2021 OSU Vegetable Disease Management and Diagnostics Reports Now Available

Alternaria leaf spot on cabbage

The OSU Vegetable Pathology Lab carried out an active field research program in 2021, with ten full field trials spread across three research sites in Wooster, Celeryville and Fremont, OH, and three bioassays for downy and powdery mildew management. We tested fungicides, biological control products, and disease-resistant varieties to manage diseases of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbage and collards. Our vegetable disease diagnostic lab service for commercial growers, led by Dr. Francesca Rotondo, diagnosed 241 physical samples and 20 digital samples for Ohio growers at no cost. You can click here Plant Pathology Series 2022_Veg Pathology Research Rpts 2021_final to read the research trial and diagnostic lab reports. Most of these trial results will be published in 2022 in Plant Disease Management Reports (subscription required).

Research projects (those with an * were supported financially by the Ohio Small Fruit and Vegetable Research and Development Program):

*Tomato anthracnose – fungicide evaluation

Tomato black mold, Septoria leaf spot and anthracnose – fungicide evaluation

Pepper bacterial canker – evaluation of cultivar resistance

Pepper Pseudomonas leaf spot – evaluation of cultivar resistance

*Pepper anthracnose – fungicide evaluation

Cucumber downy mildew – evaluation of cultivar resistance

Cucumber downy mildew – fungicide resistance screening (bioassay)

*Pumpkin powdery mildew and Plectosporium blight – fungicide evaluation

*Pumpkin powdery mildew – fungicide resistance screening (bioassay)

*Pumpkin powdery mildew – OMRI-listed products evaluation (bioassay)

Cabbage Alternaria leaf spot and soft rot – fungicide and biological product evaluation

Cabbage white mold – fungicide and biological product evaluation

Collards black rot and peppery leaf spot- biological product testing

*Vegetable disease diagnostic report

2022 Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification

It is time to start planning for your 2022 Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification.

  • All recertification for Private Applicators will be conducted in person. There is NO online option for private applicators.
  • All recertification hours must be completed by March 31 each year. Otherwise, you will re-test.
  • ODA must receive renewal paperwork and a $30 payment for you to receive your renewal card.

Please visit this statewide map to see available recertification opportunities. Additional information can be found at pested.osu.edu

2022 Soil Health Webinars

Thursday, January 6th, 8-9 am

What’s Your Soil Health Resolution? Farmer Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 3rd, 8-9 am

What does the Research Tell Us about Cover Crops & Soil Health?

Thursday, March 3rd, 8-9 am

Hot Topics –What’s the Future of Soil Health?

Register today at go.osu.edu/soilhealth2022 1 hr NM CCA continuing education credit per session

A Simple, Inexpensive, DIY System for Controlling the Height of High Tunnel Sidewall Rollbars Remotely

The Problem

High tunnel growers come to know through trial and error and some hardship that their success depends on managing the temperature and other conditions inside the high tunnel with care. That is, that maximum yield and quality are possible only when conditions inside the tunnel and near the crop are optimal as often as possible. High tunnel growers also come to learn that achieving optimal conditions round-the-clock and day after day is difficult and costly in various ways. For example, it is difficult because crop needs and conditions outside the tunnel can change dramatically and quickly, especially during key points in the crop cycle in spring and fall. Reacting to changes in crop need and other must-dos on the farm can be challenging. Managing temperature and other conditions inside the tunnel usually also requires undesirable investments in time, effort, and money. Of course, conditions inside the tunnel are usually set by controlling the extent to which sidewalls, vents, and/or doors are open, with the height of sidewall rollbars being particularly significant. The trouble is that the position of most sidewall rollbars is set by hand. This requires the grower or another person to stop what they are doing, travel/go to the high tunnel, and reposition the rollbars manually. This commitment and expense are unfortunate enough. However, the fact that it may need to be done multiple times per day for many days in a row for conditions near the crop to remain optimal becomes problematic for many high tunnel growers. They are required to choose between: (a) continually repositioning sidewall rollbar heights (“babysitting” the tunnel) at some direct cost and at the expense of engaging in other activities or (b) setting sidewall rollbar position at a “compromise” height and accepting the consequences of conditions (e.g., temperature, wind) being above- or below-optimal for potentially lengthy periods. In our view, high tunnel growers should not be required to have to make that choice.

Existing and New Solutions

Various companies (e.g., https://www.advancingalternatives.com) agree and offer automated ventilation control systems involving sensors, a control panel, and sidewall motors. We have had a version of the Advancing Alternatives system on a moveable Rimol high tunnel since 2015 and have been very pleased with both (control system, high tunnel). The high tunnel’s sidewall motors, endwall vents, inflation fan, and control panel are all powered by a standard 12-volt battery charged by one medium-size solar panel. It’s an impressive system. However, we are also aware that fully automated approaches to ventilation can cost more than some growers are willing or able to pay and place control of the high tunnel conditions largely in the hands of the control panel, not the grower.

