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Plant & Pest Advisory > Commercial Ag Updates and Farm Food Safety

Plant & Pest Advisory > Vegetable Crops

Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Extreme Heat on Fall Greens Plantings

An excerpt from Plant & Pest Advisory
- Rick VanVranken
Lettuces, greens, and herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill) planted for the Fall season in the greater Vineland area have gone through a week of 100 degree weather. If they managed to germinate and not get cooked by that heat (watering 3x per day didn't help, maybe hurt, as soil temps remained in the 90s even after watering), they've now potentially had scattered heavy rains saturating fields every 2-4 days since then potentially washing away fertilizers and herbicides. At this point, the  best recommendations to make sure surviving plants will make it to harvest include additional sidedressings of fertilizer (especially N) and application of Ridomil Gold or Quadris to try to stave off the spread of Pythium that is present in some plants.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forage Radish Cover Crop

There has been new interest in using Forage Radish (Raphanus savitvus var. longipinnatus) also being called "tillage radish" as a fall/winter cover crop in our region. Planting should take place in Mid-August and no later than early September to get maximum growth. Plantings can also be established as early as July if fields are ready. The cleaner the seed bed, the better stands and the deeper roots will form. Claimed benefits from this crop are: help improve soil structure and reduction of soil compaction, weed suppression, building organic matter, fertility recycling, reduced nitrate leaching, erosion control and increasing water percolation in soil. Seeding rates for drilling seed are 8-10 lbs/acre with broadcast rates 12-14 lbs/acre. Aerial seeding has been successful with rates of 14-16 lbs/acre. Plants do winter kill at temperatures in the low 20s. Plant tissue will decompose rapidly from the freeze-thaw winter conditions with little residue left by March. Research is being conducted in NJ starting this summer to look at planting dates for forage radish.

Michelle Infante-Casella
Agricultural Agent