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Fruit Insect Pest Alerts: July 2, 2020

Bill Hutchison, Suzanne Wold-Burkness, Eric Burkness, UMN Extension IPM Program, Dept. of Entomology, UMN, St. Paul campus

Japanese Beetle (JB) During the past week JB adult counts increased dramatically at two of our southern MN trap sites. Compared to only 1-3 JB/trap last week, JB numbers increased to an average of 410 JB/trap/week at Rosemount (Dakota Co.), and to 230 JB/trap/week at the UMN Horticultural Research Center near Chanhassen (Carver Co.).

The good news is that the JB counts remained very low at Hastings and Forest Lake. JB counts can also be viewed 24/7 at the new FruitEdge web page: https://www.fruitedge.umn.edu/pests/jb/jbtraps



As noted on this web page, we also provide 2019 JB trap catch data for these same locations, for comparison. In 2019, JB adult populations did not begin to increase substantially until July 4th. More details regarding JB management in fruit crops will be reviewed in upcoming issues of the newsletter, as well as research updates.
One new key JB…
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Follow These Steps for Strawberry Renovation

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production

Strawberry growers throughout Minnesota are at or near their final harvest days for the season. After the final harvest, the field is renovated in order to restore the health of the plants and prepare them for the following season.

This process involves: Weed control, mowing, row narrowing, cultivation, fertilization, and irrigation.
Step 1: Herbicide application (if using) If applying herbicides for weed control, a burndown herbicide can be applied before mowing. 2,4-D is frequently recommended for this purpose. While it may feel counter-intuitive to apply 2,4-D to strawberries, Michigan State University states that it is unlikely to hurt the plants at this point in time because the plants are not actively growing. However, it is critical to follow the rate and instructions on the label to prevent unintended damage.

Should you apply 2,4-D before or after mowing? If there are lots of weeds in the field, apply 2,4-…

Weekly vegetable update 7/2/2020

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension Educator, Local Foods and Vegetable Production

If you're seeing interesting things in your fields, insects and diseases, or just want to share photos, we'd love to hear from you! As always, don't hesitate to reach out with questions and pictures. We're still here for technical assistance over the phone, via text, or via email.

Vegetable questions go to me (Natalie): hoida016@umn.edu
Fruit questions go to Annie: kloddann@umn.edu
Food safety questions go to Annalisa: hultb006@umn.edu
Crop report The weather went from hot and dry to humid this week. After some intense rainfall and flooding of fields, we're facing at least 10 days or so of high humidity. Stay extra vigilant about disease monitoring. This is also a very busy time of year - remember to take breaks and drink plenty of water! Tomatoes and peppers are setting fruit, both in the field and high tunnel! Some of you are already harvesting tomatoes this week. Tomato disease seas…

Important updates for COVID-19 Preparedness Plans and On-site Food Consumption for farms

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, Food Safety

Like all industries in Minnesota, agricultural businesses have had to make significant changes to their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some updates related to the new guidelines that pertain to farms and farmers' markets from the most recent executive order. 
Webinars with MDA, MN OSHA and UMN on June 26 and 30 covered these topics. Listen to the recordings here.WEBINAR: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - Workplace Safety (6/26)
WEBINAR: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - Serving Food and On-Site Consumption (6/30)
COVID-19 Preparedness Plans As per the Governor's  Executive Order 20-74 all critical businesses, including farms, farmers’ markets, and other agricultural businesses that were designated critical businesses are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan by June 29. 

Who needs a plan? All farms and farmers' markets that have employees, and/or those that interface with the public, …