Wholesale Readiness Workshop

Tuesday, March 20, 2018     3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Other Side Produce, Seaford, DE
Parkside High School, Salisbury, MD

Beginning at 3:00 PM, produce growers in all phases of business development are invited to start the experience with a one-hour tour of the facilities at Other Side Produce located at 9654 Brickyard Drive, Seaford, Delaware, 19973.

Following the Other Side tour, workshop attendees will travel (transportation not provided) to Parkside High School in Salisbury, MD where, beginning at 4:30 PM, you will further explore the unique standards for produce harvesting and post-harvest handling when selling into wholesale markets.


  • Dallas Lister with Other Side Produce
  • Ashley & Johnny Harrison, Terrapin Farms
  • Lindsay Gilmour, Cheseapeake Harvest Food Safety Educator
  • Jerry Kelly & Parkside High School CTE Students

Meet new friends and get the resources you need to take your farm to the next level!

Light supper included with FREE registration.

Sponsored by Chesapeake Harvest, www.chesapeakeharvest.com

Register at:

On-Farm Poultry Growers’ Field Day

Wednesday, March 28, 2018     9:30 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
Hawkins Farm, 971 Clover Field Lane
Harrington, DE 19952

Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. is partnering with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and University of Maryland Extension to host an on-farm Poultry Growers’ Field Day. This event will offer practical workshops, beneficial to both beginning and experienced commercial chicken growers, on the following topics:

▪ Tunnel ventilation

▪ Farm safety

▪ Generator and housing maintenance

▪ Animal welfare

▪ Controller tips

▪ Radiant tube heating

▪ Water quality and water line sanitation

▪ Good neighbor practices and vegetative environmental buffers

▪ Biosecurity

▪ And more topics still to be announced

Vendors will also be present, and lunch will be provided. Most workshops and vendors will be located inside a newly constructed poultry house on fresh bedding. Growers are reminded to practice good biosecurity when traveling to and from the field day.

The workshop will take place at Rob Hawkins Farm, a new organic chicken farm near Harrington, Delaware. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., with sessions to start at 10 a.m. There will be concurrent sessions held each hour on the hour, and the event will end at 3 p.m. Two nutrient management credits will be available.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited to the first 300 registrants. To register online for the Poultry Growers’ Field Day, visit tinyurl.com/chixfieldday. If you are not able to register online, call Lisa Collins at (302) 856-2585 to register by phone.

Delaware Ag Safety Conference

Wednesday, March 7, 2018     10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Ag Commodities Building
Delaware State Fairgrounds
Harrington, DE

This event is sponsored by Delaware Farm Bureau and other generous sponsors with the goal of promoting safety in agricultural settings. The main speaker, Dr. Kerry Richards, will be presenting on pesticide safety.

There is no charge and lunch is included.

Registration is required. Register by calling (302) 697-3183 M-F, 8-4.

WFRP Can Provide Enhanced Income Protection for Grains/Processing Vegetables

Laurie Wolinski, Extension Agent; lgw@udel.edu; Don Clifton, Farmers First Services, Decrophelp@gmail.com

Whole Farm Revenue Coverage (WFRP) was developed primarily as a means of providing income protection to producers of crops, dairy, and livestock for which individual yield and revenue protection policies were not available.

It is true that WFRP is gaining acceptance among Delaware producers of fresh produce and other non-insurable commodities. However, as WFRP is being more closely analyzed by Delaware farmers, it becoming more attractive as a possible enhancement to their current coverage choices for insurable crops. One of the reasons is the fact that the WFRP revenue coverage calculation for 2018 starts with a simple average of approved revenue for the years 2012-16.

The 2012 marketing year average price (MYA) for corn in Delaware is published by NASS as $7.55 and $14.40 for soybeans. For 2013, the MYA for corn was $4.94 and $12.40 for soybeans. Producers of processing vegetables will remember similarly higher contract prices in that time frame as well. Depending on yield, it is possible that a Delaware producer of grains and/or processing vegetables may have realized fifty percent higher gross income in 2012 as in 2016. With the five years 2012-2016 in the revenue data base, the WFRP coverage options may be very attractive. In addition, WFRP premiums tend to be considerably less expensive.

