Address any questions or comments regarding this newsletter to the individual authors listed after each article or to its editors, Nathan Johanning, 618-687-1727, njohann@illinois.edu or Bronwyn Aly 618-382-2662, baly@illinois.edu. The Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News is available on the web at: http://ipm.illinois.edu/ifvn/. To receive email notification of new postings of this newsletter, contact Nathan Johanning at the phone number or email address above.


In This Issue:

Upcoming Programs (listings for beginning and established growers)

Regional Reports (St. Louis metro east, southern Illinois)

Fruit and Vegetable Production and Pest Management (Modified Growing Degree Days, Tomato Grafting Video)

Marketing Information (2016 Illinois Farmers Market Price Report Summary)

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 website at:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/ and the calendar of events at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/units/calendar.cfm?UnitID=629.


Regional Reports

From the St Louis Metro East… Field work has resumed following a significant freeze event.  Temperatures did indeed drop low enough the nights of March 14 and 15 to cause damage to fruit crops.  Most areas experienced temperatures in the upper teens but isolated areas were reported to have dropped as low as 10°F.  Japanese plums, pluots, and early blooming peaches like Bounty suffered the worst damage and are not expected to crop this year.  There is still optimism for the remaining peach crop.  Damage is very dependent on cultivar and planting location.  Though reports vary across the region, growers are finding sufficient live peach buds at this time to support a crop.  Time will tell at pollination whether there was additional unseen damage to flower buds.  Apples and European plums appear to be in good shape.  Strawberries and brambles protected with covers and/or frost irrigation are also in good shape.

Elizabeth Wahle (618-344-4230; wahle@illinois.edu)

From southern Illinois... The weather has been all over the place lately with highs on Monday in the low 80s which is nothing compared to the freeze event last week with a few days not even breaking above the freezing mark.  We had a couple of mornings down in the 20s and last Wednesday (3/15) we had morning low of around 17° here in Murphysboro and similar temperatures reported by area growers.  Also, that Monday (3/13) we actually had about an inch of snow; however, it did not last long.  The middle of this week we have had highs more normal in the 50s and a few spotty showers, bringing limited precipitation.  We are supposed to have a better chance of rain on Saturday and some forecasts give continued rain chances into next week.


Carrot (‘Nelson’) Harvest
from the High Tunnel.
Photo: N. Johanning.

Peach growers were rather nervous to say the least about the weather last week.  So far it seems that overall we dodged any major injury to the peach crop as a whole.  Injury was seen on any open flowers on early varieties, but many that were pink or swollen seemed to survive fairly well.  Growers were happily surprised the injury wasn't more wide spread given the temperatures and the literature which says to expect around 90% bud death at pink and 18°F.  This being said, we are not out of the woods yet, as it is still March and another cold snap could happen even through early to mid-April.  Apples are at silver tip or just a bit past and are in good shape and pears are in bloom.

With limited rainfall the soil has dried out fairly well so that field work would not be out of the question.  First of the week at home, I chisel plowed some red clover in preparation for potatoes and here at the office, I might even try to lay some black plastic if we have another couple of good days of drying.  History would reveal that often we have to do these things when we can, as weather patterns shift and we can get and stay very wet at times in April or May.  Today I did see the very first tip of an asparagus spear just starting to break through the soil.  Although we have had some good warm days so far, we still need a few more to get us to our first harvest, but we are getting closer.  We are harvesting carrots in the high tunnel and so far they have very nice size (both length and diameter) and a really good flavor.

