Cold / Freezing Snap Projected

Map of projected cold snap.

From Aaron Wilson,  Ag Weather and Field Crop Specialist.

Our regional partners are elevating awareness concerning an increasing risk of cold temperatures next weekend on the back side of the storm system coming through this week. Our forecast models are handling this a bit differently, but this is worth watching.

Temperatures may fall decently below freezing across Ohio late in the week after several days of above normal temperatures Sunday-Thursday.  No specific temperature forecasts for now, but I just wanted to raise awareness for those with ag/horticulture interests.

If you have transplants that cannot withstand these projected cold temperatures, you may consider keeping them protected until the cold spell passes.

SH2 Sweet Corn Trial Reports

MikeGastier, Ohio State University Extension, Huron County, Ohio
Bob Shaw and Frank Thayer, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Fremont, Ohio

Sweet corn is an important crop in both the fresh market and shipping market in North Central Ohio, where a
significant percentage of Ohio vegetables are grown. Many different varieties of sweet corn are grown by
producers with fresh market roadside stands, and still others are grown for early, mid, and late season shipping
and processing markets, meaning growers demand a diverse selection of sweet corn varieties and maturities.
Growers have indicated this diversity should focus on SH2 varieties with different stages of maturity, and
variance in other traits. Many new varieties are becoming available to meet these grower demands, and this
study sought to determine which ones would perform acceptably in Northern Ohio, and which would have the
desired traits growers are seeking. For this trial, 25 SH2 varieties were grown in 4 replicated plots at the Ohio
State University’s North Central Agricultural Research Station near Fremont, Ohio.

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Ohio Fruit News – January 2024

The January issue of OFN is attached and also available online. In this issue, you will learn about:

  • Proposed changes to the registrations for Ziram, Thiram, and Ferbam, three fungicides that are critical to fruit disease management
  • The current status of agricultural water standards for the Produce Safety Rule
  • Fruit disease diagnosed in 2023 by the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic

Print version OFN_JAN_2024

Online version 


Live Stream, Lunch, and Learn: In-person Viewing of Online Organic Vegetable Production Conference

OVPC Livestream at Wooster

Ohio vegetable growers are invited to join us Friday, January 26 in Wooster, Ohio, for a one-day in-person viewing of the 2024 Organic Vegetable Production Conference (OVPC). “Live Stream, Lunch, and Learn” is open to any local producers using, or interested in, organic production practices. The event begins with coffee and social time at 8:30 a.m. with programming from 9a.m. – 3p.m., including live-streamed and recorded sessions from the OVPC virtual conference, plus networking opportunities with other growers and Ohio State personnel. Please meet at the Ohio State Wooster Campus Secrest Arboretum Welcome Center. There is no cost to attend thanks to an Ohio State grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, but participants must pre-register by Monday, January 22. Register online at or call the W County Extension Office at 330-264-8722.

Sessions offered during the in-person viewing will be “High Tunnel Pest Management with Beneficials (recording),” “Fertilizer Injectors in the Hoophouse,” “Uncrackable Problems, Transformational Solutions,” plus a grower talk on peppers, and an in-person roundtable session on topics chosen by attendees. All attendees will have access to speaker handouts and later online viewing of OVPC virtual conference sessions for both Thursday and Friday.

The annual OVPC includes virtual (January 25 and 26) and in-person sessions (February 2 and 3 in Madison, Wisc.). Grower to grower engagement is always front and center at OVPC, ensuring farmers are learning from their peers and building a network of farms that can lean on one another during challenging times and celebrate successes together. That networking can be hard to accomplish sitting alone in your office or living room though, so join us for local in-person sharing around this online event!

Our Ohio event is planned in collaboration with OVPC organizers: University of Wisconsin – Madison, FairShare CSA Coalition, and Iowa State University – Extension and Outreach. To see full details about the OVPC, visit their conference website at  For more information on becoming a FairShare farm or about the OVPC, contact Ohio Program Manager Beth Knorr at 234-231-8166 or or visit the website at

Event flier and agenda.


