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Showing posts from October, 2019

New Videos: Taking Soil and Foliar Samples in Orchards and Vineyards

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator-Fruit and Vegetable Production
We just released two new videos for fruit growers, on soil and foliar sampling. Check them out, either by clicking these links or watching below: Taking a Soil Sample: Vineyards and OrchardsTaking a Foliar Sample: Vineyards and Orchards Submitting a soil sample is necessary in order to know the nutrient status of the soil. Without soil test results, we don't really know what rates of fertilizer to apply, or whether the soil pH needs amending, in order to support healthy crop growth.

Fall is an ideal time to take a soil sample for your orchard, vineyard, or crop field. It allows us to get the soil test report back in plenty of time to formulate a nutrient management plan for the spring. Go out and do this before the ground freezes! Taking a Soil Sample: Vineyards and Orchards
For perennial fruit crops, such as orchards and vineyards, there is an extra step we must take in addition to the soil test: a foliar nutri…

Potatoes: post-harvest disorders and handling

Author: Natalie Hoidal

From hollow heart to soft rot to freeze damage, we've seen a whole host of potato issues this fall. This article provides an overview of these issues and management tips for each.
Hollow heart Hollow heart, the formation of an irregularly shaped hole in the center of potatoes, is caused by alternating periods of rapid and slow growth. We see this occur when we have excessive moisture followed by dry periods, and when soil fertility is not managed well. Often after really wet weather we welcome drier periods, but it's important to monitor soil moisture and irrigate when necessary to prevent symptoms like hollow heart.

Hollow heart does not affect the flavor or safety of potatoes, but customers who purchase potatoes with this condition may think that something is wrong and throw them out, or choose to purchase from someone else in the future.

Tips for managing hollow heart:
If you have some hollow heart in this year's potatoes, let your customers know…

Webinar Recording: Crop Insurance for Vineyards

Did you know? The USDA has implemented their Grape Crop Insurance Program into five Minnesota counties beginning in 2020, but you can get insurance for your vineyard even if you live outside of these 5 counties. Learn more about what this means for grape growers in Minnesota and surrounding states.

*Please note: The deadline to purchase your 2020 Grape policy is November 20, 2019, so please watch the recording and learn about the program before it’s too late!

To listen to the recording from the Oct. 23 webinar, click here to watch on Youtube, or watch it below:


Presenter: 
Craig Christianson, Risk Management Specialist, USDA

Topics Covered: 
•Background on the Risk Management Agency and the USDA Grape Program
•Written Agreements - How to obtain insurance through a written agreement if your vineyard is not located in one of the five Minnesota counties with the grape program.
•Grape Program in Minnesota

Applying Fertilizer to Vineyards After Harvest

Authors: Annie Klodd and Anne Sawyer, University of Minnesota Extension
Key Points:
Minimize the amount of nitrogen applied in the fall; save it for the spring.Granular fertilizer is best applied as a broadcast directed to the vine rowsIf possible, avoid fertilizer application to the grassy aisles unless groundcover renovation is the intentFertilizer application rates should be calculated based on soil and foliar tests. Results from recent years or the current year may be used.
During the growing season, grapevines allocate significant amounts of sugars and nutrients to the fruit, which is then removed from the vineyard when the fruit is harvested. If the soils are limited in nutrients like phosphorus (P), potassium (K), nitrogen (N) and magnesium (Mg), adding these nutrients back into the soil periodically is important to the continued productivity of the vineyard. Amounts applied should be calculated based on soil and foliar test results, rather than applying an arbitrary rate.
Reaso…

Produce Farmers: Register now for Rochester GAPs workshop on October 31

Join U of MN Extension to learn practical steps for keeping your produce safe, your customers healthy, and your business flourishing (and growing!).
Learn how Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) can improve the quality and safety of your produce and help you access new markets. This training is designed for small- to medium-sized fruit and vegetable growers, but any farmer or gardener is welcome to attend. Learn from Extension educators and your fellow farmers in this interactive session. Topics include:

