Spotted Wing Drosophila Back in Action

As expected, Covid-19 has slowed many things in Ohio but one of them is NOT spotted wing Drosophila! Ohio State University Extension, the Department of Entomology, and the IPM Program have again set up a statewide SWD monitoring program for this pest in 11 counties. The Scentry lure baited traps were deployed the week of June 15, and the first trap checks for positive male or female SWD occurred this week.

SWD trap.

As of Friday June 26, three counties reported positive identifications of SWD; Champaign, Greene and Franklin. Other counties are likely positive but have not been reported as of yet. Recall that the threshold for this pest is one fly, which triggers an insecticide spray program if the berries are ripening or ripe through harvest. Details on spray programs can be found here: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/u.osu.edu/dist/1/8311/files/2019/11/SWD_Ohio_handoutV19.pdf

If you have ripe berries and have not been spraying, your chance of infestation is still likely low but you may consider looking for larvae in the fruit using a salt water test. The process is fairly simple and can be found here: https://youtu.be/MtMXHxqcSVs.  While on the OSU IPM YouTube site look around at our other SWD videos if interested in identification, trap set up and deployment or exclusion netting.

 

Wayne County IPM Notes (Week of June 1- June 5)

These observations are from Frank Becker, Dept. of Extension Wayne County.

Vegetable Pests

The Colorado Potato Beetle is being seen feeding in both potato and eggplant. When approaching plants to look for them, be cautious. When the beetle is startled, they drop to the ground and may be difficult to see. They do significant damage to the foliage and can cause significant reduction in yield. The Colorado Potato Beetle also has a history of developing resistance to insecticides being used as control measures. This has limited our choices for treatment options. The best way to prevent further resistance is to avoid using the same insecticide repeatedly. At the current plant stage for potato, the threshold is approximately 1 beetle per plant. For eggplant, it is 25 beetles per 50 plants.

Another pesky insect this time of year is the flea beetle. Their damage may seem insignificant at first, however, their populations can rapidly increase and can quickly overwhelm young plants. Flea beetle damage is occurring primarily on potato, eggplant, cole crops and sweet corn. Sweet corn is of particular concern due to Stewart’s Wilt disease which is vectored by the flea beetle. Susceptible sweet corn varieties have a threshold of 6 beetles per 100 plants, while tolerant varieties have a threshold of 2 beetles per plant. On cole crops, the threshold is 5 or more beetles per plant. For potato, you will need to count the “shot holes” in the leaves caused by the beetle. The threshold is 15 shot holes per leaflet. Eggplants have a threshold of 8 beetles per plant.

In sweet corn, there is light slug damage occurring as well as some light damage being done by the European corn borer larva. Young sweet corn is also a target of black cutworm. The cutworm will cut plants at the soil line. If you find a cut plant, dig up some soil around the plant to see if you can find the cutworm.

Vegetable Diseases

In high humidity this time of year, greenhouse tomato crops become especially susceptible to infection from Botrytis. This can initially present itself on the fruit as “ghost spot” which appear as pale or white rings on the fruit. It can then progress into Botrytis gray mold and the fruit will begin to rot. It is important to increase airflow in the tunnel as well as between plants. It would also be beneficial to reduce the humidity within the tunnel.

Blossom end rot is also prevalent this time of year in crops such squash and tomatoes. Although this is not necessarily a pathogen, secondary infections commonly compound the issue. To manage blossom end rot, it is important to limit moisture stress on a plant, from either too much or not enough moisture. Being consistent in watering and monitoring soil moisture conditions will help to prevent exposing the plant to moisture stress. Proper moisture will also provide conducive conditions for adequate nutrient uptake, given that the nutrients are present at appropriate levels in the soil.

Fruit Pests

Strawberry producers typically are facing several insect pests this time of year. One of these pests is the eastern flower thrips. This small insect feeds on and damages the strawberry blossom. As the berry begins to develop, this damage results in cat-facing on the berry or a russeting/bronzed appearance. When you notice these symptoms on the developing berry, the damage has already been done and there are no treatment options. To look for thrips in the blossoms, take a white piece of paper or a plate and shake the blossoms onto the plate and watch for any small, slender yellow thrips to be moving around. Once you have reached 2 or more thrips per blossom, you should move forward with a treatment. Consider the pollinators before applying an insecticide, considering the target of your application is primarily associated with the blossoms. Preventative sprays can also be used in successive plantings.

