Magister, a new miticide, has expanded registration

Magister SC Miticide from Gowan Company is now registered for use on many specialty crops. Although it is called a miticide because it controls spider mites and rust mites, it also controls some insects (psyllids and whiteflies), and powdery mildew on some crops. The active ingredient is fenazaquin. It is in mode-of-action group as a miticide is 21A, the same group that contains Nexter, Portal, Torac, and Apta. Magister kills mite eggs by contact, and kills mite adults and immatures by contact and ingestion. For fungicidal activity, it is in FRAC group 39. Magister is highly toxic to bees, so care must be taken to not spray it on blooming crops or weeds.

Magister has been registered for a few years for use only on hops and cherries. Vegetable crops now on the label are cucurbits (3-day PHI), fruiting vegetables (3-day PHI), and legumes (7-day PHI). Small fruit crops now on the label are blueberries (7-day PHI), caneberries (7-day PHI), strawberries (1-day PHI), and grapes (7-day PHI). Tree fruit crops now on the label are pome fruit (7-day PHI) and stone fruit (3-day PHI). Hops are also on the label (7-day PHI). The label specifies a limit of one application per year on each crop, and a 12-hour re-entry interval. The rates are 24-36 or 32-36 fl oz per acre, depending on crop.

-Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist


It is spring and with it often comes wild swings. This is what we expect for the rest of April 2019.

 A parade of storms will begin later this Thursday into Friday and follow every 3-5 days. This will cause 2-3 inches of rain on average for Ohio the next two weeks as shown in the attached graphic. Normal rainfall is now almost 1 inch per week. Hence, slightly above normal rainfall is expected. The one exception could be northern and northwest Ohio where it is possible to see less rainfall depending on the exact storm tracks.

We are also fast approaching our end of the freeze season typically in mid April up to around the 20th for much of the state. Some places in the north it can be late April. Right now, everything looks like a normal end to the freeze season. We do see the possibility of another freeze this weekend on Sunday AM especially north of I-70. A few more could happen into the next week or two before coming to an end.

Temperatures are expected to overall be slightly above normal for the rest the rest of April but with wild swings. This should help bring 2-4 inch soil temperatures into the normal range, possibly a degree or so above normal. The exception would be northern Ohio where above normal ice levels this past winter on the Great Lakes will keep water temperatures on the Lakes lagging and may keep air temperatures closer to normal there.

With all the storms lined up, we do expect a windy April as well. Winds of 30-40 mph with gust to 50 mph can not be ruled out Thursday or Friday this week with storm number one. 30-40 mph winds will also be possible with the storm later Sunday into next Monday and can not be ruled out with the third storm later next week.

After a wetter April indications are for a warmer and not as wet May with the possibility of normal or even a bit below normal rainfall.

Early indications for the summer growing season are normal or slightly above normal temperatures and possibly a bit wetter than normal though June could be a bit drier.

Other early indications give the possibility of another wet harvest season.

National Weather Service
1901 South State Route 134, Wilmington, OH 45177
Weather, Flooding, Climate impacts

Jim Noel is currently the Service Coordination Hydrologist at the NOAA/National Weather Service’s Ohio River Forecast Center (OHRFC). He started in the National Weather Service in 1992 and has been with the OHRFC since 1996 as a hydrologist.

2019 Spring Planting Update for Central Ohio

Our first sunny days in the 50’s and 60’s are here and many backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers are looking to get outside to start spring planting.  One important step in this process is to make sure the seed that you are using will have decent germination rates to ensure that you do not start with a crop failure at the beginning. Click HERE for a link to vegetable seed viability times.

Have you soil tested your vegetable garden recently? Making sure that you have enough nutrition present to grow your vegetables is another important step in making sure that you have a productive season.  Contact your local Extension office to find out about soil testing kits for purchase.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction center has their three month projection for April-May-June for temperature and precipitation.  (LINK)

The three month precipitation prediction calls for a greater than normal chance for increased precipitation.


The three month temperature projection calls for a greater chance of warmer than normal conditions.