Best practices (GAPs) to improve safety in growing, harvest, washing and handling of fresh fruits and vegetablesWhat is a GAP audit? What is FSMA? How do they apply to me?Learn about water testing, compost and manure use, animal intruders, safely washing vegetables, low-cost handwashing stands, and moreIncludes donation garden walk-and-talk to discuss practical setups for safe harvest, washing, and packing In this training, we will focus on best practices for food safety and help you figu…

University of Minnesota Extension Begins Work on Cider Apples

Adapted from the UMN Yard and Garden News

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Annie Klodd, along with researchers in the University of Minnesota fruit breeding program, has received a grant to begin research and outreach on growing cider apples in Minnesota. Read on to learn about Minnesota cider apples and the new cider project being conducted by Extension and the fruit breeding program.
The Cider Scene in MinnesotaDid you know? Hard cider is making a big splash in the Minnesota craft beverage scene. According to Minnesota Department of Agriculture data, as of 2017 cider accounted for 51% of the beverage production by Minnesota wineries (which includes cideries). Largely due to the recent increase in cider production, total winery beverage production has risen by 68% between 2012 and 2017.

What is hard cider? Hard apple cider is a fermented beverage made from the juice from apples. Other fruits can also be used in ciders, such as pears or cherries. Cider from pears is called &q…

Farm financial consulting with Ryan Pesch

Author: Katie Drewitz
Calling all produce farmers, large and small, to take advantage of expert financial consulting for your farm. University of Minnesota Extension is working with the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association  (MFMA), Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), and Renewing the Country Side to test a business model of farmer’s markets serving as food hubs in their communities. The goal is to figure out if this model is truly benefiting the farmer.

The team needs 18 farmers to commit to this opportunity by October 31, 2019. By committing to the project the farms are signing up to meet one-on-one with Ryan Pesch, University of Minnesota Extension Education in Community Economic Development. Ryan will use FINPACK software to input and analyze your records. All personal information will be strictly confidential between the farm and Ryan. Financial data from each farm will be compiled and averaged with similar information from other farms. All names and other ide…

What's Killing My Kale Episode 27: Swede Midge Management - an overview of what we know

Author: Natalie Hoidal. Interviewee: Yolanda Chen



In episode 26 of What's Killing My Kale, Natalie talked with Dr. Yolanda Chen, a professor at the University of Vermont. Yolanda has been studying Swede Midge on the East coast, where it has been a devastating disease of cole crops. In particular, her research has focused on organic management strategies. 

In part 1 of this episode, we interviewed Angie Ambourn, supervisor of the MDA's pest detection unit, about recent Swede Midge sightings in Minnesota. We anticipate that this insect pest may move beyond community gardens to vegetable farms in the near future, so it's important for growers to be on the lookout, and to have some background in current research and management strategies. 

Listen to part 1 here. 

You can listen to and download the episode here.What's Killing my Kale is also available on iTunes. If you enjoy listening to our podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. As always, reach out and let us know if …

What's Killing My Kale Episode 26: Swede Midge - a new brassica pest in Minnesota

Author: Natalie Hoidal. Interviewee: Angie Ambourn



In episode 26 of What's Killing My Kale, Natalie talked with Angie Ambourn, supervisor of the MDA's pest detection unit. Angie's team has been studying emerging insects and diseases in community gardens across Minnesota, and they've recently detected Swede Midge in gardens across the Twin Cities. Swede Midge is an important pest of cole crops on the East Cost, and while has not yet caused economic damage on Minnesota farms, it's important for producers to keep an eye out and anticipate this insect pest in the years to come. 

In part 2 of this episode, we interviewed Yolanda Chen from the University of Vermont about management strategies for organic farms.

You can listen to and download the episode here.What's Killing my Kale is also available on iTunes. If you enjoy listening to our podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. As always, reach out and let us know if there are any topics you'd like us to cove…