Another pest of strawberries and small fruits is the spotted wing Drosophila. The SWD is a small fruit fly that can lay its eggs in ripening fruit while it is still on the plant. As you are picking, do not discard unwanted fruit on the ground right next to the plant. The rotting fruit on the ground will attract SWD. Instead bring a bucket to discard unwanted fruit in and either bury it a foot or so deep in soil or seal the fruit in a clear plastic bag exposed to the sun for about a week to kill any larvae. If culls are discarded in the trash or compost pile, they might attract SWD flies and allow for more generations to be produced. This is also the time to put traps out in your bramble and blueberry patch but if you have June bearing strawberries, they likely won’t be affected by this pest. More details about how to set up traps can be in the  OSU IPM YouTube page under the SWD playlist at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzcWaLH3mx7HUKh4OF7bYPA and on Celeste Welty’s https://u.osu.edu/pestmanagement/ page.

Orchard traps are now out in Wayne County and we will be monitoring Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth numbers closely.

Fruit Diseases

Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season.

Strawberry leaf diseases may appear unsightly right now, however, now is not the time to be managing these leaf diseases. Once harvest is done and during patch renovation it is recommended that you address these concerns, either with a fungicide or with resistant plant varieties. This is also a critical time to be watching for fruit rots such as Botrytis.

Grapes are currently around the pre-bloom stage. This stage is the most critical stage of development for controlling diseases. Fungicide applications for black rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew are highly recommended during this time.

Early Season Cucurbit Pests– Jim Jasinski, Dept. of Extension, Celeste Welty, Dept. of Entomology

Although it’s been wet over most of the state recently, the temperatures are warming up allowing growers to get into their fields to direct seed or transplant pumpkin, squash, melon and cucumbers through May and into June. By now most decisions about how to manage key early season pests may have already been made with the purchase of systemic seed treatment or plans to treat transplant water using neonicotinoid insecticides. Some growers may have decided to forego systemic treatments and rely on scouting and treatment using foliar insecticides when thresholds are exceeded.

Systemic Insecticide Use Considerations
Seed treatments containing thiamethoxam (FarMore FI400, Cruiser) offer maximum protection against cucumber beetles and other pests for about 2 to 3 weeks after seedling emergence. Seed treatments offer little protection to transplanted crops. For transplants and direct-seeded plants over 3 weeks old, the concentration of insecticide from seed treatment is no longer strong enough to kill beetles but can still harm bees due to sublethal doses in the pollen and nectar. Treated seed should never be used in combination with at-plant soil drenches with flupyradifurone (Sivanto), imidacloprid (Admire or generics), or thiamethoxam (Platinum). At-plant soil drenches used alone, with non-treated seed, offer similar protection to treated seed for beetle control. Due to increased residues in nectar and pollen, in-furrow applications should be considered last and applied at the lowest recommended rate that provides control. Non-systemic foliar applications of insecticides can be used to control cucumber beetles if seed or in-furrow treatments were not used, or were ineffective. Once flowers are present, applications should be made in the evening when flowers are closed and bees are not actively foraging, which minimizes the risk to pollinators.

Beetles killed by systemic insecticide.

Thresholds range from 0.5 to 1 beetle per seedling, and 1 to 5 beetles per plant for plants after 4 leaf stage. The threshold for cantaloupe melons and cucumber is lower because these crops are susceptible to bacterial wilt, which is vectored by cucumber beetles. Pumpkin, squash, and watermelon have higher thresholds because these crops are less susceptible to bacterial wilt, but beetle feeding can occur on the fruit rind by both adult and larvae, causing marketable loss. Beetles found in pumpkin or squash flowers do not pose a risk to the plant but as flowering decreases, rind feeding may increase.

Key Pest #1 – Striped cucumber beetle. This small black and yellow striped beetle is a major pest of all cucurbits early season.  In addition to the heavy feeding damage that can be inflicted upon seedlings, this feeding injury can also transmit bacterial wilt to the plant which will stunt or kill the plant.  Growers can control this pest in several ways such as buying Farmore FI400 treated seed, which contains several fungicides paired with thiamethoxam that provides seedling protection for 2-3 weeks after emergence. Using an in-furrow treatment of a systemic insecticide at planting will provide a longer window of control, between 4-6 weeks. Another management option is to scout for beetles on emerged seedlings, and based on seedling stage, use a foliar spray when the threshold is exceeded according to the guide below:

0.5 beetle per plant for cotyledon through 1st leaf
1 beetle per plant for 2nd and 3rd leaf
3-5 beetles per plant for anything after the 4th leaf stage

Regardless of method of treatment, be sure to scout for these beetles and damage on the underside of the cotyledons and early leaves every few days, because severe damage can occur rapidly in a short period of time.  Pollinators can also be affected by systemic insecticides present in pollen and nectar, so seed treatments to some degree but more so in-furrow products should be considered for risk before use. Foliar applications of insecticides should be made in the evening to minimize pollinator impact.