One very important variable to monitor is soil temperatures.  Since seeds are in primary contact with soil and need that seed-soil contact to germinate, it is more important to monitor soil temperature than air temperature.  Certain seed varieties will need certain temperatures based on what family of vegetable they are in.  Most spring vegetables germinate reliably in cooler soil than summer vegetables.

Currently soil temperatures as monitored by the Columbus Station (Waterman Farm) of the OARDC Weather System are around 40 degrees F at 5 cm and 10 cm soil depth.  (LINK) If you garden in a raised bed, you may have warmer soil than a level garden plot.  This may allow earlier planting than normal.

Make sure that you do not work the soil via tillage if it is too wet, especially with the heavy clay soils common in central Ohio.  This could create a poor growing condition for the entire season if large clumps of compacted soil are created when tilling wet soil.

This community garden was mowed last fall with the residue left on top of the soil. A seed bed was created via tillage a few days ago when the soil was at the right moisture level.

If you have started transplants under grow lights in a seed station, it may be time to transplant them into individual cells.  Check out this video  that will show how to divide and transplant seedlings into cell packs. 

Good choices for spring vegetables to direct seed into the garden once your soil is above 40 degrees F:

  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cabbage family

Seed potatoes can be planted later this week if the soil is not too wet to work.  If you wish to plant onions but are unsure if you should use seeds vs. sets vs. transplants then click on this article that goes over the benefits of each type of onion planting.

It will be time to plant transplants in the garden as soon as we get a few more degrees of soil temperature increase.  If you have transplants under the grow lights, it is important that you harden them off for a period to acclimate them to their future outdoor home.  It takes about 3-7 days of gradually introducing transplants to outdoor weather and temperature before they will be adjusted and have success in the ground. Do not forget this step, it is important to do this to minimize transplant shock.

Corn flea beetle & Stewart’s Wilt Predictions for Sweet Corn in 2019

The current winter has been similar to last year’s winter, with bouts of warmer than average temperatures and bouts of colder than average temperatures. Anyone who grows sweet corn might wonder whether the winter was considered harsh or mild overall, because after a very cold winter, we can expect to not have problems in sweet corn with Stewart’s bacterial wilt, but after a mild winter, we can expect to have problems in sweet corn with Stewart’s bacterial wilt. The severity of the disease is related to survival of the corn flea beetle, which vectors the causal pathogen, and which is adversely affected by cold temperature. Every year we make a prediction about how severe Stewart’s wilt will be by looking at the winter temperatures and using them to calculate flea beetle index values for several Ohio locations. The index is fairly crude but usually does reflect what we see in the field.

The index values for ten Ohio sites in 2019 range from a low of 88 at Kingsville (Ashtabula Co.), Custar (Wood Co.), and Fremont (Sandusky Co.) to a high of 106 at Piketon and Jackson. The current winter was similar to last year, but colder than 2017 and 2016, and warmer than 2015 and 2014. Most of the Ohio sites fall in the low or negligible disease category this year but there are several sites where wilt predictions are moderate to severe. Individual index values are shown in the chart below.

These days, most sweet corn hybrid seed is sold with insecticide treatment on the seeds; it can be difficult to find seed that is not treated. These insecticide seed treatments are effective at controlling the corn flea beetle on most hybrids. Systemic insecticide protection is provided on seed that has been commercially by Cruiser, Poncho, or Gaucho. Cruiser contains the active ingredient thiamethoxam (the same AI as in Platinum and Actara) and is made by Syngenta. Poncho contains the active ingredient clothianidin (the same AI as in Belay) and is made by BASF/Bayer. Gaucho contains the active ingredient imidacloprid (the same AI as in Admire) and is made by Bayer. Tests done at the University of Illinois when seed treatments were under development showed that incidence of Stewart’s wilt in susceptible varieties was reduced by about 70% by commercial seed treatment, and severity of symptoms was also reduced. Seed treatments are thus not products that alone will control corn flea beetle and Stewarts wilt.

