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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 5-25-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp 68.2 degrees
  2. Growing degree days since April 1: 621 GDD
  3. Strawberries-thinking ahead. Strawberries will begin setting buds for next year's crop in the early fall. So care and management to keep them vigorous and forming new plants after harvest and renovation is important, particularly providing supplemental water during dry periods. A follow-up application of soluble fertilizer in the late summer (early-mid August) can help maintain vigor as buds are set. Avoid over-application of fertilizer or plants may not harden-off well for winter
  4. Cabbage Loopers hard at work. Young larvae feed between veins on the underside of the lower leaves. Large larvae make ragged holes in the foliage and move to the center of the plant. Large loopers can also burrow through 3 to 6 layers of tightly wrapped head leaves in lettuce. There are ten parasitoids that help control these pests naturally. In addition, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bt, helps to control the lepidopteran complex that affects cole crops and is easy on beneficial insects. The current threshold is 10% of plants infested with one or more cabbage looper larvae (young, early-instar larvae; up to ΒΌ inch).
  5. Illinois Drift Watch Web Site registry. Driftwatch™ is a web-based registry tool to help protect pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats in Illinois.

Managers of ecologically sensitive areas and owners of commercial fruit and vegetable fields and apiaries may register on the site. Pesticide applicators can them regularly check the site to locate these sensitive areas and take appropriate precautionary actions when applying pesticides near them.

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