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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 4-21-2014

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

1. 4 inch soil temp: 50.2 degrees F

2. Growing Degree Days (GDD):Since April 1,2014 = 53.0 GDD   Average** = 11.5 GDD

3. Purdue specialists have found claybacked cutworm on tomato plants in high tunnels.  On Wednesday, one of the plants was cut off at soil level.  It is important to note that the cutworm, identified by John Obermeyer in the Purdue University Entmology Department, is a claybacked cutworm, not a black cutworm.  Black cutworms do not overwinter in Indiana and would not be expected this time of year.  Claybacked cutworms do over winter as mature larvae.  See the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2014? for management help.  This insect is nocturnal.   So, the lesson is that in order to find cutworms, one must scout at first dawn.  In other words, the early bird gets the worm! (from Purdue University Vegetable News)

4. Seed and root maggots in the genus Delia (including seedcorn maggot, cabbage maggot, and onion maggot) are common pests of early-seeded vegetables. They are most common and damaging in cool, wet soils in which germination and seedling growth are slow; they also are most numerous where green manures or animal manure has been incorporated in recent weeks (because flies choose to lay eggs in such fields). Signs of their damage are poor stands where seeds and seedlings are killed before emergence and damping off of seedlings that are killed by soil fungi after being injured by larvae of these species. Click here for more details. ( Dr. Rick Weinzierl, U of I)

5. Plants react to movement. Brushing over the plants with your hand stimulates them to become stockier and less leggy.  This action, however, will not replace the need for adequate sunlight.

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