Striped cucumber beetle.

Cucumber beetle leaf feeding injury, check cotyledons.

Key Pest #2 – Squash Vine Borer (SVB). The damaging stage of this pest is a caterpillar that emerges from an egg laid by a moth that mimics a wasp. SVB adults becomes active in early June and the best management practice for this pest is to put up a pheromone trap next to the cucurbit field and monitor the number of moths caught. A week after adult moths are caught in the trap, usually around mid to late June, apply an insecticide targeted at the base of the plants where the eggs are laid for up to four weeks. If the caterpillar bores into the stem of the plant, treatment will not be effective.  Systemic products such as imidacloprid, used either as a seed treatment or in-furrow application at planting, will not control this pest.

Bag full of SVB adults captured by trap in background.

Squash vine borer larva in vine.

SVB occasionally attack fruit.

Squash vine borer adult.

Key Pest #3 – Squash Bugs. These true bugs overwinter as adults in nearby fields and can attack seedling and smaller plants with sucking mouth parts that can collapse leaves and stems. These pests can also vector yellow vine decline (YVD), caused by a bacterial pathogen that can cause stunting and death in young plants. Plants infected with YVD will turn yellow about one month after being infected, and there is no remedy for infected plants.  If more than one egg mass per plant is found, treatment is warranted once the nymphs hatch.  If nymphs mature to adults, they are harder to control. Plantings treated with imidacloprid drench in furrow usually are well protected from squash bug.

Squash bug eggs.

Squash bug nymphs.

Squash bug adult.

Symptoms of yellow vine decline.

Key Pest #4 – Seedcorn Maggot. The seedcorn maggot feeds on organic matter in the soil, including seeds before or after sprouting. This pest can be a problem in early plantings when germination is slow, as occurs in cool, wet springs, especially if fields are planted soon after a large amount of organic matter has been incorporated into the soil. The adult flies of seedcorn maggot emerge in April or May and search for soils high in organic matter to lay eggs; recently worked soil seems to be favored for egg laying. Injury can be avoided by planting under conditions that promote rapid seed germination and growth. Do not plant for 3 weeks after incorporating organic matter, including cover crops and weeds. Use seed that has been treated with systemic insecticide or use in-furrow drench treatments.

Seed corn maggot injury.

Key Pest #5 – Black Cutworm. This is a sporadic pest across Ohio typically associated with no-till fields or weedy fields containing winter annuals such as chickweed. The weeds attract black cutworm moths as a host to lay their eggs. Once herbicides are applied to control the weeds, the cutworm caterpillars move in search of other plants to feed on. Each caterpillar can cut several seedlings in a row before pupating in the soil. If limp or flagging plants are seen in the field, lightly dig in the area around the wilted plant, especially in the soil cracks nearby to find this pest.

Black cutworm.

Black cutworm.

A list of recommended insecticides for all these pests can be found in the 2020 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (https://mwveguide.org ).

 

Lunch with Great Lakes Vegetable Producer’s Network

If your schedule permits consider listening in on the Great Lakes Vegetable Producer’s Network, an offshoot of the Great Lakes Vegetable Working Group, designed to help you with your production and pest management questions.

A live weekly roundtable discussion during the growing-season for commercial vegetable producers in the Great Lakes and Midwest region. Join us! We broadcast live via Zoom at 12:30 ET/11:30 CT every Wednesday from the first week of May to the first week of September.

To be a part of the live audience, join here -> bit.ly/glvegnetwork. If you have a pressing vegetable production issue that you would like discussed, simply email it, along with your phone number, to greatlakesvegwg@gmail.com.

First Episode Airs Today, May 6th
In the first episode, on May 6, we will interview Amanda Byler, a Family Nurse Practitioner who works with migrant worker communities Great Lakes Bay Health Centers, and Annalisa Hultberg, University of Minnesota Extension Educator for on-farm food safety, about farm family, farm worker, and customer safety as we enter our production season during a global pandemic.

