A new home for NH Vegetable & Fruit News

As of mid-February, 2018, we have moved! We’ve headed on over to UNH Cooperative Extension’s new website. This means that new posts will be there; and we’ll stop adding posts here. The URL for the newsletter is now:


You can still sign up for email notifications when we post new articles, exactly the same way.  You can subscribe by clicking HERE to subscribe to this (or any other) UNH Extension newsletter. Subscribers receive an email directly from us when we’ve posted new articles.

Questions or comments? Please visit our website, where you can find our contact info, and learn much more.

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Initial Training for New Pesticide Applicators

In NH, if you apply pesticides on crops for sale and you employ workers, you need a private pesticide applicator’s license. This is true whether you apply general use OR restricted use materials. Those who apply pesticides to properties owned by others, whether or not payment is exchanged, need a commercial applicators’ license.

This spring, UNH Extension will offer trainings to help those who want to get their private (or commercial) pesticide applicator’s license.  Attendance at one of these trainings is not required, but will help attendees focus their studying and be ready to pass the exam.

Instructors will provide a review of the information found in the national pesticide applicator certification core manual, the NH code of administrative rules, and the worker protection standard for agricultural pesticides. The actual test will be held the last day of training in each location.

The dates and locations of the trainings are:

  • Cheshire County: Mondays, 1-4pm. Mar 5, 12 and 19.
  • Merrimack County: Wednesdays, 1-4pm. Mar 14, 21, and 28.
  • Coos County: Mondays, 1-4pm. Apr 16, 23, and 30.

To see the full flier and learn more details, click here.

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Melon grafting: Hands-on demo

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 11.45.18 AM

Recently grafted melon seedlings (Photo: Janel Martin).

Janel Martin recently received her M.S. Degree under the guidance of Dr. Brent Loy, a world renowned melon and pumpkin breeder, studying how grafted melons might benefit New England growers by reducing sudden wilt. You may have heard about her results: her grafted melon plants showed excellent resistance to sudden wilt, outstanding vigor, and increased yields of very high quality fruit. (She shared her results at last year’s Cucurbit School; you can view her presentation here).

We’re excited to have her here leading a hands-on demo, where she will pass on the tips and tricks she learned for creating healthy and vigorous grafted seedlings. The demo will take place Wednesday, March 7, in Boscawen, NH from 4:30-6pm.

Each participant will have the chance to work through the process along with Janel and finish a few melon seedlings of their own. You will learn how to create a healing chamber, the grafting process, pitfalls to avoid, and where to get supplies. The cost for the workshop is $10, to cover materials.

You can access the flier here; and you can register online here. For questions about registration, contact mary.west@unh.edu or 603-796-2151.


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VT Hops Conference

IMG_1662Do you grow hops?  Are you a brewer that uses hops?  Are you interested in learning more about hops?  If you answered yes to any of these, consider attending the 2018 Annual Hop Conference on Friday, Feb 16, in Burlington VT.

This annual conference is put on by the University of Vermont, and is a great opportunity to network with others that are growing and using hops in the Northeast. This year, the conference also has an online version, for those not able to travel to meet in-person.

The online registration deadline is Feb. 12, 2018: the registration site is located here: https://www.regonline.com/hopconference. Cost is $75 per person, $65 per NeHA member and $35 for hops live broadcast, if you cannot make it in person.

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Presentations Available: Effective Disease Management in Northeastern Vineyards


Anthracnose lesions on immature grapes

In January 2018, the NH Winery Association and UNH Cooperative Extension co-sponsored this practical workshop focused on managing important vineyard diseases, with support from an IPM Grant from the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

Our featured speaker was Wayne Wilcox, whose applied research and outreach on grapevine pathology is internationally renowned. The workshop provided an in-depth focus on integrated management tactics for major grape diseases that affect growers in the Northeast.

The presentations from the workshop are now available:

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New swede midge fact sheet available!

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 2.44.46 PMSwede midge (Contarinia nasturtiiis a serious invasive pest of Brassica crops, including broccoli, cabbage and kale. It was recently found for the first time in New Hampshire, and we expect that it will continue to move throughout the region. This pest is particularly troublesome for smaller-scale producers, particularly those that lack enough space for crop rotation.

A brand new fact sheet has been published that describes the latest knowledge about organic management of this pest. It’s a collaborative effort by the University of Vermont, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the University of Guelph. Check it out here!


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Farm Irrigation Pond Management Meetings

The drought in 2015 and 2016 growing season followed by the surplus rainfall in the 2017 has caused problems for farmers in managing their irrigation ponds. A special meeting series will be offered to address these issues, and especially irrigation pond weed control management. This two session “Farm Irrigation Pond Management” meeting series will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 and Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at the UNH Cooperative Extension Office in Goffstown, NH from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Cost is $5.00 per individual for refreshments per meeting.

The topics for Part I of the two-part series include: New Hampshire Water Withdrawals Requirements; Pond Design Basic; Biology/Ecology of Ponds, Plant Life and Weeds; and Crop Insurance Update. The featured speakers are Stacey Herbold, Water Use Registration and Reporting Program – NH DES, Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau; Mike Lynch, Resource Conservationist, NH NRCS; and Amy Smagula, Limnologist/Exotic Species Program Coordinator, NH DES.

