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Showing posts from May, 2020

Webinar Recording: Berry Season Preparation - Weeds, Insects, Diseases, and Nutrition

The recording of the webinar "Berry Season Preparation - Weeds, Insects, Diseases and Nutrition" which aired on May 27, 2020 at 1:00pm is now available to watch online. This webinar was co-hosted by University of Minnesota Extension and University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension and included speakers from both organizations.

Watch the recording here or directly on Youtube.



Minnesota Vegetable Update 5/28

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension Educator, Local Foods and Vegetable Production

If you're seeing interesting things in your fields, insects and diseases, or just want to share photos, we'd love to hear from you! As always, don't hesitate to reach out with questions and pictures. We're still here for technical assistance over the phone, via text, or via email.

Vegetable questions go to me (Natalie): hoida016@umn.edu
Fruit questions go to Annie: kloddann@umn.edu
Food safety questions go to Annalisa: hultb006@umn.edu
Crop report So, the weather predictions from last week were totally off. This week has been soggy and wet, and many of you have not been able to get in to the fields. Here's to hoping the next 7 days or so of dry weather in the forecast are accurate! The first succession of most crops are now in the field. Asparagus harvest continues. Potatoes are coming up. We had our first report of Colorado Potato Beetles, but in many parts of the state they have not …

Photos for Recognizing Herbicide Injury on Berries

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production

Last week, I was concerned that the new primocane raspberries I just planted may have been impacted by 2,4-D and dicamba that was sprayed on a lawn nearby for creeping Charlie control. My grapes were showing symptoms, but they are the "canary in the coal mine" so to speak, for dicamba and 2,4-D injury due to their extreme susceptibility.

So I went online to find photos of what dicamba herbicide injury looks like on raspberries but did not find anything. So, I looked for information about the relative sensitivity of raspberries to 2,4-D and dicamba, and did not find much on that either.

From there, I sent out an email to a network of fruit Extension specialists throughout the Great Lakes region for answers. Several of them provided helpful photos of herbicide injury on berries.

Below are a collection of photos of herbicide damage, primarily on raspberries with a few on strawberries and blueberry as well.…

Cleaning and Sanitizing on the Farm for COVID - 19

By Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, On-Farm Food Safety 
(with input from Natalie Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension and Don Stoeckel, Produce Safety Alliance)

Agricultural producers are working diligently to prepare their farms to plant, harvest and sell their food crops in a safe and healthy manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the most important way to minimize the spread of the SARS-Co-V-2 virus is via physical distancing and minimizing person-to-person contact (CDC), cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces on the farm like frequently touched surfaces, tools, and equipment is also important. This post is about sanitizing those surfaces, not about hand sanitizers or soaps for hands.

The following are a set of recommendations relating to what we know about cleaning and sanitizing to control the spread of the virus. Use this information to guide your farm's policies and guidelines and to prioritize your actions this growing season.
1) What do we know about how the vi…

Weather Report for Produce Growers, May 21

Authors: Annie Klodd and Natalie Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension Educators for Fruit and Vegetable Production
Precipitation This weekend's long rain event brought precipitation totals closer to the average for this time of the year, for parts of Minnesota. Much of southern Minnesota received between 1.5-3 inches of rain between Friday and Sunday. Northern and west-central Minnesota was not impacted by this rain event, and their precipitation totals remain below average. 

Soil Temperatures The Minnesota Department of Agriculture publishes daily updated soil temperatures for major field crop growing regions of the state. Data is compiled from MDA managed stations in the Southern half of the state, and NDAWN managed stations in the northern half. As such, the data is presented slightly differently. The following tables provide a snapshot of soil temperatures across the state. For more detailed info, see https://app.gisdata.mn.gov/mda-soiltemp/.
Soil temperatures from MDA st…

Webinar Recording: Practical Strategies for U-Pick Farms During COVID-19

Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar on strategies for U-Pick farms amid COVID-19 recommendations. Those who could not attend can still listen to the recording of the webinar, and the following Question and Answer period, here on the UMN Small Farms Youtube channel, or directly on this page.

A pdf of the presentation was also made available to those who registered for the event.







