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Showing posts from December, 2020

Improving irrigation management in 2021

Authors: Natalie Hoidal & Vasudha Sharma Over my two seasons as a vegetable crops educator in Minnesota, I've been surprised by the number of questions and photos I get about disorders that are related to irrigation issues. Have you ever experienced hollow heart in potatoes, blossom end rot in tomatoes or peppers, yellow shoulder in tomatoes, woody carrots, or hollow stems in broccoli? While the causes of these disorders are often complex, fluctuating water levels are connected to all of them.  I'm excited to share a new resource with all of you to provide some guidance about improving irrigation management.  There are many ways to schedule irrigation. Common methods include irrigating when you expect high temperatures or when a few days have passed without rain, feeling the soil with your hands to determine whether it's dry, and irrigating on a regular calendar schedule, such as every two days. While all of these methods are better than nothing, there are accessible a

2021 Grower Questionnaire open from MDA and upcoming educational offerings

Guest contributors, Lebo Moore and Alexandra Cortes, Produce Safety Program at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Did you know that the most common reported sales outlet for produce farmers in Minnesota is on-farm markets? Or that the most frequently reported crop grown is the tomato, followed by winter squash?  We’ve learned these things about our local produce sector through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Produce Safety Program’s annual Grower Questionnaire.  The 2021 questionnaire has just been released .  The annual Grower Questionnaire is designed as a tool to confirm your farm’s status per the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR). The questionnaire asks basic information about your products, average sales ranges, and sales outlets. After receiving your completed questionnaire, the Produce Safety Program will provide you customized follow-up information about whether your farm is excluded, eligible for an exemption, or covered by the r

Choose strawberry varieties based on 38 years of Minnesota data

Authors: Annie Klodd, Lindsey Miller, and Jim Luby Data collection by Jim Luby, Steve Poppe, Keith Mann, Crystal Sucher, and Nita Learmont Annapolis strawberries ripening in June, 2020. Photo: Annie Klodd The University of Minnesota has been conducting annual strawberry variety trials for the last 38 years (1982-2020) in Grand Rapids, MN and Morris, MN. Below, this data is summarized into a simple table comparing traits of each variety. The results from 1982-2020 are summarized below. Varieties are organized by ripening time (Early, Mid, and Late Season). Yield was calculating by averaging yield data for each year and each test site. Some varieties do not have yield data available (nd). Hardiness and fruit size are summarized as relative categories, but are based on quantitative data such as % winter stand survival and berry weights, respectively.  Explore the table below to help select strawberry varieties based on your farm's needs and priorities. Further information, such as