Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News:

A Newsletter for Commercial Growers of Fruit and Vegetable Crops
A Publication of University of Illinois Extension and the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

Vol. 9, No. 19, December 17, 2003

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"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, The Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News is available on the web at: To receive email notification of new postings of this newsletter, call or write Rick Weinzierl at the number or address above.

This issue's words of wisdom ... which usually means the jokes ... are at the end of newsletter ... check the last page.

In This Issue:

A note on subscription and evaluation forms (Now is the time to re-subscribe for mail or fax subscriptions; it's also your chance to comment on the content of this newsletter.)

Crop Reports (or perhaps just "regional reports" at this time of year from Elizabeth Wahle and Maurice Ogutu)

Upcoming Programs (repeating some dates and events you've seen in earlier issues, also the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference January 4-6 at Oconomowoc)

Vegetable Production and Pest Management (a repeat request for observations on effectiveness of corn earworm sprays in sweet corn)

Brief Summaries of 2003 Research (fungicides for powdery mildew control in pumpkins )

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

Subscription and Evaluation Forms

Subscriptions: This is the time of year that US Mail and fax subscribers to the Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News need to re-subscribe and pay the subscription fee for this newsletter. It is not necessary for those of you who receive email notifications of new postings on the web to re-subscribe in any fashion ... you will continue to receive email notifications unless you ask to be removed from my email list, and the newsletter will remain accessible without charge at this web site. That said, a copy of the subscription form for US Mail or fax delivery is included as a downloadable pdf file, for anyone who would like to receive a printed copy of each issue. Please fill out this form and return it, along with a check (payable to the University of Illinois) for $20 for US Mail delivery or $30 for fax delivery to the address listed on the form.

Evaluations: This is also the time of year that we sometimes ask for readers' comments on the newsletter. The questionnaire/evaluation form is available as a downloadable pdf file. I ask that you complete this form and return it to me by January 15, 2004. You may print the form and return it to me by surface mail or you may cut and paste the form into an email message and reply to me at We see continuing budget cuts and staff cuts, and knowing whether or not production of this newsletter is a valuable use of time and money will help to determine its long-term fate. Your opinions count ... please express them.

Again, the return address for the subscription and evaluation forms is printed on the forms. I look forward to receiving your comments.

Rick Weinzierl (217-333-6651; )

Crop Reports

From southern Illinois ... I had a chance to attend the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market Expo for a short time this past week. On the first day, the apple variety showcase displayed over 80 varieties currently under evaluation. By far, Fuji and Gala were the most represented in the group. Honeycrisp in the North is still getting good reviews, but problems with occasional sun scald and bitter pit were mentioned. Growers interested in using kaoline (Surround) to reduce sunscald had a chance to see the product on organically produced apples. There was a definite residue and removal may prove to be a stumbling block for its use in reducing sunscald. Several products caught my interest and may prove useful in Illinois orchards. Diamond (novaluron), a new insecticide being developed and marketed by Crompton Corporation, is awaiting approval by the US EPA for use on pome fruit, with many targeted pests including codling moth. ProVide, which is a plant growth regulator from Valent, may be used on apples to reduce physiological fruit russet and Stayman fruit cracking. Scholar (fludioxonil) fungicide from Syngenta may can be used for control of postharvest diseases in stone fruits. Of particular interest is its labeling for dip application to peaches.

Harris Seeds has a new jack-o-lantern pumpkin, 'Magician,' with zucchini yellow mosaic virus tolerance. This is a new release that was not listed in their new commercial catalog. Many of the seed companies are working on virus-resistant varieties, and it is hoped that more will become available on the market in the very near future.

Back home, pruning of apples has begun, with weather conditions cooperating for the most part. The southern region got its first sustained freeze starting on the 11th of December, with temperature staying in the 20's and low 30's for four days. By the 15 th though, the southern region was back in the 40's, with little evidence of the December 13th snowfall.

Elizabeth Wahle (618-692-9434;

In northern Illinois , the first half of December has been characterized by day temperatures in the mid 30s to upper 40s with night temperatures in the low 20s to low 30s (but down to the low teens on some nights in counties bordering Wisconsin). The area received rainfall of 0.1 to 0.7 inches during the first week of December, and snowfall has been variable, with about ½ inch in the Chicago area, about 1 ½ inches in Kankakee area, and about 2 inches further west. The regions retail orchards are now closed except for those that are selling Christmas trees. Winter is underway.

Maurice Ogutu (708-352-0109;

Upcoming Programs

For northern Illinois growers who enjoy the Wisconsin climate in January, Teryl Roper of the University of Wisconsin asked that we include an announcement of the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference to be held January 4-6 at the Olympia in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. This year's program includes an international marketing speaker, John Stanley from Australia. Information is available on the web at

Repeating a few announcements from previous issues ...

