186 research outputs found

    The Efficacy of Fungicide Application to Control Fusarium Head Blight Infection in Spring Wheat

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    There is a high demand for locally grown wheat for baking purposes throughout the Northeast. Currently, there is not enough grown in the region to meet this demand. One major obstacle for growers is Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection of grain. This disease is currently the most important disease facing grain growers in the Northeast, resulting in loss of yield, shriveled grain, and most importantly, harmful mycotoxin contamination. A vomitoxin called Deoxynivalenol (DON) is considered the primary mycotoxin associated with FHB. The spores are usually transported by air currents and can infect plants at flowering through grain fill. Eating contaminated grain greater than 1ppm poses a health risk to both humans and livestock. Fungicide applications have proven to be relatively effective at controlling FHB in other spring wheat growing regions. Limited work has been done in this region on fungicide application to spring wheat specifically to minimize FHB and ultimately reduce DON mycotoxin production. In April of 2016, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program initiated a spring wheat fungicide trial to determine the efficacy of a conventional fungicide application to reduce FHB infection on cultivars with varying degrees of disease susceptibility

    The Efficacy of Spraying Organic Fungicides to Control Fusarium Head Blight Infection in Spring Wheat

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    There is a high demand for locally grown wheat for baking purposes throughout the Northeast. One major obstacle for growers is Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection of grain. This disease is currently the most important disease facing organic and conventional grain growers in the Northeast, resulting in loss of yield, shriveled grain, and most importantly, mycotoxin contamination. A vomitoxin called Deoxynivalenol (DON) is considered the primary mycotoxin associated with FHB. Eating contaminated grain with DON concentrations greater than 1ppm poses a health risk to both humans and livestock. The FHB spores are usually transported by air currents and can infect plants at flowering through grain fill. Fungicide applications have proven to be relatively effective at controlling FHB in other spring wheat growing regions. Limited work has been done in this region on the optimum timing for a fungicide application to spring wheat specifically to minimize DON. In addition, there are limited studies evaluating organic approved biofungicides, biochemicals, or biostimulants for management of this disease. In April of 2016, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program initiated a spring wheat fungicide trial to determine the efficacy and timing of fungicide application to reduce FHB infection on cultivars with varying degrees of disease susceptibility. This project is funded through an USDA NIFA Organic Research and Education Grant (2014-05379)

    Hop Crowning Trial

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    Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing our northeastern hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and can cause the plant to die in severe cases. Control measures that reduce disease infection and spread while minimizing the impact on the environment, are desperately needed for the region. Mechanical control is one means to reduce downy mildew pressure in hop yards. Scratching, pruning, or crowning is a practice initiated in the early spring when new growth has just emerged from the soil

    Soybean Variety Trial

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    In 2016, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team evaluated yield and quality of short season soybean varieties at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. Due to the short growing season in Vermont, little research has been conducted on soybeans and the insects and diseases that can affect their harvest yield and quality. Soybeans are grown for human consumption, animal feed, and biodiesel. In an effort to support and expand the local soybean market throughout the northeast, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crop and Soils (NWCS) Program, as part of a grant from the Eastern Soybean Board, established a trial in 2016 to evaluate soybean varieties under conventional management to see which varieties and characteristics thrive in our northern climate

    Hop Biofungicide Trial

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    Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing northeastern hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and, in severe cases, plant death. Control measures that reduce disease incidence and have a low environmental impact are desperately needed for the region. Regular application of protectant fungicide sprays is an effective method for managing downy mildew pressure in hop yards. However, regular chemical applications can lead to residual toxicity in the soil and have a negative effect on beneficial organisms. Extended use of protectant and curative fungicides can also lead to pathogen resistance. The goal of this project was to evaluate the efficacy of organic approved biofungicides with a variety of active ingredients for control of downy mildew in hops

    Hop Optimal Irrigation Trial

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    Hops reportedly use about 610 to 715 mm (24 to 28 inches) of water per year (Evans 2003). Rainfall can contribute to this total, however, due to climatic variability, it is important that hops are irrigated regularly to combat moisture stress. Moisture deficit during the hop growing season has been shown to cause reductions in hop cone yield (Hnilickova et al. 2009). Irrigation systems can help to alleviate some of the potential drought stress, but timing of water application is just as important as the amount of water hops are receiving. Hops require the majority of their water in the critical period between training and flowering for optimal vegetative growth. The hop yard is irrigated through a well-fed drip irrigation system, which delivers 3000 gal ac-1 each week, beginning in late May. Over the 14-week irrigation period, this equates to 1.54 inches of water, or 0.11 inches each week, which is well below the 23.5 inches required, adjusting for potential evapotranspiration. The goal of this project was to evaluate differences in yield, insect pests, and disease presence between plants at the Borderview Research Farm that were watered at the optimal level, and plants that were irrigated at the level sustained by the on-farm well

    Organic Winter Wheat Variety Trial Report

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    In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension conducted an extensive organic variety trial to evaluate hard red winter wheat in order to determine which varieties thrive in the Northeast. The trial was established at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, Vermont

    Improving Winter Grain Yields, Quality, and Nitrogen Use Efficiency Using Adaptive Management

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    Small grains have gained importance in New England agriculture over the last decade due to expanding demand for local sources for food and feed. Growers are particularly interested in grains that are planted in the fall (winter wheat, spelt, triticale, rye) because they provide numerous rotational benefits, produce high yields, scavenge residual soil nitrogen (N), and protect the soil from winter erosion. Recent grower surveys indicate that N fertility management is a key production challenge for winter grains, which involves providing enough N at the right times to optimize yields and, in the case of bread wheat, grain protein. Readily available N applied at planting is subject to over winter losses via leaching and volatilization; and mineralization of organic N sources is difficult to predict and lags behind crop demand in the early spring. The goal of this project is to develop an adaptive N management strategy to improve N-use efficiency, reduce environmental N losses, and increase revenue for winter grain production. The adaptive N procedure uses early season tiller counts to determine N needs of the wheat crop. This approach is used successfully in other humid regions of the U.S. and has shown promise in local preliminary trials. On-farm trials are being conducted to develop this new N management tool for New England grain farmers. Therefore, in April 2014, the University of Vermont Extension- Northwest Crop and Soils Program established an on-farm trial at Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA

    Sunflower Planting Date Trial

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    Sunflowers are being grown in the Northeast for their potential to add value to a diversified operation as fuel, feed, fertilizer, and an important rotational crop. However, pest pressures from seed-boring insects, disease, and birds can limit yield and quality, making the crop less viable for existing and potential growers. Addressing some of these pest pressures with agronomic management strategies may help mitigate yield losses. One cultural pest control strategy is manipulation of planting date. To evaluate the impacts of altered planting dates on sunflower pests, an on-farm trial was designed and implemented by the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program in 2014
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