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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.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Clean Water Act Pesticide Application Discharge Permit requirements for NJ

Long story short, there has been no legislative fix to a 2006 court ruling that determined that pesticide applications on or near water (including wetlands) require a special permit under the auspices of the Clean Water Act, despite already being fully regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide and Fungicide Act. In order to be in compliance with this ruling as it currently stands, the NJDEP has developed a General Pesticide Application Discharge permit that affected applicators will need to file. This new permit will be discussed in detail at the March 21 NJ Ag Water Summit at RCE-Burlington (more info posted below).
-Rick VanVranken

Links to the permit application form and other details about this situation are available here:

Today is National Ag Day!

Our friend Gene McAvoy, Regional Vegetable Agent for southwestern Florida, passed this along today (more helpful tools are available at!):

Today, March 8th is National Ag Day, a time when producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America gather to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.
-Rick VanVranken

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Foliar Diseases of Asparagus and Impacts on Subsequent Production

Professor Emeritus Dr. Steve Garrison notes the 1970 growing season shared similar conditions to the 2011 year. Excessive moisture caused severe disease infection and a weakened crop the next spring. Harvesting beds for the traditional 8 to 10 week period the next growing season caused further stress on beds and many beds never recovered.

To avoid stressing asparagus beds it is important to monitor harvest very closely during the first week of cutting the spring following a season with severe foliar infection. If daily bed yields have dropped off from previous years, or spear diameter starts falling off quickly during early harvest, the harvest season needs to be shortened dramatically to protect the future investment life of the production field. The over cutting of beds will be detrimental to the long term future health of the field. Even if prices are high towards the end of harvest, one should think long term when considering cutting asparagus fields. A healthy and productive asparagus field is a long term investment.

-Michelle Infante-Casella & Andy Wyenandt

New Jersey Agricultural Water Summit - March 21, 2012

All New Jersey Farmers are invited to the Second Annual Agricultural Water Summit, developed to answer all questions regarding permitting, use of I maps, what constitutes good quality irrigation water, how nursery can reuse safely use run-off, proper pond management and much more.

March 21, 2012 - 9am to Noon
Location: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Burlington County
2 Academy Drive
Westampton, New Jersey 08060

No registration is required
-Ray Samulis, Burlington Co. Ag Agent