Michigan Organic Listserv

Sept 29, 2010

From desk of Vicki Morrone

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Marketing Opportunity for Michigan Products

This is an opportunity to promote your Michigan made products to over
  175 community and extension leaders from 12 different states. You can
  display and offer samples at the reception of the North Central 4-H
  Volunteer Forum reception. This event will feature Michigan Products
  held at Michigan State University on October 7, 2010.  There is no
  fee to display and sell your products. Note that skirted tables will
  be provided.
  So if you produce jams, jellies, salsas, cheeses, cured meats,
  breads, or other edible prepared foods this is your chance to get the
  word and TASTE out to community leaders from 12 states. Sorry, but alcoholic beverages are not allowed at this event.

The conference participants are Extension staff and volunteer 4-H
  leaders.  There are over 250 people registered for the conference and
  they expect 175-200 to attend the reception on Thursday evening.
  The reception will be hosted by Michigan 4-H at the Kellogg
  Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East
  We are planning light hors d'oeuvres for the evening, but in addition
  we would ask the vendors to supply samples of their products for the
  participants and have products for sale.
  We are planning on 6' round banquet tables that will be skirted with
  white linen, for your display.
  There will be no "booth fee" the only thing we ask is for you to
  provide samples and information about your products.
  The reception is from 6:00 - 8:00.  We would ask you to set up
  between 4:00 and 5:30.
  For more information or to register to be a vendor at this event call
  Dixie Sandborn at MSU
  Dixie Sandborn
  4-H Horticulture Specialist
  414 Plant and Soil Sciences
  Michigan State University
  East Lansing, Michigan 48824
  [log in to unmask]


Upcoming Events of Interest

Food Safety and Emergency Procedures for Your Farmers Market

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Michigan Municipal League Conference Room

208 N. Capitol Ave., 1st Floor

Lansing, MI 48933



This day-long workshop for farmers market managers and vendors who sell at markets is full of information on food safety concerns at farmers markets. Learn about licensing and regulations, sampling, risk identification and simple procedures to help you minimize those risks.


Thank you to the Michigan Municipal League for providing the location for this workshop. Funding for this program provided by a Michigan Department of Agriculture Food Safety Training and Education Grant.


After this session, you will:


a. Know the legal/licensing requirements related to food safety for products typically sold at farmers markets and how to meet them through market policy and other means. Specific topics to be covered include:

• Safe food sampling at farmers markets

• Cottage food operations

• Policies regarding direct producer to consumer egg sales

• Regulations on ready-to-eat items

• Federal regulations regarding food safety

• Overview of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)


b. Be able to identify potential risks at your farmers market and understand simple procedures to minimize risk. All attendees will receive a flip chart of emergency procedures that can be customized to your market’s unique context.


c. Be familiar with people and organizations that evaluate food safety standards for farmers markets.


d. Have access to resources that will help you support farmer/vendor safe food practices.


For more information, contact MIFMA at 517-432-3381 or [log in to unmask]. Registration is $50 for MIFMA members and $85 for non-members. To register, visit the MIFMA Calendar of Events or complete the registration form attached and mail it back to MIFMA with your payment.


Michigan Food Policy Council Friends and Participants:


This is a reminder that the next Michigan Food Policy Council Meeting will take place on October 5, 2010 from 1:30pm-4:30pm in the Brake Conference Room on the lower level of Constitution Hall in downtown Lansing. The building is located at 525 West Allegan Street. A person from the MFPC will be present to escort you to the meeting room from the guard's desk. All are welcome!


The meeting will feature informative presentations by mid-Michigan food entrepreneur Diana Kushion, Eric Hahn of Locavore Food Distributors, in addition to updates on current projects, discussion about future projects, and other council business. A presentation about Hacienda Mexican Foods may also be added to the agenda this week. Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Don Koivisto will chair the meeting.


For anyone wishing to address the MFPC, a public comment period is included on the agenda.


We hope you can join us on October 5!


