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Showing posts from August, 2021

Weekly Fruit Update - Sept. 1, 2021

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production In this week's fruit update: Japanese beetle and SWD trap counts Grape harvest target parameters, and pests to watch for Apple harvest progress and what to watch for Fall-bearing raspberry SWD info Japanese beetle average trap counts by location, at seven farm locations in Minnesota. Source: UMN FruitEdge  For updated spotted wing drosophila trap counts, please visit FruitEdge. Grapes   Many grape growers were harvesting Itasca and Brianna last week. Some Marquette is also beginning to come in. But if you have not yet started harvesting these, that is also okay. Harvest based on fruit chemistry: pH, brix and taste of the grapes, and if they're not ready, that's alright!    Below are UMN's recommended harvest parameters for Marquette, Itasca, LaCrescent and the Frontenac family:   Marquette: brix 22-26, pH 2.9-3.3, TA (titratable acidity) 11-12 g/L   Itasca: brix 24.7-28.2, pH 3.04-3.31, TA 6-10.8  

Weekly Fruit Update - August 25, 2021

MN55 (First Kiss) calyx color compared to ripeness measured by the starch-iodine index (SII) test. Apples with moderate staining (SII 4-6) are ripe, strong staining (SII 1-3) are underripe, and little to no staining (SII 7-8) are overripe. There may be a correlation between calyx color and ripeness.   Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production Apples What's being harvested? For the most part, MN55 (First Kiss) harvest is finishing up. SweeTango and Zestar! harvest are approaching in the next week. Our team is harvesting SweeTango in Preston and White Bear Lake next Tuesday and Wednesday for our apple hail netting research project. I just sampled some delicious ripe Zestar! in Long Lake, so I imagine that some growers are already harvesting that and most will be very soon. The starch-iodine test combined with flavor testing may be used to schedule harvest dates for both varieties. The SweeTango contract requires that certain quality and ripeness standar

Losing Lorsban: Looking Ahead to 2022

Authors: Marissa Schuh (UMN), Robert Koch (UMN), Theresa Cira (MDA), Raj Mann (MDA), Bruce Potter (UMN), and Anthony Hanson (UMN). Reviewed by Bill Hutchinson, UMN.  What’s going on with chlorpyrifos? In a pre-publication of a final rule released on August 18, 2021, the EPA announced  that the agency is revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. A “tolerance” represents the maximum level of pesticide residue legally allowed in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Revoking of tolerances will stop the use of chlorpyrifos on all food and feed, taking effect six months after the final rule is published. See 40 CFR Part 180 for a list of chlorpyrifos tolerances on food commodities. The pre-publication announcement from EPA indicates that growers can still use chlorpyrifos through the end of the 2021 growing season.  Non-agricultural uses are unaffected by the final tolerance rule.  A Quick Review of the Chlorpyrifos Saga In 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (

Weekly vegetable update 8/25/2021

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops   We're reaching the end of August, which means everyone is extremely busy harvesting. This week brought some much needed rain to growers across the state, and there is more on the way. Crop updates   Cucurbits: We are in peak melon season, and I've received a couple of photos of melons with Anthracnose. A lot of farmers had issues with this pathogen last year. Its ideal conditions are humid weather and leaf wetness with temperatures in the 70s, so this week is a perfect time for it to spread if it's present on your farm. Read more about Anthracnose in cucurbits here and here . Additionally, as melons and squash start to produce fewer flowers, keep an eye on cucumber beetles. At this point in the season they can move to fruit and cause feeding damage.  Flea beetles feeding on pumpkin fruit. Photo: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Tomatoes: The tomatoes I'm seeing g

Weekly vegetable update 8/19/2021

Author: Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops   The summer of 2021 continues to be hot, dry, and generally exhausting; 50% of the state is now under extreme drought conditions. Despite these challenges, we are in peak summer production and growers are now consistently harvesting melons, tomatoes, peppers, and other late summer veggies. Crop updates   Cucurbits: Cucurbits are the stars of the show this week. Melons are ripening, and winter squash harvest is beginning already! This is the time of year when raccoons can do a lot of damage in a melon field, so keep an eye out for damage and signs of critters. Tomatoes: There seems to be more blossom end rot than usual this year. This is to be expected given the drought, and the fact that many farmers are struggling to keep up with watering. Keep notes about varieties that seem particularly susceptible, and remove any tomatoes with symptoms as soon as you see them so that your plants can focus on growing h