As our drought continues expect to see an increase in Blossom End Rot (BER) on peppers, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and cantaloupes.
On July 20, 2016 we visited with Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg and Gabby Bedeian at Plowshare Produce, a certified organic farm located in McAlevys Fort in Huntingdon County. Micah and Bethany rent the 2.5 acres they farm from Bethany’s parents who own 50-60 acres.
Penn State Extension and Pennsylvania growers and packers cooperated with Cornell University the past three years in storage trials to assess ways to reduce postharvest disorders in Honeycrisp. Implications from the study are: 1) If risk of bitter pit is high, fruit should be stored without conditioning and marketed earlier than conditioned fruit. 2) Fruit with low bitter pit risk should be conditioned and stored at 38°F if storage periods are uncertain.
Routine assessments of fruit starch levels, ground color and other maturity indices allow growers to make improved decisions about optimum harvest dates for long-term storage. During August through the end of October, 2016, Fruit Times subscribers will receive weekly summaries on changes in fruit maturity and will also be directed to more comprehensive information at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center Seasonal Update site.
Moths of the second generation codling moth, third generation of Oriental fruit moth and the second generations of tufted apple bud moth and obliquebanded leafroller are active and, if present, the injuries caused by juvenile larval stages will be observed at harvest. Woolly apple aphid (WAA) colonies are being observed in many orchards across the region. Control at the correct timing will help manage second summer generation of San Jose scale crawlers. Adult brown marmorated stink bugs will soon move into orchards from surrounding vegetation. Plan ahead with the choice of products utilized against BMSB, and preserve the most effective options for when the pressure from this pest will increase in the later part of the season.
Grassy weeds often infest fields. Management practices for grassy weeds vary depending on which grassy weed you are trying to control.
With peach season in full swing, a review of management strategies for controlling brown rot is discussed.
It’s official—we have our first SWD capture at the Horticulture Research Farm at Rock Springs.
Broad mites have potential to be a problem on blackberries once again this year, with damage already being noted in some other states. Generally symptoms show up on just a few plants first, so it is important to recognize them before the problem becomes widespread.
This article was originally published in "Passages", the journal of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Ag, and highlights the fiscal sustainability of farms by providing an overview of crop insurance, conservation and risk management programs available through the USDA.
Penn State Extension educators will be visiting hundreds of farms in the next month to follow up on a survey Pennsylvania farmers received earlier this year asking about conservation practices they have adopted to promote water quality and soil health.
In late 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency issued the long awaited revision to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Although it is now technically active it will not be enforced until 2017 but the original WPS will still be enforced until the end of 2016. Please keep in mind that the WPS covers both restricted use AND general use pesticides. This article will deal with the highlights to the revision but also some areas of the current WPS that need emphasized.
There are an increasing number of reports of powdery mildew on a wide range of cucurbit crops across Pennsylvania.
Reports of downy mildew on cucumber continue to increase and now include Lancaster, Chester and Delaware Counties in PA as well as new reports on cucumber in NJ, NY, MI and Ontario, Canada. Earlier this week was the first report on cantaloupe in northeastern OH in Medina County. Disease spread is most likely in the northeastern and southeastern portions of PA in the upcoming days.
The drought of 2012 and record beef prices, during this period, revitalized the interest in feeding dairy steer calves for beef, in particular the Holstein steer. This increased interest has meant more accepting sale of these animals to a packer and more competitive markets for Holstein beef.
A growing percentage of consumers are very interested in understanding how and where food comes from. This trend is a cue to farm and other agricultural producers to prepare to answer questions from customer about production practices.
This spring, a dramatic decline in the health of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) has been observed in forest and landscape settings across New England and Northeastern Pennsylvania...
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.
When it’s hot and humid, it can be tough to keep cool. If we’re not careful, we can become over heated and suffer a heat related illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Take a walk around your landscape and you'll see them everywhere. The weeds are up. I mentally divide my weeds into two major groups: ones that spread by seeds and ones that spread by roots and seeds.