Models for the Future: Harvest Valley Farm

Harvest Valley Farms is a fourth generation family farm. The farm is now owned and operated by Larry, Art, and David King.
Models for the Future: Harvest Valley Farm - Articles

Updated: October 23, 2017

In This Article
Models for the Future: Harvest Valley Farm

Dave King and his son Eli.

Harvest Valley Farm

In May 2005, Art's son, David King, graduated from college and joined the two brothers in partnership. Harvest Valley Farms believes in growing the highest quality produce, using the least amount of chemical pesticides and synthetic-fertilizers necessary. These applications are greatly reduced by the long term process of building the soil structure and health. Harvest Valley Farms has their own market location, along route 8 between Butler and route 76 PA. The market is open week-days and sells over one-hundred and sixty varieties of their own fruits and vegetables alongside other locally grown produce.

Harvest Valley Farm, Model Plot Case Study: Tomatoes

Harvest Valley Farms is a fourth generation family farm. The farm is now owned and operated by Larry, Art, and David King. In May 2005, Art’s son, David, graduated from college and joined the two brothers in partnership.

Harvest Valley Farms believes in growing the highest quality produce, using the least amount of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers necessary. These applications are greatly reduced through the long term process of building the soil structure and health. Harvest Valley Farms has their own market location, along route 8 between Butler and route 76 PA. The market is open week-days and sells over one-hundred and sixty varieties of their own fruits and vegetables alongside other locally grown produce.

Site Description

The model plot site is one third of an acre and sits just off Deer Creek road in Gibsonia, PA. Harvest Valley Farm's soils are diverse. The majority of the site is a Wharton silt loam (WhB), with parts in Gilpin silt loam (GIC). The site has an annual average precipitation of 37.61 inches. They are located in plant hardiness zone 6a, with a frost free date of May 26. Deer pressure has been high in the past. A solar powered electric wire has been strung along the perimeter of the plot.


Map for Harvest Valley Farm, Gibsonia, PA with demonstration field delineated.

Plot History

Crop 2014Crop 2013Crop 2012
onionMix cover crop of mostly RyeMix cover crop of mostly Rye

Rotation

Primary goals for the vegetable rotation are soil building and reducing disease pressure. In order to build soils, five cover crops are included during the seven year rotation. To manage disease, as well as pest pressure, crop families are rotated and best management practices are applied. The rotation is designed as a seven year rotation with six cash crops. In order to demonstrate a variety of crops, the rotation was started at two points.

Tomato Transplant Production

Harvest Valley seeded tomatoes in the greenhouse on April 21. One third of the tomato seed was hot water treated at 122° F for 25 minutes to reduce the possibility of the seed being contaminated by bacterial disease. The rest were not hot water treated. Mt Merit late blight resistant tomato was used for the entire plot. All new greenhouse flats were used in order to reduce the possibility of disease contamination.

Tomato Soil Fertility

The soil was sampled on April 8, 2015. Fertility analysis was conducted by Penn State Ag Analytical lab. Each sample was analyzed for water pH, Mehlich buffer lime requirement, and for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium by the Mehlich 3 (ICP) test.

The Penn State soil nutrient level report indicated that Harvest Valley Farm's pH level is 6.8 and recommended that 50 lb/A of Nitrogen (N) and 65 lb/A of Phosphate (P2O5) be added to the soil for Fresh Market Tomato production. Magnesium was also found to be low, and it was recommended that 25 lb/A be incorporated into the soil.

Tomato Soil Preparation

Field preparation began on May 8 by plowing in the 18" winter rye cover crop. Biotello biodegradable mulch was laid using a raised bed plastic mulch layer on May 28. The tension was loosened in order to not stretch the biodegradable mulch too tight, which can cause the mulch to rip. Covering wheels were also straightened slightly so as to not nick the mulch. The mulch laid with no apparent problems and looked good going into planting. Fertilizer was applied by a spreader attached to the mulch layer. The application was 150 lbs. of 3-2-3 MicroStart60 (composted poultry manure) and 300 lbs. of 19-19-19/A.

