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Showing posts from June, 2020

Weekly Vegetable Update 6/25/2020

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 Like last week, this week was mostly hot and dry. This was great for holding off diseases, but many growers experienced drought stress, and insects continue to thrive in these conditions.  Asparagus has reached the fern stage for most growers at this point. Invest some time in weed management this week as the fern canopies start to fill in. Garlic: Most of you have removed scapes by now, and garlic is beginning to invest in bulbs. You may notice …

Weather Report: Still Dry!

Precipitation All of Minnesota received some rainfall in the last 7 days, between 0.1 - 3 inches. Most growers are still experiencing dryer than normal conditions for this time of year, as much of the state is still below average precipitation for the past 30 days (based on 30-year average). However, due to the heavy rains that northwestern Minnesota received two weeks ago, that region of the state is still slightly above normal precipitation along with the far southeastern tip of the state.
Disease pressure remained low during the dry period, but this weekend's rain likely stimulated disease infection. See the Weekly Fruit Update for information on how these dry conditions may be impacting fruit crops.

Growing Degree DaysThe map below shows modified growing degree days (MGDD) accumulated between April 1 and June 23, 2020, using a base temperatures of 50 degrees F. To read more about how the numbers were calculated for this map, please visit: https://mrcc.illinois.edu/cliwatch/mg…

Weekly Fruit Update - 6/25/2020

Author: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production
In this week's update:Rotating cross arm trellis for blackberriesBlueberries beginning to ripen - tentative U-Pick openings plannedPlum curculio egg laying and feeding Aronia fruit yellowingDrought stress symptoms on fruit leavesRemoving fire blight infections Rotating cross arm trellis for blackberries
On Wednesday, I had to opportunity to check out a new rotating cross arm trellis that a Minnesota fruit grower recently installed in a brand new blackberry planting. The RCA trellis allows the canes to be grown at an angle, or almost horizontally, and then raised up for harvest.

This achieves two benefits: 1) easier harvest of berries, all hanging on one side of the trellis, and 2) allowing the primocanes to be lowered and covered over the winter to protect against cold temperatures, potentially making Minnesota blackberry possible. I am excited to see how this system works out, and will work with the grow…

Fruit Insect Pest Alerts: June 24, 2020

Bill Hutchison, Suzanne Wold-Burkness, Eric Burkness, UMN Extension IPM Program, Dominique Ebbenga, and Adam Toninato Dept. of Entomology, UMN, St. Paul campus

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Trap catches of adult SWD slightly increased this past week at our main monitoring sites; numbers increased to 1/trap/week at Forest Lake (summer raspberry), 5/trap at Chanhassen, Hort. Research Center (HRC), and 6/trap at Rosemount (fall raspberry).

For the most updated trap catch data, view the FruitEdge SWD page at: https://www.fruitedge.umn.edu/swdtrap . Note that SWD trap catch numbers are usually updated on Tuesdays or by Wednesday noon each week; trap catch comparisons are also available for 2018-2019.




As SWD population pressure can vary considerably from farm to farm in Minnesota, the best option for monitoring is to have at least 1 to 2 traps on your farm, near berry crops. For more information on SWD traps, or how to build your own using apple-cider vinegar (ACV) traps, see: https://www.f…

Weed Management Options for Asparagus

As we reach the end of asparagus harvest, growers are probably thinking, “Oh great, now I get to get rid of all these weeds.” Late June is a good time to wrap up harvest and clean up the field to make room for fern growth.

This article will discuss weed management from the framework of IWM (Integrated weed management). It will describe cultural and mechanical methods of weed management followed by chemical options.

Because asparagus is a perennial crop that has green tissue from April to December, one of the biggest challenges is managing weeds within the asparagus rows. Growers must look for methods and windows of time for weed management that do not harm the growth of the plant. They also must develop a strategy for perennial weeds such as Canada thistle and quack grass, which thrive in asparagus beds due to the open soil and lack of tillage.

Managing weeds between the rows is much easier in comparison to the rows themselves. Aisles can be kept weed free without the use of herbicid…

COVID plan webinars with MDA and MNOSHA June 26 and 30

Updated 6/25 2020

Minnesota farm businesses, farmers’ markets, and other ag businesses are invited to attend informational webinars this week to learn more about the required COVID-19 Preparedness Plans and COVID related on-farm consumption guidelines.

1) Webinar on COVID-19 Preparedness Plans for farms and farmers' markets
Friday, June 26, 3:00 - 4:00 pm:
Register here: https://z.umn.edu/COVIDplan_Fri

This webinar will cover the basic requirements that all critical businesses have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as well as highlight resources such as templates that farms can use to create a plan. Preparedness Plans are intended to assist and support businesses in protecting employees, customers, and all Minnesotans from COVID-19. Plans will not need to be submitted to any regulatory entity unless requested.