Weekly Minnesota Vegetable Report 5/21

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension Educator, Local Foods and Vegetable Production

If you're seeing interesting things in your fields, insects and diseases, or just want to share photos, we'd love to hear from you! As always, don't hesitate to reach out with questions and pictures. We're still here for technical assistance over the phone, via text, or via email.

Vegetable questions go to me (Natalie): hoida016@umn.edu
Fruit questions go to Annie: kloddann@umn.edu
Food safety questions go to Annalisa: hultb006@umn.edu
Crop report Following some much needed rain last weekend, some of you are still waiting for your fields to dry out. We're seeing some more rain in the forecast for this weekend, but after that we can anticipate a mostly dry, warm, and sunny week ahead. While it's been a bit cold this year, the drier than average conditions have been great for transplanting and early season cultivation.  Asparagus may have been slow to regrow following the cold front,…

What's Killing My Kale Season 3 Episode 10: Flowering and fruit set in cucurbits

In Season 3 Episode 10of What's Killing My Kale, Natalie talked with Dr. Brent Loy, emeritus professor of plant genetics and cucurbit breeder extraordinaire at the University of New Hampshire. 

Every year we hear about fruiting in flowering issues in cucurbit crops towards the middle of the summer. Many of the strategies to prevent this from happening should be implemented now, when you're transplanting.

In this episode we discussed:
Why we so often see flower abortion, small fruit, and oddly shaped fruits, particularly in summer squash and zucchiniThe biology of male and female flowers in various types of cucurbits (and why it matters)The role that variety selection playsBest practices for nutrient management and spacing in cucurbits
Click here to download and listen to the episode directly.You can also listen to all of our episodes on Apple Podcasts.
Please leave on iTunes. As always, reach out and let us know if there are any topics you'd like us to cover in future episodes…

Four Timely Fruit Questions From This Week

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production

Below are four of the fruit-related questions that I received this week from growers in Minnesota, with my responses. I hope that these are helpful to growers who are encountering similar issues. Please let me know if you like this format, as I am working out the best way to give weekly fruit updates throughout the growing season.
1) Some of my grapevines still have not gone through bud break. Will the buds pull through?
At this point, most grapevines in Minnesota are past bud break and are somewhere between 2-5 inch shoots. Buds that have not swollen at this point, or have swollen but look yellowed or brown, may be dead. Another possible but less likely scenario is that some buds may have been delayed due to environmental conditions and could put out secondary or tertiary buds later. The best way to tell is to cut into some of the buds and see if they are green on the inside. Green inside the buds indicates live…

Recursos en español sobre COVID-19 para granjas de frutas y verduras

Hemos recibido muchas preguntas en las últimas semanas sobre cómo las granjas deben responder al COVID-19. Mientras hay mucha información sobre COVID-19 en general, aplicar esta información a las operaciones diarias de una granja de frutas y verduras ha sido un desafío.

Por eso, hemos desarrollado Una guía que los agricultores pueden usar para crear un plan que se adapte a su operación única. Este plan es basicamente una serie de preguntas para ayudarlo a identificar riesgo en su granja, con listas de prácticas sugeridas que uno se puede usar para minimizar los riesgos. Puede usar esta plantilla (después de adaptarla a su operación) como su plan oficial para COVID-19 en su granja, o usar las preguntas para informar su plan. 
No se requiere ninguna de las prácticas sugeridas. Si una práctica no funciona para su operación, simplemente elimínela. Decidimos agregar muchas sugerencias para darle muchas ideas; no hay que usar todas. Si necesita ayuda con su plan, estamos aquí para ayudarl…

Key Tips for Planting Asparagus

Author: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production

Following correct planting methods for asparagus is important for this long-lived perennial crop. But I find that this step often trips up new growers. Thankfully, countless farmers and researchers have decades of experience that new growers can draw from to do this right the first time.

Planting mistakes in asparagus can cost money and yield. Planting at the incorrect depth or spacing, planting non-hardy varieties, or neglecting soil fertility and weed management can slow the establishment of a new asparagus field or cause plants to succumb to winter damage after the planting year. Let's go through the most critical steps for successful planting:
Step 1: Prepare the field the year before Growers considering adding asparagus to their farm should develop a plan a year ahead of time and prepare the field. Waiting to prepare until the planting year may work in certain cases, but only if the grower already kn…