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Lexington, KY 40546

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Number 1342
ALFALFA - Potato Leafhopper: The Other Key Pest of Alfalfa - Aphanomyces Root Rot in Spring-Seeded Alfalfa VEGETABLES - Leaf Mold Found on Greenhouse and HighTunnel Tomatoes GRAIN CROPS - Warning, Armyworms Spotted in Pastures!

June 4, 2013
TOBACCO - Disease Update for the Week of June 3 FUNGICIDES - Some Principles of Fungicide Resistance I: The Basics of Resistance Development PEST OF HUMANS -American Dog Ticks DIAGNOSTIC LAB HIGHLIGHTS INSECT TRAP COUNTS

ALFALFA Potato Leafhopper: The Other Key Pest of Alfalfa By Lee Townsend, Entomologist

The first 10 to 14 days after harvest is very important when watching PLH numbers. The more adults that fly into regrowth to feed and lay eggs, the greater the chance for damage. PLH females lay their eggs in the stem and large veins of alfalfa plants. A 21-day live cycle means the population can increase rapidly. The small wingless immature stages (nymphs) have limited movement so feeding damage can be intense. PLH can affect alfalfa in several ways. Sap feeding by adult and immature PLH damages vascular tissues of stems and leaves and blocks the phloem. Hopperburn, the characteristic symptom, results from the accumulation of photosynthates in leaves. It begins as a "V "-shaped wedge of yellow starting from about the middle of the midrib and includes the tip of the leaflet. The impact on the plant is significant and can include stunted growth, premature leaf-drop, reduced root carbohydrate reserves, and drastic reductions in hay protein. In sufficient numbers, the PLH can reduce yield by up to 25%, as well as lowering crude protein, vitamin A, carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and digestible dry matter content.

Figure 1. Hopperburn on alfalfa.

The potato leafhopper (PLH) is a key pest springseeded alfalfa and also the second and third cuttings from established fields. Its small size makes it an easy-to-overlook but costly pest. Top pest management priority should go to springseeded stands. The recommended 70 to 90 day growth period before first harvest allows time for a buildup of PLH that could be very damaging. These stands should be watched closely for the insect and treated if necessary.

Reducing losses means detecting potentially damaging numbers of PLH before symptoms appear. Adults are small and flighty, nymphs are even smaller. Detection and assessment of populations requires a 15-inch diameter sweep net. Alfalfa fields must be checked carefully with a sweep net to detect damaging numbers before symptoms appear. Five sets of 20 sweeps from randomly selected areas in a field, coupled with the average plant stem height, is the way to detect and assess the pest before the crop is hurt. A single, well-timed application of any one of several insecticides will provide excellent leafhopper control if numbers exceed treatment guidelines. Sweep net sampling is the key to getting the timing right, before hopperburn is apparent. Potato leafhopper treatment guidelines Average stem length (inches) Less than 3 3 to 6 8 to 10 12 to 14
Figure 2.

Aphanomyces Root Rot in Spring-Seeded Alfalfa By Paul Vincelli, Extension Plant Pathologist An outbreak of Aphanomyces root rot was diagnosed in alfalfa seedlings last week. The cause of this disease (Aphanomyces euteiches) is widespread in Kentucky soils. Given the wet weather this spring, it is very possible that other new seedings have been affected. The disease produces severe stunting, wilt, and seedling death (Figure 3). Commonly, affected seedlings exhibit a faint bluish cast associated with water stress. Note that seedlings can exhibit water stress even when the soil is wet, if roots are rotted. Additional symptoms may include yellowing and reddening, wilt and death (Figure 4). Belowground, roots exhibit a brown rot and often have few to no nodules (Figure 5).

# # Leafhoppers/Sweep Leafhoppers/100 Sweeps 0.2 0.5 1 2 20 50 100 200

A 35-day harvest schedule generally keeps leafhoppers from building to large numbers. Cutting drives the winged adults out of the field. The wingless nymphs are unable to leave and most starve or die from some other cause before regrowth gets started. This tiny, sap-feeding insect moves north from the Gulf States each spring on warm south winds. It shows up in established alfalfa fields during May but the date can vary from the first to the last of the month in any given year. Significant numbers of leafhoppers may find their way into springseeded fields in late May with rapid increase during June and a peak in early July. The leafhopper usually disappears from alfalfa fields after July.