SAVE THE DATE: 2010 Michigan Community & School Garden Networking Meeting   
WHEN: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13th    2010    
WHO: The Michigan Community & School Garden Coalition is for anyone involved in community and school gardening, whether volunteer or paid, working to support the gardens in our own communities and statewide.   
WHAT: The 2010 conference will be a one day summit held in Kalamazoo.  The time will be used to share information about the various work and programming we are facilitating  in our communities.  There will be opportunities for attending gardeners to raise important issues to be discussed in small and interested groups. The day will also include an outing to visit local    community gardening projects. There may be a small fee to cover some expenses but this cost will be nominal. Details will be available soon.    
FOR UPDATES AND TO REGISTER:  Go to for details and information under the Calendar and Events tab.    
 Online registration is OPEN at or by phone at (517) 353--0751.    
The 2010 Community School Gardner Meeting is organized by a coalition of volunteers from Michigan community gardening support organizations.    
 We look forward to seeing you at the conference on NOVEMBER 13th 2010!   


The 12th Annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference

The conference will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at Grayling High School, Grayling MI.  For more information go to

Seeking participants in a insect pollinator survey on fruit and veggies


Rufus Isaacs, MSU Dept of Entomology tells us…

We are working with a diverse group of researchers and farm educators to develop a strategic research and education proposal to the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant program. The focus of the proposal is on understanding the role of native bee pollinators in specialty crops and how to improve habitat and farm management to increase pollination by bees. To help us develop the most relevant research for agricultural producers – and to help us assess the current level of awareness among those producers – we are conducting a brief survey. If you have time and are interested in crop pollination, please follow this link:

Season Extension and High Tunnel Webinar Series Offered


  Learn more about pest management in season extension production systems such as high tunnels by registering for a new webinar series sponsored by the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group, the University of Illinois Extension, and a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development grant. There will be five 1-2 hour webinars produced on November 1st, 3rd, 8th, 16th, and 18th. The first three webinars will focus on an introduction to pest management in various season extension systems, focusing on tomatoes and winter crops. The last two webinars will be geared toward soil, water, and nutrient management, plus a summary of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) high tunnel pilot project initiated in 2010.   Why consider participating in the season extension and high tunnel production webinar series? Pest complexes in season extension production systems like high tunnels are different than field grown fruits and vegetables, and an understanding of that difference is needed to capitalize on early and late season markets. High-tunnel production can lengthen the growing season and provide producers with a means to enter the market earlier with high value crops.


 In addition, in several states the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing monetary incentives and assistance through EQIP to growers who use high tunnel production systems. Like Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan says “The adoption of growing crops using high tunnels provides great potential to expand the availability of healthy, locally-grown crops.  Pre-registration for this webinar series is mandatory and can be found at [1]. 


The cost for the series is $30 whether you attend one or all five webinars. Each webinar will be recorded and available on several state IPM or vegetable oriented websites for viewing soon after its original airdate. For people who do not have a broadband connection, we are identifying several sites throughout each state to host the webinar series. Please visit the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group website at [2], and click on /Projects /at the top of the page to find more information and a pre-registration link for this webinar series.  * * *Source: University of Illinois Extension* *Name: Martha A. Smith* *University of Illinois

Extension* *Office: Warren County* *Contact # (309) 734 - 5161* *e-mail: [log in to unmask] [3]* * * *Source: Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group*

*Name: Jim Jasinski* *Ohio State University Extension, IPM Program* *Office:

Champaign County* *Contact # (937) 484-1526* *e-mail:  [log in to unmask]


Read the complete message, read or add comments, and download attachments





[3] mailto:[log in to unmask]

[4] mailto:[log in to unmask]


The Ohio Sheep Milk and Cheese Initiative Symposium


****November 6, 2010*, *9 to 4*

*Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI)

1328 Dover Road, Wooster, Ohio.**




Keynote Speaker - Researcher Yves Berger from University of Wisconsin’s Spooner Agriculture Research Station - Dairy Sheep Genetics, Milk Production and Nutrition.


Farmer and cheesemaker Pat Elliott from Everona Dairy in Rapidan, VA


*Afternoon breakout sessions include:*

Enterprise budgets and financing options, market potential Ohio cheese makers, grazing practices and nutritional requirements.


