- Author: Emily Dooley
- Posted by: Gale Perez
Hanson and team battle invasive species
At first glance, Orobanche ramosa looks like an interesting blossoming plant, one that could add a unique flair to flower arrangements. But it's a parasitic weed that attaches to roots, sucks out nutrients and is threatening California's $1.5 billion processing tomato industry.
The weed's tiny seeds — smaller than finely ground pepper — can survive in soil for many decades and be carried by wind, water, soil transfers and even footwear. If found attached to crop plants and reported to the state, farmers are required to destroy the field before harvest, taking large losses not covered by.../h2>
The Pest Management Strategic Plan for Processing Tomatoes in California (see attachment) was published in May 2021 and encompasses a wealth of information on pest issues and farming practices for processing tomatoes in California.
Myself, Cooperative Extension Specialist Cassandra Swett, and UC IPM collaborated on creating this document directly from stakeholder input and funding from the Western IPM Center. Below I have highlighted the documented critical needs for managing weeds in processing tomato production in California (more detail on each can be found in the PMSP, cited below). These needs were prioritized by growers, PCAs, academics and industry for the state, the northern growing region and the...
Branched broomrape is a parasitic plant that is an “A-listed” noxious weed in California, requiring crop destruction and a hold order to be placed on reported fields. It has been reported in several commercial tomato fields in Yolo County in recent years and is of growing concern to the California tomato industry. Until recently, there have been no registered chemistries to control branched or Egyptian broomrape in California.
Rimsulfuron, marketed as Matrix SG by Corteva, is registered on tomatoes in California is widely used both PRE...
Conventional processing tomato weed management in California often includes pre-plant herbicides (trifluralin and/or s-metolachlor), followed by cultivation, and hand hoeing. Rimsulfuron herbicide can also be used in conventional systems and can be applied either pre or post transplanting. Post-transplant applications of rimsulfuron can selectively remove nightshades if applied when the weeds are very young, no more than 2 true leaves, however, long plant-back restrictions may limit its use. Therefore, the use of hand crews is often needed to remove weeds that emerge in the plant row, where standard cultivation equipment is ineffective.
Automated weeders, or robotic weeders, use cameras and computers to distinguish crops from...