Last Call – 2 More Pumpkin or Squash Growers for On-Farm Mustard Biofumigation Trial

Interested in seeing if planting mustard cover crops prior to pumpkins or squash can reduce soil borne diseases and increase your yield? We are looking for 2 more growers preferably in the central or southern part of the state to put out a mustard cover crop (MCC) biofumigation trial to reduce soil borne disease pressure with the following guidelines and conditions. Deadline to sign up is March 19.

Growers requirements and general protocol:
-Growers must plant in field known to have a Plectosporium blight infestation. Growers with fields infested with Fusarium or Phytophthora will also be considered.

-Growers need to have equipment to seed the cover crop, chop (bush hog or flail), incorporate (rototill), pack the soil (culti-mulcher) and possibly seal the soil using a sprayer or irrigation system. These steps will be done in rapid succession so 3 tractors are ideally needed, each hooked to an implement. Don’t have 3 tractors? Maybe borrow one from a neighbor for a few hours?

-Growers will put out 4 strips of MCC and 4 strips without a MCC.

-Strip sizes will be up to 0.1A each for a maximum of 0.8A needed for the entire on-farm study.

-Growers will plant Caliente Rojo, currently the highest yielding glucosinolate mustard available.

OSU will provide:
-The Caliente Rojo seed, the fertilizer (urea + granular ammonium sulfate) and 1K seeds of the hybrid Solid Gold (Rupp).

-We will evaluate each grower site for disease incidence on foliage three times during the season, plus a harvest where mature fruit are weighed and graded for disease.

Study Timeline
-The MCC strip plots fertilizer will be disked into the soil prior to seeding to ensure high biomass production.

-The MCC planting date will be between March 30 and April 30 based on soil conditions and weather forecasts.

-Approximately 50-60 days later, the MCC will be at peak flowering and will be chopped, rototill incorporated into the soil and then packed using culti-mulcher. If irrigation is available, water will be applied to help seal the soil and create a better environment for biofumigation.

-Within 10-14 days of incorporation, Solid Gold pumpkins will be transplanted or direct seeded into those strips at roughly 4ft spacing between plants. Note that transplants are preferred at each site instead of direct seeding. Transplants will lead to an earlier harvest.

Plot Care
Each farm will follow their own standard weed, insect and disease control and fertility practices on the 8 strips. The fungicides used on the crop will need to be discussed ahead of time so we can limit the use of fungicides that might help control Plectosporium blight. These fungicides are Flint, Cabrio, Quadris, Inspire Super and Merivon.

Disease ratings of incidence on vines, foliage and fruit will be taken at 14-21 day intervals from vining until fruit maturity. Sections of all strips will be harvested and fruit will be weighed and graded for disease.

Sign up
If interested in participating in this project or have questions, please contact me at 937-484-1526 or jasinski.4@osu.edu by March 19.

If growers want to see a video detailing the steps and processes involved with planting MCC as a biofumigant, check out the work we did in 2019 at https://youtu.be/Taz-PhDphhA.

This project is being funded by the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program and the IPM Program.

Pumpkin & Squash Growers Wanted for On-Farm Mustard Biofumigation Trial

Plectosporium blight on fruit and handle.

Plectosporium blight on petioles and leaf veins.

In 2019, research was conducted into the use of mustard cover crops as a biofumigant to reduce a specific soil borne disease in pumpkins, Plectosporium blight, also known as white speck or Microdochium. The signs of this disease start out as spindle shaped lesions on the petioles, vines and back of leaf veins potentially killing the plant. If the disease progress, it can infect the handles and turn immature and mature fruit white.

Although our trial in 2019 was planted in a Plectosporium infested field, very little disease developed due to the near drought like conditions at the research station in South Charleston. In wetter locations around Ohio this disease was seen last year and we still think there is potential for this cultural technique to reduce disease in pumpkin and squash fields. To accomplish this on a wider scale in 2020, we plan to replicate and expand our mustard cover crop (MCC) biofumigation study to include on-farm trials with growers.

