds)
- Tanks mix with burndown herbicides if emerged weeds are present (this was always the case as Alion as almost no activity on germinated weeds)
- Apply from Nov-Jan, avoid spring applications for best weed control (good idea also to increase crop safety and get the greatest performance out of this chemistry)
- Soil should be free of large trash and clods at application (this is true for best performance of ANY of our PRE herbicides)
- For best weed control, rainfall or sprinkler irrigation within 3-4 weeks is ideal. If irrigation is used to activate, 0.5 inch of water is ideal (the idea is to incorporate the herbicide into the surface inch or so, where the weeds germinate, but not go too deeply. This is also pretty true for all PRE herbicides).
In my opinion, the prohibition on use in flood irrigation orchards is probably the most important change as those sites simply cannot use the herbicide - these growers will have to use other products. The soil OM restriction is much less of a problem and may actually be beneficial from both a product stewardship and resistance management standpoint if growers use tankmixes and good integrated strategies. I had several trials with a range of Alion rates in 2014 and we observed very good weed control with the reduced Alion rates in most instances but control at 2.5 or 3.5 oz/A was definitely more dependable and long-lasting when a tankmix partner (selected based on field scouting) was used in the management program.
Check out the updated Alion label on your favorite herbicide label source.
Application instructions and a full position description are available on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources employment website (https://jobs.ucop.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=57905).
This position is with the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM). UC IPM develops and promotes integrated and ecologically sound pest management programs in California (www.ipm.ucanr.edu).
The Pesticide Safety Educator works under the direction of the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) Coordinator. This position coordinates with UC ANR advisors and specialists, government agencies, professional organizations, and others to plan, develop and deliver local pesticide safety educational programs for fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, pesticide applicators, as well as other trainers of these clientele. This position supports development and delivery of programs that provide objective information about pesticide use and safety in order to reduce pesticide risks to human health and the environment. The Educator participates in program planning and supports the efforts of the PSEP Coordinator to identify priorities, engage cooperators and disseminate resources to achieve program goals. In addition, the Educator develops or assists in the development and delivery of outreach materials and training programs and also conducts systematic review of program materials to assure that they are up-to-date and meeting clientele needs.
If interested in finding out more about this position and/or to apply, visit https://jobs.ucop.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=57905
"Whether it's good or bad, in California we've become accustomed to a steady water supply though our catchments, dams and aqueducts that deliver water to the (Central) Valley," Ferguson said. "In the past 3 or 4 years of drought, we've become more dependent on wells, what you're always dependent upon here in Australia."
She predicted that, in the next three to five years, California will see a significant decrease in tree crops as a result.
"In California, up till now, we did not have groundwater use regulations," she said. "The increase in wells very shortly will lead to regulations, both quantity and quality. Meaning how much you can draw out and how much nitrogen you can use in your fertilization program."
Jasper also interviewed Almond Board of California president and chief executive officer Richard Waycott.
"As an industry we've been doing deficit irrigation research, and applying water efficiency research across our industry for many years," Waycott said. "The drought is caused by Mother Nature. All agriculture needs water, and our growers are responsible with the water they use."
Meeting announcements from WSSA
Plus, I'll add in my own plug for the California Weed Science Society meeting, January 21-23, 2014 in Santa Barbara
Weed Science Societies Focus on the Future during Upcoming Annual Meetings
LAWRENCE, Kansas – November 20, 2014 – Upcoming annual meetings of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) and its sister regional organizations will tackle a wide range of topics vital to the future of weed science – from how to manage herbicide-resistant weeds to new developments in weed research.
The events are expected to draw hundreds of scientists, students, educators and other individuals interested in sustainable weed management practices and the conservation of our natural resources.
The 55th annual meeting of WSSA will be held February 9-12, 2015, in Lexington, Kentucky. Rosalind James, Ph.D., a national program leader in USDA's Agricultural Research Service, will deliver a keynote address on the future of the agency's weed science research initiatives.
More than 300 presentations and poster sessions are on the annual meeting agenda, as well as two special symposia. The first will summarize a recent national-level Herbicide Resistance Summit sponsored by WSSA, while the second will explore the future of molecular-level weed research. Graduate students in weed science are organizing a special student-oriented workshop on how to prepare for jobs in weed science. For more details and registration information, visit www.wssa.net.
Upcoming regional annual meetings include:
- North Central Weed Science Society, December 1-4, 2014. The society will meet this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Special symposia are planned on the role of cover crops in weed management and on the human dimension of managing herbicide-resistant weeds. For more details and registration, visit www.ncwss.org.
- Northeastern Weed Science Society, January 5-8, 2015.The meeting will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Agenda and registration details will be posted soon at www.newss.org.
- Southern Weed Science Society, January 26-28, 2015.The society's annual meeting will take place in Savannah, Georgia, and will focus on a wide range of weed management topics – from regulations and environmental considerations to new weed control techniques. For details and registration, visit www.swss.ws.
- Western Society of Weed Science, March 9-12, 2015.Scheduled for Portland, Oregon, the annual meeting will focus on five subject areas: agronomic crops, horticultural crops, weeds found in range and natural areas, basic biology and ecology, and teaching and technology transfer. In addition, consultant Bill Cobb, Ph.D., will lead a symposium on the role of laboratory tests in the diagnosis of suspected herbicide problems. For further details and registration, visit www.wsweedscience.org.
About the Weed Science Society of America
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net./span>
"Sometimes, I think there's local elected officials who feel the highest use of that land is to build businesses that will create jobs," Surls said. "And although urban agriculture can sometimes create jobs, it has other community benefits that perhaps aren't entirely valued, like offering healthy food, beautifying the neighborhood. Oftentimes, neighborhoods get a Burger King on a piece of vacant land rather than a community garden."
Surls said beginning urban farmers at first need basic horticultural information - what to grow, when to plant, how to irrigate and how to manage pests. As they gain experience, they often encounter challenges there weren't aware of at first, such as regulatory or zoning issues.
"And if they stick around long enough," Surls said, "they get to a phase where they need more sophisticated production information, more marketing and business-oriented information, and advice on things like labor. How can I legally use volunteers? What are California labor laws? Just a lot of information that commercial farmers have been dealing with for a long time."
To help farmers at each of these stages, Surls developed a website for urban farmers that aggregates information and resources needed to start a new farm, work with city and county officials, and market their produce.