Articles from 2018

103 articles found.

One way insects communicate with individuals of the same species is with pheromones. Pheromones are volatile chemicals released by an insect that usually can be detected only by individuals of the same species. There are a number of different types of pheromones, but the most common type is the sex pheromone. Usually the females will emit a tiny amount of a chemical that attracts the male to her and increases the likelihood of mating. Because the chemical is volatile, air currents carry it. The male detects the pheromone in the air with receptors on his antennae. He then flies upwind to find the source of the pheromone, a prospective mate. The chemical compositions of pheromones for a number of pest species have been identified and synthetic copies can be produced in the laboratory. Synthetic pheromones can be used in conjunction with traps to catch male insects. There are a number[Read More…]


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FieldWatch is an easy-to-use, reliable, accurate and secure on-line mapping tool intended to enhance communications that promote awareness and stewardship activities between producers of specialty crops, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators. Originally developed at Purdue University, FieldWatch is now a non-profit company with support from producers, applicators, agricultural chemical companies and other organizations. The program allows specialty crop producers and beekeepers to enter their locations on a secure on-line map. The map is viewed by pesticide applicators so they know what crops are in the area they intend to treat. All you need to do to sign up is visit http://www.fieldwatch.com/ and follow the easy tutorials under the resources tab. Once you have an account, you should be asked to update your FieldWatch (DriftWatch) information each year. If you have not heard from FieldWatch recently, log on to to update your account information. The service is free. You can purchase signs[Read More…]


Chandler plants

Although strawberry plants can be quite cold hardy, they need protection to survive the winter. In North Carolina, growers use floating row covers to protect strawberries in the winter. In Indiana, straw mulch is a more traditional way of winter protection for strawberries grown in a matted row system. After two relatively mild winters in 2015 and 2016, I heard successful stories about growing strawberries with the plasticulture system and using row covers for winter protection in Southern Indiana. Can the system also be successful in a colder winter, like the one that just passed? Our ongoing strawberry study will provide the answer. This article provides an update from this project comparing strawberries covered with straw mulch (about 4-inch thick) and row covers (two layers of 1.5-oz/yard2 row cover laid on wire hoops) this past winter (Figure 1).   Temperature Between Dec. 27 to Jan 6, we had the coldest[Read More…]


The Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide is updated each year by the Midwest Fruit Workers group to provide the most complete information and recommendations for controlling weeds, diseases and insect pests of all major fruit crops grown in the Midwest. For the past three years, the guide has combined information on tree fruit, small fruit and grapes. There are many revisions in this year’s version as there have been a number of label changes by manufacturers and several new products registered. The guide is valuable resource for all fruit growers as it keeps them up to date on the latest products, registrations and recommendations. Be sure to get a new copy before the spray season starts. The guide is available from the Purdue Education Store in print format for $15 plus shipping and handling at: https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=ID-465. Copies will also be available at some of our workshops and summer meetings. It[Read More…]


If  you sold, or normally do you sell, more than $1000 worth of agricultural products in a year then it is your responsibility to fill out the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture.  USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from ALL the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture – of all farmers and ranchers across the country – NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring. NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering documents for taxes and the census. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used data. We must communicate and paint an accurate picture of our agricultural industry in order to garner support from the public and legislature. Federal law mandates that[Read More…]


The proper time to remove straw from matted row strawberries is when the bare-soil temperature at 4 inches averages about 40-43˚F. This usually coincides with mid to late March in central Indiana. This year is later than average with soil temperatures still in the 40s.  Plants will begin pushing new leaves as the soil temperatures rise steadily so the straw should be raked off the tops of the beds and into the row middles. Leaving some straw on top of the beds for plants to grow up through provides a clean surface for fruit. Straw should be removed from beds before the plants grow enough to cause yellowing of foliage. Allowing the leaves to become etiolated (yellowed with long petioles) due to late straw removal can reduce yields by as much as 25%. However, uncovering the plants early may promote early growth and increase chances of frost or freeze injury.[Read More…]


Anthracnose, caused by Elsinoe veneta, is a common fungal disease on black raspberries and some blackberries. It is much less common on red raspberries. Most modern thornless blackberries (Apache, Triple Crown, Osage, Ouachita, etc) are resistant to anthracnose. Most black raspberry cultivars are highly susceptible. If you grow a susceptible variety, is is important to control this disease early. Damage to canes and leaves can reduce vigor and fruit size, and fruit infections are possible. A single application of fungicide is effective at controlling anthracnose, but timing is critical. It must be applied just as the shoots are beginning to grow. Normally we recommend applications at 1/2 to 3/4 inch shoots. The time for applications is upon us! Brambles should be at the appropriate stage for treatment soon. Apply liquid lime sulfur, Sulforix, or copper hydroxide according to label recommendations. Lime sulfur or Sulforix may burn the leaves if they[Read More…]