As with all crop insurance policies, WFRP can only be obtained from a crop insurance agent. The UD Extension/USDA Crop Insurance Education Partnership can provide producers detailed WFRP information and pre-calculations for their own farm as preparation for discussion with an agent. Contact Don Clifton at Decrophelp@gmail.com or (302) 242-8806.

NEW Guess the Pest Challenge for 2018

Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management; bcissel@udel.edu

Test your pest management knowledge by clicking on the GUESS THE PEST logo and submitting your best guess. For the 2018 season, we will have an “end of season” raffle for a $100 gift card. Each week, one lucky winner will also be selected for a prize and have their name entered not once but five times into the end of season raffle.

This week, one lucky participant will also win A Farmer’s Guide To Corn Diseases ($29.95 value).

You can’t win if you don’t play!

 Guess the Pest Week #1

Guess the Pest! What is this insect?

Spring Nitrogen on Pastures

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, jarrod@udel.edu and Amy Shober, Extension Nutrient Management and Environmental Quality Specialist; ashober@udel.edu

A spring application of nitrogen (N) will help promote pasture growth, particularly if you find yourself lacking in hay reserves. With cooler temperatures remaining, applications of granular or liquid fertilizers are recommended over manures, because soil microbes are needed to release N from manure; microbes prefer warmer temperatures.

As your pastures greenup with warmer weather, you may be anxious to let your animals out to graze. But be patient. Walk pastures and observe greenup and grass height prior to any fertilizer applications or releasing animals to graze. There are potential animal health issues associated with excessive spring growth due to N applications. For example, grass tetany often occurs in the spring, where exacerbated levels of K in forages may cause low Mg uptake. Also, make sure your grasses are at least 4 inches tall before grazing to ensure adequate growth during and after grazing.

Winter Grain Mite in Small Grains

David Owens, Extension Entomologist, owensd@udel.edu

Winter grain mites are active in small grain fields. These mites prefer cool weather with temperatures of 40-60°F. They hide once the sun comes up, so you will need to look for them first thing in the morning or at dusk or on cloudy days, such as what we’ve been having lately. They can be present in a lot of fields, but only rarely cause issues — but if you have had issues with them in the past, now is a good time to be looking for them. Grain mites are worse on drought stressed, small plants, and more abundant in no-till fields following corn. More information can be found at our fact sheet: http://extension.udel.edu/factsheets/winter-grain-mite-management-in-small-grains-2/

Handy Bt Trait Table for Corn

David Owens, Extension Entomologist, owensd@udel.edu

There are numerous artificial but extremely helpful traits in field corn. It can be a bit confusing though to keep track of all the traits, what they are used for, and the regulations involved in planting refugia for the insect traits. I can’t stress the importance of the refuge requirement enough. Refuge is critical to ensure the durability of these traits and prevent insect resistance. One entomologist calls it “resistance insurance.” Many seed companies are now offering refuge-in-bag (RIB) products, meaning that a certain percentage of the seed is not genetically modified. There is some concern that resistance management is not as robust with RIB as with planting block refuges. Furthermore, it is possible that your supplier might not have a RIB, so check when you buy so that you can plan and plant accordingly. Helping all of us keep traits, names, targets, herbicide tolerances, and refuge requirements straight are Dr. Chris DiFonzo, Dr. Pat Porter, and Dr. Kelley Tilmon, who have a great table laying all the traits out. You can find it here https://lubbock.tamu.edu/files/2018/01/BtTraitTableJan2018.pdf. Best of luck with your seed selection and planting!

Seedless Watermelon Trials 2017

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

Each year the University of Delaware conducts seedless watermelon variety trials which helps to inform the industry on the performance of current and newly developed varieties under Delmarva growing conditions and helps growers choose the best varieties to match growing and marketing needs.

Growers should select varieties based on market needs, marketability, and productivity. This includes yield, maturity, longevity, size distribution, appearance (rind color, shape), flesh quality (color, sugars), flesh density, limited defects such as hollow heart susceptibility, plant vigor, and disease resistance (Fusarium, anthracnose), and field holding ability. Pollenizers should be matched to the seedless variety to provide early and extended pollen production, disease resistance, and appropriate vigor (too vigorous will compete with the seedless).

The 2017 Seedless Watermelon Variety Trial included 33 varieties from 9 participating companies. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate seedless watermelon varieties for yield, quality and maturity. The trial was conducted at the Thurman Adams Research Farm, University of Delaware, Carvel Research Center.

