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Final weekly vegetable update 9/13/23

Natalie Hoidal and Marissa Schuh With some areas in Northern Minnesota experiencing frost last night, it seems only natural to wrap up our updates for the year. We'll continue to post articles about educational events and relevant topics, but this will be the final weekly vegetable update. Read on for discussions about dry fall soils, topping plants, zombie grasshoppers and soil health equipment grants, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of this season’s updates by filling out our survey. Dry soils and end of season field work Our 100 farms project team has been visiting farms and doing follow-up soil sampling this fall at 10 of the 100 farms included in the original project. The goal of this follow-up project is to better understand how phosphorus is moving across and through farm landscapes, and so it involves taking deeper than usual soil samples, including some 1 meter cores. For the most part, the soil on most farms has been extremely dry, to the extent that we
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Share your thoughts on this newsletter

As the growing season winds down, let us know what you thought of Fruit and Vegetable News! This helps us both figure out what to include in the newsletter in the future and advocate for fruit and vegetable research and extension. Missing the fruit updates? Let us know! Found information of pests helpful? Let us know! Critique or compliment, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Loading…

Using surface water on the farm during drought conditions?

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety Many regions of the state have continued to be in moderate to severe drought this season, which is impacting water tables and wells. Are you making changes on your farm because of a dropping water table, like using pond or river water for irrigation? Learn more about using surface water for irrigation, if this is something you are doing or considering doing. This farm pond has become a water source for deer and racoons in the drought.  You can see the tracks from animals on the banks of the pond. Using pond water like  this for irrigation is a risk due to the high potential for pathogens in the water from wildlife and  other sources of contamination. What are the risks with surface water sources? Surface waters like ponds are considered a high risk water source since their quality can be highly variable and they are susceptible to contamination from animals and other sources of fecal contamination. This water is much more likely to con

Weekly vegetable update 9/7/23

Authors: Natalie Hoidal and Marissa Schuh Following one final heatwave that brought a flush of ripe tomatoes, there’s a distinct fall feeling in the air. We know you’re all still as busy as ever, but fall tends to bring a feeling that the home stretch is near, and field work becomes more pleasant as temperatures drop. We’re gearing up for fall programming and nearing the end of our weekly updates. This update includes a couple of unique things we’re seeing on farms this week, and some reminders for fall. Water in peppers We received a unique report this week of water accumulating in bell peppers. The peppers looked completely normal with no obvious lesions, but they were filled with water despite limited rainfall and the grower using drip irrigation. As peppers ripen, the calyx (the area where the fruit attaches to the stem) becomes thinner, reducing the amount of nutrients and water that the plant can transplant to the fruit. However, in some cases, and seemingly in some varieties in

Cover crops and fall bed prep for climate resilience

Spring weather in Minnesota is becoming more erratic as our climate changes. In years with wet spring weather, farmers have a hard time entering their fields on time to prepare them for planting. One strategy for adapting to this change is to prep vegetable beds in the fall and plant cover crops in between to absorb early spring moisture. A new video highlights research results from a 3 year trial led by Dr. Cindy Tong, and insights from farmer collaborator Erik Heimark of Maple Ridge Produce.  Watch the video below or on our UMN Extension Small Farms YouTube channel.  

Weekly vegetable update 8/31/23

Authors: Natalie Hoidal , Shane Bugeja   Our food systems team has been on the road this week touring farms across north central Minnesota to make new connections. In general, crops are ahead of schedule this year. We had our first sweet tango apples (about two weeks early near Little Falls) and saw plenty of winter squash ripening early. For the most part, peoples' crops are doing quite well despite the dry summer. It seems like in our third year of drought most growers have caught up, either by investing in more irrigation infrastructure or by adapting farm plans to accommodate less water availability. This update includes discussion of how heat and drought impact curing and potassium availability, as well as two types of Alternaria causing problems for fall crops. A hot labor day Forecasts are showing temperatures potentially reaching 100 degrees this weekend in Southern Minnesota, and low to mid 90s in the north. Thankfully, forecasts are projecting lower humidity than the last

Tour and soil discussion with Urban Roots at Rivoli Bluffs Farm

Join Extension and the Twin Cities Metro Growers Network for an educational tour of Urban Roots' Rivoli Bluffs Farm and Restoration Site. This is the last Twin Cities Metro Growers Network event of the year! There will be a guided walking tour and opportunities to learn about the many on-site projects Urban Roots is involved with, including ecological restoration work, an orchard, hoop houses, a medicine garden, a nature path, a community garden, and a community space. The farm has been trialing cover crops and new ways of managing their soil's nutrients, which will be a special focus of this tour. University of Minnesota Extension Educators will also share soil management practices and soil compaction research that has been conducted at the farm in cooperation with the farm staff. Urban Roots is a youth development and employment organization that builds economic and educational opportunities for under-resourced BIPOC youth. The Twin Cities Metro Growers Network is a coll