We are looking to recruit 4-6 growers preferably in the central or southern part of the state to put out a mustard cover crop biofumigation trial to reduce soil borne disease pressure with the following guidelines and conditions.

Growers requirements and general protocol:
-Growers must plant in field known to have a Plectosporium blight infestation. Growers with fields infested with Fusarium or Phytophthora will also be considered.

Equipment needed to successfully manage a mustard cover crop.

-Growers need to have equipment to seed the cover crop, chop (bush hog or flail), incorporate (rototill), pack the soil (culti-mulcher) and possibly seal the soil using a sprayer or irrigation system. These steps will be done in rapid succession so 3-4 tractors are ideally needed, each hooked to an implement.

-Growers will put out 4 strips of MCC and 4 strips without a MCC.

-Strip sizes will be up to 0.1A for a maximum of 0.8A needed for the entire on-farm study.

-Growers will plant Caliente Rojo, currently the highest yielding glucosinolate mustard cover crop available.

OSU will provide:
-The MCC seed, the fertilizer (urea + granular ammonium sulfate) and 1K seeds of the pumpkin hybrid Solid Gold (Rupp).

-Also evaluate each grower site for disease incidence on foliage three times during the season, plus a harvest where mature fruit are weighed and graded for disease.

Study Timeline:
-The MCC strip plots fertilizer will be disked into the soil prior to seeding to ensure high biomass production.

-The MCC planting date will be between March 30 and April 30 based on soil conditions and weather forecasts.

Mustard cover crop at full bloom.

-Approximately 50-60 days later, the MCC will be at peak flowering and will be chopped, rototill incorporated into the soil and then packed using culti-mulcher. If irrigation is available, water will be applied to help seal the soil and create a better environment for biofumigation.

-Within 10-14 days of incorporation, Solid Gold pumpkins will be transplanted into those strips at roughly 4ft spacing between plants. Note that transplants are preferred at each site instead of direct seeding, but if this is not possible, we can discuss options. Transplants will lead to an earlier harvest.

Plot Care:
Each farm will follow their own standard weed, insect and disease control and fertility practices on the 8 strips. The fungicides used on the crop will need to be discussed ahead of time so we can limit the use of fungicides that might help control Plectosporium blight. These fungicides are Flint, Cabrio, Quadris, Inspire Super and Merivon.

Disease ratings of incidence on vines, foliage and fruit will be taken at 14-21 day intervals from vining until fruit maturity. Sections of all strips will be harvested and fruit will be weighed and graded for disease.

The Big Picture:
By expanding the number of sites for this research through on-farm trials, we expect to see the potential MCC may have to reduce the soil borne disease complex affecting cucurbits. By recruiting growers into this process at a small scale, we hope to gain their valuable feedback as to the feasibility and challenges of using MCC on their farm. If successful, growers will spread the news to other growers who might be willing to try MCC on their farm. In addition to the potential biofumigation benefit, growers will be enhancing their soil organic matter levels and provide premium although brief pollinator habitat during flowering.

If growers want to see a video detailing the steps and processes involved with planting MCC as a biofumigant, check out the work we did in 2019 at https://youtu.be/Taz-PhDphhA.

Sign up:
If interested in participating in this project or have questions, please contact me at 937-484-1526 or jasinski.4@osu.edu by March 14.

This project is being funded by the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program and the IPM Program.

Midwest Vegetable Production Guide Now Available

If you are a vegetable grower in Ohio, the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide, is an essential resource to keep on top of the latest fertility, horticultural management, and pesticide recommendations for your operation. Each year the guide is edited and updated by specialist’s in eight states to bring you the most current information possible at the time of printing.

What’s new to the guide in 2020? Within the 262 spiral bound pages there is an updated Organic Production section plus updated sections on disease, weed and insect management on 45+ vegetable crops, from Asian vegetables to Zucchini.

