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Showing posts from December, 2018

We Need Your Help! Fruit and Veg Growers Needs Assessment

The fruit and vegetable team at University of Minnesota Extension is seeking your help to evaluate the needs of fruit and vegetable producers in Minnesota, and the top priority challenges you face in growing these crops. You can help by filling out this 10-minute survey. We need this information in order to make sure that future programming we provide is meeting the needs of growers in Minnesota.

We will use these results to determine educational priorities and create new programs and resources for fruit and vegetable producers in Minnesota. Your answers are completely confidential, and your identity is anonymous. At the end of the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a $50 gift cards and sign up for the UMN Fruit and Vegetable Newsletter.

The survey typically takes participants between 5-15 minutes. Access the survey here:

Thank you!

University of Minnesota Extension

For more information, contact Annie Klodd, at

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…

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…