Nimitz nematicide recieves approval from EPA

January 29, 2015 in Vegetables

The following is a press release pertaining to Nimitz, a new nematicide that recently was granted approval by the EPA.  I believe that this product will be a great tool in our vegetable crops in the future.

Raleigh, North Carolina (January 5, 2015)–ADAMA, a world leader in customer-focused agricultural solutions, announced today that NIMITZ, a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features and unmatched user safety, has received federal registration from the EPA.

The active ingredient in NIMITZ has a unique mode of action which categorizes the product within a new chemical classification. The U.S. is the first country to receive a federal registration, with approved crop uses on cucurbits, (including cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupe and squash), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplants).

“NIMITZ is the nematicide that growers have been waiting for,” says Herb Young, ADAMA brand leader. “It is highly effective in controlling plant-parasitic nematodes. It also has a ‘Caution’ signal word which has never existed until now for a chemical nematicide. No other nematicide in the world currently has this same mode of action or classification.”

ADAMA’s latest entry is a new paradigm for nematode control on high value crops. NIMITZ eliminates stringent use requirements of fumigant nematicides including Fumigant Management Plans, re-entry intervals (REI), 24-hour field monitoring and restrictive buffer zones.

“In contrast to fumigant nematicides, NIMITZ simplifies nematode management by lessening complex handling practices and application restrictions,” says Young. “NIMITZ has no REI and does not require certified applicator training. Also, personal protective equipment (PPE) is minimal.”

Revolutionizing global nematode control

Nematodes are among the most destructive and problematic pests for growers worldwide, causing yield loss of more than $100 billion annually. In the U.S., restricted use pesticides, primarily fumigants, have been a traditional means for controlling nematodes.

Since 2007, more than 1,000 field trials and hundreds of regulatory studies have been conducted in 23 countries to demonstrate the effectiveness and unique handling benefits of NIMITZ. This research consistently shows nematode control with NIMITZ as being competitive with the most popular commercial standards.

“As the first new chemical nematicide to be developed in more than 20 years, NIMITZ will fill an industry-wide demand for highly-effective nematode control as companies phase out older, more toxic and environmentally-hazardous nematicides,” says Pablo A. Navia, ADAMA innovation technical leader. “NIMITZ provides a non-restricted use pesticide alternative that is effective, easy to apply, and with lower environmental impact.”

Cited by Navia as a ‘true’ nematicide, NIMITZ causes irreversible and rapid nematicidal activity immediately following an application. Within one hour of contact, nematodes cease feeding and quickly become paralyzed. Within 24 to 48 hours, pest mortality occurs rather than temporary nematostatic (immobilizing) activity, as seen with organophosphate and carbamate nematicides.

Product application, future registrations

Since NIMITZ is a contact nematicide, not a fumigant, it frees growers from many of the complications, equipment requirements, liabilities, and dangers associated with fumigant nematicides without compromising control.

NIMITZ application options include drip-injection, and broadcast or banding with mechanical incorporation.

ADAMA reports that the process for MRLs has been initiated for the export of produce. The company expects to obtain further registrations of NIMITZ in more countries and crops.

According to Young, NIMITZ’s unique and safer features exemplify ADAMA’s commitment to bringing simplicity to agriculture. He explains, “EPA summarized this new active best in the Federal Docket [EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0629, July 25, 2014], ‘Fluensulfone (NIMITZ) represents a safer alternative for nematode control with a new mode of action and a much simpler and straight forward product label.’”

For more information about NIMITZ, contact ADAMA at 866-406-6262.


Christa Miller

2014 applied field crops research available

January 27, 2015 in Barley, Barley diseases, Corn, Corn Disease Management, Soybean, Soybean Disease Management, Wheat, Wheat Diseases

I have put together a book that summarizes much of our applied plant pathology research from the 2014 field season.  The guide is intended to provide clientele from Delaware and the surrounding region with up to date, research-based information on applied management of current or emerging diseases in the mid-Atlantic.