For farms that are not planting insecticide treated seed, the cultural control of disease-resistant varieties should be used. Ratings for over 600 hybrids from Illinois as of 2010 are shown on a website ( A few examples of hybrids that are most resistant to Stewart’s wilt are the Ambrosia and Nauset (bicolor se); Sumptuous, Merlin, and Miracle (yellow se); Argent, Celestial, and Denali (white se); Mirai 336BC, Obsession R, and Mirai 350BC (bicolor sh2); and Garrison, Overland, and SummerSweet 7650Y (yellow sh2).

If resistant varieties or commercially treated seed are not planted, it is important to protect seedlings of susceptible varieties from beetle feeding through the 7-leaf stage, especially on farms with a history of problems with this disease. An option is Latitude (imidacloprid plus fungicides), used as a hopper box seed treatment. Another option is systemic soil insecticide, Counter or Thimet, which can be applied to the soil at planting. A final option is to wait until seedlings emerge when they can be sprayed with carbaryl (Sevin), permethrin, or other non-systemic insecticide, but the foliar sprays are not usually as effective as the systemic seed or soil treatments.

-by Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist


OFFER Website Focuses on Organic Production

Articles and resources related to organic production are available on the OFFER Organic Food & Farming site,

Recent articles:
Two-Day Ohio Compost Operator Education Course
Transitioning to organic? A three-year project studies the effects of different transitional strategies

Recently added resources:
• Information and links to some of our current organic research groups and projects.
• A list of OSU Extension fact sheets that pertain to organic production.

You can sign up to receive new articles and other updates here.

Did you know?
As of the most recent agricultural census, Ohio ranked 7th nationwide in the number of organic agricultural operations.

Practical Skills for Managing Invasive Insects Workshop

Adult spotted lanternfly. Photo by Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,

Join members of the OSU Department of Entomology and the OSU IPM Program for a workshop that highlights recent research results and reviews the latest recommendations for key practices in monitoring, identifying, and managing the spotted-wing Drosophila and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug on fruit and vegetable crops. Although the spotted lanternfly has not yet been found in Ohio, this invasive pest has been detected in nearby states, so we’ll provide some tips to remain vigilant for this potentially new pest.

The workshop will be held Tuesday, March 26 at OSU’s Waterman Farm (2490 Carmack Road Columbus, OH 43210) in the Wittmeyer Conference Room in the Headquarters Building, from 9 AM – noon. The agenda is not yet finalized but will be modeled after the following outline:

Brown marmorated stink bug on apple.  

Spotted-Wing Drosophila, on berry crops
-Overview of distribution and biology
-Key advances in monitoring, identification & management
-New streamlined approach to monitoring in 2019
-Additional Resources

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, on fruit & vegetable crops
-Overview of distribution and biology
-Key advances in monitoring & management
-Biological control update
-Additional Resources


Spotted Lanternfly, potentially on tree fruit & hop crops

Spotted wing Drosophila male (L) and female (R).

-Overview of distribution and biology
-Monitoring techniques
-Management decisions / options
-Additional Resources

Coffee and light snacks will be served. Registration will cost $5 per person and be limited to only 35 attendees due to room constraints. All participants must pre-register using this link ( Registration will end March 22nd.  Payment, cash or check, will be accepted at the door.

If you have any difficulties registering or have other questions, please contact Jim Jasinski, jasinski.4@osu.eduor 937-484-1526, or Celeste Welty,, 614-292-2803.

Spotted Lanternfly Webinar Series

Please join the NYS IPM ProgramNYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, and the Northeastern IPM Center for a

An adult spotted lanternfly on Ailanthus altissima in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Photo by Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,

webinar update on the latest invasive insect to hit the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) was discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has recently been detected in surrounding states starting with Delaware and New York in 2017, and Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland in 2018.

Two webinars covering hops, berry crops, vegetables, grapes, and apples will be held on February 26th.

Two additional webinars on Christmas trees, greenhouse, nursery, and landscape industries will be held on March 4th.