Start 2024 with Pumpkin Boot Camp!

weight liftingAttention pumpkin growers! Start your New Year off right by getting your pumpkin production skills in shape! No matter if you just started growing this crop or are an experienced grower, this workshop will feature both basic and advanced topics to help you grow high quality fruit for your customers. Topics and speakers will include:

-Hybrid Selection, Fungicide Selection and Efficacy (J. Jasinski)
-Weed, Disease and Insect Management Programs (C. Galbraith, F. Rotondo, A. Leach)
-Labor Issues, Marketing Tips and Measuring Profitability (M. Jodlowski, R. Leeds, E. Richer)

The workshop will be held January 30, 2023 from 10am-2pm at the OSU Extension Delaware County Office, Byxbe Building, 1610 SR 521, Delaware, OH 43015.

Registration for the event is required by Jan. 23, 2024. Cost of the event is $25 and includes lunch plus handouts. Use the URL or the QR code below to pay for the workshop using a credit card or to pay by check. We are currently seeking pesticide license CEU’s from ODA for this event. Don’t delay – Commit to do better in 2024!

For more information, please contact Jim Jasinski,, 937-484-1526.

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Just in Time for Halloween…2023 Pumpkin & Squash Trial Results!

One of the demonstration trials designed for the annual Pumpkin Field Day held for growers at the Western Agricultural Research Station in South Charleston, OH is a pumpkin and squash hybrid trial. There are two main purposes of the trial, 1) to allow growers to see firsthand the foliage and fruit (color, size, rind, handle, fruit set, etc.) of both commercially available and some experimental hybrids for potential inclusion on their farm in future seasons and 2) to reinforce the use of Powdery mildew tolerant or resistant hybrids as a key pest management practice which can affect fungicide selection, canopy cover, fruit quality and marketability.

2023 Pumpkin and Squash Group Photo.

The 2023 trial was extremely challenging to conduct at the station, as mice and voles ate over 80% of the planted seeds and transplants. Having a range of none to only a few surviving plants of the 20 hybrid entries after multiple rounds of reseeding and transplanting, a normal trial with yield results could not be conducted due to missing and reduced stand populations.

For the record, here are the trial details. The trial was mainly transplanted with some direct seeding on May 25-26. A spring oats cover crop was drilled on March 21 and terminated by applying glyphosate (32oz/A) from a shielded sprayer in specific trial areas, otherwise the field was not tilled. The lack of tillage and addition of spring oat cover crop plus droughty spring conditions were likely significant factors in the large vertebrate population in the field resulting in reduced stand. For weed control, a burndown and preemerge herbicide (glyphosate 32oz/A + Strategy 4pt/A + Dual 1.3pt/A) was applied on May 28. Soil tests revealed sufficient P and K levels, so only 70lb N (28-0-0) was sidedressed on June 20. Plots were originally 60’ long, planted on 15’ centers with in-row spacing of 3.5’. A recommended fungicide program was followed starting with first detection of powdery mildew on July 31.

Despite the huge impact mice and voles had on the trial, below is what was salvaged from the trial in terms of fruit size and additional comments but no yield calculations were possible. Looking forward to a “normal” trial next year. If you have comments about the trial or hybrids you would like to see included in the trial in 2024, send me an email at

2023 pumpkin and squash hybrid trial results.

Looking for Pumpkin Pest and Production Woes


Right now growers are in the final week or two of peak pumpkin sales and events. With production and pest management challenges fresh in your mind, we ask you to consider helping us document your current needs. Ohio State University researchers have been invited to collaborate with other states from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast on a project to help solve key identified road blocks to production and pest management.

We plan to have a multidisciplinary team of horticulturists, plant pathologists, entomologists, wildlife specialists and extension folks working on this project. Outputs will be focused on applied research trials to solve known issues and produce newsletter articles, factsheets, videos and presentations where progress will be shared.

Please take a few minutes to identify your biggest production and pest management challenges so we can make Ohio needs well represented in the upcoming grant and future project. A summary of the survey results will be posted in VegNet for anyone to review.

Please click the link below to participate; responses will be anonymous and not identified to any grower. Thank you for your time and input.