*Reservations* are due by October 20, 2010. The cost for the symposium will be $25.00 per individual (includes lunch). Registrations can be sent to Small Farm Institute, 28850 SR 621, Fresno, OH 43824. Checks should be made out to Small Farm Institute. If you have questions, please call 740.545.6349.


The initiative has been funded by the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC SARE) farmer grant. The project is exploring the opportunity to develop production of sheep milk and artisan sheep cheese in Ohio.


The event is sponsored by ATI, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, NC SARE, OSU Extension, and Small Farm Institute.


Telefarm Training for Farmers-A farm business record keeping and accounting software.

October 12, 2010: Telfarm Training at Barry Co. MSU Extension, 206 W. Court Street, Hastings, MI, 9:30 to 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Telfarm Training Workshop for Windows accountant, check-writer, and PenSoft Payroll, hands-on computer workshop, FREE workshop! To register for Barry County call 269-945-1388. 


October 14, 2010: ALSO, offered at Jackson MSU Extension, Telfarm Training Workshop for Windows accountant, check-writer, and PenSoft Payroll, hands-on computer workshop, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 1715 Lansing Ave., Suite 257, Jackson Mi. call to register for Jackson at 517-788-4292. This is a FREE workshop!


News for Organic Farmers



September 15, 2010

Provided by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) could reach the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  NSAC has been able to win several improvements to the bill but more changes are needed to avoid serious harm to family farm value-added processing and the emergence of local and regional food systems.    

S.510 would considerably ramp up FDA regulation on farms that even minimally process their crops and sell them to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools and wholesalers.  An amendment sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would exempt small farm and small food processing facilities as well as small and mid-sized farmers who primarily direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants within their region.  

Please call your Senators today and ask them to support the Tester Amendment.

It's easy to call:  

Go to and type in your zip code.  Click on your Senator's name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number.  You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator's office: 202-224-3121.  Once connected ask to speak to the legislative staff person responsible for agriculture.  If they are unavailable leave a voice mail message.  Be sure to include your name and phone number. 

The message is simple. "I am a constituent of Senator___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the Tester Amendment and to include the Tester language in the Manager's Amendment to the food safety bill.  The Tester Amendment will exempt small farm and food facilities and farmers who direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants.   We need a food safety bill that cracks down on corporate bad actors without erecting new barriers to family farms and the growing healthy food movement.  Our continuing economic recovery demands that we preserve these market opportunities for small  and mid-sized family farms. News for Organic Farmers



Marketing Information

Information for Farmer’s Market Vendors

As many of you seek new ways to promote your produce and harvest it is important to understand the guidelines and regulations to assure a safe product to your customers. This information will help you with the MDA food regulations and safe food practices.

by Michigan Department of Agriculture


A note on these FAQs as this fresh egg law has been in effect prior to this update. From John Dutcher, farmer in the U.P.

The Michigan Egg Law, Act no. 244, Public acts of 1963 supersedes the MI Food Law. Sec 289.333 Sale by Producer to Consumer or First Receiver of the Mi Egg Law clearly states," All producers shall comply with this act except those selling eggs of their own production direct to consumers or when delivering or selling to a first receiver". 

The language is very clear, if you are selling eggs of your own production directly to a consumer you are exempt from the "MI Egg Law", whether at the farm ,farmers markets or roadside stands. Refrigeration, new cartons or labeling are not required at this time for shell eggs.

                                                           John Dutcher

                                                          Dutcher Farm 





Release Date: May 23, 2007 
Last Update: September 30, 2009 

Farmers' Market FAQ

Food Sales at Farmers' Markets: Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Market Managers and Vendors From the Michigan Department of Agriculture

Farmers' markets are a traditional link between local food producers and consumers. Farmers' markets enhance the sense of community. Across Michigan, farmers' markets vary in the types and varieties of foods offered for sale from agricultural producers directly to the consumer.

It is generally the Market Manager's responsibility to enforce the vendor requirements set by the city or town in which any given market operates. Market Managers must also be aware of the requirements of Michigan's Food Law as they apply to farmers' markets, although responsibility for the enforcement of those requirements falls to the local Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) food inspector.