Soil Health Management

An additional sample soil sample taken on April 8 was sent to Cornell Soil Health Lab for a Soil Health analysis including Organic Matter, Soil Texture, Active Carbon, Wet Aggregate Stability, Available Water Capacity, Surface and sub-surface hardness interpretation, and root health.

Below is a summary of the Cornell Soil Health analysis, a score of 54 indicated that overall soil quality was in the low range. The test also showed a Root Pathogen Pressure value of 5.3 which is in the medium range. While suboptimal, this level is not considered a constraint.

Sudangrass cover crop (variety Pioneer 877F) was seeded on June 8 at a target rate of 40 lb/A drilled (56 lb/A broadcast). The cover crop was seeded using a seed drill at an actual rate of 40-50 lbs/acre.

On July 15 the Sudangrass was approximately 3 ft tall with a biomass of approximately 4,129 lbs of dry matter/A before being mowed with a tractor driven brush hog. After mowing, Ammonium Sulfate was broadcast at a rate of 100 lb/A to provide enough Nitrogen for regrowth. The Sudan regrew to 5 feet tall with a biomass of 5,606 lbs of dry matter/A before mowing again on August 17 with a flail mower. A final mowing was done on September 23 with a flail mower and incorporated by disc. The field was chisel plowed and disked, and rye planted at the rate of 150 lbs per acre on October 27.

Tomato Culture

Harvest Valley planted 1.5 rows of heat treated Mt Merit tomatoes on May 31 and 2.5 rows of untreated Mt Merit tomatoes five days later into the biodegradable mulch. Beds were on 5 ft centers with twenty-four inches between plants. Tomato transplants were dipped in a Regalia biostimulant (1 oz Regalia per 1 gallon water) before transplanting. Tomatoes were staked using new 6 foot untreated oak tomato stakes, with one stake every two plants, and trellised using the Florida weave technique. Tomato plants were not suckered, as the King's have found that the benefits are not worth the cost in labor.

Irrigation

Irrigation was supplied by a single line of drip tape per bed at. 45 GPM/100 ft which runs at 8 psi and 4 hours per irrigation. In order to provide the tomato crop with sufficient water, Harvest Valley's crops are irrigated with approximately 2 inches of water per week when there is not sufficient rainfall. Due to local weather patterns, the need for irrigation was minimal during the early part of the 2015 season. The first irrigation date for the tomato plot was on July 30.

Weed Management

Alongside the use of mulch to manage weeds, annual ryegrass was seeded on June 2 for between row weed suppression. A layer of straw was added on top of the rye after seeding. The ryegrass was maintained by weed whacking once at midseason. Tomatoes were also hand weeded on June 2.

Tomato Disease Management

Pathogen Exclusion

Many pathogens can be carried over the next year by seed. Tomato seed was not saved. All seed was bought from reputable sources and half was hot water treated at 122oF for 25 minutes to reduce the possibility of the seed being contaminated by bacterial disease. Always purchase seed from a reputable source.

Bacterial pathogens can survive on stakes and cause disease the next year. Wooden stakes were not re-used. Instead all new stakes were used in the plot.

Reducing Inoculum

Rotation is key. Crop groups (both cash and cover crops) should not return to the same field for a minimum of three years to break-up disease cycles. Many pathogens cannot survive in the soil on their own once the crop residue is thoroughly decomposed. Weeds in the same crop groups can host a lot of pathogens, so weed management is also essential.

The model plot rotation at Harvest Valley Farm ensures that no group comes back to the same area for six years (see rotation).

Creating an Unfavorable Environment

As most bacteria and fungi require wet conditions (or high relative humidity) to infect and cause disease, it is important to space plants well, maintain good air circulation, and drip irrigate to help keep the plants dry. At Harvest Valley Farm, all tomatoes are on drip irrigation, well-spaced, and trellised to allow for maximum air flow.

By improving soil health you will also promote diverse microorganisms that compete with plant pathogens. The crop rotation used in the model plots was designed to improve overall soil health.

