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
Our host, Hail Bennett, and Dr. Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable and Fruit Specialist, led a tag team discussion on the best practices for blueberry establishment.
Soil amendments, mulching, irrigation, equipment needs and variety choices were discussed as we toured the 8 acre planting.
Emmalea Ernest, Extension Associate for Vegetable Crops, shared results from studies being done at Bennett Orchards and the University of Delaware research farm in Georgetown.
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.
Pole lima bean varieties that have been donated to the University of Delaware Lima Breeding Program
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.
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.
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!
Touring the late variety trial during the 2012 pea twilight meeting.