Food vendors and Market Managers may contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture toll-free at 1-800-292-3939 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-292-3939      end_of_the_skype_highlighting if they have questions about the standards for vending foods at any given farmers' market in Michigan.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding certain types of food sales in a farmers' market setting:

  1. A vendor sells wild mushrooms at a farmers' market. The mushrooms were harvested in a forest. What concerns are associated with the practice and what requirements apply ?

If the collector is not an expert at identifying edible wild plants and mushrooms, there is a danger that poisonous varieties were harvested. Consumption of certain varieties can lead to illness or death.

In some states, farmers' markets require mushroom vendors to sign agreements releasing the municipality and Market Manager from damage claims in the event of the illness or death of a consumer. Insurance underwriters associated with municipal sponsors of farmers markets may require the municipality to carry additional liability insurance. Other restrictions may include limiting mushroom varieties to certain of the more common ones like morel, oyster, sulfur shelf, and chanterelles.

To be approved to sell wild mushrooms, wild herbs, or other wild plants in Michigan the vendor must satisfy all of the following provisions:

    1. The seller must be recognized as appropriately trained and competent in the identification of safe botanical and mycological varieties. Alternatively, the seller may employ a recognized expert.
    2. The seller shall submit a written statement to the Michigan Department of Agriculture Food & Dairy Division Office identifying the person who will verify the species and the procedure for safeguarding against the sale of potentially injurious mushrooms. The statement shall include a description of that person's education, experience and expertise.
    3. Each individual wild mushroom shall be inspected and identified by the recognized expert. Only those identified as safe may be sold.
    4. Each storage container of mushrooms shall be labeled with the scientific and common name of the mycological variety. Packaged mushrooms may be identified by the common name only and shall bear additional labeling in full accordance with current state and federal requirements.
    5. Written records that indicate the quantity, variety, expert identifier, and buyer of the mushrooms shall be retained by the packer for a period of not less than two years. These records shall be made available for MDA examination upon request.
    6. Wild mushrooms shall be handled and protected from contamination in accordance with all current state and federal regulations associated with the handling and processing of foods intended for human consumption.
    7. The vendor is not presently required to hold a license from MDA for any given farmers' market, but slicing, other processing or warehousing of wild mushrooms must take place in an approved food establishment licensed by MDA or a local health department.
  1. A farmer uses cabbage and carrots of his own production to prepare a coleslaw base. What are the requirements?

Whole, uncut produce is considered raw and unprocessed and can be sold without restriction by a vendor. However, coleslaw base involves cutting or shredding the vegetables.

Once cut, vegetables fall into the category of processed food. Such a process is permitted only at an approved, licensed location. Therefore coleslaw base cannot typically be prepared at a farmers' market, at a temporary event, or at an unlicensed location such as a person's residence.

If produced at a licensed location, packaged coleslaw base must be labeled in full accordance with current state and federal requirements and held under refrigeration.

If the farmer owns a licensed processing facility, a separate license is not required to sell the product at a farmers' market. If the vendor is not the grower of the raw produce used to make the coleslaw base, a food establishment license is required for sales at a farmers' market.

  1. A farmer sells a salad mixture of assorted lettuce leaves and other greens from an open box (in bulk). Since the lettuce leaves are intact and not cut, is a license required and are there any food safety concerns?

So long as the lettuce leaves remain intact and undamaged when de-stemmed, a license would not be required at the farmer's own packing facility or the farmers' market. However, the lettuce or other greens must be handled safely and protected from contamination. Although the consumer is responsible for washing the salad mixture prior to use, MDA recommends that a sign be placed at the point-of-sale to remind customers that this produce should be washed before eaten since it is in a ready-to-eat form.

  1. May a food vendor offer samples for immediate consumption at farmer's markets?
    May a vendor also offer grilled samples of bratwurst, for example, while selling raw meats at the market?

Vendors at farmers' markets may provide food samples using the following guidelines: Guidelines for Providing Safe Food Samples at Farmers’ Markets

  1. A vendor from Ohio sells home-canned pickles and jams at farmers' markets in Ohio under that state's new Home Cottage Production rules. May those products be sold legally at Michigan farmers markets?

