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Showing posts from April, 2021

Preparing your packingshed for food safety this season - spray tables and packshed design resources

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety As you plan for your season and begin to set up your packshed and washing area this spring, think through food safety considerations. You may be purchasing equipment from another farm of from an auction, or might be retrofitting equipment to serve other purposes. Here are some key things to consider regarding food safety in your pack and wash area this season. Hygienic design is a set of principles that apply to processing, packing and washing areas to ensure that they are cleanable, washable and sanitizable. Some very helpful new resources from the University of Vermont are available to help you plan and design your packing area with food safety in mind. For example, your equipment should be easily accessed for cleaning, with smooth and cleanable surfaces. You can learn more about ideal finishes for food contact surfaces here. Wood, pitted or bumpy surfaces are not easily cleaned, and can harbor microscopic bacteria, so should be avo

New Forecasting Model for Japanese Beetle in Minnesota

  Authors: Dominique Ebbenga, Eric Burkness, Adam Toninato, Bill Hutchison Department of Entomology and UMN Extension Edited by Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator - Fruit Production   Japanese beetle (JB) ( Popillia japonica ) is an invasive species first detected in 1916 in New Jersey, after an accidental introduction. Since this initial detection, JB continued to move south and west, reaching the Midwest region in the 1960s. Although JB was first detected in Minnesota in 1968, it has only recently become a dominant pest since about 2010. The beetles are now a major insect pest of turf, residential ornamentals, and agricultural crops (Image 1). The larval stage, which overwinters beneath the soil surface, feeds primarily on the root tissue of several grass species. Eventually, each summer, adults emerge from the soil and begin feeding on >300 different species of plants.   Image 1: Japanese beetles skeletonizing a grape leaf. Photo: Dominique Ebbenga. New tool for