Inversion and Drift Mitigation Workshop to be held April 10 – Cindy Folck

Do you know the weather conditions that contribute to inversions? A workshop on April 10 will focus on tools to help farmers recognize inversions and other weather conditions that affect pesticide drift, for example dicamba. Aaron Wilson, weather specialist and atmospheric scientist, will discuss weather trends and how to recognize inversions. Additionally, workshop attendees will learn about the new tools available through the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry by Field Watch to increase communication between field crop and specialty crop growers.

The workshop will be April 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. Farmers can attend the workshop in person for no charge at the Ohio 4-H Center on the Ohio State University Columbus campus. Farmers can also attend virtually for no cost. Links for registration for in-person or virtual attendance are available at Pesticide applicator recertification credit will only be available at the in-person workshop at the Ohio 4-H Center in Columbus. For more information, contact Cindy Folck at or 614-247-7898.

Topic Details
Understanding Inversions and Weather Conditions
How to recognize an inversion and other weather conditions that affect applications
Speaker: Aaron Wilson, Weather Specialist & Atmospheric Scientist, OSU Extension, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center

Using Tools for Applications in the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry
New tools are available in the sensitive crop registry to meet label requirements, plan herbicide applications, and integrate with spray application equipment
Speaker: Jared Shaffer, Plant Health Inspector, Ohio Department of Agriculture

 Attend virtually:
Attend in-person: Ohio 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Dr., Columbus, 43210
No cost to attend. Pre-registration required for in-person attendees at
For more information, contact Cindy Folck,, 614-247-7898

–Core commercial and private pesticide credits available only at the Columbus in-person location–
–No pesticide credit given for virtual/internet attendees–

The workshop is being supported by the Ohio IPM Program and USDA NIFA 20177000627174.

Hopeful news about stink bug biocontrol

The news about the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has generally been bad over the past few years, as this new invasive pest has continued to expand its range within the USA, causing increasing problems as a pest of fruit, vegetable, and field crops. We know that our native natural enemies have not been able to provide much biological control of BMSB, but there has been hope about potential biological control of BMSB by a tiny wasp that parasitized BMSB eggs in China. The wasp is Trissolcus japonicus, nicknamed the samurai wasp.

USDA entomologists at Newark, Delaware, have been conducting intensive studies of the samurai wasp over the past 10 years with the hope that it could be introduced into the USA for control of BMSB, but thus far its introduction has not been approved. However a significant event occurred in 2014, when the samurai wasp was detected outdoors in Maryland, where it apparently showed up on its own, probably via a parasitized BMSB egg mass present in cargo shipped from Asia. In 2015, the samurai wasp was also detected in Virginia, Delaware, and Washington State. In 2016, it was detected in New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. In 2017, it was detected in Pennsylvania. Once an exotic species like this has been detected, it can be studied and intentionally spread within any State, but it is not allowed to be transported across State lines.

In Ohio, as part of our involvement in a multi-State project on BMSB management, we surveyed for the possible presence of the samurai wasp within Ohio in 2017. To do this, we collected fresh egg masses from our lab colony of BMSB; we deployed the egg masses in the field by clipping them to the underside of leaves, mostly on plants in wooded edges adjacent to fruit and vegetable crops. The egg masses were left outside for 3 days, then brought back to the lab where we observed whether they eventually hatched into stink bugs or if they were parasitized. We deployed 544 egg masses between May and September at several Ohio locations. Over the winter, we have been working our way through these samples, and identifying wasps that emerged from parasitized eggs. This past week, we found that wasps that emerged from two egg masses were identified as the samurai wasp. The two egg masses were deployed in Columbus in early August 2017. This finding that the samurai wasp has spread to Ohio is quite exciting. We plan to do additional surveys in 2018 to determine whether it is present at additional locations within Ohio.


by Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist

Spotted Wing Drosophila Workshop – April 5th

The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) was first observed in Ohio in 2011.  This tiny fly is now a major pest of small fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries), grapes, and peaches for anyone producing these crops from backyard to commercial scale growers throughout Ohio. What makes this vinegar fly different from other related flies is it attacks healthy uninjured ripening and ripe fruit, not old or damaged fruit like other flies.

