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Showing posts from January, 2022

Reminder: Grape Pruning Resources to Help you in 2022

  Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Crops. While hands-on tutorials and experience are the best ways to hone your grape pruning skills, in-person help isn't always available right when it is needed. Therefore, University of Minnesota Extension is continually developing a library of pruning videos and articles for grape growers of all levels. Please feel free to use these resources as needed, to review or learn throughout the pruning season:  Videos: Pruning grapevines in Minnesota (Level: Beginner) UMN Extension Grapevine winter injury (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning out grapevine trunk diseases (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning New Vines – One or Two Years Old (Level: Beginner to advanced) Pruning high cordon grapevines in Minnesota (Level: Intermediate to advanced)   Frequently Asked Questions in Grape Pruning - Feb. 2021 webinar recording (Level: Intermediate to advanced)    Articles or web pages:    Building New Grapev

Rhizobia Inoculation for Organic Farming Systems

 Author: Rebecca Fudge, PhD Candidate, Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Minnesota Rhizobia inoculation can ensure that you are getting as much nitrogen as possible from your legumes. In this article, you will learn how inoculants work, how to apply them, and how to choose the right inoculant for your farm. Nitrogen is critical for plants’ growth and development. Most plants take up nitrogen from the soil, but the legume family of plants can derive nitrogen directly from the air (and remember: air is almost 80% nitrogen gas!) Legumes can’t do this alone, however. They must associate with soil bacteria called rhizobia to engage in the process of biological nitrogen fixation. In this process, rhizobia form specialized organs on the legume’s roots called nodules, which are ideal environments for the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into a nitrogen form the plant can use. This makes legumes valuable sources of protein (think of soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, and more) as well

Sign up for our 2022 broccoli trials

In 2022 we plan to trial ~35 varieties of broccoli to screen for tolerance to black rot and Alternaria, and to identify varieties that perform well in our climate. In addition to conducting an inoculated trial at the Southern Research and Outreach Center,  we hope to trial these varieties on farms to get grower feedback. Last year we had 80 participants, and we hope to recruit the same number this year. Participants will receive 50 seeds of up to 8 varieties. How does it work? As a participant, you can opt to participate in an early trial (June 1 transplant date), a late trial (August 1 transplant date), or both. For each trial you participate in, you'll receive 4 varieties with 50 seeds each, though you can choose to plant fewer total plants (e.g. 10 plants from each variety). We'll send your seeds in the mail at least a month before they need to be planted. You'll keep an eye on the plants over the growing season, and submit simple reviews. Reviews are all based on a 1-5

Non-chemical methods for managing Colorado Potato Beetles

For the past two years, we've been working with farmers at Clover Bee Farm, Shepherd Moon Farm, and Big River Farms to test the viability of non-chemical methods for managing Colorado Potato Beetles. Various strategies are mentioned in Extension publications as being effective, but we wanted to know how practical these strategies actually are.  We interviewed the farmers who participated in the trial, and they shared their thoughts in a video. Check out the video here! Full results for the trial are reported in the 2021 and 2022 (forthcoming) Greenbooks.

Upcoming MN FSMA Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Courses

-Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator food safety  Food safety is a critical part of all produce farm operations, and recent outbreaks in Listeria monocytogenes in bagged salad greens from Dole and Fresh Express continue to make headlines, and continue to send consumers to the hospital. While these large, multi-state outbreaks make the headlines because the number of consumers sickened, there is evidence that the vast majority of foodborne illnesses go unreported.   Foodborne illnesses related to fresh produce are not only bad for the sickened consumers and their families, they can be detrimental to a farm's reputation and future. One of the best ways to protect your customers and your business from being involved in a foodborne illness outbreak is to maintain good food safety practices on your farm and keep basic food safety records. Learning about Good Agricultural Practices and current food safety laws are a great way to build your farm's plan for preventing foodborne illne