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Farm Information Line FAQ for October

Author: Robin Trott. With the summer closing down and the season coming to an end, many fruit and vegetable farmers are beginning to make plans for next year. Many of the questions that come through the farm information line this time of year relate to weed control, soil testing and preparation and land rent. 

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Fall Manure Application Basics for Vegetable and Fruit Growers

Author: Chryseis Modderman. October means crisp autumn days, pumpkin carving, and finishing up harvest. But between cider sips and hay rides, it’s also a good time to consider soil fertility for next season’s crops!

Manure is a great option for fertilizer because it supplies the major macronutrients needed for crop production (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), as well as micronutrients (zinc, iron, manganese, etc.). In addition, manure increases soil organic matter which leads to better soil structure and water holding capacity while giving a boost to beneficial soil microbes and earthworms.

2018 Pest Update: IPM Podcast Episodes for October

"What's Killing My Kale?" is the pest management podcast for fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota and beyond. October's episodes give a re-cap of 2018 pest issues in fruit and veg crops.

Hosted by Extension Educators Natalie Hoidal and Annie Klodd, each episode of "What's Killing My Kale?" features an interview with a researcher, farmer, or Extension educator where we discuss timely issues and innovative ideas related to managing pests on fruits and vegetables.

This month's episodes include:

Episode 13: Late Season Weed Control with Annie Klodd (9/20/2018)
Episode 14: Disease Overview for 2018 with Michelle Grabowski (9/25/2018)
Episode 15: Insect Overview with Bill Hutchison (9/30/2018)
How to Listen It is so easy to listen to our podcast. Just click on the links above to listen to the audio file. It works on your phone, in your car, on the tractor, or on your computer.

You can listen to the podcast episodes from May through September on iTunes as…

Trading Rulers for Computers: High-Throughput Phenotyping in Grapes

Author: Anna Underhill. We all know that breeding new fruit varieties takes a long time. Read on to hear how graduate students at UMN are making it go a little faster.

Comparing 330 Unique Pumpkins at the Horticulture Research Center

John and Jenny Thull grow over 300 varieties of pumpkins every year. They share their recommendations for growers on stand-out varieties, customer preferences, and problem solving.

Unique Grapes and Kiwiberries Sampled at Annual UMN Tour

Author: Matt Clark. Attendees to the UMN Grape Breeding tour get a taste of potential new fruit varieties in the pipeline.

The Grape Breeding and Enology program hosted its annual fall tour on September 8 at the Horticultural Research Center, where new varieties are developed and tested. This decades-old event draws in the public to hear about current research projects, taste a wide assortment of grapes, and explore the vineyards to learn about trellis systems and grapevine pests.

Vineyard managers John Thull and Jennifer Thull led nearly 50 commercial grape growers, hobbyists, and wine enthusiasts in a guided grape tasting tour at this year's event.

The research center is home to a wide array of species and cultivars not found in other regional vineyards due to our cold temperatures and short growing season. The tasting included European varieties, an assortment of table grapes, French-American hybrids, University cultivars, Elmer Swenson cultivars, as well as potential new varie…

Upcoming Food Safety Trainings Around the State for Fruit and Vegetable Farmers

Fall and winter is the time to think about your farm system, including your practices to reduce potential unintentional contamination of your fresh produce. This fall and winter the University of Minnesota Extension is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and other partners to host 14 FSMA Produce Safety Rule trainings around the state for produce farmers.

The Produce Safety Rule, which is a part of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is new federal food safety regulation that applies to the entire food system, including some produce growers. As a part of this new Rule, fruit and vegetable farms that grow, pack, harvest and/or hold produce and that do not qualify for an exemption or exclusion need to attend this training that uses the FDA-approved curriculum. (To learn more about if your farm is covered by the rule view the FDA's Coverage and Exemptions/Exclusions Chart or see this factsheet by UMN). Farms selling less than $25,000 in produce on a…