Great Lakes Vegetable Producer’s Network

Freeze / Frost Potential in Ohio – Aaron Wilson, Jim Jasinski

Now that the calendar has turned to April and warmer temperatures are becoming more frequent, those with horticultural interests are eager for the start of the growing season. But April can be a fickle month, with both warm spring rains and lingering cold nights that bring hard freezes and frost and occasionally, even a late-season snowfall. The threat of spring cold temperatures on horticultural production and operations (seeding, transplanting and flowering/fruit) can be greater following early season warmth, where phenological conditions may be advanced for this time of year.

Winter (December 2019 – February 2020) averaged 2-8°F above average compared to the climatological normal (1981-2010; Fig. 1). This warmth continued throughout March as well, with temperatures 4-8°F (west to east) above average. As a result, growing degree day accumulations range from the mid-60s (Ashtabula County) to nearly 200 (Lawrence County) after the first week of April 2020, with our landscapes, fruit trees, and gardening equipment coming to life.

Figure 1: Departure from average (1981-2010) temperatures for December 2019 – February 2020. Figure generated by the Midwest Regional Climate Center (http://mrcc.illinois.edu).

Frost and Freeze Potential

What is Ohio’s typical expectations regarding freeze (≤32°F) conditions in April and May? On average, locations throughout Ohio experience their last seasonal freeze from mid-April (southern Ohio) through mid-May (northeastern Ohio). Timing varies year to year and across Ohio. For a regional analysis, we have selected 8 locations from around Ohio to compare typical last seasonal freeze conditions (Fig. 2).

Figure 2: Selected locations around Ohio for freeze potential analysis displayed in Fig. 3.

Figure 3 shows the probability of experiencing a later freeze in Spring than indicating by the line graphs. All locations show probability based on the most recent 30-year period (1990-2019) except for 7-Lancaster (1996-2019). For each location, five temperatures are displayed (20°F-purple, 24°F-blue, 28°F-green, 32°F-yellow, and 36°F-red). For the purposes of this article we will focus on 32°F and 28°F (considered a hard/killing freeze). The bottom (x-axis) shows the probability that each of these temperatures will occur after a given date (indicated by the left or y-axis).

Figure 3: Probability of a later freeze in the spring for various locations (Fig. 2) around Ohio. Graphs generated by the Midwest Regional Climate Center (http://mrcc.illinois.edu).

Let’s run through an example of how to use Figure 3. For 1-Wauseon, we see that there is a 50% climatological probability of experiencing a 32°F temperature (yellow) after April 27, and this probability decreases to 20% by May 10. The colder, more damaging temperature of 28°F occurs 50% of the time after April 16, with only a 20% chance of seeing 28°F after April 27. For a southern location like 8-Marietta, these dates occur earlier in the season. Here, there is a 50% climatological probability of experiencing a 32°F temperature after April 18 with 28°F occurring 50% of the time after April 2.

Besides latitudinal (north of south) position, what other factors can influence springtime minimum temperatures? Colder air is more dense than warmer air, meaning it wants to remain close to the ground and will flow over the terrain like a fluid to settle in areas of lower elevation. If your location is in a valley or low-lying area, the climatological dates will likely be shifted later to account for more freeze potential later in the spring. Water bodies are typically colder than the surrounding land areas in spring which may keep temperatures in the immediate vicinity a little colder. For 2020, water and soil temperatures are above average, so they are likely to have a moderating impact this year. Cloud cover and higher humidity in the spring will keep air temperatures warmer due to their absorption of terrestrial (from the surface) radiational effects. Finally, late season snowfall combined with clearing skies overnight can also cause the surface to cool rapidly and lead to damaging freeze potential as well. All of these factors should be considered when comparing your location to those selected in Fig. 3.

April 2020 Outlook

At the time of this writing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/) outlook for April 10-20, 2020 calls for increased probability of seeing below average (unseasonably cold air) settling into the Upper Great Plain, Midwest, and Ohio Valley (Fig. 4) with a moderate risk of experiencing much below average minimum (nighttime) temperatures. Given the warm start to the year and current phenological conditions, those with horticultural assets should monitor this freeze potential closely and be prepared to mitigate when necessary to avoid losses. For a weekly climate update, please visit the State Climate Office of Ohio’s website (https://climate.osu.edu).

Figure 4: 8-10-day (April 13-19, 2020) temperature outlook. Figure courtesy of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Aaron Wilson is a research specialist with the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center and a climate specialist with the Department of Extension. You can also follow Aaron on social media: @dwweather-Facebook or @drwilsonsWx-Twitter.

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