"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." --Aristotle

Address any questions or comments regarding this newsletter to the individual authors listed after each article or to its editor, Rick Weinzierl, 217-333-6651, weinzier@illinois.edu. To receive e-mail notification of new postings of this newsletter, call or write the same number or address.

In This Issue:

Upcoming Programs (listings for beginning and established growers)

Regional Reports (from southern and western Illinois)

Fruit Production and Pest Management (spotted wing Drosophila, preharvest intervals for sprays)

Vegetable Production and Pest Management (corn earworm, twospotted spider mites)

University of Illinois Extension educators and specialists in fruit and vegetable production and pest management

Upcoming Programs

Check the Illinois SARE calendar for a full list of programs and links for registration.
http://illinoissare.org/ and http://illinoissare.org/calendar.php
Also see the University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Team’s web site at:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/ and their calendar of events at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/units/calendar.cfm?UnitID=629.

Regional Reports

From southern Illinois ... The rain has finally given us a break, but not without leaving us with a lot of moisture on top of what we had in June.  Between July 1 and 10 at Murphysboro, I recorded 3.5 inches of rain.  This included a 4-day stretch from the 7th to 10th where we had daily rain with daily totals ranging between 0.2 and 1.0 inch.  Now we are back to summer with sun, heat, and humidity.  Tuesday (July14) I saw 98 degrees on the thermometer, but the next day the winds shifted and humidity dropped and we are in the upper 80s and sunny ... which is very nice in southern Illinois.

Many crops are already finally starting to perk up after suffering from waterlogged soils.  Unfortunately, there are some crops that were not able to tolerate those wet soils, especially tomatoes.  We had set out pumpkin transplants at the end of June for a trial (in a poorly drained soil), and with the seemingly constant rain some plants simply died as well. 

We are well into peach season, with main of the main season varieties starting to come in.  With all of the rain, brown rot control in peaches has been a major battle, even for experienced growers with large orchards, as keeping fungicide sprays on in June and early July was a challenge.

I continue to get reports of spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) around southern Illinois.  At home in Monroe Co. they are easy to find on any untreated blueberries and blackberries.  I have also had reports from both Jackson and Union Counties of infested berries, and I am sure they are in many other counties in the area as well.  Refer back to IFVN issue 20:17 from March 19th  for more details on SWD management and pesticide recommendations. 

At home, I am very thankful for some well-drained soil in the hills along the Mississippi River, and my pumpkin transplants are taking off and looking very good, having put on at least 4 to 6 new leaves since transplanting about 2 weeks ago. I am still picking some 'Chandler' blueberries, and I just picked the first of my 'Dirksen' and 'Black Satin' blackberries over the weekend.

Nathan Johanning (618-939-3434; njohann@illinois.edu)

From western Illinois ... We still can't get away from this rain ... another 2.5"- 8" or more on Saturday, causing creeks to flood, roads to close and culverts to wash away.  I talked to one grower last week who spent 4 days away from his house and farm due to a high river preventing his access.  Another grower had the creek breach its banks and flood into fields as a result of the Saturday downpour.  Others are speechless due to inabilities to perform ANY fieldwork for the past (seems like) couple of months.  Some growers I talk to would much rather have 2012 (the drought year) over this year, just because they could irrigate to provide water versus not being able to manage their way around this disaster.

To add insult to injury, around 6:00 p.m. on July 13, a severe storm came through, dumping ½ inch of rain, but with 70+ MPH winds.  Any crops that were erect prior to then are now semi-erect.  This includes sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers (even caged or strung plants were knocked over, as the wet soils just couldn't provide enough support), eggplants, and more. The majority of Adams County was still without power 24 hours later.

Harvest continues for many crops. Summer crops are now somewhat common at markets, and other crops coming to market include tomato, pepper, squash, green beans, cucumber, sweet corn, onion, and eggplant.  Melon harvest will begin soon. 

Insect pressure has not been extreme.  Corn earworm moth trap catches the past two weeks have been very light to none.   With field corn silking now, egg-laying in sweet corn should be very light.  Stink bugs are active on many crops.

Several high tunnel growers have had to treat for two spotted spider mites.  Every year we've had to treat for either spider mites or aphids (or a combination) in our tunnels.  The environment in a tunnel allows for increased insect pressure when compared to outside growing areas.  There just aren't the number of beneficial insects nor the environment (heavy rains, etc.) to help reduce insect pressure.  Some organic growers regularly release beneficial insects to help reduce these pests.

Blackberry harvest has started, and with the constant rains, berry size even on non-irrigated plants is good.  Early peach harvest has started, with Red Haven a week or more away yet.   Fire blight on unprotected apple and pear trees has been high this spring.