Although some other states have similar laws, the Cottage Food Production Operation rule is specific to Ohio. In Ohio, residents are permitted to produce jams and jellies, baked goods, and other non-potentially hazardous foods in their homes and offer them for sale to the public. These foods may be sold only in Ohio, and are not subject to licensing and inspection requirements. They must bear a statement on the label that reads: This Product is Home Produced

All processed foods sold in Michigan, however, are subject to regulation under the Michigan Food Law of 2000, Act 92 of 2000, as amended. This law requires food offered for sale to derive from an approved source. Sales of foods that have been processed at an unlicensed location are prohibited.

Michigan does not have any legal exception to the Food Law that allows foods manufactured in a private home to be offered for sale to the public. Therefore, foods produced legally in a private residence in Ohio may not be sold in Michigan.

  1. Is there a problem if a vendor wants to sell garlic or herbs in oil?

Flavored and infused oils have gained popularity, but the risks associated with products of this nature must be well understood. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all commercial processors to acidify the garlic or herbs in oil mixtures, and to test these foods for safety.

In Michigan, flavored oils and vinegars offered for sale must be manufactured in approved, licensed establishments. If this requirement is met, and the vendor owns the licensed plant, no additional license is required at the farmers' market to sell those products. If the vendor buys the products on the open market for resale at the farmers' market, a food establishment license is required.

  1. May a vendor sell unpasteurized apple cider? Must the product be refrigerated?

There have been recent changes in requirements for apple cider operators. A cider maker who sells the product only directly to consumers is considered a retailer. Retailers may produce and sell unpasteurized cider, but the container must be prominently labeled with the FDA-approved warning statement:

Warning: This product has not been pasteurized and therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.

Thus, owners of a licensed retail cider mill may sell unpasteurized cider of their own production at a farmers' market. No additional license is required.

On occasion, the owner of an orchard will take apples to a cider mill and have cider manufactured from that fruit. The owner of the mill presses, bottles, and labels the cider as a paid service. This is called custom pressing. Effective January 3, 2004, cider produced under these circumstances must be pasteurized or otherwise treated by an approved system.

Thus the grower in this situation may sell only pasteurized cider. Any person who purchases cider from a manufacturer and sells it at a farmers' market may sell only pasteurized cider. In both of these cases the vendor must hold a food establishment license to sell cider at a farmers' market.

While apple cider does not necessarily have to be sold from a refrigerated display at a farmers' market, MDA recommends that the vendor provide some method of temperature control during the transport, storage, and sale of the product.

  1. Are there requirements for those selling honey or maple syrup?

To be sold legally at a farmers' market, maple syrup and honey must have been processed, packaged, and labeled at an approved, licensed establishment. An additional license is not required at the farmers' market for people selling honey or maple syrup of their own production which product originates at an approved source. Persons who buy honey or maple syrup on the open market for resale at the farmers' market must hold a food establishment license under their own name.

  1. Must an egg producer selling shell eggs at the farmers' market keep those eggs refrigerated? Is the producer permitted to re-use labeled egg cartons bearing another distributor's name and address on the carton?

Eggs sold by the producer must be held at refrigeration temperatures at the farmers' market. This is because eggs are capable of supporting the growth of Salmonella.

The labeling information on a carton identifies the type of egg, size of the egg, grade of the egg, and the name of the responsible party and address. Law does not permit re-using egg cartons or other packaging materials bearing the identity of another producer.

Farmers selling eggs of their own production are not required to hold a separate license at a farmers' market if they are already licensed at their packing location. Vendors selling eggs not of their own production are required to hold a food establishment license at a farmers' market.

  1. What are the requirements for a farmer selling meat and poultry at a farmers' market?

The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that persons slaughtering and selling beef, pork, lamb, or more than 20,000 poultry per year operate under continuous, federal inspection. A USDA seal of inspection must appear on all packages of meat originating at such a plant.

Farmers may sell the meat from their animals at a farmers' market if it was processed at a USDA inspected facility. Small poultry producers may have their birds processed either at a USDA inspected plant or an MDA inspected plant. If the product originates at an MDA-inspected facility, it is necessary to have a copy of the MDA license on hand at the farmers' market for the reference of the Market Manager or local food inspector. If the vendor isn't the producer of the animals from which the meat is derived, the vendor is required to hold a food establishment license at the farmers' market.

