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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.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New smartphone app compliments OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Stress Illnesses

According to OSHA's website, "Outdoor workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat-related illness. The risk of heat-related illness becomes greater as the weather gets hotter and more humid. For people working outdoors in hot weather, both air temperature and humidity affect how hot they feel. The "heat index" is a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account. The higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels, since sweat does not readily evaporate and cool the skin. The heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for estimating the risk to workers from environmental heat sources.

To compliment their Heat Stress Prevention Campaign, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed a smartphone app that calculates the heat index and displays a risk level for workers. The Heat Safety Tool, available for both iPhones and Android devices, along with other useful information about heat related illness awareness and prevention, is available at the OSHA website,

--Rick VanVranken

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So that's what hit south Jersey last weekend!

[NOTE: Storm related crop and/or equipment damage/losses due directly to the storm or from exposure to the high temperatures and intense sun following the storm should be reported to your local USDA Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible.]

--Rick VanVranken
Ohio State Vegetable Specialist Robert Precheur explains the 'Super Derecho'

From The Ohio State University Extension Vegetable Crops VegNet  newsletter Vol. 19(13), July 10, 2012. Online at

Sources:, NOAA, Wikipedia 
While you probably have another “D” word or adjective in mind to describe the storm that hit OH on June 29th the correct meteorological term is “derecho”. A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.