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:

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 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 or 603-351-3831

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PSA Grower Training Offered November 14, 2017

Farms that need to comply with the entirety of the Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA, must have “at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm” who has completed “food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration”. One way to satisfy that requirement is to take the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Concord on November 14th. The day long course will cost $25, preregistration is required, and for more information please visit

Are you a produce grower still trying to determine if you will need to comply with the Produce Safety Rule of FSMA? Use this online tool to find out or contact Heather Bryant or Seth Wilner .

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New research report: Overwintering scallions with heavy rowcover

by Becky Sideman, UNH Extension


Scallion varieties, all lined up for a photo shoot.

After several years of research, we know that it is possible to plant bulbing onion (Allium cepa) in the fall, overwinter them in low tunnels, and harvest bulbs by late May in Durham, NH (see info about this system here). In response to grower inquiries, we expanded this work to look at non-bulbing onions, also known as green onion or scallion (Allium fistulosum). We were particularly intrigued by reports that growers successfully overwinter scallions using just row cover, no low tunnels involved.

What we did: We grew over a dozen varieties of scallions, planted at different dates, and protected them overwinter using heavy row cover. We then evaluated percentage of survival in the spring.

We found: that there were dramatic differences between varieties, and that some varieties survived very well in this system. We were encouraged enough to do some more work with this system to learn more!

Want all the details? Check out the full research report !


Scallions tucked in for the winter, under their 1.25 oz/yd2 row cover. 

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Cucurbit downy mildew update

August 16, 2017 Update from Cheryl Smith, UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab:


Cucurbit downy mildew on cucumber; photo courtesy GJ Holmes via CDMpipe.

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) has been identified in NH in both Hillsborough county (on cucumber) and Cheshire county (on muskmelon).

CDM symptoms begin as vein-delimited spots, but then expands and causes rapid collapse of vines. Excellent photos can be seen in the CDMpipe photo gallery. Cucumber and melon are susceptible to all pathotypes of CDM; for squash and pumpkin, reaction to pathotypes can vary, as can varietal resistance.

To control this disease with fungicides, growers should use fungicides specific for downy mildew. Commercial producers should reference the New England Vegetable Management Guide for fungicide options.

Options for organic producers are limited to copper fungicides (some of the Bacillus products may provide some suppression).

Home gardeners are also limited to copper, Bacillus products, and Agri-fos (Agri-Fos is not approved for organic production, and should not be mixed with copper products or applied immediately after a copper product).

Commercial producers and home gardeners in counties other than Cheshire and Hillsboro County should send samples of suspected CDM to the UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab for free confirmation, and to assist in the tracking of this disease. A sample submission form can be downloaded at  (be sure to write CDM confirmation at the top of the form).

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Late blight nearby

by Cheryl Smith, UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab and Becky Sideman, Vegetable & Berry Specialist.

As of July 31, 2017, Angie Madieras from the UMass Diagnostic Lab just diagnosed late blight on cherry tomatoes (‘5-star grape’ and ‘purple bumble bee’) in Hampshire County, MA.

We encourage any growers with tomato and potato in Southern NH (esp. Rockingham, Hillsborough, and Cheshire counties) that plan to protect their plants to apply protectant fungicides now, and consider having late-blight specific fungicides on hand prior to the next spell of cloudy/humid weather. 

If you believe you have late blight on either tomato or potato, you may send photos (details below) OR submit a sample free of charge. Write “late blight confirmation” on the top of the UNH-PDL submittal form.

For a current list of fungicide recommendations, please see the New England Vegetable Guide.

Please scout for symptoms. If you suspect late blight in your tomatoes and/or potato crops, please have it checked out. One way to do this quickly is to send digital images to either your county field specialistCheryl Smith, or Becky Sideman You can also send or bring samples to the Plant Diagnostic Lab in Durham.

For home gardeners: At this point in the season, if symptoms begin appearing on tomato or potato plants and you are sure that it is late blight, follow these steps:

  1. Remove plants.
  2. Place in a plastic bag.
  3. Seal bag and discard in trash OR completely bury plants deep enough underground so plants will decompose and will not re-sprout. DO NOT put the plants in a compost pile, as spores will still spread from this debris.

If you are not sure whether it is late blight, e-mail photos to the UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center, Cheryl Smith, or Becky Sideman.

Fungicides must be applied BEFORE symptoms appear. Fungicides containing chlorothalonil, or copper formulations are relatively effective for late blight prevention. For organic production, copper-based formulations are effective.

For more details, images, and management options, watch this video or visit Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center. This page showing other diseases that are often confused with late blight may be particularly helpful. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

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