Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting Dec. 5, 2018

Ginseng growers, researchers and industry representatives are invited to attend the annual Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting

Where: Simcoe Research Station Auditorium
When: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

This is an opportunity to discuss the production issues over the past year, establish research priorities for the coming year and to prioritize products for the minor use system. An update will be provided on products currently in the minor use system. An update on current and future research on ginseng replant disease will also be given during the meeting.  Morning refreshments will be provided. No RSVP is required.

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Environmental Impacts on Alpha Acid Formation in Hops

Hop production logoEvan Elford, OMAFRA New Crop Development Specialist

Originally posted: 25 September, 2018
Updated with additional content: 26 September, 2018

Over the last few days I’ve had enquiries from hop growers regarding lower than anticipated alpha acid levels in the 2018 crop.  One of the first options for any grower concerned with hop resins testing outside of the reported range is to consider sending a second sample for testing at a different facility (hop testing facilities).  This will ensure the initial test results are correct.

After confirmation of test results, the next stage is to reflect on the environmental conditions of the year and the cultural management practices used through the growing season.  A preliminary search of the scientific literature revealed a general consensus that environmental conditions (such as those recorded in many Ontario regions during the 2018 growing season) can affect the formation of alpha acids in some hop cultivars.

As a background, all of the studies summarized below were conducted in Europe on European cultivars.

Point Form Summary (additional information below):

  • There is a high positive correlation between increased rainfall /irrigation and the formation of alpha acids (i.e. typically more rainfall or irrigation will result in a higher rate of alpha acid biosynthesis/formation).
  • There is a negative correlation between increasing temperature and alpha acid formation (i.e. the higher the daily temperatures, the lower the alpha acid biosynthesis/formation).
  • Temperatures during the month of July appear to affect alpha acid formation the most in terms of timing of impact on alpha acid formation (many studies suggest the largest impact of environmental conditions on alpha acid development in the month of July, however, they can also be influenced during the months of May-August).

Additional notes for consideration:

  • Many of the studies compared long-term weather records (e.g. 25-35 years) with alpha acid levels and total cone yield in hops.
  • High alpha acid levels are attributed to 1) moist summer conditions; 2) below average temperatures; and, 3) average sunshine.
  • In some regions, alpha acid synthesis is correlated to temperatures between the dates of May 24 and June 21, other regions documented July temperatures as the most important, while still others showed August. Generally, across studies, July (cone formation) and early August (cone maturation) were the most important times of influence on alpha acid formation.
  • Optimal temperatures for alpha acid development occurred in the range of 15-17o C. Alpha acid synthesis decreased above or below these temperatures.  The negative impact of temperatures above 20oC on alpha acid formation can be compensated with increased irrigation to some degree.
  • A minimum total rainfall or irrigation of 300 mm (~12”) from May through August is required for optimal alpha acid production.

In the short term, I have yet to find a replicated study evaluating the impact of environmental conditions on alpha acid formation in US cultivars such as ‘Cascade’.   Hopefully more information can be found on this topic and will be added to this posting.

In the long term, it appears that monitoring soil moisture levels and being vigilant with irrigation practices, especially during higher temperature days, is important to maximize alpha acid formation in hops (or at least help to minimize the negative impact of higher temperatures on alpha acid formation) under Ontario growing conditions.

Additional Resources:
Best Management Practices: Irrigation Management
OMAFRA FactSheet Monitoring SOil Moisture to Improve Irrigation DecisionsSoil Moisture Monitoring Equipment Suppliers

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Haskap Workshop at CSHS 2018: Time Running Out for Pre-registration

The Canadian Society for Horticultural Science (CSHS) Annual Conference will be held in Niagara Falls, Ontario this year!

Several special symposia will be held during the conference, including a Haskap Workshop presented by Dr. Bob Bors from the University of Saskatchewan on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

For those interested in attending just the Haskap Workshop, you can register separately from the other CSHS meetings.

Time is running out for pre-registration.  Registration for the Haskap Workshop is required by September 20, 2018 (no walk-ins).  Registration cost for the Haskap Workshop is $150.  Register on-line at the following link:

Haskap Workshop CSHS 2018




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Weeds to Watch: Invasive Pigweeds – Waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth

By: Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA Weed Management Specialist – Horticulture
Dave Bilyea, Weed Management – Horticulture, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus

The first line of defense against waterhemp and palmer amaranth is proper identification.  It is EXTREMELY difficult to identify waterhemp and palmer amaranth from other pigweed species especially as seedlings.

Continue reading

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Delegate Insecticide now registered for weevils in hazelnuts and chestnuts

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of a minor use label expansion registration for Delegate Insecticide (spinetoram) for suppression of chestnut weevils and hazelnut weevils on tree nuts, crop group 14-11 in Canada. Delegate Insecticide was already labeled for use on tree nuts for certain other pests, however prior to this label expansion there were no registered products available to control hazelnut and chestnut weevils in Canada. Continue reading

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Quinoa Crop Update – August 16, 2018

Evan Elford, OMAFRA New Crop Development Specialist
Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA Horticulture Integrated Pest Management Specialist

At this point in the growing season we typically receive calls from quinoa growers about goosefoot groundling moth (Scrobipalpa artiplicella), tarnished plant bug (TPB) (Lygus lineolaris), quinoa downy mildew (Peronospora farinosasp. Chenopodii) and Passalora leaf spot. These insects and diseases are commonly found each season in Ontario quinoa fields.

Currently there are no registered pest-control products for most insects and diseases on quinoa in Canada. However, Dipel and Bioprotec (Bacillus thuringiensis) are registered for use on some caterpillars in quinoa (i.e. European Corn Borer and Armyworms). However, these products must be applied when caterpillars are actively feeding and are most effective when they are small.

In previous years, caterpillars, in particular goosefoot groundling moth, have led to complete destruction of the crop at some grower sites in the province, so scouting, early identification, and management of the pest is important.

Lep Pest OMAF photo 2

Goosefoot Groundling Moth larvae (caterpillar)

TPB has a wide host range and multiple generations through the season. They feed on reproductive organs of plants and cause mechanical damage. In quinoa, the developing seeds are typically affected and the general sense is that TPB is a leading cause of low harvest index.


Tarnished Plant Bug (TPB) adult

Quinoa downy mildew and Passalora leaf spot are diseases that have been documented over a few growing seasons in Ontario. To date they have only been recorded as minor infections affecting mainly the lower leaves of the plants.

Quinoa downy mildew on leaves

Quinoa downy mildew on quinoa leaves

For more information on quinoa production in Ontario:
OMAFRA Quinoa Crop Profile
OMAFRA Agronomy Guide for Field Crops Pub 811, Chapter 7: ‘Other Crops’ 
Optimal planting date, row width, and critical weed-free period for grain amaranth and quinoa grown in Ontario, Canada (Nurse, R.E. et al., 2016.  Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Vol. 96 No. 3 pp.360-366)
Crop Injury And Yield Response Of Quinoa To Applications Of Various Herbicides (Crop Advances: Field Crop Reports, 2015)
Quinoa Variety Assessment in Eastern Ontario (Crop Advances: Field Crop Reports, 2014)
Keen-what? Quinoa: Things to consider for quinoa production (ONOrganic Newsletter, September 2013)

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