Access the book by clicking this link:KleczewskiAppliedResearchBooklet2014

2015 Fungicide Resistance Management Booklet Now Available

January 22, 2015 in Vegetables

Fungicides contain active ingredients with a specific mode of action.  The mode of action typically refers to a particular physiological process essential to the fungus.  For example, fungicides in the group 7 (SDHI) class impact energy production by inhibiting a process at one point  of the energy production pathway, whereas the group 11 (QoI) fungicides impact energy production by inhibiting a different part of this same pathway.  Other fungicides can prevent DNA replication, RNA production and signalling, cell division, cell wall synthesis and integrity, and other processes important for the survival and reproduction of fungi.  When fungicides on the same class are applied repeatedly in a location it can result in a buildup of individuals with a natural resistance or tolerance to the fungicide in the population.  This resistance results in a general lack of fungicide effectiveness for this particular fungicide class in the future.  One way to avoid resistance issues is to rotate among products belonging to different fungicide classes and to understand the resistance risk of a particular fungicide.


Each year we put together a fungicide resistance guide with the cooperation of plant pathologists throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.  This guide is an excellent resource for those growing vegetables and utilizing fungicides during the growing season.  A pdf of the guide can be found by clicking the link below:

2015 FRAC Guide

iLeVO: A New Tool for Soybeans

December 31, 2014 in Soybean, Soybean Disease Management, Soybean diseases

iLeVO, a seed treatment containing Fluopyram recently gained approval for use by the EPA.  Those of you who grow vegetables or orhards are likely already familiar with this active ingredient as it is a major component of the Luna fungicide product line.  Fluopyram is of the newer group 7 fungicides, which inhibit an essential enzyme in the respiratory pathway, preventing energy production.  This results in inhibition of spore germination, germ tube elongation (essential in penetration of plant tissues for many fungi), growth, and sporulation.  Interestingly, Fluopyram also has activity against nematodes.  This molecule was released in recent years in Honduras for use as a nematicide in bananas, and now it is available as a seed treatment in soybeans.  It’s also a component of seed treatments in small grains in Europe, and a few other uses here and there.

From the data I have seen, the best use of this product as a seed treatment is in areas with high levels of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) pressure.  Data indicates that in these situations, under the proper environmental conditions, you may see yield benefits in the range of 3-10 bu/A.  I have also seen some data that indicates that Fluopyram may have activity against root knot nematode as well.  There is still some debate on weather this is a true nematicide or simply a nematistatic product.  There is some research that indicates that this may be more of a nematastatic product, meaning that it might slow down the nematodes or “screw them up” for a period of time, allowing the plant to grow larger and better tolerate their future activity.

A couple things to keep in mind: 

1)  data indicates that you may see stunting initially with this product, but yield is not affected.

2) we have not tested these in our soils in DE and MD, so it would be nice to see some on farm trials to see what this might do in terms of benefiting growers in our growing conditions (high sand, irrigation, our tillage systems, our soybean varieties, etc.).

3) some growers have SDS, but not to the extent that they have it in the Midwest.  In Delaware in particular you will see patches here and there, but the impact on yield here is suspect.  We also have many fields that do not have SDS that are claimed to have this disorder.  You really need to have this disease confirmed by your diagnostic clinic or Extension Plant Pathologist to be sure.  I’ve seen fields where SDS was suspected but the issue was compaction, virus, even Frogeye leaf spot.  Remember:  Effective management starts with disease confirmation.

4) you are not likely to see SDS in double-crop soybeans due to increased temperatures which does not favor SDS foliar and root rot symptoms.

5) rotation to a non host crop, such as corn, can reduce SCN by up to 55% in a single season, so if you have been bit by SCN this year in a few fields, consider rotating to corn in impacted fields in 2015 and perhaps go back to soy in 2016.  Managing SCN is through reducing populations, and rotation is the easiest and best way to accomplish this.