Choose Less Susceptible Varieties

Mt Merit late blight resistant tomatoes were included in order to have a variety with some known disease resistance.

Disease tracking and Protective sprays

Tomatoes were dipped in Regalia prior to transplant. Using the Tomcast and Simcast models provided by NEWA, as well as USABlight mapping and regular scouting, disease pressure was tracked so that growers could spray accordingly.

Disease symptoms of Early Blight were first noted in the plot on June, 19. After determining that disease was present, Larry began spraying the tomato crop on a 5 day schedule. All sprays were applied with an Air Blast sprayer.

DateMaterialRate per Acre
19-JunRevus Top/Copper6 oz/1 lb a.i.
24-JunPrevacure1.5 pt
26-JunRevus Top6 oz
29-JunRevus Top/Copper6 oz/1 lb a.i.
1-JulDithane/Bravo/Tanos/Copper3 lb/2 pt./8 oz/1 lb a.i.
9-JulDithane/Bravo/Tanos/Copper3 lb/2 pt./8 oz/1 lb a.i.
16-JulPrevacure/Copper1.5 pt/1 lb a.i.
22-JulRevus Top/Copper6 oz/1 lb a.i.
28-JulRanman/Copper2.5 oz/1 lb a.i.

Tomato Leaf Tissue Testing

Tomato tissue samples were taken and sent to Penn State Ag Analytical Services lab for analysis to track plant health and make any necessary fertility adjustments. Recommendations were based on the following nutrient levels for optimum tomato production.

NutrientSymbolFertility Level
NitrogenN3.5-4%
PhosphorusP.8-1%
PotassiumK3+%
CalciumCa2.5-3%
MagnesiumMg0.5-.9%
SulfurS0.3-1.2%
ManganeseMn40-500ppm
ZincZn20-50ppm
BoronB25-75ppm
CopperCu5-20ppm

The first tissue sample was taken on June 23, shortly after first flower. See results below.

Results of the first tissue test were near ideal. Nitrogen was good, Phosphorus was just slightly low, and Potassium was in range.

An acre of tomatoes generally needs 0.5 lb N/A/day. After flowering begins, a low Nitrogen, high Potassium fertilizer is generally recommended to achieve a 2:1 ratio of Potassium to Nitrogen during fruit filling. In this case, a bit more Phosphorus was recommended as well.

A second tissue test was taken on July 22, at fruit set.

The results of the second tissue test indicated that Nitrogen levels had dropped, while Potassium was high.

Dave began fertigation on July 30. A 4-10-40 fertilizer was used and applied at a rate of 6.25 lb/A/day for the first week, and then at a rate of 12.5 lb/A/day on 8/5 and 8/12.

Tomato Disease Pressure

Disease scouting was conducted approximately once per week from late June through August, following the protocol below.

Vegetable Model Plots - Disease Scouting, Tomatoes

Disease scouting should take place once a week throughout July and August (can start as early as end of June). We will be focusing on detection of Early Blight, Septoria Leaf Spot, Late Blight, and Bacterial Speck and Spot. Some information regarding disease symptoms and identification is included.

On each scouting date, the entire plot should be walked for a Presence/Absence assessment using the instructions and the worksheet provided.

On each date, randomly select 10 plants per variety that are evenly distributed within the plot (i.e. don't focus on visible trouble spots, or edges only, etc). Keep in mind where diseases generally start to appear (i.e. wet and low spots). For each plant, examine 3 leaflets throughout the plant for disease symptoms (one low on the plant, one at mid-level and one in upper canopy). Using the spreadsheet provided, record the percent of affected tissue for each of the 3 leaves per plant, as well as the disease(s) observed. A separate data sheet can be used for each variety. Scouts can refer to the percent coverage diagram below to help with their evaluation.

