Strawberries are blooming, the rain is falling and it’s warming into the 60’s and 70’s—and as a plant pathologist, all I see is Botrytis spores dancing about the farm. We have already started to see Botrytis popping up on stem tissue and flower petals. Scouting for the pathogen in your fields will help inform you whether you need to spray.
We’re seeing root maggot problems this year, and some from infestations that probably started in when growing the transplants.
Insects, diseases and weeds aren't the only pests we encounter in greenhouses. Sometimes the damage we see to seeds, seedling and overwintering stock plants is caused by four-footed furry pests - rodents! This article discusses the two most common rodent pests of greenhouses, mice and voles, and how to control them.
Spotted wing drosophila, or Drosophila suzukii, lays eggs in such valuable soft-skinned fruit as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries. The eggs develop into larvae, leaving the fruit unmarketable.
In a previous article, I had mentioned Closer (sulfoxaflor) insecticide as being registered for use on strawberries. It had been for a while, but last fall EPA issued a cancellation order for the product, after the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that EPA improperly approved the registration.
Last month, we discussed new herbicides that have become available for use on berry crops in the last few years. In this article, we’ll cover changes with insecticides and miticides.
The allium leafminer (also known as the onion leafminer) has recently been detected and confirmed from infested leeks and onions in Lancaster County. This is the first confirmed infestation in the Western Hemisphere. Your assistance is needed for monitoring and controlling this new invasive species.
Agriculture Handbook 66 (AH-66) represents a complete revision and major expansion of the 1986 edition. It has been reorganized and now includes 17 Chapters and 138 Commodity Summaries written by nearly a hundred experts in 792 pages.
Powdery mildew can be a problem, especially for pumpkins. Resistant varieties are available, but it’s important to note that none are immune. It’s also critical to make a correct diagnosis when the disease shows up and to know which crop protectants to use. Beth Gugino, Associate Professor in the Vegetable Pathology Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Micro-biology College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State was featured in an American Vegetable Grower article posted April 1st on managing powdery mildew in pumpkin.
It’s March and we’re on the road to visit Yarnick’s Farm in Indiana, PA. The farm includes 250 acres of outdoor production and 20 greenhouses of varying sizes and shapes.
This planting was established in August 2014 and included 11 named cultivars with ‘Chandler’ and ‘Sweet Charlie’ as the standards for comparison. In addition, there were 3 advanced selections from the breeding program at Cornell and 3 advanced selections from the breeding program at Rutgers.
A top-three “warm episode” (El Niño) brought some widely expected winter weather impacts to the U.S., but also provided some surprises. For example, atmospheric warmth in part supplied by the balmy central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean contributed to the nation’s warmest Decembe to -February period on record.
The updated vegetable recommendations are now available as a hardcopy for purchase or as a pdf download!
The Seed Farm in Emmaus, PA is offering a series of training sessions for people planning to make the leap from vegetable gardening to production for profit.
Some new herbicides, or in some cases, new formulations, have become available for use in berry crops in the last few years. Here is a summary of these additions.
Today’s consumers expect to purchase high quality, flavorful, locally grown produce. One of the staples of summer produce markets are watermelons. In current American culture, seedless watermelons are preferred.
Between presenting and working at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference (MAFVC), I did have a chance to catch a few presentations (out of 200 plus) that were very interesting. Below are a few comments on some of the talks I attended.
In a recent article I described some important aspects of designing field experiments to avoid biasing the data. The take home lesson was that treatments should be replicated and randomized. In this article I will describe methods to summarize and interpret the data resulting from field experiments with a single qualitative treatment variable.
February 1 - 4, 2016 was the annual gathering of growers, from across the region for the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference. This educational event allowed growers to obtain the latest information on issues surrounding crop production, marketing, food safety, and farm labor. In addition, participants got to see new products and innovations in the trade show with over 160 exhibitors.
Since 2009, Penn State Extension has hosted a full-day session at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (MAFVC), taught completely in Spanish. These sessions have targeted Hispanic and Latino farmers, farm managers and farm workers, working in horticultural crop production. Bilingual educators from surrounding states have collaborated in the project, and helped to create a learning environment that is friendly, engaging, inclusive, and highly relevant.