VERMONT / NEW HAMPSHIRE POTATO SCHOOL - Thursday, March 7, 2002.
Fireside Inn and Suites, West Lebanon, NH (603) 298-5906. Directions: From I-89 take Exit 20. From the south, take a left off the ramp. Go under the bridge, through lights, then turn left onto airport Rd. Hotel driveway is first left. From the north, cross into NH, turn right off the exit ramp. Airport Rd. is first left, driveway to Inn is first left off that.
9:00 - Potato Seed Handling and Management
Steve Johnson, Crops Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE)
9:20 - Building Soil Organic Matter in Potato Rotations
John Jemison, Soil and Water Quality Specialist, UMCE
9:40 - Micronutrients in Potato Production - Emphasis on B and
Peter Sexton, Crops Specialist, UMCE
10:00 - Managing Soil pH for use of Organic Nutrient Sources. John Jemison
10:20 - break
10:50 - Crop Water Use and Soil Moisture Monitoring. Peter Sexton
11:10 - Rhizoctonia and its Control. Steve Johnson
11:30 - Vine Killing; Peter Sexton
Noon to 1:00 - Lunch
1:00 - Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) and its control
Jim Dwyer, Crops Specialist, UMCE
1:20 - Mowed Rye Mulch for Control of CPB
Eero Ruuttila, Farmer, Litchfield, New Hampshire
1:40 - Biology of Powdery Scab. Steve Johnson
2:00 - Macronutrients (N,P,K). Peter Sexton
2:50 - European Corn Borer, Flea Beetles, and Aphids. Jim Dwyer
3:10 - Late Blight. Steve Johnson
3:30 - Leafhopper Behavior and Management. Jim Dwyer
Pre-registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. Send check by March 1st payable to 'UVM' to: Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension, 157 Old Guilford Rd., Brattleboro VT 05301-3669. At-the-door registration will be $30. For more information or to request special accommodation please call 802-257-7967 ext. 13. Pesticide Applicator recertification credits will be available.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2001 NEW ENGLAND VEGETABLE & BERRY CONFERENCE
Over 1,400 people attended the NEV&BC, but if you weren’t there, consider ordering this 284 page book with summaries of 94 educational presentations, including: ‘Annual Bed Strawberry System’, ‘Ten Things Every Grower Should Know About Growing Bedding Plants’, ‘Early Tomato Production’, ‘New Sweet Corn Genotypes for Flavor’ and much, much more. Price is $15 postpaid from: Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box 9300, Portland ME 04104-9300. Checks should be made to NEV&BC.
INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP CONTACTS
Dorothy Bartlett of Bartletts’ Ocean View Farm on Nantucket gave a talk on ‘International Programs’ in the Labor Management session at the NEV&BC. In her article for the conference proceedings she describes the advantages of hosting agricultural interns with J-1 visas: they can legally be paid during their internship, they are often available for 12 to 18 months, they are motivated to learn about agriculture and they are not adverse to hard work. The following organizations that can provide you with more specific information:
Global Outreach, Inc.703-299-9551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communicating for Agricultural Exchange Program. 218-739-3241 or email@example.com.
Ohio International Agricultural Intern Program. 614-292-7720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PHYTOPHTHORA-RESISTANT PEPPER VARIETIES
Dr. Steve Johnston of Rutgers, speaking at the NEV&BC, provided a list of pepper cultivars with resistance to Phytophthora blight. This disease attacks pepper, eggplant, tomato and all cucurbits, and is a growing problem on vegetable farms in the Northeast. In addition to avoiding poorly-drained soils or low lying areas and using raised beds, the use of resistant varieties can help reduce the incidence of this disease. Resistance bell pepper varieties include: Ada, Emerald Isle, Reinger, Paladin and Aristotle. Of these, Paladin and Aristotle have performed best in New Jersey, with good horticultural characteristics, yielding as well as Camelot. However, they sometimes they get a condition called ‘silvering’ on the fruit, which appears to be related to Phytophthora resistance. Paladin has the best overall resistance, and it is widely accepted and has been effective in reducing the crown rot phase of Phytophthora blight in NJ fields where it has been grown. Since fine cracks tend to develop when Paladin’s fruit matures it should be limited to production of green fruit. Aristotle is a newer variety which yielded better than Camelot in field trials, but it did not show as consistent a level of resistance as Paladin.
BLUEBERRY PRUNING TIPS
Eric Hanson from Michigan State University gave these pointers at the NEVBC. The goal when pruning young bushes is to encourage vigorous, upright growth by removal of damaged wood, spindly growth, and prostrate branches from the base of the plant. As bushes approach and reach maturity, pruning goals change to managing bush size, shape and fruiting capacity. Since the most fruitful canes are 4 to 6 years old, some of the oldest canes should be removed regularly (at least every second year) to stimulate growth of new replacement canes. This keeps the bush in balance where 15 to 20% of the canes are in the young and old categories, and the rest are productive, intermediate aged canes. It is often difficult to determine how many older canes to remove, and this varies by variety and location, but it is helpful to remember that branches must receive at least 15% of full sun to initiate flower buds. Bushes need to be open enough to allow sufficient light to penetrate to support flower bud and fruit growth well into the canopy. If bushes produce fruit only in the periphery of the canopy, heavier pruning is needed. More aggressive pruning also tends to increase fruit size which is important for PYO marketing.
VT HERB GROWERS DIRECTORY
This directory will contain a listing of farms that sell herbs wholesale or retail, the types of products sold, a short description of each farm, and contact information. It will be ready for distribution in the spring of 2002. To be included contact Kathy Kinter by Feb. 15 at: 2559 Eagle Peak Rd., W. Brookfield, VT 05060. (802) 728-6205 or email@example.com
“BUILDING OUR FOOD WEB”
Wednesday, March 6, 2002, Montshire Museum of Science 6:30-7:00 pm: Browsing & Grazing; 7:00-9:00 pm: Panel of local experts and Q&A, moderated by Steve Taylor, NH Commissioner of Agriculture. This is a forum on the changing opportunities for farming in the Upper Valley; it’s an opportunity for farmers, restaurateurs, food distributors, citizens and institutional culinary services to discuss what works, what doesn't, and what possibilities are there for working together more in the future? Contact Vital Communities at (802)291-9100 or Lisa@vitalcommunities.org,
MARKETING, SWEET CORN AND WEED CULTIVATION VIDEOS NOW ON-LINE
If you have a high-speed computer connection, these videos (approximately one hour each) can now be viewed from the comfort of your own computer, thanks to streaming assistance from UVM Continuing Education Professional Programs. Funded by Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), a subsidiary of USDA, these videos highlight the knowledge of farmers from the northeast. See http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/videos.html
LOOKING FOR INFO ON VT VEGETABLE AND BERRY GROWER MEETINGS?
Jan. 30, Farm show, Barre. Feb. 19, Holiday Inn, Rutland. Details of the programs are at www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry or call 802-257-7967.