The topics for Part II in of the two-part series include: Pond Weed Control Management; Pesticide Usage in Farm Ponds – Rules and Requirements; and NRCS Programs dealing with On Farm Irrigation. The featured speakers are Dr. Greg Bugbee, Associate Agricultural Scientist at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT; David Rousseau, Director, NHDAMF – Division of Pesticide Control and Chad Cochrane, Resource Conservationist-GIS Coordinator, NH NRCS.

Register HERE for the Tuesday, November 21, 2017 meeting. Please register by November 14.

Register HERE for the Tuesday, November 28, 2017 meeting at. Please register by November 21.

Each meeting is approved for 2.5 NH Pesticide Recertification credits. For more information, contact George Hamilton (603-641-6060, or George.Hamilton@unh.edu).

This seminar is sponsored by USDA/Risk Management Agency.

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Apple Multiple Peril Crop Insurance Was A Good Investment In Past

Contributed by George Hamilton, UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist, Hillsborough County.

One insurance policy that may easily get overlooked is Crop Insurance. For 2018 coverage, protection policies are due in November.

After the weather problems of past four years, orchardists having apple multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI) are glad they made the investment in this risk management tool. Those are the orchardists that are able to tap into the insurance to cover a portion of their losses if they were hit by weather problems of the past four years.

One grower in New Hampshire recently stated that “… if it wasn’t for the apple crop insurance program, I would not have any idea how I would pay the bills last year!”

So, crop insurance provides some protection against losses due to natural perils and adverse weather, such as hail, frost, winter injury and drought. Apple orchardists can select from different quality options and price elections to develop an optimum risk management plan for their orchards.  These insurance plans are based on the actual orchard average yields.

Current policyholders have until November 20 to make any changes to their existing contracts. Growers considering apple multiple peril crop insurance for the first time must apply for coverage by November 20.

Apple crop insurance is regulated and subsidized by the Federal government. MPCI insurance policies are available through private insurance agents. For a list of crop insurance agents in your area, contact the local USDA Farm Service Agency office or log onto the following Risk Management Agency web site: https://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#/

Keep in mind that your insurance agent is usually deluged with questions as the sales closing date approaches. If you plan on applying for an Apple MPCI policy, call an agent well before November 20. Contacting your agent early will guarantee you time to review and select the best protection for your farm operation.  If you have peaches, ask the insurance agent about this insurance program!

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Tree Fruit Meeting: Risk Management Seminar for Orchardists

Tree Fruit Meeting: Risk Management Seminar for Orchardists” will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the UNH Cooperative Extension Office in Goffstown, NH rom 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Cost is $15.00 per individual for lunch and refreshments. To guarantee lunch, please register by November 1. Click here for the full flier, and click here to register.

The featured speakers are Mary Concklin, Associate Extension Educator – Fruit Production & IPM, University of Connecticut, and Duane Greene, Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts. Subjects include “Winter Injury – Disease Connection”, “NEWA – How to use in real time?”, “Getting Ready for Thinning Next Year’s Apple Crop” and “Fruit Varieties to Consider to Plant in the Future – What’s new?”

Speakers from UNH Cooperative Extension will be discussing 2017 Pre-Harvest Apple Fruit Evaluation, and Review of 2017 Growing Season. Paul Russell, UMass Extension, Agricultural Risk Management Consultant will review the importance of apple and peach insurance programs along with risk management insurance programs. Orchardist panelists will share their experiences with how apple thin sprays work on their orchard and what varieties they are planting for the future.

This workshop is approved for four and one-half (4.5) NH Pesticide Recertification credits. For more information, contact George Hamilton (603-641-6060, or George.Hamilton@unh.edu). Click here for program and registration form. Pre-registration is required for lunch.

This seminar is sponsored by USDA/Risk Management Agency.

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Train the Trainer – Respirator Fit Testing

Date: November 6, 2017, Time: 9:00-1:30 pm, Location: The Nature Conservancy in Concord, NH, Cost: $50.00, Click here for Registration

Experts from North Carolina Agromedicine will conduct a four hour face to face workshop “Respirator Fit Test Training” in Concord, NH and open to all private and commercial agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load, or apply crop pesticides). The goal of this educational program is to give New Hampshire applicators the knowledge, skills and confidence to use respirators safely. At the completion of this workshop, those individuals trained will be able to take the information back to their employees and train them accordingly. This availability of multiple trainers will help to ensure participants will have the opportunity to engage with trainers to address specific needs of their operation and participants will not only learn the skills required to complete medical evaluation questionnaires and conduct required respirator fit testing, they will personally complete a medical evaluation and pass a respirator fit test.

Some highlights of this training include: OSHA & WPS requirements, types of respirators and cartridges, purchase options, health and its relationship to heat and PPE use, types of fit tests, and so on.

** Note – For all persons using products that require respirator use according to the pesticide label, an annual fit test and respirator use and maintenance training must be conducted. In addition, training and testing must be done more frequently if workplace conditions, or employee physical conditions change, a new respirator is being used or the employee requests additional training.

For more information please contact: Rachel Maccini at Rachel.Maccini@unh.edu or 603-351-3831

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