Mike Roegge (217-223-8380; roeggem@illinois.edu)

Fruit Production and Pest Management

Updates on Spotted Wing Drosophila

Nathan Johanning's southern Illinois report (above) included observations that spotted wing Drosophila is common in his area ... and in fact it's common everywhere in the state.  Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are among the crops most susceptible to infestation by this insect, and it also will infest black currants, strawberries (especially day-neutral varieties grown in high tunnels in vertical stacking systems), and even ripe peaches.  Numbers in traps and fruit samples continue to increase at the University of Illinois Fruit Research Farm at Urbana.  See the March 19, 2015, issue of this newsletter for information on scouting and management.

Rick Weinzierl (217-244-2126; weinzier@illinois.edu)

Preharvest Intervals for Insecticides, Fungicides, and Growth Regulators

With peach harvest well underway and early apple harvest to begin in a few weeks, it's a good time to check pages 46-49 of the 2015 Midwest Tree Fruit Spray Guide for listings of preharvest intervals (PHIs) for insecticides, fungicides, and growth regulators used on these crops.  The specified PHI is the number of days that must elapse after the final application of these chemicals before harvest.  Where PHIs are obeyed, residues of pesticides and growth regulators in the harvested crop will be below established tolerances and will not pose risks to consumers.  It is essential that everyone obey the PHIs for chemicals used on food crops.  For small fruits, the same kinds of restrictions apply.  See pages 58-61 of the 2015 Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide for summaries of PHIs for chemicals used on strawberries, blueberries, brambles, and grapes.

Rick Weinzierl (217-244-2126; weinzier@illinois.edu)

Vegetable Production and Pest Management

Corn Earworm

Mike Roegge noted that corn earworm moth numbers in his pheromone trap have been low near Quincy.  At Urbana, numbers have increased a little recently to average around 15 per night for the last few nights.  With all the field corn in the area silking now, the eggs that females are laying are "diluted" over large areas instead of being concentrated in sweet corn and other susceptible vegetable crops, so the likelihood of heavy damage starting now in sweet corn is low.  That said, the only way to estimate the likelihood of damage in your fields is to operate a pheromone trap and make spray decisions accordingly.  See the February 13, 2015, issue of this newsletter for recommendations on monitoring and control of corn earworm and page 199 of the 2015 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for listings of insecticides for earworm control in sweet corn.

Rick Weinzierl (217-244-2126; weinzier@illinois.edu)

Twospotted Spider Mites on Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Spider mites are a common problem now in many high tunnels.  The most commonly used miticides for spider mite control in these crops are listed below, along with their preharvest intervals (PHIs).  Labels for most of these miticides allow only 1 or 2 applications per crop season.  Brigade and Danitol, two pyrethroid insecticides, provide some level of spider mite control but usually are not as effective as the miticides listed below.  For background information on biological control of mites in high tunnels, see Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels.  The two most common suppliers of biological control agents for pest management (for spider mites, these are generally predaceous mites) are Biobest (contact Veronica Cervantes at 248-912-4774 or veronica@biobest-usa.com; see http://www.biobestgroup.com/en/biobest/pests-and-diseases) and Koppert (phone 800-928-8827; email: use "asktheexpert" at http://www.koppertonline.com or see www.koppert.com).


Preharvest Interval (PHI) in days for ...

























Wettable sulfur

0 / see label

0 / see label

0 / see label

See label


Not labeled




Rick Weinzierl (217-244-2126; weinzier@illinois.edu)

Less Seriously ...

... "That would be me."  (Another favorite from the past.)

A man owned a small orchard in the central Midwest. The state Wage & Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to interview him.

"I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them," demanded the agent.

"Well," replied the grower, "there's my orchard helper who's been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board. The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 per week plus free room and board. Then there's the half-wit who works here about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes $10 per week, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night."

"That's the guy I want to talk to -- the half-wit," says the agent.

"That would be me," replied the orchard owner.

(from Pat Curran, northern Illinois)

University of Illinois Extension Specialists in Fruit and Vegetable Production & Pest Management

Extension Educators – Local Food Systems and Small Farms

Bronwyn Aly, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Pope, Saline, and White counties



Katie Bell, Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, & Williamson counties



Sarah Farley, Lake & McHenry counties



Nick Frillman, Woodford, Livingston, & McLean counties



Laurie George, Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion, & Washington counties



Zachary Grant, Cook County



Doug Gucker, DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties



Erin Harper, Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermillion counties



Grace Margherio, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, St. Clair County



Grant McCarty, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties



Katie Parker, Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler counties



Kathryn Pereira, Cook County



James Theuri, Grundy, Kankakee, and Will counties



Extension Educators – Horticulture

Chris Enroth, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren counties



Richard Hentschel, DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties



Andrew Holsinger, Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, & Montgomery counties



Extension Educators - Commercial Agriculture

Elizabeth Wahle, Fruit & Vegetable Production



Nathan Johanning, Madison, Monroe & St. Clair counties



Campus-based  Extension Specialists

Kacie Athey, Entomology



Mohammad Babadoost, Plant Pathology