Nathan Johanning (618-687-1727; njohann@illinois.edu)


Fruit and Vegetable Production and Pest Management

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50°F, January 1 through March 19)

Station Location

Actual Total

Historical Average  (11 year)

One- Week Projection

Two-Week Projection

Freeport

52

15

61

77

St. Charles

57

18

67

83

DeKalb

59

19

70

89

Monmouth

98

32

112

135

Peoria

136

38

152

176

Champaign

104

42

120

142

Springfield

169

49

187

213

Perry

180

59

198

227

Brownstown

207

74

229

259

Belleville

215

90

239

271

Rend Lake

294

96

250

285

Carbondale

235

100

261

291

Dixon Springs

265

117

293

332

Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity. Home, Yard, and Garden readers can use the links below with the degree day accumulations listed above to determine what insect pests could be active in their area.

Degree day accumulations calculated using the Illinois IPM Degree-Day Calculator (a project by the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and the Illinois Water Survey).

Kelly Estes, State Survey Coordinator, Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (217-333-1005; kcook8@illinois.edu)

Tomato Grafting Video from Purdue

Our colleague Wenjing Guan from the Southwest Purdue Ag Center in Vincennes, IN has just released a new video how to graft tomato plants.  This is great resource for any growers that have been interested in tomato grafting and want to learn more.  The video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ufx66Isf88 and if you have further questions you can contact Wenjing Guan at (812) 886-0198 or guan40@purdue.edu.


Marketing Information

Illinois Farmers Market Price Reporting Summary

The Illinois Farmers Market Price Reporting project will begin its fourth season of price collections starting in late April or May of this year.  Pricing information has been collected from twelve reporting farmers markets across Illinois in the past two years, and eleven farmers markets during the 2014 season.  A reporter from each participating farmers market submits the lowest and highest price observed each week at the market based on a specific list of crops supplied on the reporting form.  Because Illinois farmers markets sell such a huge selection of crops, reporting prices for each crop would become quite cumbersome and time consuming for the individuals volunteering their time to collect prices each week.  In order to streamline the price collecting process, a standardized reporting form was created and provided to each reporter with 22 different crops.  The crops selected for the reporting form represent both fruits and vegetables and range in seasonality from spring through fall.  The reporting form also specifies a quantifiable selling unit for each crop listed.  As an example, prices are collected on asparagus sold by the pound BUT not asparagus sold by the bundle or bunch.  Crops typically sold at farmers markets by bunches, bundles, or bag are not included on the crop list as they create too much variability in price comparisons.  Not quite like comparing apples to oranges but close.

The table listed below summarizes the 2016 season-long average low and high price from across all twelve reporting markets.  In 2016, the first reporting markets submitted prices starting the first week of May and the last reported prices were submitted the last week of October.  For those interested in looking at previous years' reports or accessing the upcoming 2017 weekly price reports and auction report, follow this link:  Illinois Farmers Market Price Reports

The following twelve farmers markets reported prices in 2016 (those with an asterisk also reported in 2015):

If anyone is interesting in volunteering to be a reporter for a farmers market you attend, please contact Bronwyn Aly at 618-382-2662 or email baly@illinois.edu.  With over 350 farmers markets in Illinois, increasing the number of reporting markets for this project would provide a better representation of the annual statewide price ranges. 


Table 1.  2016 Illinois Farmers Market Price Report Summary Across All Markets.

Illinois

2016 Farmers Market Price Report

Number of times reported

Top Ten Marketed Crops

 

Averages across all markets

12 Reporting Markets

Low Price

High Price

Asparagus (lb)

$3.35

$4.94

20

 

Apples

 

 

 

 

(lb)

$2.03

$2.31

20

 

(peck)

$16.86

$18.57

7

 

Beans, Green (lb)

$2.35

$3.02

87

5

Blackberries/Raspberries

 

 

 

 

(pint)

$3.89

$4.33

42

 

Blueberries

 

 

 

 

(lb)

$4.33

$5.33

3

 

(pint)

$3.91

$4.56

31

 

Broccoli (head)

$1.94

$2.20

40

 

Cabbage (head)

$1.53

$2.28

84

6

Cantaloupe (each)

$2.68

$3.43

48

 

Cucumber

 

 

 

 

Slicing (each)

