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Managing Japanese Beetle in Fruit Crops: Variety preference in Raspberry and Wine Grapes

Authors: Dominique Ebbenga, Eric Burkness, Matt Clark & Bill Hutchison. The recent “onslaught” of JB on fruit crops has raised new concerns and questions about their variety preferences and control thresholds. UMN entomologists have been researching the answers to these questions, and share some interesting findings in this article.


Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) is an invasive species first detected in Minnesota in 1968. While the insect has been in Minnesota for about 50 years, its population density has been relatively low statewide, with significant numbers building in just the past 3-5 years. In recent years, Japanese beetle (JB) populations have been increasing significantly, primarily in the southeast, south-central regions of the state, but particularly in the 7-country metro. 

Fruit and growers have noticed heavy infestations on a variety of crops, including: raspberry, blueberry, apples, plums and wine grapes. The recent “onslaught” of JB on these crops has raised new…
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Managing Soil Borne Diseases with Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation

Author: Michelle Grabowski. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is an alternative strategy to reduce soil borne plant diseases in agricultural fields. This article discusses how it works and its potential effect on diseases in vegetables.

What is ASD? Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is a disease management strategy used to reduce or eliminate soil borne plant pathogens from agricultural soils. Despite its complicated name, ASD is a relatively simple process.

By adding carbon (a food source) and water (to fill pores in the soil), ASD harnesses the power of naturally occurring soil microorganisms to temporarily create conditions within the soil that are toxic to plant pathogens. The procedure was developed to provide an alternative management strategy to soil fumigation.

Here is a quick summary of the procedure:
A carbon source (i.e. molasses or wheat bran purchased from a feed store) is worked into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. The soil is irrigated until it is completely sa…

Romaine and E.coli: What can we do?

Produce safety is again in the national spotlight, as a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 illnesses have been linked to romaine lettuce. At least 43 people have been sickened from 12 states, according to the most recent outbreak update from the CDC. 16 people have been hospitalized, and 1 person developed HUS from the infection, a serious illness that can result in kidney failure.

The lettuce has been traced back to Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. After initially issuing a blanket warning to not consume any romaine at all, the CDC has since narrowed this warning to not consume romaine from the specific growing area of the Central Coastal region of California.  
Romaine's past troubles included MNEarlier this year, another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with romaine from the Yuma, AZ growing region sickened at least 210 people and caused 5 deaths, including 2 in Minnesota. 

While the two outbreaks are not related, the…

Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification Workshop

Author: Tana Haugen-Brown. A Private Pesticide Applicator re-certification workshop geared toward fruit and vegetable growers will be offered Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 1:00-4:30pm in St. Cloud, in conjunction with the MFVGA annual conference. Read on for information and registration.

Back again this year – in partnership with the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (MFVGA) - the University of Minnesota Extension Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education Program will offer a Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification workshop as a pre-workshop to the MFVGA conference.

Register here. 

This re-certification workshop will take place on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:30 pm at the Rivers Edge Convention Center in St Cloud, MN. Topics at this workshop will be geared towards the Private Applicator Fruit and Vegetable Grower.

Training and updates will include topics related to pesticide application and safety; pesticide laws and regulations; laundering pest…

Winter Conferences for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

This is a list of winter educational conferences for fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota and surrounding states. If you attend, please say hello to our many Extension Educators, researchers, and graduate students who will be giving talks! Stop by the UMN Extension booths at the MFVGA and SFA Conferences to visit with us as well. Read on to see the list.

December Podcasts: Navigating Pesticide Choices

Authors: Annie Klodd and Natalie Hoidal. "What's Killing My Kale?" is the UMN Extension podcast on fruit and vegetable pest management. Each episode, we interview a farmer, researcher, or Extension Educator about hot topics and innovative methods for managing pests. The December episodes of the podcast center around understanding the complex topic of pesticide use and safety on fruit and vegetable farms, including organic and natural pest management products.

Episode 17: Glyphosate and Cancer with Kaci Buhl. Kaci is the statewide director of Pesticide Safety Education at Oregon State University, and the deputy director of the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC). In this episode, Kaci talks about how people approach risk around herbicides, and dissects the complexity of current research on glyphosate and cancer.

Episode 18: What Does Pesticide Safety Mean for Organic Farms? with Natalie Hoidal. In this episode, Natalie discusses the importance of thinking a…

November Podcast: Manure, Compost, and Weeds

Author: Annie Klodd. Any farmers applying compost, manure, or straw should keep in mind that while these inputs have many benefits for vegetable production, they can also be modes of spread for weed seeds. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the amount of weed seeds that appear in compost and manure and then end up on the field.

Episode 16: Manure, Compost, and Weeds.

This month on "What's Killing My Kale?" (our fruit & vegetable pest management podcast) we had a fascinating discussion about this with Chryseis Modderman, UMN Extension Educator for manure management. Among other things, we talked about best practices for applying compost and manure on vegetable fields, and how it is that weed seeds and diseases can travel all the way from the pasture, through the animal, and onto the vegetable field. We then discussed practices that growers can adopt to minimize the risk of bringing in new weed infestations via manure and compost.

Click here to listen to the podcast…