April 25 (Reuters) – Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study. Click for More . . .
Archive for the ‘Pests’ Category
A recently release federal study day attributes the massive die-off in American honey bee colonies to a combination of factors, including pesticides, poor diet, parasites and a lack of genetic diversity. The problems affect pollination of American agricultural products worth tens of billions of dollars a year. Click for more . . .
In the 1940s and 50s clover was commonly interspersed with Kentucky bluegrass and maintained together in a healthy lawn. With the advent of the use of multiple herbicides in lawn treatments (2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP, tryclopyr, and chlopyralid) clover has gone from being an acceptable companion to our cool-season grasses to being considered simply a weed.
Because it can be controlled by herbicides or perhaps more accurately, because it cannot be discriminated by the herbicides it has been tossed into the weed category. Clover is a beneficial; it is a legume that is able to fix nitrogen out of the air and share it with surrounding turfgrass. The roots can be extensive and contribute significantly to the levels of organic matter in the soil.
The following release is from Beyond Pesticides (http://www.beyondpesticides.org):
Deadline, Friday April 27 at Noon
Dow Chemical has asked USDA for approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn, modified to be tolerant of the highly toxic 2,4-D herbicide, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects and more. We know from experience that herbicide-tolerant crops are a bad idea. They increase toxic pesticide use, contaminate organic and non-GE farms, and contribute to herbicide-resistance.
In fact, Dow wants to introduce the new variety of GE corn because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. The irony is that Roundup was originally marketed as a safer alternative to replace 2,4-D!
Solving herbicide resistance with another toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem.
Tell USDA to stop this toxic experiment and deny Dow’s petition for 2,4-D tolerant GMO corn. Please take action then forward this email to your friends and family! We will include all organizational sign-ons when we submit the comments to EPA and keep all signatories in the loop on this issue.
Due to the mild winter it is possible that you may encounter some early season grub damage, either directly from the grubs themselves or by their predators (skunks and crows), especially on newly transitioning lawns to organics. Obviously that lack of any sort of deep freeze this winter has allowed the grubs to remain closer to the soil surface. With the warming spring weather they are in the root zone feeding on the turf grass roots. As such they are also easy prey to the skunks and crows.
The grubs will likely continue feeding until about the 1st week of May. What to do? While we have had limited opportunities; we have had success using Hb Nematodes on white grubs in their 3rd instar. Please see Insect Parasitic Nematodes for Turfgrass Pest Management from Ohio State for more information on proper application.
Realistically the damage from crows or skunks is going to require repair. There will still be plenty of time to make repairs and get the areas established before summer, especially if you use a quick germinating turf grass species like perennial ryegrass.
If you are in need of Hb nematodes please check out GreenMethods.com.
You should also know that a conventional approach (e.g. pesticide use of Dylox) is unlikely to have any affect given that the grubs are in their 3rd in star lifecycle stage.
With temperatures hitting near the 100⁰ mark lawns without irrigation will be going into dormancy. But at this time it is also prudent to be on the lookout for evidence of chinch bug damage; since summer drought stress and chinch bug damage can look very much alike at this time of the season.
If you suspect chinch bugs may be damaging an area of turf, especially in a sunny sandy area, the easiest way to check is to cut off both ends of a coffee can, place one end into the ground in the affected area and fill the can with water (a little liquid detergent seems to get them). If they are there the chinch bugs should float to the surface. See Billbugs Chinchbugs for more information.
Much of the following is a repost of an earlier post – But useful this time of year.
Now is probably a good time to start scouting for white grubs. Certainly the weather we’ve received this season has made it difficult to guess the appropriate time to begin scouting. However, if you’re likely to see grub damage this season they are going to have to start feeding soon. (more…)
Much of the Northeast has seen below normal rainfall since April 2010 as well as unusually warm temperatures, especially during July. This has led to drought concerns throughout the region. However, the recent rains of the last week should be enough to bring the lawns out of dormancy. New green growth over 60% or more of the lawn area is a good sign that the lawn can recover. So what can you do to aid our lawns or athletic fields in the recovery process? (more…)
Billbug and chinchbug activity is continuing in some areas, although the bluegrass billbugs appear to be nearing the end of their larval activity. So the worst should be over for this year. Chinchbugs are well into their second generation this year. Remember that billbug and chinchbug damage resembles drought stress, but the affected turf does not recover in September when the temperatures moderate.