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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 7-06-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp; 84.1 F WOW!!
  2. Growing Degree Days since April 1; 1635.5 GDD Average** = 1167.5 GDD

  1. Squash bugs present. A control option (limited scale) is to place boards or shingles on the ground next to the affected plants. At night the squash bugs will aggregate under the boards and can then be destroyed each morning. There are few if any effective organic control options for squash bug. However, natural enemies of the squash bug include Tachinid fly, Trishopoda pennipes and Sceleonids, Eumicrosoma spp. These biological control options may prove useful. Sabadilla may provide some control and is organic certified. Keep watch of your plants. If it is just the insects which are present and no disease, the plants will come out of anything major...but....if there are bacterial diseases present, they would wilt and die. In essence, know what you are dealing; squash bug damage, bacterial diseases or both.
  1. Soil temps for seed germination. Are you getting ready to start your fall winter vegetables? Consider the optimum germination temperatures (maximum) for various crops: Beets-85F, Carrot 80F, Swiss Chard 85F, Spinach 70F, turnip 85F.
  1. Squash vine borer are active in many parts of the state, with most moth activity winding down or finished in the far south. The squash vine borer tunnels in the vines of pumpkins and summer and winter squash; it rarely is found in cucumbers or melons and cannot complete its development except in squash or pumpkins. Disking or plowing to destroy vines soon after harvest and bury or destroy overwintering cocoons reduces moth populations within a field in the spring. Staggering plantings over several dates also allows some plantings to escape heaviest periods of egg-laying. Early detection of moths and initial damage is essential for timing insecticide applications. (Dr. Rick Weinzierl, U of I)

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