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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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lettuce Tipburn - favorable conditions warrant attention!

The past few days of cloudy, wet/rainy weather 10 to 14 days before Romaine and leaf lettuces are ready to harvest means that evapo-transpiration (Et) rates have dropped significantly. These are the exact conditions identified by California researchers that favor localized Calcium deficiencies in the rapidly growing inner leaves of lettuces that lead to lettuce tipburn
We were too late to recognize these conditions last year but discussed it in detail here after several growers experienced significant losses. Now, however, is the time to act to try to prevent damage or at least avoid losing marketable product. Recommendations include:
  1. foliar applications of Ca with an air-assisted and/or electrostatic sprayer in order to get the Ca into the inner leaves where it is needed, and 
  2. consider harvesting earlier than planned in order to market small heads with little or no damage rather than risking significant losses by waiting to full maturity. 
Details about lettuce tipburn were discussed at the 2012 Atlantic Coast Agricultural Conference and a summary is available in the Proceedings posted on our Rutgers NJAES Vegetable Crops Online Resources Center.

--Rick VanVranken

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Agvocating... by example.

New Jersey farmer, John 'Johnny-boy' Rigolizzo, has always been an 'AGVOCATE', long before that term was coined. Here's an example of his latest online opining on the Truth about Trade and Technology blog about the wonders of modern agriculture...(click on the title for the full article)
-Rick VanVranken

Keeping the Sweet Corn Sweet

By John Rigolizzo: Berlin, New Jersey
Forty-plus years of retailing fresh produce has taught John Rigolizzo that great taste, good quality and reliable supply will win over even the most ardent of naysayers...

PA Announces Summer 2012
“Are You Crazy?” Retail Farm Market Tour

Heather Mikulas, Agricultural Entrepreneurship Agent with Penn State Cooperative Extension of Allegheny County, extends an invitation to farm marketers to join their annual two-day retail farm market and agritourism bus tour of Western PA and Eastern Ohio, Monday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Details and registration info are posted on the PAFarm website here. Heather asks that you pass the word, and come along for a fun learning and networking experience, but act quickly for this has become a popular event that fills up quickly!
-Rick VanVranken

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vegetable Disease of the Week

What's your diagnosis?

Farm Food Safety: Farm Mapping

Part 2 of Preparing Your Farm Food Safety Plan

-Meredith Melendez and Wes Kline

Farm mapping is a familiar thing for growers in New Jersey. Field maps, pesticide storage maps and customer maps are regular tasks, but mapping for food safety? Mapping your farm with food safety in mind allows you to manage the physical characteristics of the farm to minimize microbial contamination hazards.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pesticide Inventories Due to Local Fire Company by May 1

From Pat Hastings, Rutgers NJAES Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator

All licensed pesticide applicators, as well as dealers, who store pesticides are required by law to send a copy of their storage inventor(ies) with an explanatory cover letter to the local fire company by May 1st each year.