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.
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.
Late blight has now been confirmed in 10 counties in New York as well as in Ontario Canada, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and in one county in Pennsylvania (on potato). Reports have been on both tomato and potato.
In Pennsylvania downy mildew has now been confirmed on cucumber in Lawrence, Elk and Berks Counties, on butternut squash in Lancaster and Columbia Counties and on jack-o-lantern type pumpkin in Clinton County.
Tomato hornworms on your tomato plants can be a problem from July through early September in Pennsylvania. This pest is not a big problem and for that reason it can be overlooked; however if populations explode you can rapidly see a lot of damage to the plants and fruit.
This afternoon downy mildew was confirmed on pumpkin growing on a commercial farm in Clinton County. This is the first report on pumpkin in the region.
Most sites continue to report very low counts, but a 2nd generation of ECB has started, sites in western and central PA reported FAW, sap beetles have emerged in some southeastern sites, and Western bean cutworm (WBC) flights have started. Inspect silks for sap beetles.
The late blight samples collected from the commercial potato field and potato cull pile in Erie Co., PA have been genotyped as US-23. The predominant genotype observed infecting both potato and tomato over the past several years.
Although there have been no new confirmed reports in Pennsylvania, reports of downy mildew are continuing to increase across the eastern half of the U.S.