July 17 2011
Michigan Organic Listserv News from MSU
This information is being shared with you. It is intended as just that and for your information. MSU does not endorse any of the opinions shared.
Organic News on Production and Certification
Temperatures are predicted to keep climbing!!!!
The 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook call for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
Published July 13, 2011
Aaron Pollyea, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Geography
The calm and sunny weather we are experiencing is from the upper air zonal wind pattern that is holding above the state of Michigan. This upper air pattern helps make any low pressure systems in itsarea weaker, thus bringing fairer weather overall. This pattern will persist until around Thursday afternoon (July 14), where the upper air will begin to shift, moving from northwest to southeast, forming an upper air ridge that we will be on the trailing side of. We will see some light precipitation on the Lake Michigan coast starting around Friday afternoon (July 15). This precipitation will be mostly confined to the northern Lower Peninsula through the weekend. Totals could be up to a half inch or so through the weekend.
As this ridge strengthens on Sunday into Monday(July 16-17), we could begin to see more wide spread precipitation across the state with the largest amounts on Tuesday (July 18). A surface low pressuresystem will form to our north and move eastward and a cold front will develop that will cause this precipitation. Long range forecasts suggest that this precipitation will continue to Wednesday morning.
Because of this, ridge temperatures should steadily warm through the rest of the week, with highs today (July 13) in the upper 70s, by Friday in the mid 80s, Saturday in the high 80s, Sunday could be near 90°F and Monday in the low 90s. Be wary of hot and dry conditions until early next week when the precipitation begins.
The 6-10 day outlook for July 18-22 shows very above normal temperatures and also above normal precipitation. The 8-14 day outlook for the July 20-26 also shows very above normal temperatures and above normal chances for precipitation.
Canada and Europe reach agreement on organic standards
Packer Daily: http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-enewsletter/packer-daily/Canada-and-Europe-reach-agreement-on-organic-standards-125140224.html#comments?submitted=y
After four years of negotiations, Canada and the European Union have agreed to accept each other’s organic standards and laws.
Canada already signed a similar agreementwith the U.S. in June 2009.
The global organic trade is now estimated at $55 billion per year, with more than 95% of that total accounted for by theU.S. and European markets, according to Matthew Holmes, executive director of the Ottawa-based Canada Organic Trade Association.
Calling the agreement a “game changer,” Holmes said in a news release that Canada is now the only country in the world able to sell directly with to two key markets through its domestic standards, Holmes said.
He said the Canadian organic market has grown from $2 billion in 2008 to more than $2.6 billion in 2010, and organic exports are rated at almost $400 million yearly.
Fresh organic vegetables account for 25% of all supermarket organic food sales in Canada, according to a 2008 report byAgri-Food Canada.
In 2008, Canada imported $252 million in organic items, with nearly 90% in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The U.S. is Canada’s biggest organic supplier, accounting for 74% of imported supply ($187 million) in 2008.
Managing Japanese beetles in fruit crops
View the different control methods and insecticide, including organic, options for minimizing Japanesebeetles on your farm.
Rufus Isaacs and John Wise, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology
Japanese beetles have only one generation per year, but these beetles emerge over a long period from late June through August and they live for over 30 days. They feed on the foliage and fruit of various fruit crops grown in Michigan, causing damage to the plant and increasing the risk of fungal diseases. Their emergence during mid-summer can also result in theirpresence during harvest of some fruit crops, creating a risk of contamination. They are also highly mobile insects and can fly into fields from surrounding areas. This article provides information on insecticide options based on tests over the past few years conducted at the Trevor Nichols Research Complex and at grower’s farms.
Making your farm less attractive to beetles
Many farms have sodded row middles and perimeters around fields, with irrigation being broadcast during the summer months. This is done for good farm management reasons, but it also creates ideal conditions for Japanese beetles to lay eggs since they prefer to lay eggs in mown grass and in moist soil. While it may not make sense to do this in all farm situations, removing the grass or using a non-grass cover crop in row middles, or restricting irrigation to the crop row through a drip system are all approaches to reduce the suitability of sites for reproduction of this pest.
Certain weeds are another magnet for Japanese beetles. Beetles are much more abundant in crop fields where there is poor control of wild raspberry, blackberry, Virginia creeper, wild grape or sassafras. These weeds are highly attractive and beetles will aggregate on these plants and then lay eggs in the soil nearby. Plan now for a fall application of herbicide to control these plants and reduce the attractiveness of your fields.
While growers select their fruit crop cultivars based on many criteria other than insect susceptibility, there are some cultivars ofapple, blueberry and raspberry that are highly attractive to Japanese beetles and are more likely to have feeding injury. These include Honeycrisp apples, Bluecrop blueberries and Chinook and Heritage raspberries. However, it is difficult to generalize about this issue of susceptibility because Japanesebeetles will select the most susceptible of the cultivars available in a field. So, a low-ranked cultivar could be attacked more if it is the most attractive of the cultivars present.
