Wintertime Programs to Refresh, Reflect, Reconnect, and Prepare

Participating in wintertime educational programs offers opportunities to refresh after and reflect on the recent season, reconnect with friends and peers, and prepare for the upcoming season. Each year, Ohio fruit and vegetable growers have a range of programs available to them within relatively small distances of the farm (and other programs much farther away, too!). The flyer for a program featuring Wayne County is above and a partial list of state and regional programs to be held in upcoming months is below.

Ten State and Regional Winter-time Programs for Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Growers to be held in or near Ohio December 2022 – March 2023 (as of 10/15/22)

* Programs listed below occur annually with some having been held each year for decades. These programs tend to be comprehensive in terms of the number of crops and topics discussed. Watch VegNet and other outlets for announcements of additional programs focusing on specific crops and/or issues. Programs are also offered and announced via OSUE County Offices (https://extension.osu.edu/lao).

1. Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo … December 6-8, 2022; Grand Rapids, MI (https://glexpo.com/)

2. Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference … January 2-4, 2023; Bowling Green, KY (https://kyhortcouncil.org/2023-kentucky-fruit-and-vegetable-conference/)

3. The 77th Annual Muck Crops School … January 5, 2023; Willard, OH (Mike Gastier, OSUE Huron County – https://huron.osu.edu/people/mike-gastier)

4. Mid-Ohio Growers Meeting … January 12-13, 2023; Mt. Hope, OH (http://midohiogrowers.com/2017-brochure/)

5. Ohio Produce Network … January 16-17, 2023; Columbus, OH; (https://www.opgma.org/ohio-produce-network/)

6. Indiana Horticulture Conference and Expo … January 23-24, 2023; (https://www.indianahortconference.org/)

7. OAK Conference … January 26-28, 2023; Frankfort, KY (https://www.oak-ky.org/annual-conference)

8. Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention … January 31-February 2, 2023; Hershey, PA (https://www.mafvc.org/)

9. OEFFA Annual Conference … February 16-18, 2023; Newark, OH (https://www.oeffa.org/events.php)

10. Purdue Small Farm Conference; March 2-3, 2023 (https://extension.purdue.edu/anr/_teams/dffs/small_farm_conference/index.html)

2021 Home Garden Vegetable Trial Results

The Ohio Home Garden Vegetable Trials are wrapping up their fourth year with growing participation across the state of Ohio. The vegetable trials were started to engage citizen scientists in evaluating vegetable varieties grown in real world conditions. The gardeners were directed to plant two varieties of a vegetable and then complete a comparison report on their successes and failures.

Each year, ten trials are offered for gardeners to select. This includes five cool-season vegetables and five warm-season vegetables. Gardeners may select to participate in up to five of the trials. They are required to plant a 10 ft. row of each variety or plant an equivalent number of plants in raised beds or containers. Growing recommendations and garden layout options are provided along with row labels and reporting sheets.

In 2021, an online reporting system was made available. Most gardeners chose to report using this method. Also in 2021, additional questions were added to the survey to find out about the gardener’s experience level and the gardening methods that were used. There were 134 participants representing 35 of Ohio’s counties. Their gardening experience ranged from 0 years to 45 years with almost equal distribution across the years. Additionally, there were a few gardeners that indicted that they had between 46 and 80 years of gardening experience.

Of the 134 participants, 68 reports were submitted. Almost 40% of the trials had a failure because of human error, wildlife issues, or weather events. Almost 30% of gardeners used no fertilizers in the garden, with an additional 26% using only compost. While most gardens were grown using traditional garden rows, many were grown in raised beds and increasing number were grown in containers.

The results and variety recommendations will be posted online so that other gardeners can access the information when they are trying to determine which varieties to grow in their own gardens. The 2021 results can be found at https://u.osu.edu/brown.6000/vegetable-trials/

Recruiting for the 2024 Trials will start on Jan.1 and will run through Feb. 15. If you would like to receive announcements about the upcoming trials, send your name and email address to Ed Brown at brown.6000@osu.edu

Landowner crop lease termination deadline is September 1

September 1 is fast approaching, and this year it’s an especially important date for landowners leasing cropland under an existing lease that doesn’t address when or how the lease terminates.  In those situations, September 1 is the new deadline established in Ohio law for a landowner to notify a tenant that the landowner wants to terminate the lease.  If the landowner does not provide notice by September 1, the lease continues for another lease term. Read more of this post

Kitchen Table Conversations at the Farm Science Review

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension’s Ohio Women in Agriculture Program announces opportunities to Learn, Grow, Connect, Inspire and Empower at the 2022 Farm Science Review!

