Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting Dec. 5, 2019

Ginseng growers, researchers and industry representatives are invited to attend the annual Ginseng Pesticide and Research Prioritization Meeting. ***Due to construction at the Simcoe Research Station, please note the change of venue for this year.*** 

Where: ST. WILLIAMS COMMUNITY CENTRE, 80 Queen St W, St Williams, ON
When: Thursday, December 5, 2019
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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Upcoming 2020 Industrial Hemp Conference

I am sharing with you a conference announcement I just received.

2020 2nd Annual Industrial Hemp Conference

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 870 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 05403

The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Program and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets are hosting the 2nd Annual Industrial Hemp Conference.

Visit our 2020 Industrial Hemp Conference page for updated information, including the registration site once it has been made available –

We will again offer multiple breakout sessions, as well as the live broadcast option if you cannot attend in person.

We are actively working on the list of guest speakers and presenters, so cannot share the detailed information at this time.

All Conference Sponsors and/or Exhibitors MUST SIGN UP by November 15th. View the Reservation Form here (PDF).

Registration fees will be $100 per person or $75 for the live broadcast.

Please visit to get updated information as well!

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Harvesting Kiwiberries: don’t wait for fruit to soften on the vine

Hardy kiwi or kiwiberries (Actinidia spp.) are a re-emerging specialty fruit in Ontario (Fig 1). These flavourful, bite-sized, fruit have smooth edible skins and are typically sweeter than fuzzy kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa). The predominant fruiting types of kiwiberries used in commercial production are A. arguta and A. kolomikta.

Kiwiberries on the vine

Fig 1: ‘Jumbo’ hardy kiwi growing at the Simcoe Research Station, Norfolk County, Ontario.

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) kiwiberry research and breeding program has recently released a new online production guide for kiwiberry growers. The guide includes information on vineyard set-up, trellis design, seasonal agronomic requirements for the crop, and harvest/post-harvest methods. The production guide is available at

Kiwiberries have a long history in Ontario but very little commercial production currently exists. With changing markets and consumer preferences, this specialty fruit is re-emerging in Ontario grocery stores (imported) and on a few farms experimenting with domestic production. With new production comes the opportunity to learn (re-learn) some of the basic agronomic requirements for the crop along with harvesting practices to optimize post-harvest fruit quality.

Harvesting kiwiberries:
In Ontario, kiwiberries are typically harvested 60+ days after bloom (usually mid-September). Guidelines in the UNH production guide suggest a once-over harvest of the kiwiberries when they are still hard and allowing the fruit to soften in storage before marketing (Fig 2). Educating consumers on allowing the fruit to soften before eating is a key message for this type of harvest and marketing technique.

Once-over harvest of kiwiberries

Fig 2: Once-over harvest of ‘Jumbo’ hardy kiwi at the Simcoe Research Station, Norfolk County, Ontario.

Guidelines for determining when the fruit is ready to harvest:

1. Black Seed Stage: randomly sample fruit from the vineyard and cut open in a cross-section to determine if the fruit have reached physiological maturity known as the ‘black seed stage’.  All seeds inside the fruit should be black (Fig 3).


Fig 3: Cross-section and lengthwise section of hardy kiwi at ‘black seed stage’.

2. Sugar content: although most of the fruit will still be hard and bitter at this point, using a Brix metre (a common tool providing a measure of soluble solids in the fruit) will provide a guide to the most appropriate time for harvesting the fruit for optimal ripening off the vine. UNH suggests fruit should be in the 6-8°Brix level at harvest which will allow the fruit to ripen to >20°Brix post harvest (once fruit have softened).  Once the fruit have completely softened they are ready for consumption.

For more information on hardy kiwi production and post-harvest resources for Ontario and the Northeast USA, please visit the following links:
1. University of New Hampshire Production Guide:
2. OMAFRA Specialty Cropportunities Hardy Kiwi Crop Profile:
3. Penn State Extension:
4. UC Davis Post-harvest Storage Recommendations for Fruits and Vegetables:

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Mark Your Calendar: 2nd International Quinoa Research Symposium

The dates and  draft program for the 2nd International Quinoa Research Symposium have been released for 2020.

This second symposium is a follow-up to the first meeting held by Washington State University (WSU) in 2013, the International Year of Quinoa.

The symposium will once again be hosted by WSU and takes place from August 17 – August 19th, 2020 with an optional field trip scheduled for August 16th.

For more information and the draft program, please visit the International Quinoa Research Symposium website at

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Great Lakes Hop Working Group Seeks Grower Input

Growing_Hops_Ontario_Logo_5 with shading

Hop researchers seeking grower input to identify priorities.
Take the survey now at:

The Great Lakes Hop Working Group (GLHWG), funded by a grant from the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center, formed in 2016 to provide region-specific pest management support to producers in re-emerging hop production areas outside of the Pacific Northwest.

The goal of this working group is to continue to connect and expand the network of hop educators and researchers working in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. as well as Ontario and Quebec and to focus their efforts on addressing the priority needs of the industry. These regions represent similar growing conditions that differ significantly from those in the primary production region in the Pacific Northwest. Current members include 66 representatives from twelve Universities and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Le Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries, et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ). Participating in this survey is your chance to have your needs heard by top researchers in the country!

In an effort to identify and address hop research and outreach needs, the Great Lakes Hop Working Group has developed a brief survey (less than 3 minutes) and are asking hop farmers, propagators and associated professionals to participate. The results of the survey will drive future research and outreach efforts. You may complete the tablet and phone-friendly survey online at:

Please complete the survey before October 31st and help us spread the word!

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2018-70006-28883) and USDA NIFA under Award No. 2017-700006-27175. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of the US Department of Agriculture.
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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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