So what is the best way to learn how to identify, monitor, and manage SWD? By attending our SWD workshop where these topics will be tackled one by one, including how to use a stereoscope to see these flies up close, how to properly use and service the SWD traps, and how to manage the pest once it arrives at your farm (see flyer below). The meeting has been scheduled from 9am-noon on April 5th at the Washington County Extension office, located at 202 Davis Avenue, Marietta, OH 45750.

Growers from anywhere in Ohio can attend, but due to space limitations, we can only accept the first 20 growers who apply, so be sure to register for this workshop by March 29th. There is a $10 fee to attend the workshop which will be collected at the beginning of the workshop to cover refreshments and snacks. Click on the link below to sign up for the class.

All attendees will receive one Scentry SWD Trap and 1-2 Scentry SWD lures to help get you started monitoring for this pest, along with vials filled with male and female SWD to use as reference specimens.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Jim Jasinski ( or Marcus McCartney ( This workshop is sponsored by the OSU Dept. of Entomology, Dept. of Extension IPM Program, and USDA NIFA.





Corn flea beetle & Stewart’s Wilt Predictions for 2018

Anyone who spent the past winter in Ohio might wonder whether the winter was considered harsh or mild overall, because we saw periods of both extremes in temperature. 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 eleven Ohio sites in 2018 range from a low of 83 at Celeryville to a high of 101 at Piketon. The current winter was colder than the previous two winters (2017 and 2016) but not as cold as the two winters before that (2015 and 2014). Most Ohio sites fell in the disease-negligible category this year but there were several sites where wilt predictions are light to moderate, moderate to severe, and severe. Individual index values are shown in the chart below.


For a longer-term view, the 2018 values along with values from the previous 30 years are posted at a web site ( ).

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 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, that can be applied to the soil at planting. A final option is to wait until seedlings emerge when they can be sprayed with 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

Spring Vegetable Climate Predictions for Planting 2018

When I am planning when to start seeds in order to get ready for an upcoming spring or fall planting season.  I take the frost date into account, but then I adjust that date according to the weather projections as that gives me insight into how I can maximize production by using weather data plus season extension.

For example,  the fall frost date in central Ohio is around mid-October.   The fall climate prediction data was for a delayed frost date and a warmer fall.  Once I read about this I planted my fall vegetables using this data in anticipation of a longer fall growing season for summer vegetables.

I planted green beans and zucchini in the first week of August 2017.  Both are about 50-60 day vegetables so they would mature long after the frost date normally, and both do not like frost.

Germination was about a week or so later

Because of the delayed frost date, I was able to enjoy a harvest late into fall and ate green beans and zucchini fresh for Thanksgiving dinner.


Picture taken Mid-October. Notice due to delayed planting their are no cucumber beetles or stink bugs infesting the plants.

This year the climate prediction center states that we will continue to have a February with temperature swings and periods of heavy precipitation.

For the growing season the prediction is for a gradual warm up from March through May with a wetter than normal spring.  Summer is looking like the warm up continues with a drier than normal precipitation forecast.

BIG THANKS TO THE C.O.R.N. Agronomic Newsletter for data assist. 



Make sure you check the prediction models when you are making your plans.  It might save you some time and trouble and might  get you some extra production.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course Announcement

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Food Safety is announcing a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training on February 22, 2018 to be held at the OSU Extension Clermont County Office

1000 Locust St, Owensville, OH 45160.  The training will be one day, 8:30AM-4:00PM (with an hour lunch, not provided). There is no cost for the training or training manual. Class size is limited to 30 and first priority will be given to growers that must comply with the Produce Safety Rules (§ 112 Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption). Regulation exempt growers are also welcome to apply for the training. Registration is limited to Ohio residents.

The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) which states ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

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. More information on the training can be found in the following internet link:

To receive a completion certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

To attend the training, fill out the application, and return it to the ODA, Division of Food Safety no later than February 2nd, 2018.  Growers who have been approved to attend the training will receive a confirmation letter. If you don’t receive a confirmation letter, your name will be added to a waiting list. We will be scheduling multiple trainings in your area throughout the next year.

If you know of someone that is interested in attending a training class in their area and they did not receive a registration form they can call (614)728-6250 to register.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (614)600-4272.


Matt Fout

Produce Safety Manager, Division of Food Safety

Ohio Department of Agriculture

Southern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference – Feb. 6th

Specialty crop growers from all across Ohio and nearby states should consider attending the Southern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference in Loveland, OH on Feb. 6th.  Nearly 20 OSU specialists will be presenting current information on a range of topics including giant pumpkins, tool and equipment selection, organic pest management, soil testing, mushroom production, spray drift management, vine crops disease control, pollinator protection, microbial bio-stimulants, food safety, business and financial topics, and more.  All of these presentations are designed to improve your production practices and increase your bottom line.

