Fall Considerations for Lavender

Summer is winding down, but vegetative growth of the lavender will continue for another month or more. This is a critical time for lavender when it has recovered from flowering in July and is now putting on new growth that will hopefully increase bloom for next year. Here are some things to think about during this period. Continue reading

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CleanFarms Ontario 2019 – Collection Program for Unwanted Pesticides and Livestock Medications

Information on the CleanFarms 2019 collection program for unwanted pesticides and livestock medications

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Basil Downy Mildew Confirmed in Ontario – July 31, 2019

Basil downy mildew has been identified in Norfolk and Prince Edward Counties in Ontario and is likely to be present elsewhere over the next week. Basil downy mildew is a highly destructive disease that can completely defoliate a plant within a few weeks if not protected by fungicides. Resistant cultivars of basil are starting to become available but have not yet been widely grown by commercial growers. Continue reading

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Think You Have a Root Lesion Nematode Problem in Your Ginseng? Think Again

We constantly get reports of significant root lesion nematode problems in ginseng, mostly based on the appearance of rusty symptoms and/or constrictions on roots. However, when ginseng fields are tested for nematodes beyond ginseng germination, we rarely can find any nematodes present. The purpose of this article is not to say that root lesion nematodes are not an issue in ginseng, because they are. However, they are probably not an issue once the symptoms are present in the field, and many growers do not have an issue with them at all. Before you waste money on unnecessary treatments, consider the following: Continue reading

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Hop Workshops Update – Eastern Ontario workshop cancelled, western workshops proceeding as scheduled


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Managing Multiple Diseases at Once in Ginseng – Crop Update, June 20, 2019

This has been a challenging year for disease management in ginseng. In addition to the earlier issues with root diseases, especially Phytophthora, we are now dealing with high pressures of Alternaria (Figure 1) and Botrytis (Figure 2). It can be difficult to manage all these issues at the same time, especially when dealing with both root and foliar disease. Frequent rainy periods also make it difficult to time sprays properly and to know whether previous sprays have washed off. Here are some things to think about to ensure protection from all these diseases while not wasting money on unneeded sprays.

Figure 1. Alternaria lesion on a ginseng stem

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Got coverage? Register now to improve spray coverage in hops for more effective pest control

Registration deadlines for next week’s hops sprayer workshops are rapidly approaching.  Note that these workshops could be cancelled if minimum registration numbers are not reached by the deadlines. See the bottom of this article for details on the workshops and how to register.

Why should hop growers care about spray coverage?

Read through any hop pesticide label and you will likely find multiple statements about thorough coverage being required for effective pest control, however achieving good coverage can be very challenging when you are dealing with a crop that grows from rhizomes to 18 feet tall in just a few months. When disease risk is high, growers often feel rushed to apply pest control products in a timely fashion. However it is important to remember that, in the case of coverage, the adage “something is better than nothing” does not always apply to many of the more significant hop pests.

For example, with both downy and powdery mildew, pest control products registered on hops in Ontario are essentially preventative. This means that they work by preventing fungal spores from invading healthy tissue, rather than curing infections that are already there. If poor coverage means that only part of the crop is protected, then disease spores can still invade unprotected tissue, potentially resulting in systemic infections which you could be dealing with for many growing seasons.

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