Ginseng Crop Update – Sept. 4, 2015

Ginseng is showing definite signs of senescence in most fields. The focus of fungicide programs at this time of year should be to minimize inoculum for next season for foliar diseases and maintain control of root diseases. If gardens are ready to be harvested, there is not much point in keeping the leaves free of disease unless plants are still green and will not be harvested for several weeks. Root disease control may still be necessary in these gardens if rots are actively spreading, but growers should pay attention to pre-harvest intervals (PHI) listed on the label to ensure residues on the root are below established limits. Many ginseng products have PHIs in the range of 20 to 30 days, so they cannot be applied up to a month before harvest (Quadris has a PHI of 2 years). Choose products with shorter PHIs if sprays are necessary. Continue reading

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Viruses on Lavender

Symptoms of yellowing of the newest leaves began showing up over the past few weeks in one lavender field (Figure 1). The symptoms showed up on many plants in the field, but the degree of symptoms on each plant was relatively minor. The plants were sent for virus testing and three viruses were confirmed in the plant tissue: tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) and impatiens necrotic spot virus.

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Figure 1. Yellowing of lavender leaves as a result of virus infection.

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Lavender Oil Distillation Research Report

By Jenn Roloson, Summer Research Assistant, OMAFRA

For several years research has been ongoing to determine the best way to maximize oil extraction in the shortest amount of time. Preliminary work was done in 2014 to see if packing the vessel and the amount of flower material in the vessel had any effect on the overall oil extraction efficiency. It was found that having the vessel completely full and packed produced the highest oil extraction per kg of flower material and oil extracted per minute. This was taken a step further this year by comparing oil extraction using different amounts of flower material and comparing a packed vessel to an unpacked vessel. Continue reading

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Be on the Lookout for Phytophthora on Lavender

Phytophthora has shown up on scattered plants in a few lavender fields in southern Ontario. The disease is showing up even in high areas of the field, which is unusual for this disease and several different cultivars have been affected. Phytophthora root rot is a very damaging disease that will destroy plants within a week or two under very moist conditions. It can then spread down the row to neighbouring fields or spores can be washed downhill to low areas. It appears that the disease requires very moist conditions to show up in lavender fields and could be present in the soil for years before the disease shows up. Continue reading

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Sourcing Seeds Internationally – Considerations and Resources

Many specialty crop growers rely on importing propagation materials because of a lack of local propagators or seed suppliers. In addition, many cultivars of traditional crops may only be available outside of Canada. Importing seeds and plants for propagation carries a lot of risks. The plant material could carry insects and diseases that are not currently present in Ontario. Importing diseased material could put the entire Ontario industry permanently at risk. These diseases could then spread to other crops as well.  In addition, new plant species could be invasive in Ontario and destroy native habitats once released here. Continue reading

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Canadian sales of Actigard fungicide to be discontinued after 2015

Ontario tobacco growers are advised that the fungicide Actigard 50 WG will no longer be available for sale in Canada after the 2015 season.  In Canada, Actigard 50 WG (active ingredient acibenzolar-S-methyl) is registered for the control of blue mold in tobacco fields, as well as the suppression of certain bacterial diseases of tomato.   This decision was made by the registrant, Syngenta Canada, as a result of declining sales of Actigard in Canada over the last several years.   Syngenta Canada will continue to maintain the Canadian registration of Actigard, so any product purchased this year can still be used on tobacco next year, however after this field season Canadian growers will not be able to purchase new material.  Syngenta suggests that Actigard be used within three years of purchase.

Aliette WDG (fosetyl-Al) and Quadris Flowable (azoxystrobin) are also registered for the control of blue mold in Ontario tobacco fields.

Actigard 50 WG is available from Syngenta until October 2015.  Growers wishing to purchase Actigard for use next year should do so by then.

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Cover Crops – Plant Early and Often!

Originally posted on ONfruit:

by Anne Verhallen

In the rush of the harvest don’t forget to plant those cover crops. It is easy to get busy and postpone cover crop planting but in the long run that is going to cost you. You can lose important growing time for cover crops – those warm days in the fall when we can get the maximum growth out of the plants.

This is a common problem in any area where winter can come suddenly but achieving maximum growth from cover crops is important. Work with cover crops in Ontario after wheat harvest has shown that 3 weeks difference in planting in the summer can almost double the biomass production. Earlier is the better when we are talking cover crops (usually)!

Sjoerd Duiker a Soil Management Specialist from Pennsylvania has found the same results, especially as the fall goes on. “Cover crop biomass accumulation and root growth…

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