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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 9-28-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

Hello everyone,

While this is the last weekly update for the season, I will continue to send out "updates" as situations warrant. In addition, you will be notified of the many upcoming training opportunities that we will be offering during the winter.


  1. 4 inch soil temp : 56.5 F
  2. Growing Degree Days since April 1: 2012 = 3453.5 GDD Average** = 2923.0 GDD
  3. From last week's message......Spotted Wing Drosophila is a destructive pest of thin-skinned fruits because unlike other Drosophila species, it lays eggs into ripening fruit before it's ready for harvest. Infested fruits "melt down" from larval feeding in just a few days. Adult flies live for up to 2 weeks, and females can lay up to 300 eggs. Development from egg to adult can occur in in little as 8 days, and 10 or more generations may develop within a season. We will continue trapping in this region next season. The general consensus is that the pest is present in most, if not all, of Illinois.
  4. One spring cover crop for Illinois being evaluated is mustard. It's generally thought of as an early spring crop. Mustards, when incorporated into the soil, release glucosinolates that break down into isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates serve as general fumigants, inhibiting microorganisms and weeds. Concentration of isothiocyanates is critical for their effectiveness. The take-home message for farmers based on this year's research is that further research on spring planting times is needed before we can recommend use of mustard as a biofumigant and cover crop. The system is complex and at this stage there's a lot we do not understand. John Masiunas ( and Dan Anderson ( U of I)
  5. Growing turnips this year? Turnips have their fair share of insect problems, which can include aphids, wireworms, and root maggots. During periods of cool, wet weather, which we can experience in the fall, root maggots can cause some pretty severe damage. Scout accordingly by pulling plants and observing any pest presence. Root maggots and wireworms attack the roots and therefore control requires preplant applications of proper insecticides to the soil.

Talk to all of you soon.

Kyle Cecil

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