Selling packaged meat at the farmers' market requires sanitary handling and temperature control. Packaged meats may be sold frozen, or refrigerated at 41F or below. Handling of exposed, i.e., unpackaged meat or poultry is not permitted at a typical farmers' market.

  1. What about a vendor who operates a hot dog cart, makes snow cones, hand dips ice cream, prepares sandwiches, or engages in any similar food service activity?

Local health departments regulate the on-site preparation and sale of food for immediate consumption. A food service establishment license must be obtained from the local health department whenever food is prepared for direct consumption. Some vendors may operate a special transitory food unit (STFU) that is licensed on an annual basis. Those vendors are not required to obtain a separate license for each temporary event. Contact your local health department for further information.

  1. What about sales of bulk baked goods like bagels?

Vendors are discouraged from simply purchasing bulk, baked goods and selling them out of covered containers each week at a farmers' market. In order to sell bagels or other bread products, cookies, doughnuts or other sweet goods at a farmers' market, the vendor must have an approved, licensed base location to handle the food, clean and sanitize containers and utensils, etc. As discussed in number 5 above, these activities may not be conducted in a private residence.

If the vendor owns a bagel shop, bakery, or similar establishment, the bulk goods sold at a farmers' market must be:

  • Sold from an enclosed sanitary container;
  • Handled with tongs or gloves as no bare hand contact with finished product is permitted;

The vendor must also:

  • Have access to a conveniently located hand washing facility at the farmers' market;
  • Return to a licensed base of operations to clean and sanitize food equipment such as tongs and containers.

Otherwise, a vendor may offer packaged baked goods that have been produced and packaged at an approved, licensed facility. If the vendor is not the owner of such a facility, the vendor must hold a food establishment license at the farmers' market.

Further preparation or assembly by the vendor-such as the spreading of cream cheese or fruit preserves on bagels-triggers the requirements listed at Number 11 above. This can be avoided by providing, for example, individual packets of cream cheese and wrapped plastic knives for customers to use after the transaction has been completed.

Additional questions or requests for clarification from Market Managers, vendors or consumers may be directed to the Michigan Department of Agriculture toll-free at 1-800-292-3939 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-292-3939      end_of_the_skype_highlightingSome Market Managers have a close working relationship with the local MDA food inspector and may make direct inquiries in the manner upon which both have agreed.,1687,7-125-1568_2387_46671_46672-169336--,00.html


Farming Opportunities

Organic Land Available near Sturgis, MI

My father and brother have small adjoining family farms in MI (about 1-1/4 miles NE of Sturgis MI). The farms have been organically certified for many years. They would like to consider having a nearby organic farmer begin to farm the land (currently grow corn, oats, soybeans and significant pasture land) totaling about 150 acres + or -. We are open to discussion of payment or crop sharing. The new farmers wouldn't have to grow the same items that are currently grown on the farms but work it organically. 

Doug can be reached at 269-651-9289 or David can be reached at 281-758-0443, cell 832-721-9358 or the email address <[log in to unmask]>. Please describe your farming experience, needs and ideas as well as questions.

Production Information for Organic Farmers

Cherry green ring mottle virus confirmed in tart cherry in Northwest Michigan

posted on September 21, 2010 15:29

George Sundin, Nikki Rothwell and Erin Lizotte...We have received confirmation of our diagnosis of green ring mottle virus (GRMV) in tart cherry samples obtained from northwest Michigan this past July. Symptoms of green ring mottle virus infection are usually expressed in late June to mid-July. The main symptom of the infection is bright yellow leaves with circular green blotches (see photo from previous July 27 Fruit CAT Alert article).

