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
Insect ControlExceptional Care Needed When Taking On Common Blossom Thrips
January 21, 2015
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this insect pest of vegetables. Read More
CitrusBayer CropScience Launches Latest Insecticide, Sivanto
January 20, 2015
New product delivers precision pest control to preserve the health of plants and protect fruit and vegetable crops. Read More
CitrusElevated Expectations For UAV Use In Agriculture
January 15, 2015
Uncertainties aside, many believe unmanned aircraft will find a lasting place in farming. Read More
BerriesCalifornia Strawberry Commission Awarded More than $1 Million To Reduce Fumigation
January 14, 2015
Strawberry farmers are dedicated to finding sustainable alternatives to fumigants such as methyl bromide. Read More
Crop ProtectionGowan USA Announces Registration Of Zing! Fungicide
January 14, 2015
The fungicide is approved for use in potato, tomato, cucurbits, and onions. Read More
BerriesStrawberry Growers Get New Disease-Fighting Smartphone App
January 12, 2015
Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference attendees get first look at ‘MyIPM.’ Read More
FruitsHerbicide Resistance Is Tough To Handle
January 6, 2015
Growers need to plan a multipronged attack, including cultural practices and new products. Read More
The Latest
Apples & PearsSurvey: Positive Indicators For Biocontrols In U.S. Hor…
January 22, 2015
Preliminary results of a survey conducted in December 2014 of more than 850 readers across six Meister Media Worldwide titles Read More
CitrusAsian Citrus Psyllid Marches North In California Citrus…
January 22, 2015
Part of one of the richest agricultural areas in the U.S., Fresno County, has been quarantined. Read More
Apples & PearsReal-World Solutions Highlight First Biocontrols 2015 C…
January 22, 2015
Topping the inaugural event's marquee are presentations on “Driving Crop Quality and Productivity Using Biocontrols” by representatives from two of the largest produce growing organizations in the country. Read More
CitrusElevated Expectations For UAV Use In Agriculture
January 15, 2015
Uncertainties aside, many believe unmanned aircraft will find a lasting place in farming. Read More
BerriesCalifornia Strawberry Commission Awarded More than $1 M…
January 14, 2015
Strawberry farmers are dedicated to finding sustainable alternatives to fumigants such as methyl bromide. Read More
Crop ProtectionGowan USA Announces Registration Of Zing! Fungicide
January 14, 2015
The fungicide is approved for use in potato, tomato, cucurbits, and onions. Read More
Crop ProtectionWeed Control Update For 2015
January 5, 2015
Staying up to date on the latest crop protection products and label changes is a job in and of itself. Read More
Crop ProtectionSuccess Sans Methyl Bromide Could Prove Costly
December 19, 2014
Economic factors must be accounted for when seeking a suitable replacement. Read More
Crop ProtectionFine Americas Bolsters Technical, Sales Force
December 16, 2014
Plant growth regulator company adds two industry veterans to enhance agriculture, ornamental, and landscape business. Read More
Crop ProtectionBioSafe Systems Announces Amendment To ZeroTol 2.0 Bact…
December 9, 2014
ZeroTol 2.0 is now labeled for use on fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse. Read More
Crop ProtectionSustainability’s Unintended Consequences [Opinion]
December 5, 2014
The good and bad of Whole Foods’ “Responsibly Grown” initiative. Read More
Crop ProtectionPotential Biological Control Found For Potent Avocado P…
December 2, 2014
University of Florida scientists believe fungi could be key to beating the red bay ambrosia beetle and laurel wilt disease. Read More
Crop ProtectionThe Unlikely Parallel Between Human And Plant Health
October 31, 2014
One of the notable national developments in the summer of 2014 was the unexpected occurrence of serious respiratory infections in Read More
CitrusUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
The funds will go toward helping growers implement conservation practices to improve honey bee health. Read More
CitrusEPA Launches Program To Reduce Pesticide Drift
October 22, 2014
The voluntary star-rating program aims to protect people, wildlife and the environment. Read More
Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More
Crop ProtectionCalifornia To Ban Some Pesticides In San Joaquin Valley
September 24, 2014
Chemistries with high Volatile Organic Compounds are used on pistachios, almonds, walnuts, grapes, and citrus crops. Read More
Postharvest Fungicide Treatments For Decay Management In Cherries [sponsor content]
Crop ProtectionPostharvest Fungicide Treatments For Decay Management I…
September 22, 2014
Take a look the results of efficacy tests for postharvest fungicide treatments, as shared by Jim Adaskaveg, plant pathologist at Read More