Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Conference Covers Crop Protection, Food Safety, And Much More

The Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Conference taking place this week in Hershey, PA, is in full swing, and sessions have been jam packed with eager attendees. Topics have ranged from challenges young growers face in the industry, emerging trends in CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), organic management of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), benefits of grafting, and of course, food safety.

Before the show’s official start on Tuesday, the Young Growers Alliance offered a workshop titled “Opportunities for a New Generation of Specialty Crop Growers,” and focused on several challenges and opportunities for young growers in a series of panel discussions and presentations.
During a discussion on challenges, employee management rose to the surface as a common concern, and team building, employee training, and delegation of tasks were three main areas the young growers mentioned. One important bit of advice the panelists mentioned: outsource tasks whenever possible. If there’s someone else that can do it better, make sure you’re delegating tasks to them.

In a presentation on CSA trends by Carla Snyder and Brian Moyer from Penn State Extension, both mentioned the exponential growth of the trend in the last several years and provided a few quick tips for growers looking to consider the program:

1. Growers are responsible for everything: growing, advertising, packaging, selling.
2. There is a high level of commitment in all of these stages, or else product is wasted.
3. Having a CSA requires intense planning.
4. You must have good communication with your members.
5. CSAs are not a good model for those just beginning in agriculture.

Crop Protection And Food Safety
Gladis Zinati from the Rodale Institute offered information on managing BMSB, and from her research at the institute combined with support from 11 universities and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, had several suggestions: using pyramid traps with pheromones and trap cropping with sorghum and sunflowers.

Out of all the trap crops she trialed, sorghum tested the best and attracted the most beneficial insects, including ladybugs, katydids, and praying mantis. Zinati suggests, planting the trap crops around the perimeter of the cash crops to divert BMSB.

In a food safety discussion led by Rick VanVranken from Rutgers University Extension, he addressed some of the basics of the law, and mentioned the FSMA Fact Sheet where growers can determine whether or not the preventative controls apply to them.

VanVranken also mentioned the possibility of developing alternative guidelines for crops, but highlighted the need for these guidelines to be scientifically established before consideration by FDA.
Be sure to stay tuned for more detailed coverage of the show in future issues of American Vegetable Grower, American Fruit Grower, and on GrowingProduce.com.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Protection Stories
Crop Protection
January 27, 2017
Modern Soil Tests Give You More Control
The long-term benefits of having field-specific information on soil biological and physical processes are discussed by Cornell University's Thomas Bjorkman. Read More
Stemphylium leaf spot of spinach
Disease Control
January 20, 2017
Don’t Let Stemphylium Leaf Spot Stump Your Spinach Crop
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Late blight shown in a tomato
Disease Control
January 19, 2017
Clues Found to Block Late Blight’s Blitz on Potatoes, Tomatoes
With food security at stake, breakthrough in genetic research could help prevent more strains of the deadly pathogen from entering the U.S. Read More
Crop Protection
January 16, 2017
Monsanto, NRGene Enter Agreement for Big Data Genomic Analysis Technology
Technology platform is designed to help Monsanto analyze, store, and mine its genomic data sets to enhance breeding and R&D opportunities. Read More
Close-up of mature diamondback moth
Insect Control
January 13, 2017
3 Ways to Save Your Vegetable Crops From Diamondback Moths
An integrated approach is key to managing this destructive pest. Read More
Crop Protection
January 10, 2017
New Research May Help in the Fight Against Insect-Transmitted Viruses in Vegetables
The findings depict the first time that a viral effector protein has been seen as attracting insect vectors to feed on plants through odor.  Read More
2-spotted spider mites
Crop Protection
January 9, 2017
Vegalab US Offers a New Formulation of Spider Mite Control   
The biological product attacks spider mites in two ways. Read More
The Latest
Crop Protection
January 31, 2017
Defend Your Cole Crops from Three Critic…
Learn symptoms, causal agents, and control measures for black rot, Alternaria leaf spot, and downy mildew. Read More
Crop Protection
January 30, 2017
Understand What Your Soil Test Means to …
Cornell University’s standard soil health test uses physical and biological indicators to determine how you can better serve your soil and, ultimately, your crop.  Read More
Crop Protection
January 27, 2017
New Foliar-Applied Dual Mode Insecticide…
Cormoran, released by Adama USA, helps protect apples, pears, and other specialty crops, will target egg and larva stage of pests. Read More
Crop Protection
January 27, 2017
Modern Soil Tests Give You More Control
The long-term benefits of having field-specific information on soil biological and physical processes are discussed by Cornell University's Thomas Bjorkman. Read More
Crop Protection
January 16, 2017
Monsanto, NRGene Enter Agreement for Big…
Technology platform is designed to help Monsanto analyze, store, and mine its genomic data sets to enhance breeding and R&D opportunities. Read More
Crop Protection
January 10, 2017
New Research May Help in the Fight Again…
The findings depict the first time that a viral effector protein has been seen as attracting insect vectors to feed on plants through odor.  Read More
Crop Protection
January 9, 2017
Vegalab US Offers a New Formulation of S…
The biological product attacks spider mites in two ways. Read More
Crop Protection
January 5, 2017
Labor, Efficiency, and the Future of Wee…
Increases in labor costs will affect the costs of production of vegetable crops in California, so growers will have to take advantage of production practices that help reduce weed pressure. Read More
Crop Protection
January 5, 2017
Scientists Aim to Improve Nitrogen, Wat…
Genetic research intends to develop varieties with enhanced nutrient uptake. Read More
Crop Protection
January 4, 2017
New Potato Insecticide/Fungicide Seed Tr…
Syngenta’s CruiserMaxx Vibrance receives EPA registration. Read More
Crop Protection
January 4, 2017
Common Purslane Needs Diligence to Conqu…
A pest in the West, purslane has potential to impact all vegetables grown throughout North America. Read More
Citrus
December 17, 2016
Pesticide Safety Manual Released
EPA, Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative updates manual for worker standards. Read More
Citrus
December 13, 2016
Monsanto Shareholders OK Deal With Bayer
Companies one step closer to "advancing together." Read More
Citrus
December 13, 2016
USDA Frees Up $4 Million For GMO Researc…
National Institute of Food and Agriculture allocates funding to help evaluate genetically modified organisms. Read More
Citrus
December 13, 2016
Pesticide Residues Practically Nil
Pesticide data program summary released after testing 10,000 samples from fresh produce, vegetables, and processed foods. Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
New Fact Sheet Analyzes Weed Seeds And T…
Topics covered include how weed seeds travel, when they germinate, and ways they can be eliminated. Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
Scientists Aim To Improve Nitrogen, Wate…
Genetic research intends to develop varieties with enhanced nutrient uptake. Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
Orondis Opti Fungicide Receives Registra…
The product provides control of Oomycete diseases in vegetables and other specialty crops. Read More