Presenters will be from Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and University of Minnesota Extension.

2) Webinar for U-pick f…

Wrapping Up the Asparagus Harvest

Author: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production
Asparagus harvest is drawing to a close in most of Minnesota. The season typically ends in late June, and our dry weather seems to be causing spear growth to slow down slightly earlier this year. 
Next year's yields and profits are determined by how well the asparagus is treated in the current year. An important part of managing asparagus is deciding when to stop harvesting, and how to manage the patch after harvest.

How to tell when to stop harvesting To wrap up the asparagus season, simply harvest any remaining spears and then call it quits. New spears that emerge after that are then left alone to develop into ferns.

Harvest of mature stands should stop about 6-8 weeks after initial spear emergence, once the spear growth and emergence slows down significantly, or when spear width is less than pencil size. In Minnesota, this is typically in late June. Far northern locations may stop harvest later, because …

New COVID-19 video series: reducing risk on farms

Authors: Natalie Hoidal & Annalisa Hultberg

So much has happened over the last month, but unfortunately the risk of COVID-19 illness remains serious. Our team has worked with MDA to develop a 5 part video series about best practices for reducing risks on farms related to COVID-19. They are currently available in English, and will be available in Spanish and Hmong within the week.

The purpose of these videos is to provide science-based information on transmission of the disease and how to reduce risks on farm and farmers' market settings. These videos will be especially helpful to provide additional information to help as your farm develops a COVID response plan. In particular, now that you're well into the season, think through ways that you can create more physical distance between employees, or create cohorts or teams. As our economy opens up, more of us attend mass gatherings and memorials, and the number of virus carriers increases in our communities, now is a critica…

Weekly Vegetable Report - 6/18/2020

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 This week was hot and dry. This was great for holding off diseases, but many growers experienced drought stress, and insects continue to thrive in these conditions. Thankfully we have some water predicted in the forecast for the whole state.  Asparagus is reaching the fern stage for many growers. Garlic: Most garlic across the state has now reached the stage where it's producing scapes. Make sure to remove them to ensure larger bulbs. Potato

Weather Report: Dry, Windy, Hot Weather and Specialty Crops

Authors: Annie Klodd, University of Minnesota Extension Educators for Fruit and Vegetable Production
Precipitation There is no doubt that much of the state experienced a dry, hot, windy week. As indicated in the map below, farms in the eastern half of Minnesota received little to no precipitation in the last 7 days. These growers are therefore still experiencing dry soils, receiving only 5-25% of the average precipitation for June 10-17 (based on 30-year average).
However, northwest Minnesota continues to be wetter than average, having received 0.5-2 inches of rain this week after receiving very heavy rain last week. This keeps the northwest corner at 100-300% of normal precipitation for this time in the season. Irrigation is important at this time for fruit and vegetable crops across Minnesota. This is a key time in the season for fruit and plant development that will impact yield later on.  

Growing Degree DaysThe map below shows modified growing degree days (MGDD) accumulated betwe…

Weekly Fruit Report, 6/18/2020

Author: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator, Fruit 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.

Fruit questions go to Annie: kloddann@umn.edu
Vegetable questions go to Natalie: hoida016@umn.edu
Food safety questions go to Annalisa: hultb006@umn.edu

In this article: Strawberry U-Picks opening with COVID guidelinesDry weather reducing disease pressure, plant water statusInvestigating Undiagnosed Berry SymptomsStrawberry leaf diseases on stems and fruitHerbicide drift damage continues
Strawberry U-Picks opening with COVID guidelines in place Multiple strawberry farms opened for U-Pick this week in southeast Minnesota, the metro area, and west central Minnesota. These farms are doing a great job of keeping their custome…

It is Time to Prepare for Spotted Wing Drosophila

Authors: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production; and Bill Hutchison, Professor and Extension Entomologist

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is currently active across Minnesota. As of June 16, they have been collected in traps in Forest Lake, Rosemount, Hastings, and Chanhassen. See the figure below from the SWD Trapping Network and UMN's IPM Program on FruitEdge. This page is updated every Thursday.

Forest Lake, MN: 0.50 SWD per trap (= 1st catch of the year)Rosemount, MN: 3 SWD per trap (raspberries)Hastings, MN:  1 SWD per trap (grapes)Chanhassen, MN: 5 SWD per trap (mixed crops)Houston County, MN: 0 SWD per trap (strawberries)
If early-ripening fruit are present, and the trap catch is at least 1/trap/week, this is the action threshold where sprays are needed to control for SWD infestations.
Get a SWD Management Plan in Place Farms producing strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and other soft fruits should finalize their plans for managing SW…