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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

Weekly Update 3-30-12

Posted by Kyle Cecil -


10am Soil Temperature 4 inch Bare at Monmouth 52.4 F
  1. Growing Degree Days-Base 50 degrees, Since Jan 1............... 310Degree Days
  2. Early season vegetable pests. Two very useful resources are available for identifying and learning more about early season pests. This link:

will take you to the U of I Extension small farms webinar on the topic of the ten most common vegetable insect pests. Pay particular attention to the first part of the recording focusing on early season pests. The second is:

which is a one page factsheet from Purdue University that I would recommend you copy and laminate for use throughout the season.

  1. "Leggy" seedlings? After germination occurs, seedlings require about 12 to 16 hours of light a day. Intense light is necessary to prevent spindly or leggy (tall) seedlings. If you are growing under lights, make sure the light source is 4 to 6 inches above the plants. In a sunny window, turn the seedlings regularly to avoid leaning.
  2. Aphids in full force in high tunnels. All aphids have a tremendous reproductive potential. Under adequate environmental conditions, they are capable of reproducing in the absence of males for multiple, overlapping generations. There are a number of natural enemies of aphids that help to keep population levels in check. These include parasitic wasps as well as insect predators, such as ladybird beetles, and larvae of syrphid flies and lacewings. These beneficial insects, however, are not active during the cooler seasons, whereas aphids will continue to feed and reproduce. Reproduction is slower in cool weather; nevertheless, populations exceed economic levels when conditions are favorable.

*Aphids may be controlled with insecticidal (fatty-acid) soaps used at the recommended rates (e.g., Safer Soap ).

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