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Grape Pruning Resources to Help You in 2022

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Crops. kloddann@umn.edu While hands-on tutorials and experience are the best ways to hone your grape pruning skills, in-person help isn't always available right when it is needed. Therefore, University of Minnesota Extension is continually developing a library of pruning videos and articles for grape growers of all levels. Please feel free to use these resources as needed, to review or learn throughout the pruning season:  Videos: Pruning grapevines in Minnesota (Level: Beginner) UMN Extension Grapevine winter injury (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning out grapevine trunk diseases (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning New Vines – One or Two Years Old (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning high cordon grapevines in Minnesota (Level: Intermediate to advanced)   Frequently Asked Questions in Grape Pruning - Feb. 2021 webinar recording (Level: Intermediate to advanced)    Articles or web pages:    Building New Grapevine Cor
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Mark your calendars: winter farmer-to-farmer online resilience series

Join UMN Extension and Land Stewardship Project for a series of online forums this winter to address resiliency on our farms.  From the changing climate to the external and internal pressures impacting our farms, our strength lies in coming together collectively to support one another and to provide inspiration for addressing these challenges.       We will be bringing farmers together to collectively increase our resiliency through a series of 4 online forums this winter.  The format will include a video interview with farmers using innovative strategies to improve their farm resilience followed by a live Q&A.  There will also be an opportunity for peer-to-peer dialog.  Please join us! List of events:  January 13, 12:00-1:30pm: Time and people management with Julie Arnold of Shepherd Moon Farm. Register here .  January 27 , 7:00-8:30pm: Irrigation systems with Andrew Ehrmann of Spring Wind Farm. Register here.  February 10 , 12:00-1:30pm: Incubating beginning farmer

Are you looking for new markets or a GAP audit? Attend a food safety training this winter

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety Food safety training with farmer trainers Are you looking to sell your product to a farm to school program, wholesale, or other market that is looking for a food safety audit or verification? Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your operation, product quality and to protect your farm and customers?  While some of the largest wholesale markets require a GAP audit that you pay for, many farm to school programs and other buyers will accept an updated farm food safety plan. Attend a GAPs training this winter to update your farm's food safety plan, learn about current food safety recommendations and best practices, research and regulation. If you do need a GAP audit for your farm, a food safety training is the first step in preparing.  Here are options for winter food safety training from UMN Extension. All trainings are led by UMN staff and trained experienced farmers.  GAPs Half-Day Training Course This 3.5-hour online course

Harvesting brassicas? Look out for a new invasive insect.

As the season starts to wrap and fall cole crops are harvested, keep an eye out for damage from a new invasive pest: swede midge. Swede midge is an invasive fly that is a bit different than many of our insect pests.  It isn’t like Colorado potato beetle or cabbage looper, where you will notice the bug doing the damage.  In fact, you are unlikely to notice the damage until the culprit is long gone, and the damage can be so cryptic it is hard to figure out if swede midge is actually the cause.   The midges themselves are small flies, and the larvae that do the damage are even harder to see.  They are only a few millimeters long and translucent, and feed directly on the growing point of brassica crops and weeds. Swede midge larvae feed on the growing point, but in high numbers might spread out to other areas. Photo: Mao Chen, Cornell University, Bugwood.org. So what are you likely to see if swede midge has been active on your farm? Plants with odd growth pattern and distorted leaves Plant

Raspberry Cane Borers - What You Can Do This Fall

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production Raspberry cane borer is an occasional pest of raspberries in Minnesota. I recently visited a farm in southeast Minnesota with a moderate infestation. This borer causes the growing tips of raspberry canes to wilt and fall off as the adults pierce holes in the canes for their larvae to enter. Raspberry growers can scout for this damage in the fall and remove any canes with cane borer damage. Doing so is an effective management strategy to remove most or all of the larvae present. Raspberry cane borer larvae tunnels seen directly below the puncture holes. Photo: A. Klodd Recognizing Cane Borers and their Damage Raspberry cane borer larvae are small, thin and light in color. They can be seen feeding their way down the inside of raspberry canes if you were to cut open an infested cane lengthwise. The adults are active from late June to early July. They are black beetles with a long and thin body and a patch of yellow b

Fruit Growers: Nov. 20 Deadline for Federal Crop Insurance

  SAINT PAUL, Minn., Oct. 13, 2021 — USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin producers that the final date to apply for crop insurance for perennial crops such as apples, cranberries, grapes, and tart cherries is November 20 for the 2022 crop year. Growers who are interested in the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy and are late fiscal year filers have until November 20 to apply for crop insurance. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the November 20 sales closing date to do so.       Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps producers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy . Producers may select from several coverage options, including yield coverage, revenue protection, and area risk policies. Additional information can be found on the Actuarial Information Browser page on the RMA website. Producers are encouraged to visit t

Tips for garlic planting season

Author: Natalie Hoidal It's garlic planting season. Here are a few quick tips to guide you. 1. Delaying planting due to heat? We've seen mild fall conditions across the state this year, and the first frost date is significantly delayed. The standard recommendation is to plant one to two weeks after the first killing frost, which typically falls in late September in northern Minnesota, and early October in southern Minnesota. Planting too early can lead to frost damage if the shoot emerges above the soil before winter. So, should you wait to plant? I asked a few colleagues to weigh in, and the general consensus was: No. Stick to the typical planting schedule, which means plant soon if you haven't done so already! Adding a thick layer of straw mulch sill help to keep your plants insulated through the winter. This will be particularly important if you see the shoots poking through the soil before a hard frost comes. Garlic planted with 6” row spacing and 6” between cloves in a