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Showing posts from March, 2019

New paraquat educational requirements

The EPA has established new requirements and a required training module for paraquat, a commonly used herbicide on Minnesota fruit and vegetable farms.  Minnesota growers may know paraquat by the brand names Gramoxone, Firestorm, Helmquat, and Parazone. From the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs: Since 2000, 17 deaths have been caused by accidental ingestion of paraquat. Many of these deaths resulted from people illegally transferring the pesticide to beverage containers and the victim later mistaking it for a drink. A single sip can be fatal. In addition to the deaths by accidental ingestion, since 2000, three more deaths and many severe injuries have been caused by the pesticide getting onto the skin or into the eyes of those working with it. To help prevent these tragedies, certified applicators must now take paraquat-specific training before use, to emphasize that the chemical must not be transferred to or stored in improper containers. The training also covers paraquat toxi

NEW VIDEO: How to prune out grapevine trunk diseases

We are learning more and more about grapevine trunk diseases and the impact they can have on reducing the vigor and production of grapevines in our region.  While research continues here at the University of Minnesota, you can do something about it right now. Pruning out dead or unproductive cordons is an essential step to combating trunk disease. Make grapevines produce more this season If you cut a cordon (one of the "arms" of the grapevine) and look at the inside, you may see brown staining or discoloration.  That could be caused by one of several grapevine trunk diseases.  In this new video, Extension Educator Annie Klodd explains how you can use pruning to remove the disease(s) that may be present in your grapevine. She also offers these other pruning tips: How to create a new, more productive cordon "arm" on your grapevine What to do with dead grape clusters that may linger from last season What's the best time to prune? Winter? Spring?

Sprayer Calibration Basics: Tips for Getting the Correct Amount of Coverage and Measuring Safely

Authors: Natalie Hoidal and Ken Rost (Frost Inc.). Calibrating your sprayer before you spray is an important step to ensure you are applying the correct amount of product to your crop. This article gives step-by-step instructions on calibrating a small-scale sprayer for fruit and vegetable farms. This includes calculating how much product to use on small plantings, a question we receive frequently. Calibration of a manual sprayer – gallons per acre Image: Ken Rost Always calibrate with water Spray a set area (340 sq feet), and count the number of seconds it takes Make sure to keep a consistent walking speed and pumping speed if you're using a sprayer with a mechanical pump Spray into  separate a container for the same amount of time and collect the water Measure the amount of water in your container; Ounces collected will equal your output in gallons / acre Use label instruction for amount of product included in each gallon of total volume Calibration example: It

Reducing risk for black leg of potato

Black leg on Potato Photo: M.McGrath, Cornell University Although black leg has long been a problem in Minnesota and surrounding states, a more aggressive species of the black leg pathogen,  Dickeya dianthicola , has resulted in significant damage to potatoes in other regions in recent years. Several growers have expressed concerns about the potential of  Dickeya dianthicola  to be brought onto their farm on infected seed. What is black leg disease? Black leg is a bacterial disease of potato that causes soft rot of tubers, slimy black stem rot, yellowing, wilt and death of foliage. There are multiple bacterial plant pathogens associated with black leg including several species of Pectobacterium and several species of Dickeya . Do Dickeya species occur in Minnesota and the upper Midwest? Dickeya dianthicola and D. chrysanthami have been identified in potatoes in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Both bacterial species can be carried on seed potatoes and are

What's it like to be a Hops Grower?

Author: Colleen Carlson. If you are considering growing hops on a commercial scale, the Minnesota Hop Grower Association Annual Meeting and Workshop is where you can acquire information and get your questions answered about what it takes have a successful hop yard.  Where and when The Minnesota Hop Growers Association Annual Meeting will take place on Friday March 29 and Saturday March 30, 2019 at the Turtles 1890 Social Centre in Shakopee, Minnesota. Participants may register for one or two days of the workshop: 2-Day Non-member Ticket $110.00 2-Day Member Ticket $65.00 Friday only Non-Member ticket $70.00 Saturday-Only Non-Member Ticket $95.00  Membership and registration information is available on-line at What's it like to be a hops grower? “Growing hops requires a significant up-front investment and can be quite labor intensive,” states John Brach, president of the MHGA. “Our association has put together a comprehensive hops growing wor