The news release can be found here: NEWS RELEASE

My factsheet on SDS can be found here: SDS in Soybeans

The views expressed here are for educational purposes and do not constitute an endorsement of the product.

Updates on soybean rust and kudzu

December 17, 2014 in Soybean, Soybean Disease Management, Soybean diseases

When I started my doctoral program in plant pathology in 2004 soybean rust was all the rage, and for good reason.  The disease posed a serious concern to soybean growers throughout the United States.  Luckily, the disease has thusfar been limited in its impacts and range.  To date, only a single pustule of soybean rust has ever been detected in Delaware.  Where have we seen soybean rust and what risk does it pose in the future?  That’s a great question!  Luckily there is a great article that sums it all up:soybean rust in the continental U S

Another issue is kudzu, which is an alternate host for soybean rust.  What about kudzu, you ask?  Well, you are in luck!  I also have a great article on that subject that you can read:Outlook on Pest management Kudzu and SBR



Spray strategies for optimal small grain head coverage

November 20, 2014 in Barley, Barley diseases, Wheat, Wheat Diseases

Optimal coverage is essential in suppressing fungal diseases in any crop.  It is particularly important when the target is diseases that attack grain heads, such as Fusarium head blight and Stagonospora glume blotch.  Growers may choose to use an aerial applicator, or ground rig.  Configurations of the rigs, nozzle types, operating pressures can vary from applicator to applicator.  Has there been any work on application strategies that optimize coverage of small grain heads?  The answer: Yes.


North Dakota State University conducted excellent research on strategies that optimize spray coverage for ground rigs, planes, and even air assist nozzles.  Click on the links below to view these publications.  Although these studies were conducted in the West, they are applicable to us in the mid-Atlantic.




Factors that affect stalk rots and lodging in corn

November 13, 2014 in Corn, Corn Disease Management

Due to the delay in harvest, we are starting to hear and see more reports of stalk rots and lodging in corn.  Stalk rots are common and can be found in almost every field to some degree.  In a year such as this one, we are asking a lot of the plants as far as standability is concerned.  The longer corn remains in the field, the easier it is for pathogens to enter.  At this point it’s hard to say when the fungi entered or if they are actually responsible for the lodging in fields.  There are several factors that can influence lodging and stalk rots in corn and many of these factors can be addressed before or during the field season.

Carbohydrate Stress

Carbohydrate stress in corn can be caused by either a) limits to photosynthesis or b) overcommitment of carbohydrate resources to the ear.  The following are generalizations.  For more detailed information refer to agronomy texts or primary literature.

Photosynthetic limitation can be caused by numerous factors.  The most important factors impacting stalk rots in corn are foliar diseases, insect damage, cloud cover, high plant density, and nutrient and water deficiencies.  Foliar disease and insect damage reduce the amount of photosynthetic area, thereby reducing the overall carbon budget.  As levels of damage to foliage by pathogens and pests increase, so too does the amount of stalk rot and lodging.  Cloud cover and high planting density reduce the amount of light accessible to foliage and therefore photosynthetic rate.  High planting densities also can limit access to water and nutrients, which reduce photosynthetic rate through other mechanisms.

Hybrid characteristics such as a large cob size and high kernel numbers may predispose plants to stalk rots.  This is because the aforementioned factors increase the amount of “pull” the cob has on the plant carbon budget.  Imagine you are sharing a milkshake with a friend.  The harder your friend drinks, the less milkshake you have to enjoy.  Something similar occurs in plants with carbohydrates.  After flowering the carbohydrates, produced through photosynthesis in the ear leaf, are preferentially diverted to the ear.  However, if the ear leaf cannot meet the demands of grain fill, carbohydrates are mobilized from the root and stalk.  This can have a couple of impacts on the plant. 1) it can cause structural weakness in the stalk, resulting in lodging; 2) it can weaken the stalk and allow fungi to enter.  Without a sufficient carbohydrate supply the production of chemicals for defense of plant tissues is reduced, resulting in increased levels of infection by stalk rotting pathogens.  For this reason many of the stalk-rotting pathogens are opportunistic, and disease is caused by whatever organism happens to be in the vicinity when carbohydrate stress occurs.


