Producing the greatest quantity of the highest quality tomatoes (peppers too) requires careful attention to production details.
Two of our least favorite fall pests may be consorting together. Warm rains in the spring and now late summer, combined with heavy dews have resulted in medium to high insect and fruit rot activity this fall in berry crops.
In summary, corn earworm (CEW) and/or fall armyworm (FAW) captures are at levels that puts sweet corn at risk. This is occurring at multiple sites, especially in Bucks, Centre, Clinton, Erie, Fayette, Lancaster, Mifflin and Washington Counties.
Researchers at Penn State are investigating how solitary and wild bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops.
In summary, Corn Earworm (CEW) captures are spotty but above threshold in Bucks Lancaster Lycoming and Schuylkill Counties. Lancaster County has dramatically high populations. Fall Armyworm (FAW) populations are also being captured throughout the state, with notable captures in Blair, Centre, Clinton, Erie, Fayette, and Lycoming Counties. European corn borer (ECB) populations appear to be insignificant.
As the market demand for more locally grown produce harvested year-round increases, onions are a crop that seems to be receiving a great deal of attention. Season extension and overwintering techniques utilizing plasticulture technology can be applied successfully to growing onions, adding financial value to your farm operation.
On a beautiful July morning we left State College to meet up with Penn State Extension Educator Tom Butzler to go visit the Sugar Valley Produce Auction located just outside of Loganton, Pennsylvania.
Today late blight was confirmed in a commercial tomato field in Berks County near Fleetwood. This is only the third county that late blight has been confirmed in PA so far this season. A sample is being sent to Cornell University for genotyping.
A good disease management plan can increase your probability of success for the season. Farmer Anton Shannon and former Extension Educator Tianna DuPont, shared tips for disease prevention, identification and control at a recent field day at one of Penn State Extension’s Models for the Future sites.
In summary, corn earworm (CEW) increases continue in one site in Lancaster and Bucks counties, and a 2nd generation of European corn borer (ECB) is in progress, notably in Centre, Luzerne, and Westmoreland counties, but overall most sites are surprisingly low for this time of year.
With the increasing number of confirmed and unconfirmed reports of downy mildew across the state, it is important to make sure that you are selecting the most effective products to manage this disease for your production system.
This past week there have been no new reports of late blight in PA, however the cooler temperatures and slightly more overcast weather the past couple of days were perfect for late blight, so be on the lookout.
Be on the look-out for powdery mildew; it's out there on the majority of cucurbit crops, especially if you didn't plant resistant varieties.
Corn earworm (CEW) increases have started, and a site in Lancaster County spiked dramatically. We may start to see increased from both immigration and locally produced 2nd generation CEW. Also, a 2nd generation of European corn borer (ECB) is in progress. Change to this can occur rapidly at this time of year.
This season has been rough on cucurbit crops across the state and many growers are seeing cucurbits wilting in their fields. There are a number of diseases like bacterial wilt, cucurbit yellow vine decline and Fusarium wilt as well as abiotic stresses such as water logged soils that can cause cucurbits to wilt.
Late blight was confirmed on tomato and potato from the same farm in Somerset County this past week. Both samples were genotyped as US23. As we head into fall, cooler evening temperatures and longer dew periods will favor the continued development of late blight.
Downy mildew is continuing to spread across Pennsylvania with additional reports on cucumber, pumpkin and butternut squash.
Spotted wing drosophila is being consistently found in low numbers in various locations across the northeast, so growers of susceptible berry or other fruit crops should be monitoring for this pest, and be prepared to take steps for management.
Over the past several years, bacterial diseases have become an increasing problem in tomato and pepper fields across Pennsylvania. Last year it was tomato while this year it seems to be more on pepper depending on where you are in the Pennsylvania.
Using sticky cards is an important component of scouting for insects in high tunnels. When looking at a particular insect on sticky cards, you may need to examine more than one specimen of the insect because it may be stuck on the card in a way that masks critical structures for identification.