Not Just for Car Dealerships Anymore?

March 12, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Fruit

Fruit Grower News featured an article about research being done  in Michigan and New York on a new method to prevent bird damage to fruit. Researchers from Cornell University and Michigan State University are working with growers to test the use of “inflatable dancers”, more commonly seen attracting the attention of passersby to shiny new cars, to deter birds from fruit crops. You can read the whole article here: Inflatable Dancers Scare Off Birds.

New Video on Processing Sweet Corn Research

February 26, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

Last year we made a video about our processing pea trials. This year’s offering features some research we have done over the past several years on processing sweet corn variety selection and the effects of stand reduction on yield.  Check out the new video here: UD Processing Sweet Corn Research.

2013 Processing Sweet Corn Stand Reduction and Gap Size Study

2013 Processing Sweet Corn Stand Reduction and Gap Size Study

DELAWARE PRODUCE FOOD SAFETY TRAININGS FOR 2014

February 20, 2014 in Fresh Market Vegetables, Fruit, Gordon Johnson

In 2014, three initial training opportunities will be offered for produce growers on food safety and good agricultural practices and good handling practices (GAP’s and GHP’s) by the Delaware Cooperative Extension.  Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).

For growers who have attended previous trainings, we are having two update sessions which will provide the latest information on produce food safety science, industry actions, audit requirements, and the status of the FDA rule.  A portion of the session will be spent on recommendations for produce wash water disinfection and produce contact surface disinfection.  Recertification credits will be given.

All Sessions will be held at University of Delaware County Extension Offices

New Castle: 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE — Kent: 69 Transportation Circle Dover, DE— Sussex: 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE

DATES & LOCATIONS

Initial sessions for those who have not attended training in the past:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY – April 3, 6-9 p.m. basic session.  Phone (302) 831-2667 to register.

KENT COUNTY – March 31, 9 a.m.-noon for the basic session with an additional 3 hours for those selling to wholesalers from 12:30-3:30 p.m.  Phone (302) 730-4000 to register

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 27, 6-9 p.m. for the basic session with an additional 3 hour session for those selling to wholesalers on April 1 from 6-9 p.m.   Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Update sessions for those that have already attended trainings:

KENT COUNTY – March 25, 9 a.m.-noon   Phone (302) 730-4000 to register.

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 19, 6-9 p.m.  Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Gallery of Watermelon Varieties

January 30, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Fresh Market Vegetables

These varieties have been tested in our watermelon trials and are recommended for production on Delmarva.

The varieties are listed by maturity group. Those designated “High Quality” had average brix of 11.5% or more in the majority of years they were trialed. Disease resistance is that reported by the seed company; Co(1) is Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare race 1, Fon is Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Niveum with the race designated when known. Click on the photo for a larger version of the image.

Melody

Imagination

Melody
Early Season
12-14 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon(1)
Syngenta
Imagination
Early Season
10-14 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta 

SweetEat'n

SS7167

Sweet Eat’n
Early-Mid Season
16-18 lbs High Quality
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon
DP Seeds
SS 7167
Early-Mid Season
14-16 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems

Fascination

Gypsy

Fascination
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon(1)
Syngenta
Gypsy
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Harris Moran

Vagabond

SweetDelight

Vagabond
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Harris Moran
Sweet Delight
Mid Season
16-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta

SugarCoat

ACX6177

Sugar Coat
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera
ACX 6177 Plus
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Fon(1)
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems

SS7187

CrispNSweet

SS 7187
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems
Crisp N Sweet
Mid Season
14-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

TriX313

Liberty

Tri-X 313
Mid Season
14-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta
Liberty
Mid Season
14-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Nunhems

Butterball

Sugarheart

Butterball
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Fon
DP Seeds
Sugar Heart
Mid Season
15-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

Declaration

TriX212

Declaration
Mid Season
14-16 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Nunhems
Tri-X 212
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Syngenta

SS7197

Troubadour

SS 7197
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems
Troubadour
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Resistant: Co(1)
Harris Moran

SweetPolly

SugaRed

Sweet Polly
Mid Season
14-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon
Siegers
SugaRed
Late-Mid Season
15-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

Maxima

Revolution

Maxima
Late-Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
OriGene Seeds
Revolution
Late-Mid Season
18-22 lbs High Quality
Intermediate Resistance: Fon(1)
Nunhems

CrunchyRed

 
Crunchy Red
Late Season
16-18 lbs
Resistant: Co(1)
Harris Moran
 

2014 Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations Available

January 28, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Fresh Market Vegetables, Processing Vegetables

The updated Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations are available. As usual, this year’s guide includes updated insect, disease and weed control information as well as new variety recommendations. There are also new variety tables, including disease resistance information, days to maturity and quality characteristics for some crops, such as snap beans, cole crops, cucumbers and sweet corn.  Plant tissue testing critical values are now included for some crops as well.