Therefore, we have been working to develop a low cost, DIY way to control sidewall motors remotely that keeps the grower directly in control of sidewall position (e.g., to account for conditions that a fully automated system may not monitor, at least without additional cost).

Alex Herridge will soon complete his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering at The OSU and his contributions to the effort have turned the idea for this alternative, grower-friendly system into reality. Full plans for the system will be available in a separate publication soon but its key features include:

1. Standard sidewall motors powered by a battery-solar panel combination, as described above;
2. A standard voltage-regulating unit converting 12 volts from the battery to 24 volts needed by the motors (approx. $80.00);
2. A motor controller (available at electronics stores or online for approx. $15.00);
3. An off-the-shelf, WiFi-enabled microcontroller to act as the brains of the system (approx. $5);
4. WiFi already present on the farm property or wireless access with a hotspot or similar ($0 to monthly charge typical of a mobile phone plan); and
5. Code for the motor controller (no charge).

To proceed, motors are attached to sidewall bars and powered and a basic network connection linking the grower’s phone (or other device) and the microcontroller is established. The entire process can be completed in approximately four hours once all materials and WiFi are on site. Thereafter, the sidewall motors can be controlled with one’s mobile phone or other linked device using a simple interface setup for the purpose. Pictures of the preliminary, bare-bones version of the interface we used to raise and lower a sidewall bar on a high tunnel at OARDC on December 13 are given here. The bottom-line of this approach and system is that it will allow growers to raise and lower sidewalls from wherever they have internet access using low cost, off-the-shelf hardware. Watch for additional posts regarding this system at VegNet and other locations and contact me (Matt Kleinhenz; kleinhenz.1@osu.edu; 330.263.3810) if you are interested in learning more about or testing the system on your farm.

(OSU Computer Science and Engineering student with the motor and micro controllers and standard battery charged by a solar panel.)

(Exterior of the Rimol moveable high tunnel and the solar panel used to charge the battery powering rollbar motors, endwall vents, inflation fan, and control panel.)

(Simple, password-protected interface for controlling sidewall rollbar position. Usable from anywhere the owner has internet access and allowing them to control sidewall rollbar height remotely.)






Are You MarketReady?

If you’re interested in selling directly to restaurants, wholesalers, grocers, and customers, join us for MarketReady on January 26, 2022! This producer training will cover a wide variety of topics that will help you navigate the ins and outs of selling direct. All entrepreneurs are welcome.

This program will be at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio and the cost is $25 per person. Cash and check can be sent to:

OSU South Centers

Attn: Anna Adams

1864 Shyville Rd.

Piketon, OH 45661

 If you would like to pay by card, you may call prior to the event at 740-289-2071 x116. We will also accept payment at the door. Lunch will be provided. You can register at go.osu.edu/scmarketready2022. Deadline to register is January 21, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Christie Welch at welch.183@osu.edu or Anna Adams at adams.2061@osu.edu.

Farm Office Live!

We have a great lineup for this month’s Farm Office Live sessions being offered Wednesday, Dec. 15, 7-8:30 pm and repeated live on Friday, December 17, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Don’t miss:

    • USDA NASS Update with Special Guest Cheryl Turner
    • 2022 Dairy Margin Coverage Signup and Supplemental Coverage
    • Meat Processor/Federal Program Updates
    • State and Federal Legislative Updates
    • Farm Tax Update
    • Looking Ahead to 2022
    • Q&A

If you haven’t yet registered, visit this site! Register once and you’ll receive monthly reminders.

Insect Pest Management in Vegetable Crops Survey

Dear vegetable producer,

You are being asked to participate in a study, “Insect Pest Management in Vegetable Crops Survey” (Purdue IRB protocol no. 2021-979) by researchers at Purdue University and The College of Wooster. The purpose of this study is to get more information on insect pest management practices and strategies used by vegetable producers in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. The information provided here will help direct pest management research and extension programs in specialty crop production.

You must be at least 18 years of age to participate. The survey will take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous. The researchers have pledged to keep your data confidential and will only report aggregated results in any published scientific study.

In appreciation of your choice to participate in the survey, you can choose to enter into a raffle for a hardcopy of one of two complimentary spray guides: the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers ($21 value), or the Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Guide ($25 value). Instructions for entering the raffle can be found at the end of the survey.

To begin the online survey, click this link.

Participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw from participation at any time. If you have any questions, you may contact the researchers:

Dr. Carlo Moreno (First point of contact)
The College of Wooster
931 College Mall, Wooster, OH, 44691
Phone: 330-287-1982
Email: cmoreno@wooster.edu

Dr. Elizabeth Long
Purdue University
901 W. State Street, Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-496-1918
Email: long132@purdue.edu

Bt Sweet Corn Trial Update

Two Bt sweet corn trials were conducted in South Charleston and Wooster in 2021 to determine the efficacy of various Bt gene traits against common lepidoptera (moth) pests such as corn earworm, European corn borer and fall armyworm. Both trials were planted in late June and harvested for evaluation in early September to maximize caterpillar damage. No insecticide treatments were applied to any of the treatments.

Corn earworm filled trap near sweet corn trial.

