For growers in the mid-Atlantic states, GMO vegetable varieties are no longer future products in the pipeline. GMOs such as B.t. sweet corn and virus resistant summer squash are here now, and more varieties are coming soon. Growers need to understand what GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are, and how their customers and others may perceive them, in order to make informed decisions about whether or not to grow them, and how to talk to their customers about them.
There have been numerous changes in the Commercial Vegetable Production Guide in the last few years as some new products are registered while others are removed. In addition, other products have been added because reevaluation of trial data indicated that they were effective. The following is a brief listing of some of the changes and updates to the 2013 Commercial Vegetable Production Guide. This summary is not comprehensive so not all crops are mentioned here. Also – many of these products have not been tested in replicated trials and therefore comparisons of efficacy with existing labeled fungicides is difficult. Remember to follow all label safety guidelines, rates, resistance management guidelines and tank mix incompatibilities.
A summary of a presentation by Tom Ford, Penn State Extension, at the High Tunnel School.
On January 4, 2013, 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.
On January 4, 2013, 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. Below are highlights of requirements FDA would issue in the final regulation.
Tomato growers reported a new insect pest this season, the Yellow Striped Armyworm.
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.
Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae), commonly known in Brazil as the African Fig Fly (AFF), is an invasive species recently found in Pennsylvania for the first time. First discovered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in early October in Grape and Tomato Pest Survey traps, it was found immediately after by Dr David Biddinger at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville. Adult flies were found in apple cider vinegar traps used for the seasonal monitoring of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), another recently introduced invasive pest of small fruit crops in Pennsylvania that Dr. Biddinger first detected in Pennsylvania and Maryland in July of 2012.
We need your help in order to gauge whether harlequin and related species are an emerging concern in Pennsylvania. If they are we would like to research better controls.
The sunset date for sodium nitrate passed as of October 21, 2012.
Penn State's Bill Lamont provides tips for working fields and handling crops after the storm that passed in this Growing Produce article.
The use of sodium nitrate will soon be prohibited entirely in organic production.
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.
It’s getting a little late in the season to do much about SWD for this year, but here are some observations that you might want to consider as you make plans for next year.
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.”