Latest News

Penn State Extension news for vegetable and small fruit producers.
Downy mildew sporulation on the underside of a cucumber leaf (Photo: Beth Gugino).
July 1, 2015

Although not confirmed yet in PA, the presence of nearby sources and the current weather patterns place many portions of PA at risk for cucurbit downy mildew infection.

Insects on this sticky card are primarily fungus gnats.
June 26, 2015

A research project started this year is investigating different ways to increase the effectiveness of biocontrols in high tunnels.

European corn borer feeding. Photo: Eric Burkness,
June 25, 2015

Corn earworm counts exceed thresholds in Bradford, Luzerne, and Washington counties.

Scouting frequently and regularly could save your crop.
June 25, 2015

Plant, weed, hoe, cultivate, water, plant, fertilize, water . . . No time to stop and take a close look for pests and diseases? Take a few minutes. It could save your crop.

Purplish-gray sporulation on the underside of a cucumber leaf infected iwth downy mildew (Photo credit: Beth Gugino).
June 24, 2015

Downy mildew was confirmed on cucumber in both southeastern Michigan and in Kent Co. in the southwestern corner of the province across Lake Erie north of Ohio on 23 June.

Corky lesions on tomato fruit characteristic of bacterial spot (Photo credit: Beth Gugino).
June 24, 2015

Bacterial spot on both tomatoes and peppers is being reported across many regions of Pennsylvania. Fortunately, growers now have another tool in the toolbox for the in-season management of bacterial spot on tomato. There is now a 2(ee) label for the use of Quintec (quinoxyfen) for suppressing bacterial spot.

Drift herbicide damage on tomato.
June 24, 2015

So far this year, several vegetable and small fruit growers have reported herbicide injury to their crops. Use the proper herbicide formulations to prevent damage to non-target plants.

Let new blueberry plants grow for two or even three years before allowing them to set fruit.
June 24, 2015

For a crop that may fruit for fifty years under the right care, it is critical to get blueberry plants off to a strong, healthy start.

Figure 1. SWD “sting” on a ripe sweet cherry. Image: University of California Statewide IPM Program, taken by Larry L. Strand.
June 24, 2015

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, continues to be a problem for growers of soft-skinned fruit such as blackberry, blueberry, cherry (sweet and tart), and raspberry (black and red).

Image of bell peppers showing broad mite damage. Photo by Steve Bogash
June 22, 2015

Damage by broad mites can be quite severe on tomatoes and peppers so growers need to be prepared to protect crops with an effective miticide before these pests cause economic loss.

Extension Educator, Bill Lamont with Ron Davis and a load of plastic.
June 22, 2015

Since 1980 when I was a young Extension Vegetable Specialist at North Carolina State University, fresh out of the old Vegetable Crops Department at Cornell University, I have been involved in conducting applied research and extension programming on the utilization of plastics in agricultural applications.

Yellowing or chlorosis characteristic of basil downy mildew (Photo credit: Joan Allen, UConn).
June 18, 2015

To help growers manage basil downy mildew in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approved 24(c) labels for both Subdue Maxx and Hertiage for use on transplants grown for re-sale to consumers.

Black stem lesions characteristic of black leg on potato (Photo credit: Gary Secor, NDSU).
June 15, 2015

The recent prolonged wet weather has created conditions favorable for the bacterial disease blackleg on potato.

White colonies characteristic of powdery mildew on the upper leaf surface of tomato (Photo credit: Beth K. Gugino)
June 15, 2015

Prolonged periods of leaf wetness and high relative humidity create conditions that are perfect for pathogen spread and disease development!

Lesions characteristic of downy mildew on cucumber. Under humid conditions, purplish-gray sporulation will be visible on the underside of the leaf (Photo credit: Beth K. Gugino).
June 15, 2015

Although it is a littler earlier than usual to be thinking about cucurbit downy mildew in Pennsylvania, it has been confirmed on several cucurbit hosts including cucumber, cantaloupe, yellow squash, butternut squash and watermelon in several counties in South Carolina and most recently on cucumber in North Carolina.

June 15, 2015

Check out these resources to help you stay ahead vegetable pests and diseases this season!

Bombus in pollinator cover crop plots. Photo credit Tianna DuPont.
June 11, 2015

Researchers believe that long term honey bee declines are a result of a complex set of factors. The primary suspects are: poor nutrition, pesticides, pathogens/ parasites, and poor quality genetic stock. Here we will consider recent research results describing how pesticides might affect pollinators.

Effect of push/pull system. Kale treated with Surround is protected from damage (top and bottom) while untreated bok choy (center) draws flea beetles, where they can be sprayed (hopefully before they cause this much damage!). Credit: UMass Extension.
June 1, 2015

Flea beetles have emerged from their overwintering homes in the shrubby or wooded areas surrounding fields and begun to feed on the first spring brassica plantings. This article from UMass Extension's Vegetable Notes (Vol.27 Number 6) has great information on flea beetle management.

May 29, 2015

When growers send in strawberry leaves for a nutrient analysis, should the petioles remain attached or be removed?

Leaf miner damage
May 28, 2015

Leaf miners seem to be especially noticeable this spring in both conventional and organic fields. If you are seeing white meandering tunnels in your beet, spinach and chard leaves you are not familiar with, read on for management tips.