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
White rust of crucifers
Disease Control
January 21, 2016
Beware The Warning Signs For White Rust Of Spinach
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Weeds in strawberry for web
Apples & Pears
January 20, 2016
Herbicide Flood Irrigation Application Approved for California Orchards And Vineyards
Crops include stone fruit, pome fruit, grapes, tree nuts, and olives. Read More
Extreme closeup of invasive wood-boring insect Xyleborus volvulus
Citrus
January 20, 2016
Agriculture Agents Intercept Invasive Beetle At Miami’s Seaport
Notorious wood borer hitched a ride in a container of cucumbers arriving from Costa Rica. Read More
baskets of produce
Citrus
January 20, 2016
USDA Report: Pesticide Residues Not A Food Safety Concern
Following monthly samplings, survey finds more than 99% of products sampled fall below EPA tolerances for pesticide residues. Read More
Fertilizer bander in a Florida potato field
Citrus
January 18, 2016
Farming Fertility Practices Evolving With Environment In Mind
Improving water quality while maintaining production is being achieved in American agriculture. Read More
Other technological developments include automated harvesters for salad plant lettuce.
Leafy Vegetables
January 4, 2016
New Weeding Technology Available For Vegetable Growers
Other technological developments include automated harvesters for salad plant lettuce. Read More
Weeds in strawberry for web
Berries
January 3, 2016
Get A Grip On Weeds In Strawberries
Control techniques include properly timed herbicide applications and crop rotation. Read More
The Latest
Berries
February 5, 2016
Moving Beyond Methyl Bromide With Biofun…
Editor’s note: University of California Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will present much more information on this topic at the Biocontrols Read More
Crop Protection
February 5, 2016
Register Now For Biocontrols Conference …
Space is limited, so register now to attend the first-ever Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference Field and Greenhouse Tour. Following the Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Syngenta OKs Buyout By ChemChina
Deal valued at more than $43 billion; Syngenta management team to stay intact. Read More
Citrus
January 20, 2016
USDA Report: Pesticide Residues Not A Fo…
Following monthly samplings, survey finds more than 99% of products sampled fall below EPA tolerances for pesticide residues. Read More
Berries
January 3, 2016
Get A Grip On Weeds In Strawberries
Control techniques include properly timed herbicide applications and crop rotation. Read More
Apples & Pears
December 28, 2015
FruitGrowerConnect Solves Growers’ Probl…
More than 35 grower and supplier operations gathered at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego in November for Read More
Citrus
December 11, 2015
DuPont, Dow Intend To Merge
Venture worth $130 billion and the two chemical companies plan to spin into three independent, publicly traded companies with agriculture among the three. Read More
Crop Protection
December 3, 2015
Take Lettuce Pests Head On
Tips for you to manage key lettuce pests in the Southwest. Read More
Crop Protection
December 2, 2015
The Battle Against Downy Mildew In Spina…
With an increasing number of races, the need for resistant varieties and control measures takes center stage in spinach production. Read More
Crop Protection
November 16, 2015
New Biopesticide Helicovex Receives U.S.…
Product from Andermatt Biocontrol Ag controls several pests including corn earworm. Read More
Crop Protection
November 10, 2015
Management Tactics To Control Cucurbit Y…
This virus, which was discovered in 2006, is transmitted by whiteflies and infects several melon types in Arizona and California. Read More
Citrus
November 3, 2015
Bee Scientist Says He Was Punished For N…
Minnesota National Public Radio recently reported on a whistleblower complaint filed by USDA entomologist of USDA’s Brookings, S.D., Agriculture Research Read More
Citrus
November 3, 2015
EPA Proposes To Ban Chlorpyrifos
EPA is seeking comments on a recently released proposal to reject tolerances of chlorpyrifos in response to a court-ordered deadline. Read More
Crop Protection
October 28, 2015
Weather Changes Alter Pest Populations, …
The weather trends in the West are driving the biology in commercial agricultural fields, and plant diseases have been influenced by these weather developments. Read More
Citrus
October 19, 2015
Florida Growers Feeling Bugged To Death …
Invasive pest problems continue to pile onto what’s an already challenging job. Read More
Crop Protection
October 15, 2015
EPA Registers New Bionematicide
Marrone Bio Innovations product provides new mode of action, keeping insect eggs from hatching. Read More
Crop Protection
October 6, 2015
New Invasive Vegetable Pest Found In Mic…
Swede midge impacts cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other crucifers. Read More
Crop Protection
October 3, 2015
Defend Your Roots From Rodents
Just past harvest, but prior to the first snowfall in the northern climes, is a good time to protect your orchards and vineyards from gnawing pests. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]