Figure 3. Alfalfa plants in foreground exhibit severe stunting due to Aphanomyces root rot.

Figure 4. In clod on left, note very stunted alfalfa seedlings, with Aphanomyces damage. Seedling on right is relatively unaffected.

Figure 6. Alfalfa varieties with high resistance (left) and susceptibility (right) to Aphanomyces root rot.

VEGETABLES Leaf Mold Found on Greenhouse and HighTunnel Tomatoes By Kenny Seebold, Extension Plant Pathologist Leaf mold (Figs. 7 and 8), caused by Fulvia fulva, has become a common and damaging disease of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and high tunnels in Kentucky. The number of reports of this disease are beginning to rise, but fortunately no severe cases have been found to date. High humidity and moderate-to-high temperatures favor development of leaf mold. Spores or sclerotia of the leaf mold fungus can survive in debris and on surfaces (greenhouse walls, stakes, tools) for as much as a year. Successfully managing leaf mold hinges on keeping humidity levels as low as possible inside greenhouses. Good air movement also helps to keep periods of leaf wetness as short as possible, reducing the risk of infection. Routine fungicide applications will help suppress leaf mold. Begin treatments after plants are 18-24 inches in height and spray on a 7-14 day schedule. The following fungicides can be used in greenhouses and high tunnels to manage leaf mold: 1. Mancozeb: products include Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb, and Koverall. Moderately effective, PHI=5 d, REI=24 h.

Figure 5. Rot of alfalfa rootlets due to Aphanomyces euteiches.

Resistance to Aphanomyces root rot is the key to control of this disease (Figure 6). All seedings of alfalfa in Kentucky, and especially all spring seedings, should have an R or HR rating to Aphanomyces root rot. An R rating (Resistance) means that 31-50% of the seedlings are resistant. An HR rating (High Resistance) means that 51% or more of the plants are resistant. Note that these resistance levels mean that many seedlings in the field still may be susceptible. Thus, fields may still exhibit damage even with a highly resistant variety. However, with a resistant variety, typically enough plants survive the attack to weather the attack and perform well.

2. Fixed copper: products include Badge, Badge X2, Champ, Cueva, Kocide, Nordox, and Nu-Cop. Mildly-tomoderately effective, PHI=0 d, REI=24 h. 3. Chlorothalonil: Catamaran is the only chlorothalonil fungicide for greenhouse vegetables. Moderately effective, PHI=0 d, REI=12 h. 4. Azoxystrobin + difenoconazole: Quadris Top (cannot use Quadris SC in greenhouses, only Quadris Top). Very effective, PHI=0d, REI=12 h. 5. Cymoxanil + famoxadone: Tanos (must be tank-mixed with fixed copper or mancozeb). Moderately-to-very effective, PHI=3-5 days (depends on tank-mix partner), REI=12 h. Sanitation is another important tool for management of leaf mold. After the season ends, sanitize tools with a 10% bleach solution. Greenhouses and high tunnels should be closed tightly and allowed to reach daytime temperatures of at least 135 F over the course of 2-3 weeks. This will help reduce carryover of the leaf mold pathogen inside structures. For more information on leaf mold and its management, refer to ID-172 (IPM Scouting Guide for Common Pests of Solanaceous Vegetables in Kentucky).
Figure 8. Circular, olive-colored masses of spores on lower surfaces of tomato leaves are a key diagnostic feature of leaf mold.

GRAIN CROPS Warning, Armyworms Spotted in Pastures! By Doug Johnson, Extension Entomologist Capture of armyworm (AW) in the IPM pheromone baited traps still remains below average. Nevertheless, this does NOT mean that there are no AWs around. While economically important populations of AW are not (yet) a wide spread problem this year, the fact remains there certainly are infested fields. The question becomes which fields are infested with an economically important population size? There is only one way to know that, and that is to scout. We do know that AW feeding on pasture grass has been reported from Butler Co. and I expect, that if one looks, infested fields will be found in other areas.

Figure 7. Symptoms of leaf mold on upper surfaces of tomato leaves appear as circular, yellow blotches.

Figure 9. Armyworm.