A recent trend in fruit production is the increasing use of high tunnels to protect fruit from rain. We have also observed that thisapproach to fruit growing can significantly reduce the activity of Japanesebeetles on fruit. While they may move into plantings at the end of tunnels where there is direct sunlight, densities are much lower compared with plantings out in full sunlight.
A few thoughts about trapping
Traps are sold widely for Japanese beetle monitoring and control. However, these insects are very easy to see so they can be monitored by looking directly at the crop – you will know when they are present from the feeding damage and by seeing the beetles. Traps are highly attractive and draw beetles to them over large distances, so putting a trap near your crop fields will draw beetles from the surrounding landscape.
Many of the attracted female beetles do not get trapped and end up landing on foliage nearby and feeding or mating then laying eggs in the soil near the trap, so this creates a hot-spot for next season. Mass trapping of beetles is also not economically feasible in commercial fruit plantings and there is little evidence that this strategy will work to reduce beetle populations and crop injury. The take-home message is that traps should be avoided because they will not help reduce Japanese beetle damage in fruit crops.
Short PHI and organic options
For growers looking for beetle control immediately before harvest or in organically grown fruit crops, some selective insecticides with zero day PHI’s can provide a tool to repel beetles and help achieve beetle-free fruit during harvest. Compounds containing neem (Azadirect, Neemix) have a zero-day PHI and pyrethrum (Pyganic) has a 12-hour PHI. These compounds arelabeled for organic use, and have a short but effective impact on adult Japanese beetles with some mortality, some knockdown off the crop and some repellent activity.
Typically, there is only one to two days of activity against beetles because the residues do not remain active for long. The non-organic form of Pyganic, called Evergreen, also has a 12-hour PHI and is much more effective against Japanese beetle than Pyganic due to the addition of a chemical that inhibits the beetle’s ability to break down the insecticide. A final option for protection against Japanese beetle is SURROUND WP, a whiteclay material applied to create a white coating on the surface of foliage and fruit to provide protection against insects. When applied to provide a goodcoating (typically requiring two or more applications), SURROUND has performed very well against Japanese beetles in trials conducted in blueberry and grape. If considering this approach to Japanese beetle control, be aware that the white coating on the fruit may require some removal after harvest to make the fruit marketable. This may be challenging for some types of fruit. For example, in blueberries, the white residue was removed well from the surface during processing, but deposits in the calyx cup were not removed even after running berries through a typical wet processing line with food grade detergents.
Japanese beetles typically lay their eggs in moist, grassy areas and many fruit farms have a large amount of this highly suitable habitat. An additional approach to reducing the impact of Japanese beetles in a farm is to reduce the overall population by targeting the grub stage of this pest to reduce the abundance of beetles in the following year. If the location of high grub densities near fruit fields is known, these areas could be treated with a soil insecticide to get maximum return on this treatment. Our experience in Michigan blueberry fields has been that application of Admire (16 oz/acre) to grassy field perimeters in late June and early July reduced the abundance of beetles on bushes for the first few weeks of their flight period in the next growing season. After that, beetles flying into the area from outside swamped out this effect, so there is only a short-lived benefit from targeting the grubs in fields surrounded by infested grassy areas. However, as part of anoverall IPM program to minimize the impact of Japanese beetles, this approach can help reduce the number of beetles growers must control. Platinum is another soil-applied insecticide that can be used for this grub-control strategy.
The work of Dr. Isaacs and Dr. Wise is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.
Downy mildew outbreak in southeast Michigan on cucumbers
Immediate action is recommended for growers to move forward with preventive fungicide sprays against downy mildew.
Published July 8, 2011
Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant Pathology
Downy mildew on cucumbers was reported in Carleton insoutheast Michigan on July 7 and has been reported throughout our region.It is not clear as to the extent of this outbreak or its severity. A picture associated with a news article about this outbreak would indicate that the infection is advanced. Regardless, with recent downy mildew outbreaks reported in Ontario, Ohio and Michigan, it is clear that Michigan cucurbit growers are at risk and should not delay in moving forward with preventive fungicidesprays.
Cucumber growers are most likely to suffer losses from downy mildew as this crop is highly susceptible to the disease. Growers of watermelon and cantaloupe are also at risk as these crops are also highly susceptible. In past years, summer and winter squash and pumpkins have had a few scattered reports of downy mildew in the eastern United States, but these crops appear less susceptible to the disease than the cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe. See Photos 1-4 for symptoms of downy mildew on leaves of melons and squash.