The MVPG is also more mobile friendly now with an improved interface designed to get your crop production question addressed quickly. Enter your crop and pest information and receive cultural and pesticide recommendations matching your request. Try it out on your computer, tablet or smart phone at https://mwveguide.org. The site will default to the new interactive mobile friendly interface but if you want to access individual pdf chapters of the guide, click on the drop down and select “Production Guide.”

MVPG new and mobile friendly interface.

To get a traditional hard copy of the guide, contact your local Extension office and they can order a copy from main campus. Cost will be around $15.

MVPG cover for 2020. 

If you want to order a guide online through the new Extension publications website, here is the link https://extensionpubs.osu.edu/2020-midwest-vegetable-production-guide-for-commercial-growers/. If you order the guide online and have it mailed to your house, it will cost $21.25 plus shipping.

Be sure to purchase your guide soon, there are only 90 copies left in inventory at OSU! Best of luck for a productive season!

 

 

 

Spotted Lanternfly Slowly Approaching Ohio

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a newly discovered invasive pest from Asia. It is primarily a pest of trees like apples, cherries, black walnut, poplar, maple, tree of heaven and vines such as grapes and hops but it’s not reported to attack most vegetable crops. This pest was first detected in Berks County, PA in 2014, and has since spread to NJ, DE and VA; it has also been observed in MD, NY, CT and NC. In January 2020, new detections were found in western PA bordering Ohio and in eastern West Virginia (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Current known distribution of Spotted Lanternfly.

Damage is caused by inserting large sucking mouthparts into the trunk of the tree or vine and then siphoning out large amounts of sap. Excess sap from either the trunk injury or the planthopper can drip down the trunk and turn dark if infected with sooty mold. No diseases are known to be spread by this insect at this time, but excessive feeding weakens the tree and causes increased mortality during winter.

This pest is a planthopper and as an adult has red and purple wings and nearly one inch long (Figure 2). The immatures resemble stink bugs, being black with white spots when young, and red with black and white spots when older. The overwintering stage is the egg which is laid in masses of 15-30. At this time of the year, the eggs look like elongated brown seeds which can be attached to just about any surface including wood, stone and metal.

Figure 2. Life cycle of Spotted Lanternfly.

While we have NOT seen this pest in Ohio yet, it is within 15 miles of our eastern border and could very likely hitchhike its way into Ohio on a car, truck, trailer, train or boat. If you have tree of heaven on your property, which is one of its favorite hosts, or a vineyard nearby, check the trunks or vines for eggs now or check for nymphs and adults later in the season. If any questionable insects are seen, mark the location, take pictures, and contact your local Ohio State University Extension office or the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Health at 614-728-6400. Do not collect or transport any suspected SLF eggs, nymphs or adults.

For more information and pictures, see USDA’s Pest Alert on this pest: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/alert-spotted-lanternfly.pdf

This article was prepared by Jim Jasinski, Dept. of Extension and Celeste Welty, Dept. of Entomology

Pumpkin and Squash Hybrid Trial Results via Video

Interest in pumpkins and squash peaks today on Halloween and slowly fades as we head toward Thanksgiving. While thoughts of cucurbits are still fresh in your head, take a few minutes to watch the results of our 2019 pumpkin and squash hybrid trial at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston.

In keeping with the principles of IPM, most of the hybrids selected have tolerance to powdery mildew, which allows for a healthier less diseased plant through the growing season. This is not to say these hybrids can go without protection from fungicides for the whole season, as there are many diseases that attack the foliage and fruit, but sprays can be delayed or have longer intervals without significant damage to the plants.

The trial consists of 27 hybrids from Harris Seeds, Harris Moran, Rupp, Johnny’s, and Siegers.  Fruit size ranges from small to extra large, and colors include orange, white, blue, and pink; some even have bumps and warts. Estimates of average fruit weight and fruit number per plot are given during the narration. Hopefully you see something worth trying in 2020!

Detailed Commercial Review

Shorter Consumer Friendly Version

These videos were partially shot and edited with the help of Brooke Beam, Highland County Extension Educator.