Some of the best conversations and discussions have occurred around the family kitchen table. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, lunch, or snack and join us from our kitchen table or yours to engage in conversations in-person or “virtually” on September 20, 21, and 22, 2022 for “Kitchen Table Conversations” hosted by the Ohio Women in Agriculture of Ohio State University Extension.

These sessions are offered during the Farm Science Review daily from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM. In-person sessions will be located on the north side of the Firebaugh Building at 384 Friday Avenue at our kitchen table. ZOOM session registration is required to participate. Register @ https://go.osu.edu/2022fsrkitchentableconversation

Programs will focus on key topics related to health, marketing, finance, legal, and production for women in agriculture.  Each topic will feature a leading expert and moderators to generate dialogue and empower discussion among participants.  A list of daily topics and leaders is provided below.

TUESDAY

When Death Happens- Managing the Farm Without Your Business Partner

Death can change everything, especially your ability to manage the farm without your business partner.  How can you better prepare to manage your farm business without your spouse or sibling?  Learn some strategies that can help you plan for the challenge of managing a farm alone.

SPEAKER: David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator, Coshocton County

WEDNESDAY

Female Farmer Financing Options: Opportunities with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loans

Come participate in this kitchen table conversation on how you can find unique farmland financing options for females, veterans, and minority farmers. Learn a little bit more about the requirements, normal rates, and roles.

SPEAKER: Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educator, Fulton County

THURSDAY

The Devil is in the Details: Communication and Record Keeping for Improving Farm Management

Family farms are only as good as their communication.  A record-keeping system is a valuable form of communication when the level of detail fits the needs of the farm decision-makers.  Useful record keeping can move a farm management team beyond the basic tax return to exploring problem-solving and strengthening the family farm business.

SPEAKER: Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator, Defiance County

Your host for the event will be Extension Professionals of the OSU Extension Ohio Women in Agriculture Team. Visit our display inside the Firebaugh Building for additional women in agriculture opportunities.

For more information: Gigi Neal, neal.331@osu.edu, 513-732-7070 or Heather Neikirk, neikirk.2@osu.edu, 234-348-6145

Blog site: u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag

Scouting Notes from the Wayne County IPM Program

Here are our weekly crop scouting observations from the week of July 4-July 8.

Vegetable Crops

The warm temperatures and accumulated heat units have kept our insect pests active and building in population. Cucumber beetles, squash bugs and squash vine borer were all active this week in cucurbit plantings and fields. Additionally in squash, we noted our first sighting of powdery mildew in an area of first planting summer squash.

The warm and sunny days have also led to some challenges with sun scald. Unfortunately, the heavy winds and rains from the storms had pushed plants over, which allowed for the first set of vegetables, such as in peppers or tomatoes, to be exposed to direct sun and extreme heat.

Growers with cole crops may still be battling flea beetle and imported cabbage worms. Significant egg laying from the cabbage white butterflies gives us the heads up to scout our cole crops very closely to watch for hatching eggs and young caterpillars.

Generally speaking, the Japanese beetles have begun their entrance into a wide range of vegetable crops. In some cases, isolated cases of heavy feeding damage may severely damage the foliage and stunt young plants. Frequent scouting can help you make timely management decisions, therefore avoiding significant damage from the Japanese beetles.

Small Fruit and Orchards

European red mites were found in apples and peaches this week, and in a few cases, the populations had reached significant levels, with severe feeding damage present on the foliage. As was the case in vegetable crops, the Japanese beetles feeding on orchard trees and small fruit plants started to cause some significant defoliation.

Spotted wing drosophila were found in all of our traps. Accordingly, small fruit growers should be aware that we are now fully into SWD season.

Fire blight in apples has been our main disease concern to this point. We did note a few cases of apple scab on leaves in some orchards around the area.

Overall, fruit development in orchards and small fruit production areas is coming along nicely and should be greatly benefited by the timely rains.

Scouting Notes from the Wayne County IPM Program

Here are our weekly observations and notes from the fields around Wayne County from the week of June 13-17, 2022.

Vegetable Crops

The Colorado Potato Beetle larvae have hatched and are now 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.

In summer squash/zucchini, we are seeing an increase in the number of cucumber beetles. The seed treatment on these plants is beginning to reach the end of it’s efficacy. For fall vine crops that have just been planted in the last week or so, that seed treatment should still have a few weeks of efficacy left.