Visit this site to get all the details including registration:

To date, SLF has NOT been reported in Ohio. Given the proximity of detections and the possibility of being inadvertently spread by various modes of transportation, we are recommending increased vigilance for this pest. This pest has a wide host range and is known to attack grape vines, apple and cherry trees, and hop bines. This pest also has an affinity for Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), especially in the fall.


Produce Safety Training – Sandusky County

Sent on behalf of Matt Fout, Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, Produce Safety Manager

Hello All,

Below are two links detailing the full announcement and registration forms for the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training that will be held at the North Central Ag Research Station, 1165 County Road 43, Fremont, OH 43420, on February 28.

The course will cover basic produce safety; worker health, hygiene, and training; soil amendments; wildlife, domesticated animals, and land use; agricultural water (both production and postharvest); postharvest handling and sanitation; and developing a farm food safety plan. As a participant you can expected to gain a basic understanding of: microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm; how to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks; how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm; parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one; and requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

There is no cost for Ohio residents to attend this training. Please feel free to distribute to any produces growers who may want to attend.

Direct any questions to Matt Fout, (614)728-6250, or

PSA Training Details

PSA Grower Registration


Central Ohio Grower’s Report and Weather Update for Winter 2019

The next week has a period of intense cold coming to central Ohio.  Grower’s who planted spinach under low tunnels using row cover should make sure that they have a second layer of frost blanket covering the planting and that the row cover is weighted securely against wind shear.

While there is a good chance that a full harvest amount of spinach is present, we have not had a warm enough day to break the micro-climate to check.  Be patient,  there is usually a chance for a significant harvest in February.


The period of warm and wet weather we had earlier in winter provided a chance to get good growth on winter cover crops.  If you were unable to get cover crops planted this year, as you make your 2019 planting plan, try to add cover crops into your rotation to keep a living cover on your ground.  It adds organic matter, prevents soil erosion and builds fertility.

A mix of winter rye, forage radish, crimson clover and hairy vetch. This mix is cold hardy and will persist into spring, starting a period of intense growth when the weather warms up.

The winter rye mix will require intensive management in the spring.



This plot contains a mix of oats and Austrian winter peas. This mix is cold tolerant but not hardy. It should die following the upcoming period of intense cold. The residue will act as a ground cover protecting the soil that will incorporate easily into a seed bed via tillage in spring.


Right now is a good time to start seeds if you have a seed start station.  You can start the following:

  • Artichokes –  a tender perennial not generally grown in central Ohio,  this crop can be grown as an annual if started early indoors.
  • Perennial herbs such as thyme and oregano.  The seeds are extremely tiny and take weeks to germinate.
  • Lettuce, cabbage-family – this assumes some risk due to weather pressure.  Start a small amount now looking to plant outside around late Feb under season extension.  Start another small batch every two weeks for the next month or two to have a steady harvest.
  • Leeks – seed takes awhile to germinate.  Transplants will be ready to go outside in late March if started now.


Central Ohio Weather Update 

The three month forecast for temperature and precipitation is calling for colder and dryer than normal weather.   There is a 65% of an El Nino weather phenomenon to form in spring.  That will certainly affect backyard growers, community gardeners, and urban farmers in Central Ohio.


CLICK HERE for the NWS/NOAA Weather link.



Specialty Crop Growers’ Roundtable at OARDC

Winter is a time for many activities, including obtaining new information and reconnecting with friends, peers, and partners. All these activities and more happen at programs coordinated by grower associations, universities, and others. In that light, consider participating in the upcoming Specialty Crop Growers’ Roundtable on February 4, 2019 at the OARDC in Wooster, OH.

Every program has something to offer. The Roundtable will offer brief, to-the-point presentations, demonstrations, exhibits, and trainings, and ample time for one-on-one and small group discussion — great value for commercial vegetable, fruit, and herb growers, especially ones active in local to regional markets. There will be plenty to hear, see, say, and do at the Roundtable. Please note: attendance is capped at 50 and pre-registration is required.

Learn more about the Roundtable program, including how to register. specialty-crop-roundtable-19-flyer-for-distribution-1-2j2bze6