Limited access to nutrients critical to photosynthesis can cause carbohydrate stress and increase stalk rots and lodging.  Although there is variability in terms of specific nutrients and diseases, in general, stalk rots increase when nutrients are lost during the growing season.  Conversely, over fertilization can cause excessively lush growth.  Lush growth is often structurally weak and easily invaded by fungi.


Limitations to water impact the amount of gaseous carbon that moves to the foliage from the atmosphere.  Plants contain tiny openings in the foliage and stems that allow gas exchange.  When water is plentiful, these openings open.  When water is deficient, these openings close, which limits the amount of carbon that enters the plant leaf and therefore the amount of carbohydrates available for grain fill, plant defense, etc.  Therefore, any factor that limits the ability of the plant to access water may ultimately predispose the plant to stalk rots and lodging.  Excessively wet conditions can leach nitrogen from the soil and stress roots, facilitating fungal infection.

Hybrid Genetics 

Hybrids differ in their susceptibility to stalk rots.  In general, hybrids with low ratings of stalk strength or those that produce exceptionally large ears tend to be more prone to stalk rots than those with strong stalks and smaller ears.  Hybrids also can differ in their water and nutrient use profiles, which as mentioned previously, impact the carbon budget of the plant.


Management of stalk rots should include the use of: 1) hybrids with resistance to stalk rot pathogens and/or high ratings of stalk strength and stay green characteristics; 2) a balanced fertility program based on the environment, population, and hybrid; 3) programs to control foliar diseases and insects; 4) irrigation to avoid drought stress.


Scouting is crucial for minimizing losses caused by stalk rots.  Fields can be scouted for stalk rot before harvest by scouting 1 site for every 10 acres of the field.  At each site pinch the base of ten plants to assess stalk integrity.  Plants that can be pinched easily between the thumb and index finger are likely suffering from stalk rot.  Alternatively, push plants 30-40 degrees from vertical.  Plants suffering from stalk rot will fall over easily.  If more than 10-15% of tested plants in a field show lodging potential schedule that field for early harvest.


2014 soybean variety trial disease ratings now available

October 27, 2014 in Profitible soybean management, Soybean, Soybean Disease Management, Soybean diseases

The 2014 Soybean variety trial disease ratings are now available.  To view, click the link below.

Soybean Variety Trial Writeup 2014

Cucumber downy mildew can be transmitted in seed

October 20, 2014 in Vegetables

Cucumber downy mildew (CDM) caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis  is an extremely damaging and important disease of cucurbits.  Our previous thinking was that P. cubensis could not be transmitted in seed, and instead epidemics were dependent on the pathogen overwintering on living host tissues and blowing into cooler production regions during the summer.  However, a recent study published in PLOS one has shown that this pathogen can be transmitted to seed of infected plants.

In the study, researchers found that 6-7% of fruits collected from infected plants, when ground and used to inoculate healthy cucurbits, could incite CDM.  A low amount of seed (roughly 1%) collected from fruit of infected plants developed CDM when planted.  Molecular assays determined that the pathogen can be found in various parts of the fruit and seed.  This finding could explain recent changes in population structure that plant pathologists have noticed in recent years.  To read more, clink this link: Seed transmission 17 10 2014 PolsOne

DON: Keeping a Mycotoxin in Check Through Ongoing Research, Sound Sampling & Producer Awareness

October 10, 2014 in Barley, Barley diseases, Wheat, Wheat Diseases

The following is a link to an article written by Don Lilleboe, an agricultural writer from North Dakota.  The article highlights the efforts of the USWBSI in combating Fusarium Head Blight in small grains.


Click here to access the article.


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