For those people who want to see all the trial data in one table, here it is.

pumpkin trial data 2019

 

Pumpkins: Time to Pass the SPF 45

About 10 days ago we harvested a few pumpkin trials at the research station. After weighing and grading the fruit, they were set back in the row but not in the leaf canopy. Last week I drove by some of the plots and noticed some fruit were sunburned. Such is the fate of many pumpkin fruit exposed to direct sun and not covered by leaf canopy. Sunburned fruit have a reddish area facing the sun which will eventually soften and rot.

Reddish area on near fruit, sunburn.

Over the year’s growers have asked me, how long into the season should they treat the foliage with fungicides? I would respond as long as you plan to harvest fruit. Avoiding sunburned fruit is the primary reason to keep the foliage healthy later into the season. Given our increasingly warmer and sunnier fall season, growers should expect to incur significant losses if the foliage is degraded by bacterial or fungal pathogens.

Conditions that favor sunburn include thin leaf canopies, fruit that have been clipped off of the vine but left in the field to cure or be packed at a later date, and clear sunny days with highs above 80-85F.  The weather forecast for the next week in southwest Ohio include max temperatures in the mid 80’s to low 90’s…let’s hope periodic cloud cover spares growers from excessive fruit losses.

What’s Chewing on my Sweet Corn?

While walking through a sweet corn plot this morning looking at how many plants were tasseling, I saw a few interesting things to quickly comment on in case growers are seeing these things in their fields.

I saw some rough chewing damage on the leaf and immediately thought, wow, it looks like we have some Fall armyworm in this plot (despite having a FAW pheromone trap nearby that has caught zero moths for weeks). Upon closer inspection, it was a grasshopper inside the rolled up leaf.  As I looked at the grasshopper, I noticed the frass around the leaf damage was not wet and messy typical of the pest but rather thinner, pelletized and fairly cylindrical. So even if the grasshopper had left the leaf, the “frass” would be a good clue it wasn’t a caterpillar.

Leaf damage caused by grasshopper.

As I began inspecting the tassels, I saw a lot of corn leaf aphid on just about each tassel. This sucking pest can be a problem if it exudes too much honey dew (sugary liquid waste excretion) on the tassel and it interferes with pollen shed and possibly pollination. While you can spray insecticides to knock down the aphids, be sure to take a look for natural enemies such as  ladybug adults and larvae, green lacewing larvae, and hover fly larvae.

Corn leaf aphid on tassel and ladybug adult (multi-colored Asian ladybeetle) feeding on aphids.

One of the biggest pests of sweet corn has been a little quiet for the past few months according to our trapping network, but we expect it to pick up in the next few weeks so be sure to have your corn earworm trap out near fresh silking corn with a fresh lure. See the nice summary below by Celeste Welty a few weeks ago with reference to spray frequency of CEW.

The corn earworm moths will be laying their eggs on (fresh) silks of sweet corn. Sweet corn can be protected from corn earworm infestation by insecticide sprays during silking. When the number of CEW moths caught in traps is moderate  (1 to 13 moths per day, or 7 to 90 moths per week), then sprays should be applied every 4 days if the daily maximum temperatures is below 80 degrees F, or every 3 days if the daily maximum temperatures is above 80 degrees F. More information about CEW, traps, and trap-based spray schedules is available using this link: http://u.osu.edu/pestmanagement/crops/swcorn/ .

Final Call – Pumpkin Field Day

The 2019 Pumpkin Field Day is designed to help beginning and experienced growers with production and pest management challenges. The field day is scheduled for Aug. 22 from 6-8 PM at the Western Ag Research Station (7721 S. Charleston Pike) in South Charleston. Pre-registration using this link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pumpreg19) is required by Aug. 19th.

Due to our later than normal planting date, not all of the 27 hybrids have fully matured yet. Here is an updated list of what pumpkins/squash in the hybrid trial HAVEmature fruit:

Bayhorse Gold, Hybrid Pam, Carronado Gold, Orange Sunrise, Blanco, Blue Doll, Hermes, Indian Doll, Sanchez, Warty Gnome, Red Warty Thing, Moonshine, 20Kt Gold, Cinnamon Girl, Half Pint, Snowball and Knucklehead.