The South Charleston trial contained two non-Bt hybrids (Providence & Obsession I) and two Bt hybrids (BC0805 & Remedy). There was a fifth hybrid in the trial (Bt traited Obsession II) but it was destroyed by a misapplication of herbicide. In Wooster only Providence (Non-Bt) and Remedy (Bt) were planted.

The primary pest of concern for late planted sweet corn is the corn earworm. There were heavy flights around silking in South Charleston but lighter flights around silking in Wooster. In South Charleston, 98% of Obsession I ears (non-Bt) were damaged, 100% of Providence ears (non-Bt) were damaged, 91% of BC0805 ears (Bt) were damaged but only 0.7% of Remedy ears (Bt) were damaged. In Wooster, 86% of Providence ears (non-Bt) were damaged and 1% of Remedy ears (Bt) were damaged.

Corn earworm caterpillar in ear tip.

It is reasonable to assume that corn earworm would readily damage non-Bt sweet corn ears that were not protected by any insecticide, but why weren’t both Bt sweet corn hybrids (BC0805 and Remedy) protected from damage? The answer lies in the actual Bt traits each hybrid contains; BC0805 is an Attribute I series containing only Cry1Ab genes while Remedy is an Attribute II series hybrid containing Vip3A + Cry1Ab Bt genes. There is general consensus that Cry1Ab Bt genes alone are not protective in sweet corn against lepidoptera pests.

Sweet corn hybrid evaluation underway.

This was the first time any damage had been recorded on Remedy sweet corn in OSU trials. This is important to note because it is a signal that resistance against Vip may be evolving in the CEW population. ECB was not detected in the South Charleston trial and only found in one ear in the Wooster trial. No FAW was found in either trial. Regardless of location within the state, for late planted sweet corn, all hybrids not containing the Vip Bt protein (Remedy/Attribute II) will need to be protected with insecticide sprays to yield relatively worm free ears. Even Vip Bt hybrids may gain some protection from other pests such as stink bugs by adding insecticide sprays.


The 2021 Pumpkin Roundup

Much was accomplished in the 2021 growing season that relates to pumpkin and squash. In case you missed it while it was happening, here is a quick review of topics for you to peruse on some rainy and cold day when you don’t want to go outside and work around the farm. You can also find additional posts on the VegNet Blog located here: https://u.osu.edu/vegnetnews/


Over the past several years there has been a push to create video content to illustrate key monitoring, scouting, identification and management videos for key pests that affect pumpkin and squash. This content is posted to the OSU IPM YouTube channel (go.osu.edu/osuipm) and curated under a “Pumpkin” playlist at the top of the page. Recent additions include:

-2021 Pumpkin and Squash Hybrid Trial Review

-Tracking Big Foot Through the Pumpkin Patch

-2021 Herbicide Weed Screen for Pumpkins

-Managing Squash Vine Borer in Cucurbits

-Early Season Management of Cucumber Beetles and Bacterial Wilt

Screen shot of current pumpkin related videos on OSU IPM YouTube channel.

Powdery Mildew Trial Report

In 2021 we also conducted another powdery mildew fungicide evaluation trial at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston. Included in the trial were two novel fungicides, Cevya and Gatten, both which looked pretty good. The complete report can be accessed here toward the bottom of the page: https://u.osu.edu/jasinski.4/pumpkins/

Pumpkin and Squash Hybrid Trial Report

For those of you who want more details than those provided in the video review mentioned above, there is a detailed report posted on the VegNet Blog here that lists the hybrids, estimated number of fruits and yield, and other details related to the trial.



Water Quality Wednesday Webinar Series

The first webinar in the Water Quality Wednesday webinar series, titled “How can we manage Phosphorus to protect our water?” will be December 8th from 10:00-11:30 AM. Speakers Dr. Libby Dayton, Research Scientist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at OSU, and Dr. Chris Winslow, Director of Ohio Sea Grant, will discuss trends of soil test Phosphorus, erosion, and Phosphorus effects’ on Lake Erie and the recent algal blooms it has experienced. Time for a Question-and-Answer session will be allotted at the end of the program for participants to engage with the speakers. Both CCA continuing education credits and CLM credits will be offered at the end of the live webinar on December 8th.

Future WQW Webinar Dates:

  • January 12 –Step into the town hall, then step into your field: From watershed planning to field-level implementation
  • February 2–Best Management Practice Deep Dive: Conservation Drainage
  • February 16 –Nitrogen Efficiency and Loss Prevention
  • March 23 –Emerging Technology in Water Quality

Location: via Zoom, register for one or all sessions at go.osu.edu/WQW

Cost: Free, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link


Details: Join the Ohio State University’s Water Quality Extension Associates for a webinar series discussing topics related to water quality, ranging from Phosphorus and agricultural Best Management Practices to watershed planning and technology. All webinars will be recorded for later viewing. Live webinars will offer Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits, and relevant topics will offer Certified Livestock Manager credits to participants.

Contact information: Rachel Cochran, cochran.474@osu.edu; (567) 344-5016