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Showing posts from 2018

Join Us for the Local Foods College

I hope you're able to join us for this fall's Local Foods College. These one hour webinars start at 6pm for each session.

The first week has passed and covered fall tillage strategies, you can watch the recording here.

Upcoming webinars include;

9/25: Growing Great Garlic in MN10/9: Fall Vegetables: Storage and Preserving Tips10/16: Growing Pains: What the bug is this?10/23: FSMA and Food Safety Introduction Get registered and learn more about the series here.

Grazing Crop Residue

by Melissa Runck, UMN Extension Educator, Pipestone and Murray Counties

As the days get shorter, the temperatures get cooler, and pastures are being grazed down, cattle producers are starting to look for alternative feeding methods to get them by until they start feeding winter feed stuffs.In any beef-cow operation feeds costs tend to be the largest expense, which makes finding alternative and low-cost feed options a great opportunity to save money and increase profits. So what makes a feed source more economical than your stored feed source at home?Typically one that is grazed and the producer didn’t have to harvest or transport.If livestock can do the work themselves by grazing and there are few additional labor requirements needed from the producer, then grazing some type of forage or plant residue makes sense. Having cattle graze crop residue, or the remaining biomass left over after a planted crop has been harvested, can prolong one’s stored feed resources. Crop residue is the r…

Keeping Produce Safe – GAPs, FSMA, and upcoming training options for you

What is the FSMA Produce Safety Rule?
You may have heard of new federal food safety legislation called the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. FSMA is the first major overhaul to the US food system since 1938. The goal of FSMA is to shift away from responding to outbreaks toward prevention of microbial contamination. The FSMA is comprised of 7 rules which apply to the entire food system, including growers, processors, shippers and foreign suppliers. The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) is the rule within FSMA that applies specifically to farmers who grow fresh fruits and vegetables. These standards are based on a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and understanding on-farm risks, but the PSR is mandatory (for some farms), while GAP certification is buyer-driven and voluntary. In short, you get a GAP audit to fulfill a requirement from a buyer like a wholesale distributor, but the new Produce Safety Rule now mandates some of these practices for some farms.
Trainings:
University…

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 12 - Japanese Beetle

How Much Do We Really Know About Japanese Beetles?

Everyone is talking about Japanese beetles this season, but how much do we actually know about how to control them?

In this episode, Extension Educator Jeff Hahn and Entomology graduate student Dominique Ebbenga help me bust some myths about Japanese beetle control. We break down the ins and outs of this invasive pest, and they reveal some fascinating facts about what makes them such a
tough foe for fruits and vegetables in Minnesota.

Listen to this episode here, or on iTunes.

Produced by: Annie Klodd, kloddann@umn.edu

Newcastle Disease Alert

Last week, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health received a report from Michelle Carstensen with the Minnesota DNR that Double-crested Cormorants (DCCO) in Minnesota have been identified with Newcastle Disease (Avian Paramyxovirus-1).  The DCCO mortality began August 7, 2018 at Chautauqua Lake (Lye Lake) in Ottertail County, approximately 5 miles southeast of Fergus Falls, MN. Dead and sick cormorants were on two islands near each other, most birds left the island when approached by boat, most including the young of the year could fly. Approximately 25 of the young of the year could not fly, they could only use one wing. The other wing hung at the side and was not being used. Two were seen in the water and had trouble holding their heads up. Most of the carcasses appeared to be dead for some time. Turkey Vultures were feeding in the area.  Two DCCO were collected on August 7; one was found dead and the other was euthanized by cervical dislocation.  Both of the cormorants submitted wer…

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 11 - Pollinators and IPM Part III

In our August episodes on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation as part of IPM, we'll discuss some background on how pollinators and beneficial insects are faring in our current agricultural systems, how farmers can implement beneficial habitat, and some tips for managing pests without harming beneficial insects. 
In this episode, we're joined by Karin Jokela, Xerces Society Conservation Planner.
As always, please provide feedback so that we can improve our podcast!

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 10 - Pollinators and IPM Part II

In our August episodes on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation as part of IPM, we'll discuss some background on how pollinators and beneficial insects are faring in our current agricultural systems, how farmers can implement beneficial habitat, and some tips for managing pests without harming beneficial insects. 
In this episode, we're joined by Karin Jokela, Xerces Society Conservation Planner.
As always, please provide feedback so that we can improve our podcast!

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 9 - Pollinators and IPM Part 1

In our August episodes on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation as part of IPM, we'll discuss some background on how pollinators and beneficial insects are faring in our current agricultural systems, how farmers can implement beneficial habitat, and some tips for managing pests without harming beneficial insects. 
This week, we're joined by Elaine Evans, UMN native bee expert
As always, please provide feedback so that we can improve our podcast!

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 8 - Trunk Diseases in MN Grapes

In this episode, Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Fruit and Vegetable Production Educator, is discussing trunk diseases of grapes.

For more information on trunk diseases, see http://treeandvinetrunkdiseases.org/. Please remember to provide feedback so that we can improve our podcast! Feedback can be provided at this link.

How do I start a cottage food business?