OSU Extension Bi-Weekly Fruit & Vegetable Report – October 17th, 2023

The OSU Extension Fruit & Vegetable Report is written/published collectively by OSU Extension staff across the state. 

Biological Soil Health

When it comes to supporting healthy soils, the physical and chemical aspects of soil quality are often highlighted. However, the importance of biological activity and diversity, and how it influences soil structure and chemical properties (pH, electrical conductivity, etc.), is becoming increasingly appreciated in modern farming. As we discover more about the different microbe-microbe and microbe-plant interactions unfolding in the soil habitat, we can create better farming practices that optimize crop health and soil quality.

Three areas of soil health: physical, chemical, and biological. Image courtesy of University of Massachusetts. 

The source of and final destination of all soil life is soil organic matter (SOM). SOM consists of biological material in the soil, derived from plants, fungi, animals, and other organisms, that are in various stages of decomposition. Certain forms of SOM break down quickly and provide nutrients for crop use, others are more stable (i.e. inaccessible to microbial decay) and contribute to aggregate stability and tilth. A SOM content of 5% in mineral soils is considered high; in muck soils, SOM can be as high as 80%. Conservation ag practices like reduced tillage and cover cropping are used to support high levels of SOM for improved nutrient cycling, soil structure, and cation exchange capacity. 

The food webs that produce SOM are characterized by an astonishing diversity of soil life made up of bacteria, fungi, archaea, nematodes, protozoa, and other microfauna, as well as the larger organisms like springtails and earthworms higher up the food chain. These organisms not only drive nutrient cycling through consuming and contributing to SOM, but can influence crop health through more specialized relationships. Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria that interact with plant roots can boost crop productivity by producing hormones, fixing atmospheric N, solubilizing P for increased availability, and inducing plant resistance to pathogens. The growing biologicals industry (biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants) is based on the premise that certain organisms benefit crop health through either direct interactions or interactions with other soil life. 

Keeping in mind how soil biodiversity and activity affect soil health through the lens of SOM and interactions between organisms can help us make decisions that support crops by maintaining a thriving, balanced soil habitat.

Examples of soil organisms at different scales – Microfauna: Azospirillium soil bacteria (top), Mesofauna: tardigrade (middle), Macrofauna: earthworm (bottom). Photos courtesy of Science Source (top), National Geographic (middle), Dan Brekke – Flickr (bottom).

Crop Updates



Plectosporium leaf blight is being detected. Continue to watch for aphids, cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Significant damage was detected within the last week in harvested pumpkins due to large populations of cucumber beetles. Aphids can still be found in green foliage, and may be spotted via large accumulations of honey dew beneath healthy foliage.

Cucumber beetles feeding on harvested pumpkins. Photo by Frank Becker, OSU Extension.

Cole Crops

Alternaria leaf spot is being observed in brassicas. This pathogen is supported by warm, wet conditions. Cultural practices for reducing alternaria pressure include increasing crop spacing for improved airflow, crop rotation, tilling under crop residue after harvest and controlling brassica weeds (shepherd’s purse, wild mustard, wild radish, yellow rocket, etc.)  to decrease disease inoculum. Treating seed with hot water prior to planting may also help  to decrease prevalence of this seed-borne pathogen. Consult the Midwest Vegetable Guide for fungicide options in Brassicas.


Hoop house tomatoes are nearing the end. Powdery mildew, bacterial diseases, aphids, and other pests are all being observed under plastic. Late blight and early blight are prevalent in remaining field tomatoes. 

Anthracnose is continuing to be an issue on peppers and tomatoes. Infested fruits rapidly decline in quality and are unmarketable. Lesions are typically observed as sunken, round lesions on the fruit. At times you may also be able to see the salmon colored spores within the lesion on the fruit. 

Anthracnose on peppers. Photo by Frank Becker, OSU Extension. 


Many orchards are nearing completion of harvest and pest monitoring traps are being taken down for the season. As tree fruits are harvested and leaves begin to fall, it may be a good opportunity to take a closer look at your trees and scout the trunk and branches for presence or evidence of insect pests such as scale and borers. Scouting for these pests now can help you make adjustments to your integrated pest management program.

