Clemson University researchers are looking at the efficacy of injecting insecticides under a pumpkin crop in irrigation water.
Neonicotinoids have been on the market for nearly 10 years and have been highly successful in managing aphids and white flies on a number of vegetable crops. The only negative, according to Smith, is that this family of insecticides has been linked to bee problems. He stresses the jury is still out on the amount of bee damage caused by these materials.
Clemson horticulturist Gilbert Miller, who is conducting the pumpkin tests, says he has two bee colonies near the test plot and has seen no problems with using Admire. The jury is still out on whether this family of chemistry causes or helps cause collapse of a bee colony, he adds.
Neonicotinoids get into the plant tissue and circulate through the plant. They don’t get into the fruit and flower of the plant, so they are very fruit friendly.
These materials work best when they are absorbed by the root system of the plant. In the Clemson tests, conducted at the Edisto Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackville, S.C., Miller mixed up the proper amount of insecticide to cover the test plot acreage, and used a proportional injector to inject the material into irrigation water.
The proportional injectors, in the Edisto tests are based on the proportion of water that passes through them. The system sucks out the correct proportion of pesticide intended for the field.
Dosatron injectors work using volumetric proportioning, ensuring chemical mixtures, in the Clemson pumpkin test, Admire insecticide, remain the same, regardless of variations in pressure and flow. When water enters the injector, it triggers the hydraulic motor, which begins moving up and down inside the body of the injector. On the up stroke, the Dosatron draws fluid up from the concentrate tank in an action similar to a hypodermic syringe