Temperatures in the East and Midwest hit the mid-to-low-20s over the weekend, as snow was seen in some areas as well… “I had 26F (Sunday) night. I know some Pennsylvania growers reported colder temperatures,” says Win Cowgill, professor and area fruit agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in New Brunswick. “We’re not sure if there are any long-term effects on apples right now. I had one grower at 21F or 22F on Asian pears. I expect damage there.”… Mary Concklin, visiting associate Extension educator in fruit production and IPM from the University of Connecticut, says grower need to keep an eye on fruit picked after a freeze in short-term storage for early breakdown. She also says fruit harvested after a freeze shouldn’t be sent to controlled atmosphere or long-term storage.
Dozens of pepper growers recently gathered at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center (RAREC) in Bridgeton, NJ, to learn about the latest seed and fungicide products for controlling Phytophthora blight in peppers… “Phytophthora control trials, albeit, with fungicides and/or with host resistance/tolerance have been on-going since the 1970s at the research station,” said Andy Wyenandt, Extension specialist in vegetable pathology, Plant Biology and Pathology Department at Rutgers University. P. capsici [Phytophthora blight] is one of the most economically-important pathogens in the New Jersey vegetable production causing millions of dollars in losses each year…In the past, bell pepper growers with bacterial leaf spot issues have relied on cultivars with resistance to races 1, 2, and 3 but in recent years have started to adopt newer cultivars with resistance to races 1-5.
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is here to stay. Found in the U.S. in the late 1990s, this pest attacks peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet corn, apples, peaches, and several other fruits and vegetables. Plus, it can be found in virtually all stat…
Peach trees and cold temperatures don’t mix. Just ask growers in the Midwest and East as they are once again reeling from another brutal winter where sub-zero temperature left trees severely damaged… After suffering loses at the hands of Mother Nature, growers may seek to learn more about varieties that are deemed cold-hardy. However, the quest to find a cold-hardy peach is more difficult than you might expect. A variety that is known to be cold tolerant in one area may find the differing weather patterns in another region more difficult to adjust to, says Jerry Frecon, professor emeritus at Rutgers University… In the end, Frecon says regardless of varieties or cultural practices, carrying crop insurance may give a grower more piece of mind. However, it may not be offered in a particular area and some may view it as a waste of time… “The risks are so great and the weather so unpredictable in many areas of the U.S. That it is hard to fathom growing certain perennial crops like peaches,” he says. “You will have a difficult task.”
Recently USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service announced the purchase of 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of processed apple products. This purchase stems from a bonus buy request made by the U.S. Apple Association (USApple)… This is the third largest apple purchase on record by the USDA. These apples and apple products will be used to supplement USDA’s nutritional programs, including school lunches… “Increasing apple purchases by the USDA for school lunches is a great idea, and about time. Motivating our kids to eat and enjoy more apples is the way to go. Nothing will increase demand for fresh apples more than kids asking Mom to buy more apples! Let’s make sure we are sending our best apples to the schools.”- Win Cowgill, area fruit agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension.