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.

 

Grow Your Own Fresh Veggies Over Winter

I like to say that Ohio is a four season growing environment.  I grow and harvest every month of the year including January and February.  I recently did a class on Growing Over Winter and many asked if I had a recording of that to view.  You are in luck.  Check out the Growing Over Winter webinar below.

There is still plenty of time to get seeds in the ground so that you can enjoy some fresh veggies all year long.

National 8/11 Day – Call Before You Dig!

August 11 is National 8/11 Day, and 811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number. If you are planning to dig, contact 811 (by calling 8-1-1 or visiting your state’s 811 center website) before digging to request the approximate location of buried public utilities are marked, to help avoid hitting a buried utility.