October Small Fruit Updates

Dr. Gary Gao, Professor and Small Fruit Specialist, CFAES South Centers. The Ohio State University

Update on Long Cane Raspberry Project:

We are only getting a few straggling raspberries from our long cane raspberry trial at OSU South Centers in Piketon during the week of October 6, 2023. There were only enough for Gary to snack on. Pictured in the first photo is Kweli®. As you can tell from the picture, fruit color is still looking quite nice. Kweli® is an everbearing variety that is capable of producing two crops inside a high tunnel and out in the open field. Follow this link for more information on the variety:

We are still fine-tuning the method of growing long cane Kweli®. We just wrapped up our 2021-2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) funded by Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). There is a lot more to learn about this highly innovative production method. Fortunately, we received another SCBG from ODA to do just that!

Kweli® fruits. Photo by Dr. Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.

Gary was able to find several Tulameen raspberries from our long cane raspberry trial plot. This is definitely too late for the Tulameen harvest since it is a summer-bearing variety which does not produce fruits on primocanes. It was still neat to check them out. Earlier in the season, we harvested a lot of beautiful Tulameen fruits. Some of our grower cooperators were able to sell them for $9 per pint in a Columbus farmer’s market. Raspberry bushes in a long cane production system can produce 22,000 lbs. per acre! Tulameen is well suited for long cane raspberry production and is well known for its large fruit size and excellent taste! Follow this link –’Tulameen’_red_raspberry – for more information on Tulameen variety.

Tulameen fruits picked in October from our long cane raspberry trial. Photo by Dr. Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.

Late Leaf Rust on Raspberries:

Gary noticed that some of the raspberry bushes in their raspberry trial had late leaf rust. Late leaf rust on raspberry is a fungal disease. Follow link –,rust%20fungus%20is%20not%20systemic. -for more information on symptoms and management of this disease. Do not confuse this disease with orange rust of brambles. Fortunately, red raspberries are resistant to orange rust.

Late leaf rust on raspberries. Photo by Dr. Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.

Fall is for Figs in Ohio!

Even though fall is typically for apples, mums, and pumpkins, it is also for figs – well hardy figs for that matter. Gary has been picking hardy figs from their fig planting at OSU South Centers in Piketon from early September to now. The figs will keep ripening until frost. A high tunnel will extend the harvest season.  Our figs were from another Ohio Specialty Crop Block Grant funded by ODA a few years ago. The varieties in our trial are Brown Turkey, Hardy Chicago, and Olympian. Brown Turkey and Chicago Hardy performed the best in our trial. Follow this link for more information.

OSU hardy fig trial. Photo by Dr. Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.

Brown Turkey figs from the hardy fig trial at OSU South Centers in Piketon. Photo by Dr. Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.

Berry Production Workshops Presented by OSU Extension in Medina County

I will be going to Medina County on Friday, October 27 to give two talks, one on blueberries and one on raspberries. Ms. Ashley Kulhanek, the Ag. and Natural Resource Educator, is organizing the program. I will show gardeners and growers how to grow blueberries and raspberries. Please call OSU Extension in Medina County at 330-725-4911 for more information and to RSVP!

This is our last bi-weekly report for the 2023 season. Thank you for reading and please feel free to direct any feedback on the report series to Chris Galbraith at

Upcoming Events

December 5 – 7, Grand Rapids, MI, Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, & Farm Market Expo 

January 15 – 16, Columbus, OH, 2024 Ohio Produce Network

February 15 – 17, Newark, OH, 2024 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) Conference


USDA offers in-person training sessions about new Controlled Environment Crop Insurance

Is the new Controlled Environment crop insurance right for you? Find out with USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

The USDA is introducing a new Federal Crop Insurance program designed to provide greenhouse growers an opportunity to insure against losses due to destruction orders based on detection of plant disease vectors. USDA is hosting an in-person public session on OCT. 12 in HUDSONVILLE, MICH., to introduce the program and answer any questions you may have. Learn more and see the schedule of the session’s exact time and location. Learn More