All of the hybrids have some fruit, and I expect a few more to mature by the field day next week.

Celeste Welty, Jon Branstrator, and myself will be on hand to present information and answer questions as they arise on the two hour tour.

The full details of the field day can be found here:

https://u.osu.edu/vegnetnews/2019/07/25/pumpkin-field-day/

Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Responses to Pumpkin/Squash/Melon Grower Stress Survey

On July 5th I posted an article acknowledging the difficult spring and early summer planting conditions most Ohio growers faced, and asked to let us (OSU specialists and Extension educators) know what kind of issues you were experiencing. Once these issues were identified, I began researching possible solutions in order to help growers salvage as much of the season and market as possible. Attached at the end of the article is a PDF with my responses to your questions.

I wanted to thank the 36 growers farming just over 500 acres who took time to respond to the survey. In general, most growers were delayed 2-4 weeks but had a crop in the ground now. The biggest concern besides the ability the control the weather, was that OSU specialists continue to post current information about crop management, pest management, and markets. Several articles along those lines have recently been posted to the VegNet Newletter and we will continue to do so, but if there is a specific topic that has not been addressed, please reach out and contact that specialist directly. Below is a list of OSU specialists and Extension educators with their contact information.

Best of luck to you for better weather this summer and a fair harvest this fall.

Specialist                    Area                            Contact

Doug Doohan              Weeds                        doohan.1@osu.edu

Celeste Welty              Insects                         welty.1@osu.edu

Sally Miller                  Diseases                      miller.769@osu.edu

Jim Jasinski                   IPM/Insects                  jasinski.4@osu.edu

Brad Bergefurd             Horticulture                  bergefurd.1@osu.edu

Matt Kleinhenz             Horticulture                  kleinhenz.1@osu.edu

Steve Culman                Fertility                         culman.2@osu.edu

In case you are not aware, we are having a Pumpkin Field Day on Aug. 22 at the Western Ag Research Station. Read more about it here http://u.osu.edu/vegnetnews/2019/07/25/pumpkin-field-day/

Response to Cucurbit Growers Early to Mid Season

 

Pumpkin Field Day

The 2019 annual Pumpkin Field Day will be held from 6-8 PM on Aug. 22 at the Western Ag Research Station in South Charleston (7721 South Charleston Pike, South Charleston, 45368). This is the 20th anniversary of the field day and no better way to celebrate than to come out and see what kind of research and demonstration trials we have set up this year! We cater to both beginner and experienced growers so prepare to leave with more pumpkin knowledge than when you arrived!
This year we have our standard powdery mildew fungicide trial where we are looking at some new compounds (Trionic, Miravis Prime, Inspire Super). This spring we barely got our mustard cover crop biofumigation research trial planted due to the heavy rains with the goal of reducing Plectosporium infections on the foliage and fruit. We have some strip trials of cover crops and several combinations of plant bio-stimulant products for review. Lastly we have a 27 entry pumpkin and squash hybrid variety trial. Since the rain caused us to plant a few weeks later than normal, it’s likely not all hybrids will have mature fruit by the field day.  A detailed report will be given later as to what hybrids will have mature fruit.
In terms of specialists who be at the meeting, Celeste Welty will be presenting information about insect control. Jon Branstrator is a local grower who will share his experiences (positive and not so positive) with cover crops. Jim Jasinski will host the event and squeeze in a few words about the fungicide trial, mustard biofumigation trial, and bio-stimulants demonstration. As always we hope this field day allows you to mix and meet other growers from around the state.
We ask that you pre-register for the event by Aug. 19th using this link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pumpreg19
There is a $5 fee per person, and the field day will include some beverages and hand outs. We start registration at 5:30 PM and the tour begins promptly at 6:00 PM. For more information please contact Jim Jasinski, jasinski.4@osu.edu, or 937-462-8016.  Hope to see you out here!