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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

Weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 9-9-2013

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

1.4 inch soil temp: 78.3 F. For seeding fall crops consider this example of soil temp effects. At 77 degrees soil temp, carrots should generally exhibit 96% emergence in approximately 6 days.

2.Growing Degree Days (GDD) Since April 1,2013 = 2633.5 GDD Average** = 2643.0 GDD

3.Hot dry weather and aphids. Conditions could not be more favorable for aphids across the spectrum of susceptible plants right now. An important consideration for aphid control is at what growth stage is the plant that we are dealing with. A timely example is that of pumpkins. At our recent pumpkin field day, Dr. Weinzierl explained to us that if pumpkins are infested with aphids right now, we must consider if the vines are nearly ready to die back or if the fruit is still growing. So, if vines are dying back, a normal process prior to harvest, one might consider NOT spraying for the pest. However, aphids, by nature of how they attack plants create honeydew on the fruit. This makes the fruit "dirty" in appearance(see pictures attached) and necessitates cleaning before trying to market. An informational article on the seasonal nature of aphids, written by Dr. Weinzierl, can be found here.

4.It may be time for some growers to add some nitrogen to matted row strawberry plantings in order to aid flower bud development. You may want to side dress some additional nitrogen for matted row strawberries, depending upon plant health/vigor and amount of nitrogen applied at renovation. Applications of 40-60 pounds of nitrogen per acre are recommended (applied at renovation or split applied). Too much nitrogen in the fall can increase the risk of winter injury to plants. Older plantings will benefit most from this strategy.

5.Keep in mind that dead vines do not indicate maturity in pumpkin and winter squash. When vines die prematurely from disease or drought, for example, the fruits are probably immature and therefore will not store successfully.



Mark your calendars: Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic ConferenceJanuary 8-10, 2014 in Springfield, IL

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