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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

Weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 9-23-2013

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

1.4 inch soil temp:56.7F

2.Growing Degree Days(GDD) Since April 1,2013 = 2913.0 GDD Average** = 2892.0 GDD

3.Annual ryegrass, cereal rye, and crimson clover are some of the most popular cover crops for fall planting, and now is an ideal time to seed all of them. Oats and daikon radishes are also good cover crops, but remember they will winter kill so they need to be planted immediately for the most benefit. (Nathan Johanning, U of I)

4.The shotgun approach to vegetable crop fertilization is not practical or economical. The vegetable grower must know the nutrient status of the soil and then match application rates of lime and fertilizer to crop needs. This is important for cost effectiveness and to achieve optimum yield and quality. Click here for a listing of soil testing laboratories in Illinois.

5.Season extension; what's going on right now?I have been impressed at the degree to which growers in this area are utilizing season extension on their farms. In the last few weeks I have seen low tunnels, high tunnels, cold frames and row covers to name a few. This is very encouraging as the ability to extend the supply of fresh vegetables to your local clientele is a key factor to increasing your profitability. If you are one of few growers with fresh spinach in December, from whom are spinach enthusiasts going to buy?

Don't forget to sign up for the 2014 Illinois Specialty Crops Conference. Click here for details.

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