In onions, we have noticed an increase in the number of thrips, in many cases approaching an action threshold. Threshold is 25-30 thrips per plant. This week we also found more incidences of slippery skin which was confirmed by the vegetable pathology lab at OARDC earlier this month. Slippery skin is caused by Pseudomonas gladioli. This bacterium is spread via soil splashing from heavy rains and enters the plant through natural openings or openings from mechanical injury. Given the heavy rains we have experienced in the past week, it would probably be a good idea to get out and check your onions.

Overall, tomatoes are continuing to grow rapidly in the greater Wayne County area, with some plantings of field tomatoes beginning to set blooms. We did have a case of timber rot identified in the West Salem area in field tomato. It is important to practice good crop rotations and rotate out of a crop family completely for at least 3-4 years. A complete crop rotation will help to break up disease and pest cycles. Similar to onions, tomatoes can contract bacterial diseases from soil splashing. If you have tomatoes, it may be worthwhile checking the lower canopy of your plants to monitor the presence of any diseases.

Our IPM pest scouts have continued to find Mexican bean leaf beetles in the green beans this week. Light foliar feeding was observed.

With the warmer weather and plants maturing rapidly, the slug threat has greatly reduced in the last week. Any new transplants should still be monitored for feeding, however there should be less of a slug presence for the rest of the growing season.

 

Small Fruit and Orchards

This week we continued to find aphids in apple trees. Our IPM program identified populations of green apple aphids in several orchards as well as a case of wooly apple aphids. Both aphid species can cause significant damage at this time of year. Accordingly, diligent scouting is a crucial aspect to not allowing either of these aphid species from getting out of hand. The heavy rains likely knocked back some of these aphid populations, but it will be important to monitor aphid populations as the weather dries out a bit.

In apples, we continued to find a few instances of fire blight. Conditions have been ideal for fire blight development, so it is not much of a surprise to see some cases.

We have had sustained catches (over threshold) of both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth in apple and peach orchards, respectively. Over the last week, both Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth populations have been trending downward, however, numbers have still exceeded the action thresholds.

With the storms over the course of the last week, it is not unlikely that we will see some yield loss from wind, heavy rains, or hail damage in many of the area’s fruit trees.

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 buckshot berry stage. It is still possible to spray for and manage black rot during this time.

How to Grow Your Best Tomatoes This Season

Tomatoes are a taste of summer that we all look forward to.  We have had  a challenging year so far for sure.  A cooler wet spring has given way to some serious heat going forward.  Here is some great information on how the backyard grower, community gardener, or urban farmer can get a healthy tomato crop this season.

First up is a webinar class that details best ways on tomato production: Check out Tomatoes 101

 

 

Tomatoes face multiple weather and temperature challenges.  We just came through some serious 3 inch rain events.  That can cause disease for our tomato friends,  check out this informative article with pics to help you Keep Your Tomatoes Healthy in Wet Weather.

This summer is predicted to be HOT!  While tomatoes are a summer crop,  excessive heat can decrease production.  Check out this article to learn How to Keep Your Tomatoes Healthy in Hot Weather.

Farm Office Live

We hope that you can join us next week for Farm Office Live.  The Farm Office Team provides the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis, and other issues dealt with in your farm office.  Targeted to farmers and agri-business stakeholders, our specialists digest the latest news and information and present it in an easy-to-understand format.

Farm Office Live will be held via zoom on February 16th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, and again on February 18th from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

To register, or to watch recorded Farm Office Live episodes, please visit https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive

Ohio Grape Grower Survey

The Ohio grape industry produces grapes for wine, juice, and table grape use. Over the last decade, the industry has grown rapidly in our state. Unfortunately, the USDA ceased conducting a regular Ohio grape census five years ago, making it difficult to track this growth or collect accurate information about the number of acres and production by grape variety. To fill this gap, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee has commissioned researchers at The Ohio State University to conduct an independent survey of all Ohio grape growers.

Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State, is leading the survey effort which is designed to reach all Ohio producers who grew wine, juice, or table grapes in 2021. Beginning the third week of January, researchers will send the survey to a comprehensive list of grape growers in the state, with an opportunity to respond through the mail or online.

The survey is voluntary and all responses will be treated as confidential. To get an accurate picture of the size and scope of the current Ohio grape industry, it will be critical to hear back from all producers. Aggregated results will be shared in a report that will be available to farmers, wineries, juice processors, and others to inform their decisions.

If you are a grape grower and do not receive a copy of the survey or if you have questions about the project, please reach out to Dr. Jackson-Smith at Jackson-smith.1@osu.edu or 330-202-3540.