2014cover

Check out the new Delaware Vegetable Production Recommendations online at: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/vegetable-fruit-resources/commercial-vegetable-production-recommendations/. Print copies are available for purchase from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware, which sells the book at cost ($10) to FVGAD members and for $20 to non-members through the three county Extension offices.

Blueberry Educational Meeting at Bennett Orchards

June 17, 2013 in Emmalea Ernest, Fruit

On Saturday, June 8 the rain held of long enough for us to have a nice blueberry educational meeting and tour the three year old planting at Bennett Orchards in Frankford, Delaware.

If you missed the meeting you can check out these links to some of the handouts and resources discussed:

Field Map of Blueberry Planting at Bennett Orchards
Bennett Orchards Major Steps to Blueberry Plant Establishment
Bennett Orchards Blueberry Establishment Costs
Overview of Blueberry Research at UD Farm in Georgetown and at Bennett Orchards in Frankford
Do’s and Don’ts for Establishing Blueberries – WCU Article by Gordon Johnson
Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide
Penn State’s Spotted Wing Drosophila Factsheets

13BberryMtg1Our host, Hail Bennett, and Dr. Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable and Fruit Specialist, led a tag team discussion on the best practices for blueberry establishment.

13BberryMtg2Soil amendments, mulching, irrigation, equipment needs and variety choices were discussed as we toured the 8 acre planting.

13BberryMtg3Emmalea Ernest, Extension Associate for Vegetable Crops, shared results from studies being done at Bennett Orchards and the University of Delaware research farm in Georgetown.

Pole Lima Bean Landraces

May 1, 2013 in Emmalea Ernest, Fresh Market Vegetables

Over the past several years a number of people have generously given me seed of pole lima bean varieties that they have grown and maintained.  In some cases these varieties have been grown by the family for more than 100 years.  As part of the Lima Bean Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant we will be using DNA sequencing techniques to learn more about a diverse collection of lima bean varieties.  Some of the pole lima bean varieties that are pictured below will be included in that analysis.

seed of twenty pole lima landraces

Pole lima bean varieties that have been donated to the University of Delaware Lima Breeding Program

Processing Vegetable Yields 1918-2011

April 15, 2013 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

I compiled the historic Delaware yield data for processing peas, green baby limas and sweet corn and developed the two charts below, which show the annual yields and a 5-year running average.  There has been a yield gain of about 4 tons/A for processing sweet corn over the last 45 years and an approximately 0.5 ton/A yield gain for processing peas in the same time period.  For green baby limas, on the other hand, there has been almost no increase in yield.  Improved varieties are undoubtedly a major contributing factor to the yield gains realized for peas and sweet corn.  Meanwhile, as few resources have been devoted to developing improved green baby lima varieties, yields have stagnated.  Hopefully, work at the University of Delaware to develop improved lima bean varieties will help to get that red line moving in an upward direction.

HistoricPeaLimaYields

 

HistoricSweetCornYields

New Table Grape Varieties for the Eastern US

March 25, 2013 in Emmalea Ernest, Fruit

Dr. John Clark at the University of Arkansas has recently released four new table grape cultivars: ‘Faith’, ‘Gratitude’, ‘Joy’ and ‘Hope’.  When at the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science meeting in February I attended presentations by Dr. Clark and several other researchers who have tested some or all of these new varieties in Arkansas and Alabama.  The Arkansas grape breeding program was responsible for developing many of the table grape varieties currently available for production in our region.  So while these four new varieties have not been tested in Delaware, they have potential to be useful here.

More information about the varieties is available here.  A list of nurseries selling these varieties is available here.  As of this writing, the four new varieties are available only through Double A Vineyards, Inc.

NewAKgrapes

Pea Variety Trial Video

March 18, 2013 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

Every other year the Extension Vegetable and Small Fruits Program conducts pea variety trials.  During the most recent trial in 2012 we filmed the harvest process and produced a video about the trials.  The video is now online here: UD Pea Variety Trial Video.  Enjoy!

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Touring the late variety trial during the 2012 pea twilight meeting.

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