  • Date:
  • Data Collected By:
  • Tomato Variety:
% Diseased Tissue (0 to 100%)Check which disease(s) were observed on each plant (if any)
PlantLeaf 1Leaf 2Leaf 3Early BlightLate BlightSeptoria Leaf SpotBacterial Speck/Spot
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Additional Notes:
  • Walk the Plot. Do you see any of the following diseases in the field?
Early BlightLate BlightSeptoria Leaf SpotBacterial Speck/Spot

Early Blight was identified as present in the planting on June 19.

Tomato Yields

Tomato yield was monitored for a period of 4 weeks during peak harvest, from August 18 through September 2. For the hot water treated Mt Merit tomatoes, 4 blocks of 6 plants were flagged to be skipped over by the farm's harvest staff. Plants were harvested for marketable and unmarketable yield by weight.

Mean # marketableMean weight marketableMean # unmarketableMean # marketable
8/13*249.614.53.5
20-Aug22.758.7123.1
26-Aug13.54163.9
2-Sep30.83.80.7

*data from two plots only; the workers beat us to the first two plots!

Total yields were relatively low in the plots due to weather extremes experienced during the growing season. In addition, blossom end rot rendered a high proportion of fruit unmarketable.

Interactive Budget

The Interactive budget from "Models for the Future" tomato plots allow growers to assess the costs and benefits of cover crops and other sustainable practices in their own operations.

Harvest Valley Farm Model Plot Case Study: Winter Squash

Site Description

The model plot site is one third of an acre and sits just off Deer Creek road in Gibsonia, PA. Harvest Valley Farm’s soils are diverse. The majority of the site is a Wharton silt loam (WhB), with parts in Gilpin silt loam (GIC). The site has an annual average precipitation of 37.61 inches. They are located in plant hardiness zone 6a, with a frost free date of May 26. Deer pressure has been high in the past. A solar powered electric wire has been strung along the perimeter of the plot.

Map for Harvest Valley Farm, Gibsonia, PA with demonstration field delineated.

Plot History

Crop 2014Crop 2013Crop 2012
OnionMix cover crop of mostly RyeMix cover crop of mostly Rye

Rotation

Primary goals for the vegetable rotation are soil building and reducing disease pressure. In order to build soils, five cover crops are included during the seven year rotation. To manage disease, as well as pest pressure, crop families are rotated and best management practices are applied. The rotation is designed as a seven year rotation with six cash crops. In order to demonstrate a variety of crops, the rotation was started at two points.

Winter Squash Transplant Production

Harvest Valley seeded winter squash in the greenhouse on June 17 into 72 count cell size trays. All new greenhouse flats were used in order to reduce the possibility of disease contamination. Cultivars included Betternut (butternut type) and Tivoli (spaghetti squash type). Both cultivars are semi-bush type for easier growing on plastic-mulched raised beds. Betternut is tolerant to powdery mildew. Seeds were purchased pre-treated with a standard fungicide/insecticide combination. Plant trays were placed outside of the greenhouse on June 28 for hardening off.

Approximately 80% of each variety was treated with Surround on June 29. Surround was mixed with water at 2.5 lbs per 10 gallons of water. Plant trays were turned upside down, and transplants were dipped into the solution, shaken gently to remove excess, and allowed to dry in the sun.

Winter Squash Soil Fertility

The soil was sampled on April 11, 2016. Fertility analysis was conducted by Penn State Ag Analytical lab. Each sample was analyzed for water pH, Mehlich buffer lime requirement, and for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium by the Mehlich 3 (ICP) test.

Soil Test 1

Soil test 2

The Penn State soil nutrient level report indicated that the pH of the field was 6.6, and recommended that 75 lbs/A of nitrogen (N) and 65 lbs/A of phosphate (P2O5) be added to the soil for winter squash production. Magnesium was also found to be low, and it was recommended that 55 lb/A be incorporated into the soil.