Plants were transplanted to the field on May 17, 2017. Due to the late spring, plots were not harvested until August. Fruit were harvested three times. The first harvest was on August 2 and 3 at 77 days after transplanting (DAT), the second harvest was 95 DAT, and the final harvest was in early September at 115 DAT. The weight of each watermelon harvested was recorded individually. Five marketable watermelons from each plot were cut and evaluated for presence of hollow heart and soluble solids levels.

The highest yielding varieties in the trial in terms of marketable pounds per acre were: Crunchy Red, 9651, Turnpike, 9601, Bottle Rocket, Warrior, SV 0241 WA, Fascination, Red Amber, ORS 6278, Kingman and XWT 6009. This high yielding group ranged from 135,220 to 99,230 lbs per acre.

The highest yielding varieties in the trial in terms of fruit per acres were: Crunchy Red, Turnpike, SV 0241 WA, Warrior, Kingman, ORS 6151, and 9601 ranging from 7,836 to 6396 melons per acre.

All varieties produced more than 40% of their yield on the first harvest. The following varieties produced more than 60% of their yield on the first harvest: ORS 6253, SV 3105 WA, ORS 6278, Red Amber, WDL 2413, ORS 6260, Charismatic, ORS 6305, Road Trip Captivation, XWT 6008, ORS 6151, Fascination, Bottle Rocket, Summer Breeze, and 7197. Those varieties with extended harvest (50% or more harvested in the second and third harvest) were Secretariat, Turnpike, and 9601.

Varieties were also sorted according to average fruit in each of four weight classes: 60-count (9.0-13.5 lbs), 45 count (13.6-17.5 lbs), 36 count (17.6-21.4 lbs) and 30 count (>21.5 lbs). In general, fruit weights were above average in 2017. Large fruited varieties with average weights over 18 pounds were Bottle Rocket, Maxima, SV 3105 WA, ORS 6278, ORS 6305, Joy Ride, and Road Trip. Medium fruited varieties over 16 pounds included Red Amber, Captivation, Summer Breeze, WDL 2413, Crunchy Red, 7187, ORS 6260, 9601, XWT 6009, 7197, Fascination, Wolverine, Unbridled, Turnpike, Warrior, XWT 6008, SV 0241 WA, and Charismatic.

Those varieties with more that 35% of the melons harvested in the 45-count class included XWT 6008, ORS 6260, Kingman, 7197, ORS 6253, Charismatic, SV 0241 WA, and Secretariat.

Varieties with high percentage of small fruited melons (60-count) included ORS 7033 B, Secretariat, ORS 6151, 9651 and Kingman.

Varieties with high numbers of 36-count fruit were Captivation, 9601, Road Trip, Unbridled, Charismatic, and Wolverine. Bottle Rocket, SV 3105 WA, ORS 6305, ORS 6278, and Maxima produced over 30% in the 30-count class (very large melons).

Two small fruited “mini” melons, Mini Bee and ORS 7033 B were also tested. They had the highest number of fruits at 8,931 and 9,968 melons per acre respectively. Mini Bee produced over 80% of its melons in the personal or icebox size class from 4 to 9 pounds. ORS 7033 B produced 41% of its melons in the small size class.

There were significant differences in soluble solids among the varieties which is a measure of sweetness. Road Trip, 9651, Turnpike, Unbridled, ORS 6260, Kingman, 7197, Embasy and Captivation had the highest soluble solids levels. All of the varieties had average soluble solids of over 10% with the exception of XWT 6009 and ORS 9033 B.

Hollow heart defects can render watermelons unsaleable. No hollow heart was observed in Mini Bee, Joy Ride, ORS 6260, ORS 6278, ORS 6305, ORS 6253 and Summer Breeze. Turnpike had high levels of hollow heart. Those additional varieties with one or more fruit with major or severe hollow heart (10% unsaleable) were SV 0241, and 9601.

Trials will also be conducted in 2018 and growers are invited to visit the trial during the season. Results from this year’s trial can be found on-line at: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/vegetable-fruit-resources/vegetable-small-fruits-program/

Crunchy Red, an older variety that did very well in 2017

9651 a high yielding dark rind type

Turnpike did well in 2017

Warrior, a lighter rind type with good interior color

Fascination, current industry standard

Red Amber, a new entry into the watermelon market