Posts Tagged ‘asparagus’

Asparagus Program Deadline Nears

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced on June 25 that it had certified a petition for asparagus under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program. U.S. asparagus producers, nationwide, must apply by September 21, 2010 for training and benefits. The TAA for Farmers Program provides technical training and cash benefits to eligible U.S. producers and fishermen of raw agricultural commodities whose crops or catch have been adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive commodities.

After reviewing a petition submitted in April 2010 by the National Asparagus Council, FAS determined that increased imports of asparagus during January-December 2009 contributed importantly to a greater than 15 percent decline in the quantity of production in 2009, compared to the average of the three preceding marketing years. This conforms to the eligibility requirements stipulated in Subtitle C of Title I of the Trade Act of 2002 (Pub. L.107-210).

Individual asparagus producers, nationwide, interested in applying for technical training and cash benefits must complete and submit a written application to their local Farm Service Agency Service Center By September 21, 2010. Applications (form FSA 229-1) are available on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp. All TAA for Farmers Federal Register notices can be found on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.asp.

Program benefits include cash payments and free technical training designed to help producers develop and implement business adjustment plans. Producers that develop an approved initial business plan will receive up to $4,000 as payment toward implementing the plan or developing a long-term business adjustment plan. Producers who subsequently develop approved long-term business adjustment plans are entitled to receive an additional cash payment of up to $8,000 to be applied toward implementing the plan. A producer may not receive more than $12,000 or benefit from any other TAA program during the 36-month period following certification of a group petition. Travel and subsistence expenses related to attending training sessions may also be reimbursable.

General information about the TAA for Farmers Program can be found on the FAS Web site at www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa or by contacting the TAA for Farmers Program staff in the Office of Trade Programs at telephone (202) 720-0638 or (202) 690-0633, or by email at tradeadjustment@fas.usda.gov.

Vegetable Crop Insects – April 10, 2010

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist; jwhalen@udel.edu

Asparagus
With the predicted warm temperatures, you can expect to see an increase in egg laying by asparagus beetles adults on spears. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if 2% of the spears are infested with eggs. Since adults also feed on the spears, a treatment is recommended if 5% of the plants are infested with adults. For a picture of asparagus beetle eggs, adults and larvae please refer to the following link: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1199.html

Cabbage
Continue to scout fields for imported cabbage worm and diamondback larvae. The first larvae can be found and sprays will be needed before they move deep into the heads. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if you find 5% of the plants infested with larvae. There are a number of effective materials available for worm control. Please refer to the following link for a list of materials http://ag.udel.edu/extension/vegprogram/pdf/colecrops.pdf

Melons
As soon as plants are set in the field, begin scouting for aphids, cucumber beetles and spider mites. When sampling for aphids, be sure to watch for beneficial insects as well, since they can help to crash aphid populations. As a general guideline, a treatment should be applied for aphids when 20% of the plants are infested, with at least 5 aphids per leaf, but before populations explode.

Peas
We are starting to see an increase in aphid populations. On small plants, you should sample for aphids by counting the number of aphids on 10 plants in 10 locations throughout a field. On larger plants, take 10 sweeps in 10 locations. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if you find 5-10 aphids per plant or 50 or more aphids per sweep. When sampling dry land peas, you may want to reduce the threshold, especially if they are drought stressed. Be sure to check labels for application restrictions during bloom.

Sweet Corn
Be sure to scout the first emerged fields for cutworms and flea beetles. As a general guideline, treatments should be applied for cutworms if you find 3% cut plants or 10% leaf feeding. In order to get an accurate estimate of flea beetle populations, fields should be scouted midday when beetles are active. A treatment will be needed if 5% of the plants are infested with beetles.

Vegetable Crop Insects

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist; jwhalen@udel.edu

Asparagus
Be sure to check for asparagus beetles laying eggs on asparagus spears. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if 2% of the spears are infested with eggs. Since adults will also feed on the spears, a treatment is recommended if 5% of the plants are infested with adults.

Cabbage
Continue scouting fields for imported cabbage worm and diamondback larvae. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if you find 5% of the plants infested with larvae.

Peas
Be sure to sample for pea aphids on all stages of peas. On small plants, you should sample for aphids by counting the number of aphids on 10 plants in 10 locations throughout a field. On larger plants, take 10 sweeps in 10 locations. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if you find 5-10 aphids per plant or 50 or more aphids per sweep. Be sure to check labels for application restrictions during bloom.

Mother Stalk Aspargus Production System

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Gordon Johnson, Extension Ag Agent, Kent Co.; gcjohn@udel.edu

There is a potential for extended production of asparagus using the mother stalk production system. With this system, it is possible to harvest from spring through fall. This would be of benefit to direct marketers providing sales out of the normal harvest season.

In a normal asparagus production system, all spears are harvested for the first 6-8 weeks (in a mature stand) and then the field is allowed to go to the fern stage. The harvest period is from late April to early June. In the mother stalk production system, three shoots are allowed to reach full maturity (go to fern stage) from the start and all subsequent spears are harvested throughout the season from late April until October. The mature mother plants produce enough food reserves to replenish the crown and provide for spear production. Originally developed in Asia, the system has shown to have no effect on the long-term health of asparagus crowns. Researchers at Rutgers have tested the mother stalk system and have also found it to work in our area. The key is to start with a mature stand (4 or more years old) and to maintain the mother stalks in good health. More than 3 mother stalks will reduce spear production, fewer than 3 will not produce enough reserves to maintain the crowns.

Peak production period is April-June with another peak in September and October. In July and August, production is low. However, you still need to check daily for spear emergence and harvest during this period. Growers will have to decide if they have the labor to manage such a system throughout a 6-7 month growing season.