Winter Squash Soil Preparation, Cover Cropping, and Soil Health Management

A sudangrass cover crop was grown in 2015 on the side of the field going into the winter squash crop in 2016. Sudangrass cover crop (variety Pioneer 877F) was seeded using a seed drill on June 27, 2015, at a seeding rate of 45lb/A. Around August 10, the sudangrass covercrop was mowed with a tractor-driven bush hog at approximately 4.5 feet in height. On September 13, the sudangrass regrowth was mowed at approximately 3 feet in height. This side of the field was left fallow through the winter. On October 21, 2015, the side of the field where tomatoes were grown in 2015 was chisel plowed and disked, and rye drilled at the seeding rate of 150 lbs per acre.

On April 15, 2016, an oats plus peas cover crops was seeded using a seed drill into the field at a rate of 25lbs/acre of peas plus 35lbs/acre of oats. On May 6, 2016, 50 lbs/acre of 0-46-0 was applied broadcast by hand. The cover crop was plowed down on June 8, 2016 at approximately 12 inches height. A 3-in-1 soil conditioner was used for secondary tillage. On June 15, 2016, Biotello biodegradable mulch was laid using a raised bed plastic mulch layer as well as drip tape installation. Fertilizer was band-applied in this same single pass. The application was 150 lbs/acre of 3-2-3 MicroStart 60 (composted poultry manure) and 300 lbs/acre of 19-19-19.

Winter Squash Culture

Harvest Valley transplanted four rows of winter squash into the field on June 30. Beds were on 5 foot centers, with three feet between plants. The four rows were divided as follows: 1.5 rows of Surround-treated Betternut; 1.5 rows of Surround-treated Tivoli; 1/3 row of untreated Betternut; 1/3 row of untreated Tivoli; 1/3 row of direct-seeded Tivoli.

Smaller plots were established within the field to observe the effects of low tunnels covered with floating row cover. Hoops were placed over single plots of thirty row feet (10 plants) in each variety, with and without Surround (4 plots total), and covered with Pro 19 Row Cover (0.55oz fabric; 95% light transmission, 204 degree frost protection). Row covers were removed on August 4. In comparison to non-covered plants, plants under the row cover were somewhat larger, more tender, and had lower early fruit set. Row covers probably should have been removed a week earlier.

Irrigation

Irrigation was supplied by a single line of drip tape per bed at .45 GPM/100 ft which runs at 8 psi and 4 hours per irrigation. The squash field was irrigated 3 times between July 30 and August 31.

Weed Management

Weed management in the squash field was accomplished through a combination of control methods. Biotello mulch on the beds was used primarily for weed control benefits. A layer of straw was applied to the area between beds prior to transplanting. In addition, glyphosate was applied to the area between the beds using a shielded sprayer on July 10, to control escaped weeds between the beds.

Winter Squash Disease Management

Pathogen Exclusion: Many pathogens can be carried over the next year by seed. Winter squash seed was not saved. All seed was bought from reputable sources.

Reducing Inoculum: Rotation is key. Crop groups (both cash and cover crops) should not return to the same field for a minimum of three years to break-up disease cycles. Many pathogens cannot survive in the soil on their own once the crop residue is thoroughly decomposed. Weeds in the same crop groups can host a lot of pathogens, so weed management is also essential.

The model plot rotation at Harvest Valley Farm ensures that no group comes back to the same area for six years (see rotation).

Creating an Unfavorable Environment: As most bacteria and fungi require wet conditions (or high relative humidity) to infect and cause disease, it is important to space plants well, maintain good air circulation, and drip irrigate to help keep the plants dry. At Harvest Valley Farm, all squash are on drip irrigation and well-spaced and to allow for maximum air flow.

By improving soil health you will also promote diverse microorganisms that compete with plant pathogens. The crop rotation used in the model plots was designed to improve overall soil health.

Choose Less Susceptible Varieties: The Betternut variety of squash was included in part due to its tolerance of powdery mildew.

Disease tracking and Protective sprays: Squash were dipped in Surround prior to transplant. Disease incidence was tracked using regular field scouting as well as the Cucurbit Downey Mildew Forecasting website, so that growers could initiate sprays accordingly.

Only two pesticide applications were made during the growing season. Chlorothalonil (protectant fungicide) plus Warrior (insecticide) were applied on August 6 and August 20.