  • The Illinois Cider and Hard Cider Contest will be held at the Illinois Specialty Crops Conference in Springfield, January 22 -24, 2004, and will be hosted by the Illinois State Horticulture Society. One gallon of product is required for the judging contest. Registration for all cider contests will be on January 23, from 8:00 to 9:45 a.m. Judging will commence at 10:00 a.m. Contact Elizabeth Wahle for additional information. Elizabeth Wahle (618-692-9434;
  • For growers interested in putting ground into organic production, an Organic Workshop will be conducted at the Illinois Specialty Crops Conference on January 22, 2004. The program will be held at the Springfield Crown Plaza, and is currently scheduled from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m., with a corrected registration fee of $30.00. Contact John Masiunas or Elizabeth Wahle for additional information.. Elizabeth Wahle (618-692-9434;
  • February 3, 2004. South Central and Southern Illinois Tree Fruit School, Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn
  • February 4, 2004. Southwest Illinois Tree Fruit School, Hardin, First Presbyterian Church
  • February 11, 2004. Southern Illinois Vegetable School, Mt Vernon Holiday Inn
  • March 2-3, 2004. Small Fruit and Strawberry School, Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn
  • February 16, 2004. Kankakee Vegetable Growers School, Kankakee County Extension Office, Bourbonnais, IL

For information on most of the southern region's programs, contact Elizabeth Wahle (618-692-9434; For information on the Kankakee program, contact Maurice Ogutu (708-352-0109; For information on the March 2-3 Small Fruit and Strawberry School, contact Bronwyn Aly (618-695-2444; Early in 2004 this newsletter will contain more details on the content of the February and Mach programs.

Vegetable Production and Pest Management

Corn Earworm Control Failures in Sweet Corn?

In October in this newsletter I noted that there seemed to have been at least a few reports from around the Midwest about serious corn earworm infestations in sweet corn plantings that received what would seem to have been well timed applications of Warrior or Capture. I asked that you notify me if you used these insecticides in the latter part of the summer of 2003 and achieved less control than you usually do. I have spoken with a couple of growers who reported some not-too-good control, but I've not received many comments. If that means the problem was minimal, that's great. If it simply reflects that you haven't gotten around to saying anything, please try to take the time to contact me. For your observations to be most useful, I need to know what insecticide you used, your spray dates and rates of application, estimates of percent infestation (how many ears with worms), and, if possible, pheromone trap counts of moths from your location or somewhere nearby. If you don't have all of this information, please reply anyway with whatever information you do have on control problems.

Send your comments to me by email to the address below or by US Mail to Rick Weinzierl, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, 1102 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Thanks.

Rick Weinzierl (217-333-6651;

Brief Summaries of 2003 Research Projects

Fungicide control of powdery mildew of jack-o-lantern pumpkin in Illinois, 2003.

Powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Sphaerotheca fuliginea , is an important disease of pumpkin in Illinois and worldwide. This disease can result in serious yield losses. Powdery mildew is diagnosed by white, powdery mold on plant tissues. The disease first appears on lower stems and petioles (Figure 1). As the disease continues to develop, the white, moldy spots occur on the underside of leaves (Figure 2). Symptoms on the upper leaf surfaces (Figure 3) usually signal an outbreak.

Three images of Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew can be managed effectively by planting resistant cultivars and by application of fungicides. Resistance is usually partial and may require additional complementary control practices. Fungicide application is a common control practice of powdery mildew of cucurbit crops.

A field experiment was conducted in 2003 at the University of Illinois Vegetable Research Farm near Champaign, IL. Fertilizers -- 115 lb nitrogen, 101 lb phosphorus, and 120 lb potassium per acre -- were broadcast and incorporated on 27 March. Seeds were sown 18-inch apart in single-row plots, 25 ft long. The plots were spaced 40 ft apart in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Twelve fungicides, including Acrobat 50WP, AgriFos 400FL, Bravo Ultrex 82.5WG, Cabrio 20EG, Cuprofix Disperss 36.9, Cuprofix Disperss 80, Flint 50WG, Nova 40W, Phostrol 53.6SC, Pristine 38 WG, Procure 50WS, and Quadris 2.08SC, in 16 different combinations (treatments), were applied onto plants. Application of fungicides began on 21 July and continued (at 7-day intervals) until 22 September. Fungicides were applied with a backpack sprayer, using 50 gal of water per acre. Severity of powdery mildew (percentage of total area of vines and leaves infected) was visually evaluated weekly from 8 August to 26 September. Disease severity was assessed at four locations (43 sq ft each) in each plot, and at the same locations throughout the season (a total of seven evaluations). Area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) for each treatment was calculated.

Powdery mildew was first observed on 12 July and its severity increased as the season progressed. Overall, severity of the disease was significantly higher in unsprayed plots than the sprayed plots. Cabrio, Flint, Nova, Pristine, Procure, and Quadris, applied in combination with other fungicides, provided excellent protection of plants against powdery mildew. However, Procure applied alone on biweekly intervals, did not provide adequate protection against powdery mildew. Best control of powdery mildew was achieved with treatments that included Pristine.

Mohammad Babadoost (217-333-1523;

This issue's words of wisdom ...

Funny how ...

  • Everyone likes to be correct ... but no one likes to be corrected.
  • It's good to be wiser than other people ... but it's not good to tell them so.
  • Giving someone a word to the wise ... is usually unwise.
  • A wise man who stands firm is a statesman ... a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe.
  • In a world filled with people who try to accumulate things in search of happiness ... the key to happiness is to want what you have.

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


Stephen Ayers, Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties


Bill Davison, Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties


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


Zackhary Grant, Cook County


Doug Gucker, DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties


Nathan Johanning, Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, & Williamson counties


Andy Larson, Boone, DeKalb, & Ogle counties


Grant McCarty, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties


David Shiley, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby counties


James Theuri, Grundy, Kankakee, and Will counties


Jamie Washburn, Effingham, Jasper, Clay, Fayette, Clark, Crawford and Edgar 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


Elizabeth Wahle, Madison, Monroe, and St Clair, and counties


Campus-based  Extension Specialists

Mohammad Babadoost, Plant Pathology


Mosbah Kushad, Fruit & Vegetable Production


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