May 25, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel talks about just a few things we might be able to do outdoors while the weather remains so cool and wet. Vegetables and flowers may develop differently during this time of year with such a different weather pattern. You never want to work in the flower or vegetable garden when the foliage is wet, and keeping foliage off the ground and separated by mulches will aid with disease management.
May 11, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel talks about foliar diseases, especially those that affect our ornamental flowering crabapples and our apple trees in the home orchard. Cedar Apple Rust requires both an evergreen and a deciduous host. Right now, the evergreen side is obvious to spot with jelly-like orange fingers on a gall, which is sending out spores to our apples and crabapples. The second disease is that of Apple Scab, which can be more damaging to the apple crop and visually on the crabapple.
May 4, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel discusses a recent national and Midwest weather pattern report from a number of weather-related organizations and its impacts on crop farming, livestock and horticultural crops, such as fruit tree and vegetable crops. We could be in for another couple of weeks of below normal weather. The report talks about potential snowfalls and excessive rains.
April 27, 2017
Sometimes it is easy to avoid some of our garden pests just by planting the right thing or at the right time. The squash vine borer is a good example. The vine borer prefers certain varieties, so planting other varieties is the easy way to go. Vining types have a better chance to live on after an attack versus bush types. This is because they root along the vine. In addition, growing your own early sweet corn will avoid the corn earworm, which shows up later. Host Richard Hentschel shares these and other tips for avoiding pests.
April 20, 2017
Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, talks about problems with fruit trees not bearing fruit. There are some good reasons why fruit trees will not flower or will not bear fruit, even if they bloomed and produced the first year you planted them. It can take three to five years before flowers return as the tree recovers from transplanting shock. Proper training also will promote fruits sooner. Apples, for example, will need to be cross-pollinated, so even if they flower they may produce no fruit.
April 13, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel notes recent changes in gypsy moth monitoring and treatments for northern Illinois in 2017. A recent news release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture has added Kane, Kendall, Will and LaSalle counties to a gypsy moth quarantine, which already included DuPage, Cook, Lake and McHenry counties. Trap monitoring in 2016 has indicated the need to treat gypsy moth and the quarantine places additional restrictions on commercial horticulture, as well as homeowners. Homeowners are being asked to closely inspect any recreational vehicles that remain in backyards or outdoors before heading off to a location outside of these eight counties. Something to think about with vacation time approaching. The other, and perhaps more urgent, news release is about Boxwood blight. This disease has been upgraded to the nuisance status with more restrictions on the importation of Boxwoods into Illinois.
April 6, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel talks with Russ Higgins, Ag Educator for the University of Illinois. Soil health is becoming much more important more research has been going on in recent years. Keeping micro flora and soil insect populations high is helping keep yields high and nutrient movement slow in the soil profile. No-till has been increasing based on this research. Nutrient load in the farm fields is also very critical for good yields. Farmers balance fertilizer applications when the plants can best utilize them. When the land receives excessive rainfall, a portion of nutrient load can end up in field tiles and potential lost. Over 10 million Dollars has been used to research how to keep that nutrient load in the fields. Cover crops, buffer strips and other perennials crops are very effective in managing this potential loss.
March 30, 2017
Richard Hentschel discusses planting dates for our major farm crops with Russ Higgins, Agriculture Educator for University of Illinois Extension. One of the biggest factors farmers follow is related to the dates crop insurance takes effect. For Corn that date is April 10th and April 15 for Soybeans. Culturally stable oil temperatures 2 or more inches down need to be reached for corn. Soybeans go in after that.
One of our worst summer weeds coming on is Palmer Amaranth, one of the pigweeds. Palmer amaranth can produce more than 400,000 seeds per plant with crop competition and is easily spread by geese and equipment.
March 23, 2017
Russ Higgins, Ag Educator talks with Host Richard Hentschel about corn and soybean yields in 2016 2016 averages were 197 Bushels and 59 bushels for soybeans. Good weather and moisture levels were strong factors in getting these high yields. Right now pricing is supply based rather than demand driven. US is competing with world markets now. Corn and Soybeans are being grown in places well outside the typical corn belt.
March 16, 2017
Host Richard Hentschel discusses spring farming with Russ Higgins, Agriculture Educator. Farmers are dealing with weather just like the homeowner. While corn and beans are not impacted by late winter and spring weather, but winter wheat clearly is with our early warm temperatures. Hopefully our recent cold weather has not damaged or killed the winter wheat crop. Winter weeds are not normally not a problem but can be vectors for certain diseases and pest insects. Soil moisture around the state have been quite variable in parts of the state, very wet to droughty.