Since 2005, my lab has tracked the downy mildew outbreaks in Michigan on my webpage. It is important to the cucurbit vegetable industry in the state that we monitor and report all downy mildew outbreaks in both commercial fields and home gardens. It is also important that the commercial growers strictly adhere to the recommended fungicides that have been tested repeatedly in Michigan field trials. See tables for recommended fungicides for cucumber and other vine crops.
A misstep in the fungicide program through the use of an ineffective downy mildew product could mean crop loss. Each year, my program field tests dozens of products. The products that work are listed and haven’t changed much over the last few years. Remember the old adage, if something (such as a “new” fungicide) sounds too good to be true, it probably is (too good to be true). Also, remember that the EPA does not require a company toprove that their product works before making claims on that product’s label.
Michigan growers are not novices at managing this disease and recognize that early action, effective fungicides and short spray intervals can win the day and protect the crop. Homeowners should rely on fungicides for cucurbit vegetables that contain chlorothalonil as an active ingredient. Organic growers could use an approved formulation of a copper-based material to help slow the progression of the downy mildew.
For more information, go to http://veggies.msu.edu/
Greetings to friends, family, customers, collaborators!
From Cheryl Kobernick-North Star Organic Farm, Frankfurt, MI
The July 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine has an 8 page spread about tart cherries, organic tart cherries, North Star Organic tart cherries! Most of you are aware that harvest 2010 brought out 5 New Yorkers from the MS Living including a chef and assistant, photographer andassistant and a writer. East coast and Mid West met and had five days of shared stories, 1,000’s of pictures/video and a kitchen commandeered by the chef to create many recipes on the farm. They displayed the food creations throughout the farm...the cherry lemonade picture was set on the back of our 1970’s flat bed truck – while dubious of their choice the resulting picture is truly amazing.
As you market our cherries we thought it would be helpful to have the attachment for your use. We do have extra copies if anyone needs one.
Please be aware we may run short of dried cherries before the next run in late August/early September.
We look forward to harvest 2011 and are excited [but bracing ourselves] for the u pick/we pick event yet to come.
Our best to all!!
North Star Organics
EAT MORE CHERRIES!
2011 MSU Ag Expo
Ag Expo 2011 offers great learning events for farmers of all types!!
Join us for three days of visiting ag vendors and join learning sessions and tours at MSU’s Ag Expo- July 19-21 in East Lansing, just off Farm Lane and Mount Hope.
This event is free and open to the public.
Park your car and take a country shuttle to the stop of your choice.
Fun for aggies of all ages.
Food available for purchase.
Featured Events during Ag Expo-
Ag Expo-A tour to see organic fruit and vegetable MSU research in Hoophouses and in the field
This year, at the Ag Expo we are offering a tour on July 20 from 11 A.M. -12:30 P.M. to visit organic fruit and vegetable trials. You are invited to see research in the making and ask the research questions about the work while you glean ideas for your farm. This tour will include a 1 acre, 3-season hightunnel (hoophouse) planted in raspberries and cherries used for season extension, increased yields, and pest and disease management. Also you will have the opportunity to visit a blueberry plot where we will talk about pest and disease management; a pepper and cucumber research project using black plastic mulch and multiple combinations of vetch and rye cover crops for fertility and weed control, and how mustard cover crops can be used to reduce soil pests such as plant disease and nematodes. A bus at the Ag Expo Farm Lane right outside the Expo tents will be available to take you to the research site (10 minutes away) at the MSU Student Organic Farm and the Horticulture Crops Research Farm. On the guided tour you will be able to see the trees, bushes and crops in the field and have the opportunity to ask the researchers questions following their introduction of the work they are doing with their students at Michigan State University, Department of Horticulture. These research projects are supported by USDA Organic Research Extension Initiative (OREI) and Ceres Trust (a private non-profit supporter).
-Researchers that will be present include:
Department of Horticulture - Greg Lang, Eric Hanson, Dan Brainard, Mathieu Ngouajio, Zack Hayden, John Biernbaum, Josh Moses
Department of Plant Pathology - Annemiek Schilder
Department of Entomology - Matt Grieshop, Rufus Isaacs
Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies - Vicki Morrone
For questions call Vicki Morrone
Crops featured during demonstrations and education sessions at Ag Expo
Education has always been at the heart of Ag Expo. Whether it’s a seed dealer explaining the features of a new hybrid to growers, a manufacturing company representative demonstrating the options available on a new tractor or a Michigan State University (MSU)researcher discussing the benefits of a new management practice, everyone is on site to help visitors learn.
Ag Expo 2011 is no different, and in fact, there may be more opportunities for learning than ever before. This year’s show features a wealth of presentations, discussions and demonstrations aimed at everyone from livestock producers to field crop growers, parents, gardeners and high school students who are considering college.
Ag Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 19 and 20, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 21. Admission to the grounds and parking at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road are free.
The followingdemonstrations and education sessions will feature:
Getting calibrated: Measuring sprayer speed, nozzle flow and pressure
Join MSU Extension specialists who will discuss how to properly calibrate a sprayer, taking ground speed and nozzle flow rate into consideration. They will alsodiscuss how different nozzles produce different droplet sizes at different pressures and how this affects spray coverage. Ned Birkey, MSU Extension educator, will present this session at 10 a.m., July 19–21, in the Farm Focus Tent (Avenue D and First Street).
Going afield with Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Learn about MSU Extension pest management initiatives and the effects of MSU Extension educational outreach. Demonstration projects will include weed seedling identification, insect and disease identification, insect monitoring and disease scouting. MSU Extension educator Bruce Mackellar will present this session at 2:30 p.m., July 19–21, at the Crop and Soil Science Corner.
We’ve got it covered: Learn how cover crops can benefit your farm
Witness the benefits of several cover crop species/varieties that will be exhibited at Ag Expo. Computers will be available to demonstrate the recently released Web-based Michigan cover crop decision tool for farmers, agricultural consultants, educators and Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel to use to make cover crop selections on farms. Support will be available for cover crop implementation through the Great Lakes Cover Crop Initiative watershed coordinators. Watershed coordinators will work directly with individuals and document their on-farm practices. Cover crop publications, bulletins and posters will be available. Anyone interested in cover crops can find this session presented by Dale Mutch and Paul Gross, MSU Extension educators, at 9:30 a.m., July 19–21, at the Crop and Soil Science Corner.
Get the biggest bang for your buck with nitrogen rates
This field trial demonstration features corn that has been side-dressed with varying rates of nitrogen to show how the crop responds visually to different nitrogen rates. Visitors will have the opportunity to view posters showing the results of past years’ corn nitrogen rate research trials with pictures and graphs and receive handout materials on MSU’s Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) recommendations as well as on the correlating field trials and other applicable topics. Extension educators will be present to answer any questions or talkfurther on the fertility research for Michigan growers. Emily Sneller, an MSU Extension educator, will present this session at 10:30 a.m., July 19–21, at the Crop and Soil Science Corner. Protecting yourself in and around grain bins
It’s no secret that agriculture can be a dangerous industry and caution around grain bins can prevent many hazardous situations from arising. Michigan Agricultural Commodities Inc. facility manager Chuck Kunisch will rely on previous experience to provide the audience with safety tips for operations involving corrugated steel bins. Kunisch will review safe procedures for grain bins on at 11:30 a.m., July 19, at the Farm Focus Tent (Avenue D and First Street).
Boosting your farm’s bottom line with a hoophouse
Interested in using hoophouses or high tunnels to extend the season, increase yields, and decrease disease and pest pressures? Come hear how the MSU Student Organic Farm has been using hoophouses for more than 10 years to produce food year-round without any supplemental heat or light. Adam Montri, MSU Extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture, will discuss hoophouses at 9:30 a.m. on July 20 in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) tent.
Calling all irrigators: Learn about your water use reporting requirements
Michigan’s legal requirements for large volume use (70 gallons per minute pump capacity) have evolved over the last century. Stop by at Ag Expo to learn about the legal guidelines that allow producers to make use of this renewable natural resource. Lyndon Kelley, MSU Extension educator, will present this session at 1:30 p.m., July 19–21, in the CANR Tent (East of Main Food Tent).
Keep beetles from invading again
Japanese beetles damage hundreds of acres of horticultural crops and countless yard and garden plants every summer. Learn how you can protect you property from these destructiveinsects using organic solutions and the latest MSU research results. Bob Bricault, MSU Extension educator, will discuss how to stop beetles from invading your farms and gardens, at 10:45 a.m., July 21, in the CANR Tent (East of Main Food Tent).
Garden wisely: Don’t guess – soil test!
A wise gardener uses soil testing as a tool to help protect water quality while growing healthy, productive plants. Learn about the new MSU soil-testing kit that includes aself-mailer to make it convenient and less time consuming. Find out about the new soil-test interpretation website that provides user-friendly fertilizerrecommendations for your lawn and vegetable garden. Mary Wilson, state coordinator for the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, will discuss the importance of soil testing at 10:45 a.m., July 19, at the CANR Tent (East of Main Food Tent).
“Lettuce” help you squash diseases in your garden
Learn how to prevent diseases that can wreak havoc on your vegetable plants. Gary Heilig. MSU Extension educator, will share tips on how to prevent downy mildew, blossom end rot, wilt diseases and more to ensure a bountiful harvest. Heilig will be discussing garden diseases at 10:45 a.m., July 20, at the CANR Tent (East of Main Food Tent).