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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

Weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 9-2-2103

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

1.4 inch soil temp 73.8 F

2.Growing Degree Days (GDD) Since April 1:2013 = 2534.5 GDD Average** = 2548.0 GDD

3.Rainfall. Not that this is breaking news for you growers, you know how dry it is, but the rainfall departure from the mean for August was in excess of 4 inches. Several of your farms have had not had a measurable rainfall amount in over 5 weeks.

4.Spotted Wind Drosophila (SWD) update: In McDonough County I recorded my first sighting in a SWD trap on August 2. Just one little male SWD fruit fly. It wasn't until the 3rd week of August that the population has exploded. I am finding significant amounts of the fruit pest in blackberry brambles and what's left of the peach harvest. On August 30 I discovered 49 confirmed male and 37 unconfirmed. Currently, I have shifted my monitoring efforts to grapes and high tunnel tomatoes. The last few years have been highly uncharacteristic so it is still unknown what the conventional nature of this new pest will be in our area. For more information on SWD check out a great website by University of Wisconsin. (Crhis Enroth, Hort Educator)

A note on irrigating during drought. Many growers are irrigating vegetable crops throughout the season and adjusting to rainfall events. Application of irrigation water after skins are cracked due to drought effects on vegetables will lead to rapid growth and rupturing of the fruit leading to visible growth cracks. Inconsistent irrigation and drought conditions can also limit the movement of calcium to the fruit. This ultimately leads to weakened cell walls that ultimately rupture and then can become infected by bacteria. This is commonly seen as blossom end rot. The reality is, the best way to manage fruit cracking, blossom end rot, and tapered fruit is to irrigate evenly, adequately and consistently.

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