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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 27, 2011

New FDA Blog Post on Food Safety Modernization Act: "I hope you'll read and post your comments!"

New Blog Post -- FDA Tells Farmers: We need to learn from you
Last week, farmers from across the North and South forks of Suffolk county Long Island showed a group of us from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets the incredible diversity of their farms and the challenges FDA faces in writing a “produce safety” rule.
For more information on FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, visit

Richard W. VanVranken
Agricultural Agent
County Extension Department Head
Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County

6260 Old Harding Hwy.

Mays Landing, NJ 08330-1553 
p. 609-625-0056
f.  609-625-3646

Disaster Log Phone App for Hurricane Recovery

As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director at the University of North Dakota, offered this new tool to help deal with the potential. North Dakota has suffered from numerous floods, so they developed a Disaster Recovery Log app for Android smartphones. (Sorry, but iPhone app will be coming soon.) People who are affected by any disaster can download the app, then take photos of damage and record information about the damage by writing it into the phone or audio recording it. Then they can click on information on how to (if possible) clean the item from water damage. That's a direct link to appropriate Extension resources and a record of your damage for your insurance agent or FEMA.

You can learn more through:

Rick VanVranken

Monday, August 22, 2011

Speaking of Preparedness, Allergies are Nothing to Sneeze At!

Last week, a trip to the emergency room was a not-so-gentle reminder that besides ragweed pollen, bees and wasps are also quite active in the heat of August. Know where hives or food sources may be attracting these insects into close proximity (farm markets, picnic areas, packing sheds, lawns) and creating a potential threat, and know if any of your family, employees or visitors to your farms are allergic to bee stings.

Unfortunately, once you've been sensitized, you are always allergic and a sting can quickly become life-threatening! The typical swelling, redness and itching around the sting can progress in twenty minutes or so to severe itching of the eyes or face, hives, and lowered blood pressure in a severe allergic reaction. If not treated immediately, it can be fatal, especially if the swelling progresses to the throat and blocks the air passages making breathing and swallowing difficult. It is critical for someone exhibiting symptoms of anaphylaxis to be given emergency medical attention immediately.

Are you Prepared for Anaphylaxis?

According to the article on anaphylaxis, "If you are allergic to bee stings or any other substances that cause anaphylaxis, you should always be prepared. Ask your doctor to prescribe an epinephrine injection kit [an Epi-Pen] and carry it with you at all times. It is also a good idea to wear a MedicAlert bracelet or pendant, or carry a card that identifies your allergy. In cases of emergency, it could save your life."

For more information on bees, hornets and wasps, Rutgers Fact Sheet FS1134 'Bees and Wasps' describes their life cycles, nesting habits and control options.

Time for me to go get that prescription filled!

Rick VanVranken