$0.65

$0.86

112

2

Pickling  (lb)

$1.58

$2.03

38

 

Garlic (bulb)

$1.10

$1.39

58

 

Lettuce, Romaine (head)

$2.49

$2.78

51

 

Onions (red, sweet, white, yellow)

 

 

 

 

(each)

$0.83

$1.05

71

8

(lb)

$1.52

$2.01

70

9

Peaches

 

 

 

 

(1/2 peck)

$10.29

$11.20

38

 

(peck)

$18.33

$18.78

18

 

Peppers, Bell

 

 

 

 

(each)

$0.63

$0.88

105

4

Potatoes (Red, White, Yellow)

 

 

 

 

(pint)

$2.22

$2.53

30

 

(quart)

$2.93

$3.43

50

 

(lb)

$1.46

$2.04

80

7

New (quart)

$3.09

$3.68

17

 

Squash, Acorn

 

 

 

 

(each)

$1.48

$1.73

33

 

Squash, Butternut

 

 

 

 

(each)

$1.33

$1.83

30

 

Strawberries

 

 

 

 

(pint)

$3.82

$4.46

18

 

(quart)

$5.07

$5.76

19

 

Sweet Corn (dozen)

$4.88

$5.58

69

10

Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

Red Slicing (lb)

$2.06

$2.64

117

1

Cherry/Grape (pint)

$2.70

$3.41

62

 

Green Mature (lb)

$2.36

$2.50

43

 

Watermelon (each)

$3.59

$4.62

37

 

Seedless (each)

$4.34

$5.28

29

 

Zucchini

 

 

 

 

(each)

$0.68

$0.92

107

3

(lb)

$1.58

$1.71

43

 

Bronwyn Aly (618-382-2662; baly@illinois.edu)


Less Seriously...

We all need to remember and take time to recognize that for most of us, the best part of our lives is often sitting (or use to be sitting) in the vehicle with us, and they are pretty dare funny.  Hence, the inspiration for this issue's less seriously comes from my 6 year old son who often tells me jokes in the car.  Although the majority of his jokes tend to involve the words poop or poop nugget, I have tried to remember and include some of the "cleaner" ditties.

  1. Knock, Knock.  Who's there?  Interrupting Cow.  Interrupting Co….MOOOOO…..who?
     
  2. What did one pencil say to the other?  My, don't you look sharp today!
     
  3. Knock, Knock.  Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana. Banana who?  Banana.  Banana who?  Orange you glad I didn't say banana again.
     
  4. What do the Starship Enterprise and toilet paper have in common????  They both circle Uranus looking for Klingons.



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

618-382-2662

baly@illinois.edu

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

217-333-7672

srayers@illinois.edu

Bill Davison, Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties

309-663-8306

wdavison@illinois.edu

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

618-548-1446

ljgeorge@illinois.edu

Zackhary Grant, Cook County

708-679-6889

zgrant2@illinois.edu

Doug Gucker, DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties

217-877-6042

dgucker@illinois.edu

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

618-687-1727

njohann@illinois.edu

Andy Larson, Boone, DeKalb, & Ogle counties

815-732-2191

andylars@illinois.edu

Grant McCarty, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties

815-235-4125

gmccarty@illinois.edu

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

217-543-3755

dshiley@illinois.edu

James Theuri, Grundy, Kankakee, and Will counties

815-933-8337

jtheu50@illinois.edu

Extension Educators – Horticulture

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

309-837-3939

cenroth@illinois.edu

Richard Hentschel, DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties

630-584-6166

hentschel@illinois.edu

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

217-532-3941

aholsing@illinois.edu

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

618-344-4230

wahle@illinois.edu

Campus-based  Extension Specialists

Mohammad Babadoost, Plant Pathology

217-333-1523

babadoos@illinois.edu

Mosbah Kushad, Fruit & Vegetable Production

217-244-5691

kushad@illinois.edu