Do not confuse armyworm with fall armyworm or for that matter beet armyworm, army cutworm etc. These common names can be misleading as they sound similar but represent completely different insect species, whose common features are only that they often move in large masses (hence the descriptor Army worm) and they feed on similar plants, generally grasses such as pastures, and large grasses such as wheat, corn, sorghum, and millet.

established but if an infestation does occur especially as pasture is being cut for hay, the producer should keep an eye on the regrowth. If satisfactory regrowth is occurring, and predicted weather is suitable for pasture growth, control may be avoided. If an insecticide application is warranted, products may be found in ENT-17, Insecticide Recommendations for Alfalfa, Clover and Pastures -2013. If animals are on the field, producers / applicators are cautioned to check the product label to determine if animals have to be removed from the field before application and if so, for how long. This year because of our long period of planting, corn may be the major plant at risk of armyworm. In addition, very late planting especially in far west Kentucky could lead to problems with Fall armyworm (but more on that story later). However, most producers are planting corn products that contain transgenic B.t. insect toxins. Most of these products will have good protection from armyworm. If you are planting a product that allows Refuge in a Bag (RIB) you might only notice armyworms if you see damage on the 5-10% scattered Refuge plants (those without the B.t. toxin). If you are planting a product that requires a block refuge (non- B.t. plants) or for other non-B.t. containing corn like certain food grade corns or sweet corn, you should be scouting for armyworm now! If control is warranted, corn insecticides may be found in ENT-16, Insecticide Recommendations for Corn2013. Insecticide Recommendations may be obtained from your County Extension Office or on line at:

Figure 10. Fall Armyworm.

Most often confused in Kentucky are armyworm and fall armyworm. Armyworm also called True armyworm is a spring pest for Kentucky and most of the eastern U.S. It overwinters as far north as Tennessee and probably southern Kentucky, then migrates northward in the warm months. Fall armyworm (FAW) is a late summer to fall pest in Kentucky. This is due to its inability to tolerate cold weather, requiring it to overwinter in Texas, usually south Texas, then migrate to Kentucky and northward in the warmer months. During our current time of year armyworm is the threat to pastures, wheat and corn. Generally speaking, by this time of year, wheat is close enough to harvest that armyworm are not going to do much economic damage UNLESS they are clipping heads. Head clipping and worm feeding on the Flag and F1 leaves is the only really important damage. Control is generally warranted in wheat if 16 armyworms per four square-foot sample are found. If control is necessary, products may be found in ENT-47, Insecticide Recommendations for Small Grains (Barley, Oats, Wheat)- 2013. Pastures could be damaged, but if growing conditions are reasonable, pastures will usually outgrow major damage. Thresholds are not well

TOBACCO Disease Update for the Week of June 3 Kenny Seebold, Extension Plant Pathologist Current situation The major problem were seeing in tobacco at the moment is Pythium root rot in float beds, and the

problem is as bad as Ive seen in a few years. Terramaster 4EC can be applied up to 5 days before setting as long as the seasonal limit of 3.8 fl oz/100 gallons of float water has not been exceeded. For active disease, use 1 to 1.4 fl oz of Terramaster per 100 gallons of float water. Its important to get Pythium root rot under control before plants go to the field; otherwise, dampingoff or transplant shock can become issues after setting. More importantly, seedlings with significant root damage from Pythium are more susceptible to diseases like black shank and Fusarium wilt once set in the field (even varieties with resistance to the problems). To manage damping-off caused by Pythium spp, avoid transplanting into excessively wet ground if possible, and apply Ridomil Gold SL (or a generic equivalent) before or immediately after planting as a broadcast, incorporated spray. Another option is to use Ridomil Gold SL in the setter water (4 to 8 fl oz/A); this will protect against Pythium damping-off as well as black shank. Growers using the setter-water method of application should use at least 200 gallons/A to set plants (or more) and need to have a copy of the 24c label in their possession. Blue Mold Blue mold is still absent in the U.S as of June 3. I will continue to monitor this disease and send updates as needed.

insecticides, and herbicides. This is the first in a series of short articles intended to help understand this process better. The basic process of resistance development is illustrated in Figures 1-3, as follows: Figure 11: Resistance can only develop in spore populations where there is the genetic potential to resist the disease (represented by the filled circles in the figures). Normally, resistant spores occur at extremely low numbers: one in a million to one in a billion. But that is all it takes to start the process. Figure 12: When a fungicide spray is applied, many of the fungal spores are killed. This is the objective of using a fungicide, of course. However, resistant spores can survive the treatment. Note that some of the sensitive spores also survived, because they escaped the fungicide treatment. This means that they were lucky enough to be in a microsite that was not treated with fungicide. (This can result from incomplete spray coverage, for example.) Figure 13: If environmental conditions favor continued disease activity, the surviving spores grow and produce a new crop of spores. Note that this new crop of spores has a higher percentage of resistant spores, because the resistant spores preferentially survived the fungicide treatment (Figures 1-2).

