Posts Tagged: roundup
It really has gotten out of hand - Hairy Fleabane and Horseweed which are both Conyza weed species that have run rampant this year because of the extra rain. It's also because they have become resistant to glyphosate herbicide. The problem has shown up all over the US and other parts of the world. Gradually as resistance has grown and their resistant fairy seeds have floated wherever the winds go, the weed is having a field day everywhere in your backyard, in your orchard, in the sidewalk. It's not just abandoned areas, but in actively managed areas where Cal Trans is doing its best.
Citrus growers who have not used preemergents in years or never used them have turned to various cocktails to knock it out.
A good description of the biology and care of Conyza can be found at:
And we along with others have written about this problem in the past -
http://ucanr.edu/blogs/topics/index.cfm tagname=Conyza ,
But this year has been exceptional in the ubiquity of this plant. Something more than glyphosate is called for at this point. Glufosinate is a postemergent herbicide somewhat similar to glyphosate in name only and more expensive. It is a broadspectrum herbicide that is effective with thorough coverage on younger stages of conyza and other weeds. It will take some learning to get the best effect out of it. Citrus growers have been able to use it for several years now and have enjoyed its effectiveness. We are currently working on an IR-4 registration (http://ir4.rutgers.edu/) for avocados. It is currently not registered for use in avocado.
Mature avocados are pretty good about controlling any weeds in their own orchards through ground shading and self mulching, but conyza has become a problem in young orchards. And this new herbicide could help.
Late last month, USDA once again deregulated genetically modified alfalfa. The action prompted extensive news media coverage, with many articles centering on outcry from organic growers who are not comfortable with the idea of GMO/non-GMO coexistence.
"I don't believe it is certain. I believe it is something we can manage and prevent," he said.
Putnam's research results on alfalfa cross-contamination were noted in a blog on The Atlantic. A 2008 study found that when a Roundup Ready alfalfa seed crop and a non-Roundup Ready hay crop were grown 160 feet apart, the rate of successful gene flow from GM seed crop to non-GM hay crop was 0.25 percent - considered a small risk.
Nevertheless, Putnam said USDA's deregulaton decision likely won't put the controversy to rest.
"There's no question the lawsuits will continue. They would probably continue regardless of whichever way they went," he was quoted.
Here are a few news stories that appeared this week that touched on ANR:
Sumo citrus. LA Times freelance food writer David Karp introduced readers to a new citrus variety, the Sumo. "Think of a huge mandarin, easy to peel and seedless, with firm flesh that melts in the mouth, an intense sweetness balanced by refreshing acidity, and a complex, lingering mandarin orange aroma," Karp wrote. "I've tasted more than 1,000 varieties of citrus, and to me the Dekopon (Sumo) is the most delicious." The Citrus Clonal Protection Program at UC Riverside played a role in making the Japanese fruit available to Americans by cleaning imported budwood to be sure it is free of diseases, a process that took several years.
Garden recycling. The L.A. At Home blog in the LA Times outlined ideas for putting recyclables to work in the garden, gleaned from Yvonne Savio, the manager of the LA Master Gardener program. The post illustrates a compost bin made of rusty bedsprings, an old bathtub turned into an ornamental shade garden, aluminum roasting pans that were recycled into seed-starting trays and plastic water bottles that double as water channeling containers.
Cheaters never prosper. In a move aimed at ending cheating at farmers' markets, the CDFA is proposing a significant fee hike for vendors - from 60 cents to $4. The $4 fee would raise about $1.5 million annually, much of which would be used to hire full-time CDFA officers based in Northern, Central and Southern California to conduct farm and market inspections, according to the LA Times.
Creating jobs. The head of USDA's Rural Development office in California visited Santa Cruz County to offer her agency's help to create jobs, said a story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "As a nation we have hemorrhaged jobs," said Glenda Humiston. "The jobs we've lost, virtually none of them are coming back." Pointing to positive steps to alleviate the problem, she noted that the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis is studying ways to innovate financial systems to invest local money locally.