By Suzanne Driessen Extension food safety educator
Do you have extra produce in your garden? Make the tastiest granola? Perfected jalepeño apricot buffalo wing sauce? Why not turn these products into a cottage food business and join the ranks of 2600 Minnesota registered cottage food producers.
Under the 2015 Minnesota Cottage Food law, many shelf stable or unrefrigerated food products made in a home kitchen can be sold to the direct consumer at farmers’ markets and community events. Examples of cottage foods include high-acid, canned food products--preserves, pickles and salsas--and low-moisture baked goods fruit pies, bread, pastries, cakes, cookies and specialty items like candy, dried herbs jam and jelly dry mixes, flavored vinegars and more.
Interested? Here are tips to get started as a cottage food producer (CFP): Learn the provisions of the law.Check out the allowed and not allowed food list here. Stop by your local farmers’ market. What are other CFPs making and selling? What do…

Hops Workshop in Waseca

University of Minnesota (UMN) and Minnesota Hop Growers Association (MHGA) are pleased to offer a Summer 2018 Workshop at the UMN Southern Research and Outreach Center (35838 120th St, Waseca) on August 4th, 2018

Discussion will include new hop varieties from UMN and their future distribution, hop quality with brewer insights, and powdery mildew control and prevention. An on-site tour of UMN’s hop field plots will also take place later in the workshop. Lunch is included in the registration fee. 

Registration is $20 for MHGA members and $40 for non-members. 

Please register online here.
Workshop Agenda
9:00 - 9:30 - Registration - Coffee & snacks will be available.9:30 - 10:15  - Hop Breeding Research Update
Charlie Rohwer, UMN10:15 – 11:00 a.m. – Hop Variety Commercialization Process: Future Prospects for UMN Hop Varieties
BJ Haun, UMN11:00 – 12:00 – Post Harvest Factors Affecting Hop Quality
Dave Buss, Davali Ridge Farm, Waterloo, WI12:00-1:00 - Lunch
Included with regist…

Grape Grower Workshop - Get Ready for Harvest

UMN Extension along with the Southern MN Wine Grower Alliance (SMWGA) are partnering to hold a workshop focused on harvest preparations to include quality testing, netting, late season sprays, and cellar equipment maintenance, wine oxidation management, and more.

When: Monday, July 30th from 4-6 pm
Where: Indian Island Winery, 18018 631st Ave, Janesville, MN 56048
Cost: $25/person and $20 for SMWGA members.
Instructors: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator Fruit and Vegetable Production and Drew Horton, UMN Enology Specialist

Register with Lisa Smiley, winegroweralliance@gmail.com or call 651-492-5393. Checks can be made payable to SMWGA.

For more details view the event flyer.

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.

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 6 - UMN Plant Disease Clinic

This month's episodes of "What's Killing My Kale?" is all about plant diseases. 

We start in part 1 with a trip to the University of MN Plant Disease Clinic to learn about the services they provide to growers. Visit their website here: https://pdc.umn.edu/.

You can listen to this episode here, on Stitcher, or iTunes


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 www.fruitedge.umn.edu.
You can listen to the podcast here, on iTunes, or Stitcher.

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 4 - Spotted Wing Drosophila

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 episode of the podcast provides growers with top recommendations on managing SWD from Mary Rogers, Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the University of MN. Additional information on SWD can be found at www.fruitedge.umn.edu.

You can listen to the podcast here, on iTunes, or Stitcher.

IPM Field Days Next Week

Annie Klodd UMN Extension Educator Fruit and Vegetable Production 
These workshops have been postponed due to low registration.

UMN Extension’s Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Team is hosting three Vegetable IPM evening field days throughout MN in June, from 5:00-8:00 pm.
Locations and dates include:
June 12: St. Paul @ UMN Student Organic Farm (This location has been cancelled) June 14: Waseca @ UMN Southern Research and Outreach Center June 19: Alexandria @ Berry Ridge Farm
Integrated Pest Management emphases combining diverse techniques for more sustainable and effective pest management. Join us for an evening of IPM strategies for vegetable crops. In Alexandria, the field day will include additional information on high tunnel pest management and fruit as well. Hone your skills, or learn new ones, to better tackle our most challenging diseases, insects, and weeds.
Activities include: Insect and disease management strategies Weeds: Innovative equipment and tactics for controlling weeds Spra…

Organic Pig Production Workshop in Morris

by Wayne Martin
UMN Extension Educator

The University of Minnesota Extension Small Farms Program will
host a workshop on Organic Pig Production at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), University of Minnesota in Morris, MN.

Date/Location- It will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2018, from 9:30-3:00 p.m. in the Ag
Country Auditorium of the WCROC. A map of the area can be viewed here.

David Stender, Extension Educator at Iowa State University, Lee Johnston, Professor of Swine Nutrition and Management at the University of Minnesota, Jim VanDerPol, an innovative hog farmer from Kerkhoven, MN will be the speakers.

Tentative Agenda:
9:15 – 9:30 am Coffee
9:30 – 10:30 am Feeding organic pigs – traditional (corn/SBM) vs. alternative feed – Lee Johnston
10:30 – 11:30 am Benchmark and financial management of organic pig production – David Stender
11:30 – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 pm Breeds and genotypes for organic pig production – David Stender
1:00 – 1:30 pm Designing farrowing pens – our…

Winter Camelina Field Day to be held June 27 in Waseca, Minnesota

By Connie Carlson Associate Program Director Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
University of MinnesotaRegional Sustainable Development Partnerships Waseca, MN. --  The University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) invite processors, food entrepreneurs, culinary professionals, growers, and the curious public to learn about a new oilseed crop, winter camelina, on June 27th in Waseca, Minnesota.

Winter camelina (Camelina sativa) has a long history as an oil seed crop with great potential for use as a cash cover crop providing both protect soil and water while providing economic benefits to farmers in the Upper Midwest.

The Field Day event will be held at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, Minnesota and will highlight current research and work underway to launch camelina into Minnesota’s agricultural landscape. Visitors will see camelina growing in the field and learn from UMN agronomists best production pra…