FUNGICIDES Some Principles of Fungicide Resistance I: The Basics of Resistance Development By Paul Vincelli, Extension Plant Pathologist Fungicides are important tools in modern crop production. Unfortunately, one of the risks of using these products is that fungi sometimes develop resistance to them. Resistance development is a concern because the products may become less effectiveor even uselessfor controlling resistant pathogens and pests. This is a concern for all pesticides, including fungicides,
Figure 11. Population of spores before fungicide use. Most spores are sensitive (open circles), but sometimes a very low number are genetically resistant to the fungicide (filled circles).

condition is clearly under human control. It is a natural outcome of the use of at-risk fungicides.

PEST OF HUMANS American Dog Ticks By Lee Townsend, Entomologist

Figure 12. This illustrates the result of a fungicide application. The number of surviving spores is greatly reduced. Note that the resistant spores survived the treatment. Also, some sensitive spores (open circles) escaped the treatment.

Figure 14. American Dog Tick.

Figure 13. If environmental conditions favor a new cycle of disease activity, the next generation of spores will have a higher percentage of resistant spores. Continued use of the fungicide selects for these resistant spores.

American dog ticks occur throughout Kentucky. The tiny immature stages feed on small mammals. Adults prefer medium-sized mammals, especially dogs but will feed on large mammals, including humans. They are active from April to August. The American dog tick is the vector of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the eastern US. Fortunately, the disease is rare in Kentucky. According to 2010 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence in the Commonwealth is 0.2 to 1.5 cases per million people. While the chance of encountering an infected tick is low, tick awareness is the key to protection. Anyone who spends time in and around wooded areas should check themselves regularly and carefully for ticks. The American dog tick must be attached for at least 6 hours before transmitting the pathogen. Skin repellents and clothing treatments are available, too. How to remove a tick 1.Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

In a nutshell, the development of resistance is a form of evolution, and it happens if two conditions are in place: Genetic variability: The fungus has spores with the genes necessary to resist the toxin. Selection: The toxin is used repeatedly. The first of these conditionsthe genetic potentialis out of human control (for the most part). The mutant either exists in the field or does not. The second conditionselectionis what happens when we apply the at-risk fungicide 1. Our use of the fungicide selects for those spores that can survive the presence of the toxin. That The phrase at-risk fungicide means that the fungicide has a moderate to high risk of resistance development.

2.Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. 3.After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.


May 24 - 31 Location Black cutworm Armyworm European corn borer Corn earworm Southwestern corn borer Fall armyworm Princeton, KY 3 9 0 0 11 0 Lexington, KY 3 211 1 2 * *


Agronomic samples diagnosed in the PDDL in the past week have included Fusarium root rot on corn seedlings; lepto leaf spot and Aphanomyces root rot on alfalfa; barley yellow dwarf virus and Fusarium head blight on wheat; and symptoms of transplant shock on tobacco. On fruit and vegetable samples, we have diagnosed Phytophthora root rot on blueberry; anthracnose on grape; anthracnose fruit rot and Botrytis blight on strawberry; cedar-apple rust, fire blight and frogeye leaf spot on apple; bacterial leaf spot on peach; lack of pollination on sweet cherry; timber rot (Sclerotinia), Septoria leaf spot, early blight and leaf mold (Fulvia) on tomato. On ornamentals and turf, we have seen bacterial leaf blight on verbena; rust on hollyhock; Phoma dieback on vinca; blight on contorted filbert (Ansiogramma); powdery mildew and blister mite on ornamental pear; black spot, rose rosette and sawfly injury on rose; anthracnose on maple; Pythium root dysfunction on bentgrass; and red thread on fescue.

*Counts not available due to trap damage. Graphs of insect trap counts for the 2013 season are available on the IPM web site at

Note: Trade names are used to simplify the information presented in this newsletter. No endorsement by the Cooperative Extension Service is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not named.