Category Archives: postharvest

The many benefits of using windbreaks

Jennifer Jarvis, OMAFRA – Guelph

Windbreak along a tomato fieldEnergy conservation, crop benefits, snow management, attractiveness, wildlife … windbreaks have many benefits. Towards the end of the article some good online resources are mentioned, too. — JL

Although we had a mild winter this year, Ontario winters are typically cold and bring a lot of snow. Plan ahead and plant a windbreak before next winter – windbreaks are an effective way to trap snow and prevent snow build-up around driveways and laneways, buildings, farmyards and other high-use areas. For you, this means: Continue reading The many benefits of using windbreaks

Top posts of 2015

Did you have a favourite post in 2015? Is there one you keep referring back to — or sharing with others?  Here’s a list of the ten or so of the most popular articles of 2015.

Fusarium#1 Fusarium basal plate rot of onion and garlic

This is actually a 2012 post, but with a catchy title like that, no wonder it’s still popular!

Weed growth at 300 CHU or 450 GDD after clean weeding#2 How fast do weeds grow?

That’s the question on everyone’s mind, isn’t it? This 2011 post is still getting a lot of views.

Late blight fruit symptoms#3 Tomato late blight photo gallery

A picture is worth 1000 words, they say. This post has 23 pictures, so it’s worth 23,000 words. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to read that many! And I’m even more glad I didn’t have to write them! Continue reading Top posts of 2015

GF2 for Fruit and Vegetable Producers – Do you have an eligible project?

Growing Forward 2 is accepting another round of applications from November 16 to December 7. You might have a food safety project for your produce operation that could be eligible for funding.

Consider sending in an application if you are looking to improve food safety for your fruit and/or vegetable farm. You may be eligible if you have a project that will contribute to:
• Your operation being ready to obtain an audit to a national or international food safety program.
• Laboratory documentation validating your cleaning and sanitation procedures and/or acceptable water quality and/or acceptable pathogen levels in compost.
• Building upgrades that prevent food safety risks from occurring (e.g., shatterproof lighting, cleanable surfaces, air curtain to separate incompatible areas).
• Equipment that will immediately reduce a food safety risk (e.g. bin washer, knife sanitizer, automated sanitation chemical dispenser, water treatment equipment).

Growing Forward 2 has established projects that address food safety through worker practices, pest control, pre and post-harvest water, soil amendments and cleaning and sanitizing as the highest priority.

Do you have a food safety project in mind? Contact Christine Card for more information at (519) 826-3337 or 1-888-466-2372 ext. 63337 or

Watch for Diseases in Asparagus

Both rust and purple spot (stemphylium) thrive under cool, wet conditions. Scout fields regularly, at least 2 times per week under high disease pressure conditions.  Inspect a minimum of 100 plants per field; looking closely at the bottom 24″ of each stalk. Foliar diseases often first appear in immature and newly planted fields. Continue reading Watch for Diseases in Asparagus

OSCIA On-Farm Food Safety Webinars

From the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association:

Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement AssociationLooking to keep up to date on the latest food safety practices and help strengthen your Growing Forward 2 application? Join us for any or all of the food safety workshops, covering a variety of important food safety topics. All workshops are online as webinars, taken from the comfort of your home or business – all you need is an Internet and phone connection. Continue reading OSCIA On-Farm Food Safety Webinars

Management strategies for brown marmorated stink bug

Hannah Fraser, Entomology-Horticulture Program Lead, OMAFRA

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a relatively new pest, and we are still learning about its biology and how to control it.  Thresholds and management programs are still being developed in the US, in areas where BMSB is abundant¹. Scouting is always important, on both the crop and on nearby landscape hosts.  Buckthorn, Catalpa, pin cherry, honeysuckle, lilac, Manitoba maple, black walnut Tree of Heaven are wild hosts that support development, but there are many others (Figure 1). BMSB females will  often lay their eggs on hosts in unmanaged areas, allowing their numbers to build up (undetected). What triggers movement through the season from wild hosts to crops is still being studied, but it is most likely a function of population density, humidity levels, changing resource quality and/or nutritional needs of the bugs.

Continue reading Management strategies for brown marmorated stink bug