Winter Squash Disease Pressure

Disease scouting occurred weekly from June 8 through August 16, following the protocol in Appendix 1. Downy mildew was never detected in this field. First detections of powdery mildew occurred on August 8; 50% of leaves showed disease symptoms, with an average of 4% of leaf area affected. On the final scouting date of August 20, 70% of leaves showed powdery mildew symptoms, with an average of 25% of leaf area affected. The use of floating row cover seemed to delay the onset of powdery mildew infection. The use of Surround at transplanting did not improve disease control; by the time powdery mildew was in the field, plants had grown out of the Surround treatment.

Winter Squash Insect Management and Pressure

Insect scouting occurred weekly from June 8 through August 16, following the protocol in Appendix 2. Adult cucumber beetles and adult squash bugs were first found on August 8, at levels of 1 cucumber beetle per plant, and 0.1 squash bug per plant. On August 16, scouting results showed 0.8 cucumber beetles and 0.2 squash bugs. An interesting observation was that native lady beetles, but not multi-colored Asian lady beetles, were abundant throughout the field.

Only two pesticide applications were made during the growing season. Chlorothalonil (protectant fungicide) plus Warrior (insecticide) were applied on 8/6 and 8/20. Insecticide seed treatments also provided early control of insect damage.

Despite relatively low numbers of cucumber beetles found through scouting, chewing damage to Tivoli spaghetti squash was evident, particularly on the earliest fruit set. Cucumber beetle damage to Tivoli under row cover was almost absent. It is not clear if the use of Surround at transplanting improved insect control in the vulnerable seedling stage.

Winter Squash Leaf Tissue Testing

Winter squash tissue samples were taken and sent to Penn State Ag Analytical lab for analysis to track plant health and make any necessary fertility adjustments. Recommendations were based on the following nutrient levels for optimum winter squash production.

Butternut squash

NutrientSymbolFertility Level
NitrogenN6.4%
PhosphorusP0.82%
PotassiumK4.97%
CalciumCa2.14%
MagnesiumMg0.55%
SulfurS0.46%
ManganeseMn155ppm
ZincZn67ppm
BoronB47ppm
CopperCu15ppm

Spaghetti Squash

NutrientSymbolFertility Level
NitrogenN6.68%
PhosphorusP.0.74%
PotassiumK5.13%
CalciumCa1.83%
MagnesiumMg0.41%
SulfurS0.38%
ManganeseMn99ppm
ZincZn75ppm
BoronB37ppm
CopperCu14ppm

The first tissue sample was taken on August 4, shortly after first flower. Results of the butternut squash tissue test showed near ideal values. Nitrogen was very slightly above normal (Normal is 4.00-6.01) and Phosphorus was above normal, but not toxic (normal is 0.30-0.50). All of the other values were in normal range. Results for the spaghetti squash tissue test showed similar results. Nitrogen was slightly above normal as well as Potassium and Phosphorus, but not toxic. Based on tissue test results, no further fertilizer applications were made to the squash field.

Winter Squash Yields

Squash yield was measured with a one-time harvest on September 13, 2016. For each squash type (Betternut and Tivoli) four replicate plots of five consecutive plants were flagged out. Fruit from plants in each plot were collected, graded into marketable and unmarketable fruit, counted and weighed. Each plot represents 75 square feet, or 0.0017 acres.

Butternut Squash

YieldRep 1Rep 2Rep 3Rep 4
Marketable yield (lbs)41.350.745.531.5
Marketable yield (# of squash)17211811
Unmarketable yield (lbs)1443.35.70.8
Unmarketable yield (# of squash)2 small1 small
1 chewed by groundhog
2 small
1 damaged
1 small

Spaghetti Squash

YieldRep 1Rep 2Rep 3Rep 4
Marketable yield (lbs)28.444.033.349.3
Marketable yield (# of squash)713914
Unmarketable yield (lbs)8.09.216.123.2
Unmarketable yield(# of squash)4 small
1 insect chewed
4 insect chewed2 insect chewed
2 rotten
3 insect chewed
1 rotten
3 immature

Appendix 1. Disease Scouting Protocol

Scout plants on a weekly schedule from transplant in June through mid-September.