-The events costs $50 and includes a continental breakfast, a memory stick with all presentations plus a healthy buffet lunch.
-Registration ends Feb. 2nd.

To look at the entire program click here

To register online for the event, click here

To register via US Mail, please click here

We look forward to seeing you at this conference!


Produce Safety Alliance Offers Training for Food Safety Modernization Act

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Food Safety is announcing a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training on February 20, 2018 to be held at the OSU Extension and Research Station (aka Vegetable Crops Branch or North Central Ag Research Station) office building meeting room, 1165 County Road 43, Fremont, OH 43420. The training will be one day, 8:30AM-4:30PM (with an hour lunch, not provided).

The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is a collaboration between Cornell University, FDA, and USDA to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements included in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

There is no cost for the training or training manual. Class size is limited to 30 and first priority will be given to growers that must comply with the Produce Safety Rules (§ 112 Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption). Regulation exempt growers are also welcome to apply for the training. The regulations are being phased in from 2015 to 2024.

The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) which states ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

Here are the key points to know about the training:

ODA Announcement Letter

Grower Training Registration Form

FSMA Produce Safety Exemption Flow Chart

Overview of Food Safety Modernization Act


For more information, contact 

Matt Fout (614-600-4272)

Produce Safety Manager, Division of Food Safety

Ohio Department of Agriculture

VegNet Blog Feedback

Hi everyone,

As you know the OSU vegetable and fruit newsletter (VegNet) went to a blog format this year. This is similar to our traditional newsletter we’ve had over the years except that articles were available to read online at this site as soon as they were posted by the author.

We are interested to know if changing to the blog format was seen as an overall benefit to the readership, and if there is any specific feedback we need to receive to make this delivery better in 2018.

If you have 5 minutes or so, please consider giving us some feedback on our blog. No personal identification information will be requested or collected.

Thank you,

The OSU Veg & Fruit Team


Step Aside Pumpkin, Winter Squash is now All the Rage

Now that the Halloween rush is over, all those hard hours spent in pursuit of the perfect pumpkin to carve and seeds to roast, is in the history books for one more year. All of your hard work is now destined for the compost pile before it melts down on your porch, to be worked on by squirrels, chipmunks and whole raft of fungal organisms. While Halloween is over, the need for continued Fall decorations is still in full swing.

Winter squash fruit from trial at South Charleston.



Recognizing that there is more to Fall than pumpkins, the Integrated Pest Management Program planted a demonstration trial at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston to highlight the advantages of winter squash, perhaps the perfect Fall edible ornamental. Besides looking just as bizarre as some of the modern hybrid pumpkins and needing to carving to further enhance them, these multicolored fruits are highly edible and packed with vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids, and loaded with fiber. For any pumpkin grower who hasn’t tried to grow these yet to spice up their market stand, they are just as fun as pumpkins and require exactly the same horticultural care.

There were 11 entries from two companies in the trial, with emphasis placed on winter squash that looked decorative, were rated as highly edible, and had storage life from 2-6 months. Disease resistance isn’t usually an option for most of these hybrids, but given that they are squash and not pumpkin, seem to be less prone to most diseases except for bacterial wilt. This trial was one of the highlights for growers who attended the annual pumpkin field day but due to some bad weather and mouse damage, we had to replant this trial which delayed mature fruit set in about half of the hybrids. So here is a look at the mature fruit and a few back of the envelope calculations as to number per acre and yield.

While specific trial data was collected, because it was not replicated or randomized, all calculations for yield and fruit size should be seen as estimates taken from one site, under a specific set of weather conditions. When making decisions about hybrid selection for 2018, this information should be combined with other trial data from around the state or region. This trial was not irrigated, and received above average rain fall for this location based on historical records.

To obtain average fruit weight, 3-5 fruit of each hybrid per plot representing the largest, smallest, and average sized fruit were chosen and weighed. All other marketable fruit in plot were counted and used in yield calculation, which was based on a 15’ row spacing, 35’ length of row, with plant spacing 3-4’ apart.

Rough estimates for yield and number of fruit per acre based on data collected at South Charleston.

If you have additional questions about the trial, contact me directly at