Irrigation Water Quality and Mitigating Food Safety Risks

By Rebecca Shortt, Kathryn Carter, and Danielle Visschedyk, OMAFRA

Irrigation water can contain pathogens, microorganisms that cause illness or death in humans.  Every time contaminated water comes in direct contact with fruit or vegetables, there is a risk that these pathogens may be transferred to the produce.

Regulation 119/11 section 4 states that you cannot harvest, pack, sell or transport contaminated produce. Every effort should be made to prevent contamination of produce with pathogens to ensure the safety of consumers. Continue reading

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Reminder – Hop Field Workshops

Just a reminder of the upcoming Hop Field Workshops scheduled for next Tuesday, July 17 in eastern Ontario and Thursday, July 26 in western Ontario.  Growers and industry members interested in attending the Eastern Ontario workshop are asked to register by 4 pm tomorrow, Friday, July 13, to determine if there are sufficient numbers to run the session.  For those interested in the Western Ontario workshop, please register by 4 pm Monday July 23.  A minimum of 10 registrants is required for each workshop to run.

More information on each workshop can be found below. Continue reading

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Insect pests to watch for in Ontario hops

While the continued hot, dry weather in many sections of the province has helped with downy  mildew management, weather conditions have been favourable to the development of several insect pests in many hopyards.  Growers should be actively scouting for potato leafhopper, two spotted spider mite and Japanese beetle. Continue reading

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Updated Hops Pesticide List

An updated list of pest control products registered for use on hops in Ontario can be found by clicking on the link below.  Changes from the previous list include the addition of the fungicide Luna Sensation for control of powdery mildew and the herbicide Alion for application to dormant hops for pre-emergent control of select grassy and broadleaf weeds, and adjustments to the list of potentially acceptable organic products.

Hops Pesticides 2018

Continue reading

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Spotted wing drosophila and haskap

Haskap is traditionally not thought of as having many pest issues beyond birds, however growers should be aware that it can be at risk from spotted wing drosophilla.  Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive vinegar fly from Asia that has become a significant pest problem for a number of fruit crops in Ontario, including berries, grapes, cherries and other soft-fleshed fruits.  It is now considered to be an established, chronic pest throughout most of Ontario.  While most flies will only attack damaged or rotting fruit, SWD can lay its eggs in healthy, ripening fruit therefore leading to a much greater risk of contamination of fruit with SWD larvae at harvest.

While haskap is a potential host for SWD, it has generally escaped significant damage because SWD populations do not typically increase until later in July, after haskap harvest has ended.  In 2017, a mild winter led to an earlier increase in numbers of egg-laying females.  Additionally, delayed ripening of the Simcoe haskap crop led to harvest being pushed into July.  These factors seemed to create a perfect storm for SWD to attack haskap berries, leading to significant damage, with berries becoming completely unmaketable by mid-July. Continue reading

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Hop Field Workshops for 2018

Hop growers are invited to attend the following hop field workshops being held during the month of July.

Hops Eastern Ontario Field and IPM Workshop  

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 5:30 pm—7:00 pm

Location:  The Bickle Farm—Valley Hops, 3054 McClelland Rd, Port Hope ON

Join OMAFRA specialists Melanie Filotas (Horticulture IPM Specialist) and Evan Elford (New Crop Development Specialist) for an in-field workshop on seasonal issues in hops. Topics covered will include an overview of scouting hops yards, identification of key pests present in the hops yard and a discussion of current production challenges of note for the 2018 season.  This is an in-formal workshop with time for participants to ask questions on current agronomic and pest management challenges.  Deadline to register—Friday, July 13.  See registration details below.

 Hops Organic Best Management Practices and Western Ontario Field Workshop

Date: Thursday, July 26, 2018, 5:30-7:00 PM

Location: Carolinian Hopyard, 1207 Charlotteville West 1/4 Line Rd., RR2, Simcoe, ON

Attendees of this workshop will see the first of a multi-year project demonstrating various best management practices for organic hops, including fertility, irrigation and cultural practices for downy mildew. Many of these BMPs are applicable to conventional hop production as well.  Additionally, OMAFRA Specialists Melanie Filotas and Evan Elford will discuss seasonal issues affecting organic and conventional producers.  Topics covered will include an overview of scouting hops yards, identification of key pests present in the hops yard and a discussion of current production challenges of note for the 2018 season.  This is an in-formal workshop with time for participants to ask questions on current agronomic and pest management challenges.   Deadline to register—Monday, July 23 2018.

To register for any of these sessions, contact the Agriculture Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.  A minimum of 10 registrants are required for each of the sessions to run. 

 

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Command Herbicide Registered for Use on Cilantro

Modified from an article written by Jim Chaput, OMAFRA, Minor Use Coordinator, Guelph

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of minor use label expansion registrations for Command 360 ME Herbicide for management of labeled weeds on cilantro and for use at a reduced pre-harvest interval on cucumbers and squash in Canada. Command 360 ME Herbicide was already labeled for use on a number of crops in Canada for control of several weeds. Continue reading

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