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Showing posts from July, 2021

Weekly fruit update July 28, 2021

Veraison on Marquette grapes. Photo: Annie Klodd   Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production. In this week's fruit update: Upcoming webinars Grapes Raspberries Blueberries Strawberries Honeyberries Upcoming webinars: August 4 @ 1:00pm: What to Do Now in the Vineyard: Preparing for Harvest Season. Register here. August 5 @ 1:00pm:  Alternative Berry and Bush Crops to Boost Your Bank Account. Register here.   Apples Attend next week's Minnesota Apple Growers Association Summer Tour. Friday, August 6th at 9:00am at Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. Registration includes lunch. Register here. Grapes Veraison came incredibly early this year. We have a webinar next Wednesday, Aug. 4 to talk about preparing for harvest (see link above). It will also include an update on what the UMN Grape Breeding Program does during harvest. An abbreviated list of veraison considerations: Finish any remaining foliar nutrient sampling, as it should be

Weekly vegetable update July 28, 2021

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops   We've made it through another hot, humid week, and much better farming weather is on the horizon (though we still aren't getting rain). Summer crops are more consistently providing fruit this week, and the final successions of certain fall vegetables are going in the ground. Crop updates   Potatoes: This is a good time to talk about potato irrigation. Most of you are likely in either the stage between bloom and senescence, or between senescence and harvest. The 6 weeks or so following flowering are the period of development where potatoes have the greatest demand for water. Consistent irrigation during this period will result in larger potatoes, and is critical for avoiding issues like hollow heart and some common potato diseases like scab. After about 6 weeks, the vines will naturally begin to die off as the tubers mature. Slowly reduce your watering over a period of a few weeks. Read m

Vegetables Not Yielding Well? Blame the Heat

Author: Marissa Schuh , Integrated Pest Management Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension. Reviewed by Natalie Hoidal. Minnesota is moving through another heat-wave, and adding to the frustration of constantly moving hoses and tweaking irrigation systems, some vegetables aren’t yielding well.  There’s bushy vine crops, tomatoes that never seem to ripen, and dropped flowers occurring throughout Minnesota vegetable farms. The causes behind many of these phenomena are related to persistent high temperatures.  My plants look healthy, but I’m not getting any vegetables. Potential issue 1: Too much fertilization The brutal heat has made it tempting to baby our plants, but giving some vegetables too much nitrogen results in lush green plants, but no harvestable vegetables. Vining vegetables are especially prone to this. Potential issue 2: Hot day and nighttime temperatures cause flowers to drop Aborted flowers wither and become brittle, falling off the plant easily. Photo: Mar

Choosing Kiwiberry Varieties

Photo: Kiwiberries ready for market. Seth Wannamuehler   Graduate research assistant Seth Wannamuehler receives a lot of questions about kiwiberries. That is because for the last several years, he has been researching kiwiberry production and breeding in Minnesota as part of Dr. Jim Luby's fruit breeding research group. Through this work, he has become one of the most knowledgeable Minnesotans when it comes to this interesting new crop. Growers and gardeners wonder which kiwiberry varieties are available that will have a chance of bearing fruit in Minnesota's climate. He recently published an article in the Minnesota Fruit Research website comparing kiwiberry varieties based on his research observations so far. Since research is very much still ongoing, I have been asked to state that these are not formal recommendations but are still based on strong anecdotal observations. The article also lists places to source plants.  Click here to read "Choosing Kiwiberry Varieties&

Weekly Fruit Update - July 21, 2021

UMN Extension Educators toured Country Blossom Farm and Berry Ridge Farm on Wednesday, July 21 as part of a professional development program funded by SARE. Here, Colleen Carlson walks rows of SweeTango apples at CBF. Photo: Annie Klodd.   Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production. In this week's fruit update: Apples: Irrigation & return bloom, insect pests and diseases to watch for Raspberries: Between harvest periods, spider mite leaf symptoms Spotted wing drosophila - when to spray and when not to spray Grapes: Veraison, foliar nutrient testing, and diseases Herbicide drift injury Apples Irrigation continues to be very important in this dry season, not only for 2021 fruit development but also for return bloom. Next year's fruiting buds are developing in June and July of the current year, and excessively dry conditions can impact return bloom and the success of return bloom sprays. Irrigation is important even if the trees d

Sanitizer in produce wash water - can it improve shelf life of greens?

Annalisa Hultberg Extension Educator, food safety  While not all produce should be washed during postharvest handling, many items need to be washed to remove soil or to hydrocool to remove field heat from product. It is a best practice use a sanitizer in bulk tanks of wash water to reduce the potential to spread contamination via the water. But can sanitizer also improve the shelf life of produce? We are conducting trials this summer to see. Many farmers note that their produce lasts longer when it is rinsed in water with a sanitizer, but we don't have documentation about the impact of sanitizers on shelf life. The food safety outreach team is conducting trials to see if leafy greens last longer when rinsed in two types of sanitizers vs a rinse in plain water. We know that sanitizers are very effective at inactivating bacteria such as  Salmonella  and  Escherichia coli  O157:H7 that may be present in the water and brought in from the field, hands, compost or other sources. The hypo

Weekly Vegetable Update 7/21/2021

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops   The drought continues across most of the state with no obvious end in sight. It seems like many people are really starting to feel burnout this season, with continual weather-related discouragement, and overall exhaustion. But, as summer crops start to come in more consistently, there's some encouragement on the horizon.   Crop updates Garlic: Garlic harvest continues across the state, with most peoples' garlic crop looking very good. You have a few options for curing garlic. With the hot dry weather, field curing might actually be a good option this year if you have limited tunnel or rafter space. Read more about curing options on our postharvest handling page .   Tomatoes: High tunnel tomatoes are beginning their peak production period, and field tomatoes will be soon. Despite the drought we have started to get a few more reports of common foliar diseases, but these are mostly from gardeners

Sweet corn pests: the ones you'll notice versus the one to worry about

Author: Marissa Schuh , Integrated Pest Management Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension. Reviewed by Natalie Hoidal. Some of the state’s earliest sweet corn is making its way to markets. Plantings will continue to tassel, silk, and size up ears for the next two months, meaning we are entering the key window for sweet corn pest control.   The bugs you may see but shouldn’t worry about Adult corn rootworm beetles feeding on silks. Photo: Natalie Hoidal. Field crops extension educators are starting to detect the emergence of corn rootworm.  You might see these yellow and black beetles clustered on silks or even feeding inside pumpkins flowers.  These beetles can reach high numbers, but tend not to be an issue in sweet corn.  They do the most damage as larvae, feeding on corn roots (hence the name). Beetles lay eggs as the base of corn stalks, and larvae hatch the next year and feed on corn roots.  This means that rotation can effectively take care of corn rootworm in swee