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What's Killing My Kale? Episode 7 - Diseases of Brassicas

This month's episodes of "What's Killing My Kale?" are all about plant diseases. In this episode, we talk with Michelle Grabowski about diseases in Brassica plants, and what growers should be thinking about in terms of scouting and management in the upcoming weeks.

You can listen to this episode here, on Stitcher, or iTunes.
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Pesticide Drift on Organic Farms in Minnesota

By Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension

Protect your Farm from drift

List your farm on DriftWatch so that applicators know to avoid spraying near your farm. It is also a good idea to plant buffers around your farm to create a physical barrier for spray droplets.

If you are exposed to pesticide drift

If you suspect that you’ve been personally drifted on, consider seeking immediate medical attention. Take a long shower (30 minutes) as soon as possible, and use plenty of soap. Put your unwashed clothing in a plastic bag and freeze it separately from food to prevent cross contamination; your clothing could be used as evidence in a drift complaint. If you choose to file a complaint, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) immediately or as soon as you able. Most pesticides degrade quickly in the environment, so act quickly to improve the likelihood that your Agricultural Chemical Inspector (ACI) can determine a pesticide or fertilizer violation of the law. Contact your certifying agenc…

Silvopasture Workshop: Central Minnesota

Farmers, livestock producers, natural resource professionals are invited to learn how to use silvopasture to improve productivity of wooded and marginal pastures while achieving environmental conservation! At this workshop, you will learn how silvopasture can be employed as part of your rotational grazing plan.

About the Workshop: The workshop will begin Friday evening, July 13th, with a networking and a panel discussion composed of practitioners, and natural resource professionals to share their experience about Silvopasture. And then it will continue on Saturday morning, July 14th, with indoor presentations and site visits to three sites in the afternoon. We will visit three farms including the Camp Hill Village, the Early Boots farm, and Stonebridge Beef that is practicing silvopasture and is raising grass-fed beef using the system. At this workshop, participants will conduct a case study as an exercise applying the establishment and management principles of silvopasture.

Expert sp…

Biosecurity During Fair Time

By Michaela Simcoe, University of Minnesota Extension
County fairs and other livestock exhibitions will soon be in full swing around Minnesota. Fairs are a great way for people in the community to learn more about livestock and the people that take care of them, but it can also be a risk for the animals and people involved. The combination of animals coming from multiple farms in one area and increased stress due to new environments can present a biosecurity hazard for animals at the fair as well as your herd at home. The following fair biosecurity checklist will help to prevent disease spread during the busy fair season.

At the Fair  ❏Check out the livestock housing area. The barn should be clean and properly ventilated with adequate space between animals. Nose-nose contact is the quickest way to spread disease, so preventing contact between livestock from different farms is very important. ❏Provide animals with ample feed and water. The stress of new surroundings combined with exces…

Farm Tour in Todd County

By Eric Koehlmoos, University of Minnesota Extension

The University of Minnesota Extension is pleased to announce that there will be a Small Farm Tour in Todd County this summer. The Small Farm Tour is an opportunity for small farm producers to interact and learn from University of Minnesota Extension Educators and from their fellow producers.

This year’s Small Farm Tour will take place on Wednesday, July 18th from 2-5 PM at Kleinschmidt Farms. Kleinschmidt Farms is owned and operated by Russell and Jess Kleinschmidt, located at 44910 County 21, Staples, MN. A detailed tour and program with extension educators will take place from 2-4 PM, with an open question and answer session from 4-5 pm.

About the farm

Kleinschmidt Farms features over 60 varieties of vegetables in their outdoor gardens and in their high tunnel. In addition to vegetables, they also have a grass-fed beef herd and a pasture broiler and egg-laying operation. They market their goods through a variety of channels, includ…

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 5 - Spotted Wing Drosophila Part II

This month's episodes of "What's Killing My Kale?" focus on Spotted Wing Drosophila. This invasive vinegar fly, now widespread in Minnesota, is a major concern for small fruit growers as it lays its eggs directly in the flesh of many high value fruits. 
This podcast episode provides growers with top recommendations on managing SWD from Jim Riddle, long-time organic fruit grower and owner of Blue Fruit Farm.
Additional information on SWD can be found at
You can listen to the podcast here, on iTunes, or Stitcher.