Sweet onion production has soared in Pennsylvania in recent years and bacterial disease challenges have grown right along with production. Steve Bogash provided interview-type questions to Emily Pfeufer, Ph.D. candidate working with Beth Gugino, Vegetable Pathologist due to her four years of research into sweet onion bacterial diseases.
Q. Can we expect reduced SWD pressure this season due to our extremely cold weather? A. We didn’t have an answer to this one; and we weren’t alone on that. Dr. Greg Loeb, grape and small fruit entomologist at Cornell spearheading work on SWD in NY and the NE region, didn’t either, but provided the following thoughts on the topic:
The production of early potatoes for direct marketing or sale to consumers can be a very lucrative enterprise for many growers who only grow 3-5 acres of potatoes in Pennsylvania.
Soil-borne diseases can be devastating to vegetable crops. In the Northeast alone 1,687,080 tons of fresh market and processing vegetables on 264,490 acres, worth $701,377,000 suffer 10-15% losses from soil borne diseases (NASS Crop Profiles, 2007). Disease suppressive cover crop rotations may provide an additional tool for managing soil borne disease. Researchers have documented significant increases in yield after sudangrass, brassica, millet and other cover crops. Here we describe recent results of a two season on-farm case study using cover crops to suppress Verticillium wilt in tomato.
One option for avoiding injury from spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is to plant earlier-maturing varieties. This article discusses some cultivars that might fit the bill.
In 2012-13 we evaluated 24 cultivars of bicolor and white synergistic cultivars of sweet corn in 3 locations across Pennsylvania. This article presents our methods and results.
Customers are demanding local food, and they want it all winter long. Some growers are finding effective ways to meet this demand. Jeff Frank from Liberty Gardens, Coopersburg PA explained his winter production system to a group of eighty growers at Penn State Extension’s Organic Vegetable Intensive.
Q: Each year I question whether I'm putting straw mulch on my strawberries too early. Some years, I've waited too long (usually due to hunting season) - then we get snow and I can't get it on at all, so I'd like to mulch as early as I can. I've seen an assortment of recommendations – what should I go by? Thanks.
Strawberry is an herbaceous perennial plant and it is fairly susceptible to low winter temperatures. An understanding of the cold acclimation process is important to delay mulch application until the plants have acclimated but before plants are exposed to injurious temperatures.
The "Berry Good Question" column is being re-launched as a joint Cornell/Penn State effort.
Many vegetables grown in Pennsylvania tolerate frost and light freezes quite well, allowing us to enjoy fresh, locally grown vegetables long into the fall and early winter. However, the very low temperatures that blanketed the state for several days just before the Thanksgiving holiday may have caused more damage than growers were expecting, even in crops under row cover.
Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 20 counties can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily in 2014 through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s CHEMSWEEP program.
To stay on top of the growing season, the Penn State Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Team conducted bi-weekly conference calls. Both educators and specialists update each other about the insect, disease and other production problems that growers were facing. The primary goal was to collectively help effectively manage these different pest problems as they appear. It was during these meetings that concerns about potential disease problems resulting from the frequent and heavy rains affecting western PA in late June and early July were raised. Sure enough not long after the rain, Septoria leaf spot (Septoria lycopersici) and early blight (Alternaria solani) which both develop under warm temperatures(75 to 85°F) and high relative humidity, heavy dews or significant rainfall started showing up in commercial tomato fields in western PA.
There are many types of tree nuts that grow in Pennsylvania, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the state. If you’d like to grow nuts to add to your product selection, you are more likely to be successful with a little planning and careful selection of the types of nuts you plant.
A new website developed by Penn State Extension specialists is designed to be a one-stop resource for those seeking information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was created under the federal Affordable Care Act.
This summer I had a chance to visit Washington State’s Organic Systems Trial in Puyallup. Craig Cogger, WSU Extension shared some interesting insights from this 10 year old trial.
Phytophthora blight continues to be a major challenge to growers in 2013. An on-farm trial was conducted to see if fungicides can effectively manage Phytophthora capsici in fields known to be infected.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Specialty Crop Research Initiative will launch a 14-session webinar series on Oct. 8, to promote safe water recycling in the horticulture industry.
In recent weeks, Northern corn leaf blight has been on the rise in later planted sweet corn across Pennsylvania.
Last January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft Produce Safety Rule as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011. This proposed regulation would establish mandatory practices that farmers must take to prevent microbial contamination of fresh produce. The proposed standards include requirements for controlling potential food safety hazards in areas where contamination is most likely to occur including farm worker hygiene, the use of soil supplements containing animal manure, and sanitation conditions for buildings, equipment and tools. Common questions are addressed in this article.