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
sprayer nozzles
Citrus
November 29, 2016
Review Shows Low Risk To Aquatic Invertebrates From Neonicotinoids
Peer-reviewed evaluation of more than 100 studies finds uses of imidacloprid are unlikely to harm aquatic invertebrate communities, or the birds and fish that rely on them. Read More
Closeup of Q-biotype or B-biotype whitefly
Crop Protection
November 29, 2016
Tackle Whiteflies Head On
Reported in outdoor landscapes this year, vegetable growers must be prepared to mitigate the spread of the Q-Biotype. Read More
Using attractants such as wildflower mixes and shrubs ensures that bees have access to a steady source of flowering plants to keep them on your farm even during the off season.  Photo credit: Rachael Long
Crop Protection
November 28, 2016
Attract Pollinators To Your Farm
Learn how to build the optimal breeding ground for bees. Read More
Bacterial soft rot has proven to be a challenge for southeastern growers. Photo credit: Jason Chandler
Crop Protection
November 28, 2016
Stave Off Sweet Potato Disease
Management can be made easier through variety selection and improved sanitation practices. Read More
Symptomless plum tree infected with plum pox virus.  (Photo credit: William Shane)
Disease Control
November 28, 2016
Tips To Keep Your Stone Fruit Orchard Clean
Managing serious plant diseases of peach and plums requires a cooperative approach. Read More
Spring Valley Farms in Umatilla, FL, from a drone
Citrus
November 22, 2016
Arysta Partners With Beem Biologics To License New Technology
Agreement to expand Arysta’s portfolio with new biocontrol releases. Read More
potato field
Crop Protection
November 21, 2016
Syngenta Announces New Fungicide Product Line
The Miravis brand contains a new active ingredient that is currently pending EPA approval. Read More
The Latest
Crop Protection
December 4, 2016
Bio Huma Netics Opens New Lab Facility
Facility to improve quality control and help expand product line. Read More
Crop Protection
November 30, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium…
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen. Read More
Citrus
November 29, 2016
Review Shows Low Risk To Aquatic Inverte…
Peer-reviewed evaluation of more than 100 studies finds uses of imidacloprid are unlikely to harm aquatic invertebrate communities, or the birds and fish that rely on them. Read More
Crop Protection
November 29, 2016
Tackle Whiteflies Head On
Reported in outdoor landscapes this year, vegetable growers must be prepared to mitigate the spread of the Q-Biotype. Read More
Crop Protection
November 28, 2016
Attract Pollinators To Your Farm
Learn how to build the optimal breeding ground for bees. Read More
Crop Protection
November 28, 2016
Stave Off Sweet Potato Disease
Management can be made easier through variety selection and improved sanitation practices. Read More
Citrus
November 22, 2016
Arysta Partners With Beem Biologics To L…
Agreement to expand Arysta’s portfolio with new biocontrol releases. Read More
Crop Protection
November 21, 2016
Syngenta Announces New Fungicide Product…
The Miravis brand contains a new active ingredient that is currently pending EPA approval. Read More
Citrus
November 21, 2016
EPA Extends Comment Period For Malathion
Growers have the opportunity to comment on a draft of human health risk assessment. Read More
Crop Protection
November 8, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium…
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen in watermelon crops. Read More
Crop Protection
November 1, 2016
Soil Health Roadmap Makes The Case For I…
The plan sets the framework to achieve widespread adoption of adaptive soil health systems on more than 50% of U.S. cropland by 2025. Read More
Crop Protection
October 31, 2016
Zika And Zucchini Yellow Mosaic: Analog…
While we certainly do not equate the seriousness of Zika with agricultural problems, the Zika virus can serve as a reminder about aspects of the many plant-infecting viruses, from alfalfa mosaic to zucchini yellow mosaic, that affect vegetables. Read More
Crop Protection
October 25, 2016
New Technique Promising For Controlling …
Spray rigs are designed to increase efficiency while still controlling targeted pests. Read More
Crop Protection
October 25, 2016
Vegetable Grafting Facility Gears Up For…
The Tri-Hishtil vegetable grafting facility in North Carolina hopes to double grafted plant production by next year. Read More
Crop Protection
October 18, 2016
Luna Fungicide Now Registered In Califor…
Luna label expansion in California gives fruit and vegetable growers a new option for broad-spectrum disease control. Read More
Crop Protection
October 11, 2016
New Rules For Fumigant In California
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation announced an update to how 1,3-Dichloropropene is managed and used in the state. Read More
Crop Protection
October 11, 2016
New Fungicide For Lettuce Growers
Product is proven to control lettuce drop. Read More
Crop Protection
October 6, 2016
The Effects Of Poly-Coated Urea On Sweet…
Research compares the effects between poly-coated urea and regular urea on sweet corn growth. Read More