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[nafex] Neem Alert

As I have been cleaning up my sprayers to put them away, I found that
the neem oil I used extensively this past season has seriously degraded
the rubber parts on my best sprayer --- an SPO 4-gallon backpack.   I am
having to order quite a few new parts, including diaphragm and plunger
seal, and o-rings for the trigger release.  This stuff dissolves
rubber.  I would expect a mineral-based oil to do this, but was
surprised that a pure vegetable oil would do it too.  I think the only
way I could have reduced the damage would have been to rinse with very
hot water, which will dissolve and carry away the neem oil.
As for the results of neem oil application on the trees, I have found
none of a positive nature.  For example, I sprayed peaches with neem at
least five times May through July, and deliberately avoided use of
Orbit, which I have used in previous years against brown rot.  My peach
crop was down anyway due to a late freeze, but brown rot has taken or is
taking all the rest.  No difference in the extent of peach scab on the
fruit.  Next year it's back to Orbit.  Same story for apples.  No
appreciable results that I cannot attribute to early application of
Imidan, and next season I will be looking for something to combat
bullseye rot on my apples, which is ruining quite a few.  So much for my
experiment with neem oil.
Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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