Managing Black Rot of Cabbage and other Crucifer Crops in Organic Farming Systems

Last Updated: September 16, 2010 for whole article


eOrganic authors:

Christine D. Smart, Cornell University

Holly W. Lange, Cornell University


Black rot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), is a significant disease of cabbage and other crucifer crops worldwide. The disease was first described in New York on turnips in 1893, and has been a common problem for growers for over 100 years. The pathogen thrives in warm, wet weather, spreading from plant to plant by splashing water, wind blown water droplets, and by workers or animals moving from infected fields to healthy fields. Xcc can spread rapidly during transplant production in greenhouses or seed beds, and could be spreading long before any symptoms are observed. The bacterium can infest seed, infecting young seedlings as they emerge. The pathogen can also survive in cruciferous weeds, such as yellow rocket, Shepherd’s purse, and wild mustard, as well as in crop debris in the field.


A late-season flight of grape berry moth

posted on September 09, 2010 14:03

Rufus Isaacs, Entomology

Monitoring traps for grape berry moth checked in the past few weeks across southwest Michigan have indicated an upswing in activity from grape berry moth at high pressure sites, with associated egg laying on berries. This pest pressure seems mainly in traditional hot spots, but growers are advised to check their vineyards (especially on wooded borders) to look and see whether they are getting new infestations developing at the vineyard edges. With the cooler nights and windy days this week, the suitability of the weather for berry moth mating and reproduction is not ideal. But, this pest has apparently been able to provide some late-season pest pressure by trying to fit in another generation.

If vineyards are being harvested this week or next they are unlikely to benefit from attempts to control berry moth, because larvae are either already inside berries, or the eggs laid in the next week will grow slowly under these cool temperatures, making them less likely to be detected. For those hot spots where additional activity is being seen in vineyards that are being harvested later in September or early October, growers will need to decide whether additional expense is worthwhile at this point in the season. This decision will obviously need to take into account the level of infestation, expenses to date in the vineyard, and the level of crop present.

Why are we seeing this late season berry moth activity? With the very warm 2010 season, we have accumulated sufficient degree days for a fourth generation of this pest, exceeding the 2,430 growing degree days from wild grape bloom that is required to start another generation. This is much more than usual, and the insects are responding to this heat. For comparison with last season, we had accumulated 2,660 grape berry moth degree days in Berrien Springs yesterday, September 8, whereas only about 2,100 had been accumulated at this time last year. In a typical season, as the days get shorter in August grape berry moth enters a resting state or “diapauses” so that larvae develop to pupae and then stop at the pupal stage to make it through the winter. With this season’s hot summer, they apparently could detect the signal from the environment that it might be worth trying another generation, and so the heat counterbalanced the usual effect of the shorter days. This resulted in a significant portion of the larvae developing through to adult moths that are now flying, mating and looking for egg-laying sites on clusters. As a result, we are now seeing some higher late-season activity from berry moth.

New Grazing Systems Publication Online
Minnesota Department of Agriculture has released a new publication on grazing systems that is available online as a PDF file. Improving and Sustaining Forage Production in Pastures was written by Howard Moechnig of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, who has worked for more than ten years as a grazing specialist and has planned hundreds of grazing systems. This new resource presents strategies for preparing pastures for the upcoming year and improving pasture conditions, leading to better livestock performance. "This publication provides guidance to producers for achieving a well-managed grazing system and will help them avoid common mistakes in pasture and forage management," said Minnesota Department of Agriculture grazing specialist Wayne Monsen.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Pasture, Rangeland and Grazing Management

FDA Expected to Limit Livestock Antibiotics
FDA is expected to issue new and stronger guidelines on animal antibiotic use within months, reports The New York Times. While major livestock producer organizations are opposing stricter rules, some medical and health organizations say even stronger action to limit antibiotic use is needed. According to the article, the proposed guidelines focus on the use of antibiotics to speed growth.

Oregano Supplement Decreases Cow Methane Emissions
A Penn State dairy scientist has developed an oregano-based supplement that not only decreased methane emissions in dairy cows by 40 percent, but also improved milk production. Alexander Hristov, an associate professor of dairy nutrition, screened hundreds of essential oils, plants and various compounds in the laboratory before arriving at oregano as a possible solution. During his experiments, oregano consistently reduced methane without demonstrating any negative effects, and increased daily milk production by nearly three pounds of milk for each cow at Penn State's dairy barns during the trials. Hristov has filed a provisional patent for this work.






Vicki Morrone

C. S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops

303 Natural Resources

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (Fax)



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