The woody ornamental pest update for the first week of June, 2011.
What is EHV-1? What information is out there to read?
As educators, it is important for us to keep in mind the broad scope of emotions brought on by the diagnosis of diabetes. Bill Polonsky, PhD, CDE is the Founder and CEO of Behavioral Diabetes Institute and has some helpful suggestions for educators.
The first of our “cool and wet” turf diseases has started to show up in home lawns.
Penn State Nutrition Links is an umbrella administration for two federally funded nutrition education programs for limited resource audiences in Pennsylvania. EFNEP – Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program was initially part of the Smith Lever Act of 1969. The program focuses on helping families with children improve behaviors in: dietary intake as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid, food resource management skills and practices, nutrition practices and food safety practices.
We re-ran the carbon balance model based on the weather data and forecast for Biglerville, Pennsylvania, and it shows several windows of carbohydrate stress in May 2011 when thinning may have been very strong. Based on the forecast as of Tuesday morning, May 31, 2011, the model predicts that there will be a block of time over the next three days when fruits will be very sensitive to chemical thinning because the temperatures are so high.
As much as we do not want to admit it, the brown marmorated stink bug, (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Heteroptera-Pentatomidae) has established itself in our surroundings and most likely this insect pest will continue to pose an extremely serious threat to our agricultural systems for years to come. During the last two years researchers and extension specialists from throughout the Mid-Atlantic states have documented the enormous potential of this insect to destroy the quality of various fruits, vegetables and some agronomic crops such as soybean and corn. According to information recently gathered by Mark Seetin, the U.S. Apple Association Director of Regulatory and Industry Affairs, the estimated losses during the 2010 season for this region’s fruit growers exceeded $37 million.
Q. Is brown marmorated stink bug likely to be a problem on any of the berry crops, and if so, what materials are available to control it? (Tim Elkner, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lancaster Co.) A. I was noticing a few brown marmorated stink bugs creep across the window as Tim was asking me this question, which wasn’t boding well. Last year, the berry crops most affected in the mid-Atlantic region were the ones that ripened later in the season after stink bug populations had increased, and I’d expect a similar seasonal effect this year as well. So, this would mean BMSB will likely inflict little or no damage on June-bearing strawberries, summer-bearing red and black raspberries, and early blueberry cultivars, and more damage on later-maturing varieties of blueberry and blackberries. Fall-harvested raspberries, blackberries, and day-neutral strawberries would be the most at risk.
Despite a relatively slow start for 2011, the degree accumulations base 43° at the Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville as well as the Penn State Research Center in Rock Spring (Centre County) are already the second highest for the last 6 years.
Expert advice, in the form of a farm energy audit, is the best method to find ways to improve your farm’s energy efficiency. Unfortunately, energy audits are often quite expensive and typically cost $1500 or more. Through the Pennsylvania Farm Energy Audits Program, USDA will offset the cost by paying 75% of the energy audit, leaving only 25% of the cost to the farmer. The audits are carried out by Penn State agricultural energy specialists or specially trained private consultants, depending on the location of the farm and availability of personnel. Dan Ciolkosz, the Penn State Extension energy specialist who is coordinating the program, let me tag along during one of the audit visits at a tree fruit orchard operation in Adams County last month. Dan was conducting the audit along with George Hurd, the Environmental/Resource Development Extension Educator from Franklin County. We first sat down with the orchard owner and asked questions about all of the different energy sources on the farm (e.g., electricity, fuel oil, wood, diesel, etc.) and looked over the farm’s electricity bills from the last few years. The owner also shared information about his use of and plans for improving and upgrading various buildings, cold storage rooms, and a three-phase electric system installation.
Faced with uncertainty about the future of brown marmorated stink bug populations and their impact on crop production, researchers at Penn State recently launched a stink bug mapping tool in collaboration with the PA Department of Agriculture. John Tooker, assistant professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences developed the tool with Douglas Miller, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Environmental Informatics in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The tool, housed at http://stinkbug-info.org, will help the researchers gather widespread data to study brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) population dynamics. The BMSB is an invasive pest discovered in Pennsylvania in the late 1990’s. Although native stink bug species exist in the state, they have largely had a minimal impact on crop production. However, population explosions of the BMSB in southern Pennsylvania in 2010 caught many growers off guard, leading to questions about the biology and behavior of the pest. The researchers hope statewide tracking efforts will help them develop better management recommendations, as well as warn crop growers of impending damage.
Farmers using a cover crop seeder developed by Penn State agricultural scientists may eventually need only a single trip across the field to accomplish what takes most farmers three passes and several pieces of equipment to do...
This has been one wet and cool spring. For many, planting has been delayed because fields are too wet. This article describes how transplant age affects yield of bell peppers, tomatoes and summer squash.
Angular leaf spot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas fragariae, seems to be a problematic in numerous strawberry plantings this spring. This disease is favored by cold, wet conditions, so given the weather conditions we’ve had across the state this spring, it’s no surprise that we are seeing problems. The bacteria get spread within a planting by splashing of water droplets. Needing to use overhead irrigation for frost protection can make the problem worse.
Watershed-level management efforts are growing and supported by federal, state, and local policy. The intent of these efforts is to create partnerships among local officials, state and county agencies, community groups, and residents that will address environmental concerns.
Erosion and sediment pollution control is an important factor in maintaining the quality of our waterways and plays a major role in natural gas development.
Another anti-logging activist was slain in the Amazon. He harvests nuts and makes baskets for living.
Farmers using a cover-crop seeder developed by Penn State agricultural scientists may eventually need only a single trip across the field to accomplish what takes most farmers three passes and several pieces of equipment to do. Pennsylvania farmers are increasingly interested in growing cover crops, but the time, cost and late fall harvest of corn and other crops often limit their use, said Gregory Roth, professor of agronomy. The seeder can help farmers, especially small operations, save time and money by condensing multiple tasks into one trip through a no-till field. It also would allow farmers to seed fields that lacked cover crops due to late season and cost concerns.
We have heard about and seen a few cereal rye fields that either did not get harvested for forage or have not yet been sprayed or managed as a cover crop. We had a number of experiments over the last several years focused on managing cereal rye in no-till soybean where we roll the rye with a roller-crimper followed by soybean planting. We have included herbicides in this system and also experimented with organic no-till.
Penn State Extension Educators across the state are collaborating with local growers to look at biodegradable mulch. We all know the benefits of plastic mulch. Not only does it keep the weeds down, it warms up the soil giving us earlier (and more) tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other heat loving veggies. But it costs us. Farmers estimate it costs $25-100 an acre for labor and disposal of plastic mulch. A possible alternative to black plastic mulch is biodegradable film mulches that look and act much like black plastic, but instead of ripping them up in the fall, you till them into the soil and the microbes degrade the material, leaving you a clean field (hopefully) in the spring.