First Detection:

On each scouting date UNTIL diseases are found and/or fungicide applications are begun, the entire plot should be walked for a presence/absence assessment and noted on the data sheet provided. For first detection, it is better to focus on scouting plants in high risk areas such as wetter or shaded areas of the field rather than to choose plants completely randomly.

Disease Development:

Once disease has been detected in the field and/or fungicide applications have begun, assess disease development as follows. Select 10 plants per variety that are randomly distributed within the plot. For subplots under row cover or otherwise treated differently, scout a total of five plants. For each plant, examine 3 whole leaves, both upper and lower surfaces, throughout the plant canopy for disease symptoms. Using the data sheet provided, record the percent of affected tissue for each of the 3 leaves per plant, as well as the disease(s) observed. A separate data sheet can be used for each variety or subplot. Scouts can refer to the percent coverage diagram below to help with their evaluation.

Date:
Data Collected By:
Winter Squash Variety:

Plant% Diseased Tissue,
Leaf 1
% Diseased Tissue,
Leaf 2
% Diseased Tissue,
Leaf 3
Disease= Powdery MildewDisease= Downy MildewDisease=Disease=
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

% Diseased tissue: 0 to 100%
Disease=: Check which disease(s) were observed on each plant (if any)

Additional Notes:

Do you see any of the following disease symptoms in the field? Please document with pictures for diagnosis.

  • Wilting Plants
  • Leaf Spots
  • Yellowing of whole plants
  • Fruit rots

Appendix 2. Insect Scouting Protocol

Scout plants on a weekly schedule from transplant in June through mid-September. At each of five sites in the plot, inspect five plants. For subplots under row cover or otherwise treated differently, scout a total of five plants. Examine the undersides of cotyledons, young leaves, and stems. Pay special attention to field edges. Count striped and spotted together; there is no need to keep separate counts.

Record the number of spotted and striped cucumber beetles and cucumber beetle egg masses present per plant. Calculate the average number of cucumber beetles and cucumber beetle egg masses per plant. Record the averages on the spreadsheet. The grower and educator should be notified and consulted if the average exceeds 1 egg mass or cucumber beetle per plant.

Record the number of squash bugs and squash bug egg masses present per plant. Calculate the average number of squash bugs and squash bug egg masses per plant. Record the averages on the spreadsheet. The grower and educator should be notified and consulted if the average exceeds 1 egg mass or squash bug per plant.

Model Plot Site:
Date:
Data Collected by:
Winter squash variety or subplot:

Cucumber Beetle Monitoring

Sample AreaPlant 1
Beetles
Plant 1
Egg Masses
Plant 2
Beetles
Plant 2
Egg Masses
Plant 3
Beetles
Plant 3
Egg Masses
Plant 4
Beetles
Plant 4
Egg Masses
Plant 5
Beetles
Plant 5
Egg Masses
1
2
3
4
5

Total Number of Cucumber Beetles ____/25 Plants= _____
Total Number of Egg Masses ____/25 Plants= _____

Squash Bug Monitoring

Sample AreaPlant 1
Squash Bugs
Plant 1
Egg Masses
Plant 2
Squash Bugs
Plant 2
Egg Masses
Plant 3
Squash Bugs
Plant 3
Egg Masses
Plant 4
Squash Bugs
Plant 4
Egg Masses
Plant 5
Squash Bugs
Plant 5
Egg Masses
1
2
3
4
5

Total Number of Squash Bugs ____/25 Plants= _____
Total Number of Egg Masses ____/25 Plants= _____

Any other insects found?

Interactive Budget

The Interactive budget from "Models for the Future" winter squash plotsallow growers to assess the costs and benefits of cover crops and other sustainable practices in their own operations.

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-70017-22852.

Authors

Commercial Horticulture Vegetable and Small Fruit Greenhouse Ornamentals Grapes FSMA and GAPs

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