The harlequin bug is an important insect pest of cabbage and related crops in the southern half of the United States. Recently it has been reported more frequently in southeastern Pennsylvania. Penn State Extension entomologist Shelby Fleischer and colleagues would like to learn from growers if it and other related true bug species are a problem in your fields.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2012 –U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to help refine federal crop insurance products for organic producers.
The demand for locally grown produce continues to rise in Pennsylvania, providing excellent opportunities for producers to extend their marketing season into the fall and winter. Proper storage management in vegetables such as winter squash, onions and carrots will result in less decay, fewer losses and more high quality product to sell to eager consumers during the cold months.
Last week I attended the organic vegetable twilight meeting at the Long Island Research Center for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Dr. Meg McGrath is a key researcher for organic plant disease management in the Northeast and I wanted to see the sites “in vivo.”
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA -- Honeybees exposed to agrochemicals used on farms may develop learning impairments that prevent them from being able to forage or even find their way back to the hive, say researchers at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
It’s been a tough year for a lot of growers. It started with a wet spring followed by many areas of the state experiencing drought from late June through mid-July. Then when the rains returned the stressed plants were susceptible to disease. I’ve heard several growers say recently they are looking forward to this year being over. Before you mentally put 2012 behind you be sure to finish strong.
Pumpkin growers throughout Pennsylvania have carefully monitored their crop for signs of powdery mildew and other diseases, but the recent heavy rainfall in some areas may spark an outbreak of Phytophthora crown and fruit rot in some of the poorer draining fields.
Phytophthora capsici causes a wide array of diseases ranging from seedling damping-off, leaf spots, foliar blight, root and crown rot, stem lesions to fruit rot on numerous vegetables including pepper, tomato, eggplant and most cucurbits.
Farmers and ranchers perform job responsibilities in all types of weather conditions including excessive heat and humidity. It is important for agricultural producers to understand risks associated with working in high heat work environments, potential heat-related illnesses, precautionary steps, and appropriate medical responses.
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is present on a number of farms in southeastern Pennsylvania and central Maryland. Larvae have been detected in cherries at the tail end of harvest and summer raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and primocane-fruiting raspberries where lateral canes emerged from pruning stubs.
Total fertility requirements in plasticulture are not different than those in conventional open-soil culture. With a drip irrigation system, however, application can be much more precise and timed with crop development.
The cool, wet weather conditions we've been experiencing can result in herbicide injury to sweet corn. This post covers herbicide injury symptoms, how the weather can lead to herbicide injury and what to do if herbicide injury is a problem.
Many species that overwinter in Pennsylvania apparently have done so with high survival rates. For example, we’ve seen very strong populations of several species of maggots, cucumber beetles, and asparagus beetle in April and May. However, many of our pests tend not to overwinter, but arrive as long distant migrants. We can now confirm that the long-distant migrants listed below have also been reported in May.
This past summer, fall, winter and now this spring - have been unusual. One item that can help growers deal with the weather changes, at least for plants that are close to the ground, is a floating row cover. There are many different types from which to choose.
The National Organic Program has recently published a final rule: Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing). A brief summary of the final rule is included below.
What do you think of when you hear the term "Pesticide Use?" You probably only think about pesticide application. However, there is much more to SAFE and effective pesticide use than just the application process.
With the warm weather insects are early this spring. Growers have seen damage from onion, seed corn and possibly cabbage maggot. Onion maggot damage of 10-20% has been confirmed in two fields in the Shippensburg area. Bean seed maggot was confirmed in Northampton County yesterday.
While most people think that vegetable pests are a major problem during the middle of the growing season (during the summer), there are insects that are ready to go as soon as a crop is planted - even in early spring!
Given the growth stage of berry crops and the current weather, frost protection is on everyone’s mind. I thought this might be a good time for a re-run of a portion of a frost-related article, and some frost-related “Berry Good Questions” from past years paraphrased and condensed, plus a couple of new ones thrown in.
Wooden stakes are a place where the bacterial pathogens that plague tomatoes can survive between crops. In fact, stakes from a tomato planting where research was conducted on bacterial diseases have been used as a source of the pathogen for subsequent experiments! Therefore, it is prudent for growers to disinfect stakes that were in a field where a bacterial disease occurred last year. This step is worth-while even if there is uncertainty about occurrence considering how difficult bacterial diseases are to manage.
I have often said to growers and potato breeders that I believed common scab was a serious problem in potatoes, because like it or not, potatoes are in a beauty contest at the local supermarket. Yes, we know you can peel off the skin with the scab on it and you are fine and your mash potatoes look beautiful. It is just that scab ruins the outward appearance of a beautiful, bright round white potato.
Tomato growing can be a tricky business. Several years ago late blight wiped out many home garden tomatoes, while commercial growers had to be extra vigilant in their crop protection programs in order to reach harvest. Every year is different and Mother Nature threw its weight around last summer. That greatly affected the commercial growers this time, more than home gardeners.
For those of you who are interested in producing day-neutral strawberries, there's a guide out there for you -- "Season-Long Strawberry Production with Everbearers for Northeastern Producers." This 70-page guide covers information on production techniques, economics, and pests in day-neutral production.
Northeast growers can capture more of the lucrative local market for fresh berries by growing brambles (raspberries and blackberries) in high tunnels. And the place for them to start is with the updated and expanded edition of High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries.
It was a tough year for some tomato growers as flooded fields and saturated soils prevented or inhibited harvest. Regardless of Mother Nature's curveball last year, it appears that tomato growers remain optimistic based on the huge attendance at the tomato session at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference.
The crowds were very large at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference with certain sessions very popular. Over the years, high tunnel talks and sessions have become a 'destination of choice' as growers utilize the technology to extend the growing season.
I had the benefit of hearing Dr Doug Beegle from Penn State speak recently about soil testing and interpretation at the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference. If you did not take a soil test last fall and are gearing up to test this spring, you might be interested in the following tips.
Pest management for vegetable transplant production is an integrated process and includes sanitation, sound cultural practices, the use of resistant cultivars (where possible) and finally, proper use of the correct pesticide. Your pest management program should be starting now in the greenhouse.
All of the tomatoes noted below were from the planting in the Haygrove Super Solo high tunnel at the Penn State Southeast Research and Extension Center (Landisville Farm). They were replicated twice within the tunnel. If one of the tomato plots was in an outside row, the other was inside. If one tomato plot was at or near the end, the other was closer to the center. The tasting comments come from the annual tomato tasting held at the Franklin County Extension Office in late-August.
Nationwide, consumers are looking for more ways to purchase and consume locally grown foods throughout the year. In response, winter farmers markets are on the rise. And to supply those winter markets, growers in the northeast are focusing on improving their ability to store vegetables through the winter.
In order to look at the possible labor and resource savings Penn State Extension educators, working with growers, laid biodegradable mulch at seven sites in Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Snyder, and Bucks Counties. Take a look at what we learned and farmer tips on how to work with biofilms.