University of Delaware Irrigation Field Day – CORRECTION
The University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Delaware Cooperative Extension will hold an Irrigation Field Day on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Warrington Irrigation Research Farm located on the corners of Route 5 and DE 290 Cool Spring Road/Hurdle Ditch Road, just 4 miles south of Harbeson, Del. (Signs will be posted.)
The program invites farmers, industry professionals and the general public to tour UD’s Warrington Irrigation Research Farm. UD personnel will be sharing their latest irrigation research findings:
- Irrigated Corn, Wheat, Full Season and Double Crop Soybean Irrigation Research Plots
- Experiences with Subsurface Drip Irrigation for Agronomic Crops (SDI)
- Soil Moisture Monitoring as a Tool to Refine Irrigation Management
- Variable Rate Center Pivot Irrigation (VRI)
For more information contact Karen Adams at 302-856-2585 ext. 540
Research Sponsored by DNREC, Delaware Soybean Board, MD Grain Producers, NRCS and Vincent Farms
Link to Google Map
Please disregard previous press release referencing a September 19, 2014 date.
Northeastern SARE is the sponsor of the 2014 Weed School
Delaware Cooperative Extension as announced has announced its 2014 schedule of Weed School Training to be held at two locations in March. The weed management training will focus on weeds and issues with agronomic crops and commercial vegetables. The training will be conducted by Mark VanGessel, UD Cooperative Extension Weed Specialist and his research and Extension team. The objective of Weed Science School is to train agriculture industry professionals and those who work on weeds frequently. Topics will include weed management concepts and principles.
Mark VanGessel, UD Extension Weed Specialist at the 2013 Weed School
Classes start promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Lunch is provided and resources will be made available. There is no fee for the training.
CCA credits of 0.5 CEU for Soil & Water and 3.5 CEU for Pest Management; DE and MD Pesticide credits have been requested.
March 12, 2014 at the Kent County Extension Office, 69 Transportation Circle Dover, Del.19901
March 14, 2014 at the University of Delaware Research and Education Center Annex (old office building) 16686 County Seat Hwy., Georgetown, Del. 19947
Please pre-register by March 7 with Karen Adams at 302/856-2585 x540.
Training topics will include:
Weed Biology and Identification – 1 hour
This will include a discussion on weed life cycles (annual, biennial, perennial), with a special emphasis on problem weeds or weeds on the rise. Identifying live specimens and learning to use an I.D. key.
Integrated Management: it’s not just about herbicides – 50 minutes
Discuss alternatives to herbicides and non-herbicide practices for effective weed control. Topics to include cover crops, cultivation, cultural practices (row spacing, varieties, fertility).
Herbicides In the Plant: what’s going on in there – 50 minutes
This portion will discuss what happens to the herbicides once it enters the susceptible weeds (MOA) or enters the crop plant (metabolism). How herbicide MOA relates to symptoms observed in the crops will also be presented.
Herbicide Resistant Weeds and Crops: we like one but not the other – 50 minutes
This portion will include a discussion on herbicide resistant crops and weeds in the Northeast. What is the current situation, what is new and what may be coming? Incorporating resistance management strategies into the weed management program will be included.
Herbicides and Soils – 50 minutes
Herbicide interactions with soils will be discussed, including soil degradation and soil adsorption. Unintended movement of herbicides (drift, volatility, surface runoff, and leaching) will also be addressed.
Developing Weed Management Programs – 1 hour
This section will try to bring everything together by developing management scenarios for several cropping systems.
Click here to visit the University of Delaware weed science website
DELAWARE PRODUCE FOOD SAFETY TRAININGS FOR 2014
In 2014, three initial training opportunities will be offered for produce growers on food safety and good agricultural practices and good handling practices (GAP’s and GHP’s) by the Delaware Cooperative Extension. Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).
For growers who have attended previous trainings, we are having two update sessions which will provide the latest information on produce food safety science, industry actions, audit requirements, and the status of the FDA rule. A portion of the session will be spent on recommendations for produce wash water disinfection and produce contact surface disinfection. Recertification credits will be given.
All Sessions will be held at University of Delaware County Extension Offices
New Castle: 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE — Kent: 69 Transportation Circle Dover, DE— Sussex: 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE
Dates and Locations:
Initial sessions for those who have not attended training in the past:
NEW CASTLE COUNTY – April 3, 6-9 p.m. basic session. Phone (302) 831-2667 to register.
KENT COUNTY – March 31, 9 a.m.-noon for the basic session with an additional 3 hours for those selling to wholesalers from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Phone (302) 730-4000 to register
SUSSEX COUNTY – March 27, 6-9 p.m. for the basic session with an additional 3 hour session for those selling to wholesalers on April 1 from 6-9 p.m. Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.
Update sessions for those that have already attended trainings:
KENT COUNTY – March 25, 9 a.m.-noon Phone (302) 730-4000 to register.
SUSSEX COUNTY – March 19, 6-9 p.m. Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.
Delaware 4-H announced Mary Argo as the 2013 recipient of the Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award for Sussex County. Argo was honored during the Sussex County 4-H annual achievement celebration held at the Carvel Research & Education Center in Georgetown on Sept. 28, 2013, and attended by approximately 150 4-H families and supporters.
L to R: Mark Manno, Lindsay Gooden Hughes, Mary Argo, Alex Gooden
Argo, who retired in April 2o13 as Sussex 4-H educator was surprised as her name was called to the stage. In attendance to support her grandchildren in 4-H, and to later present the Friend of 4-H Award to volunteer leader Dr. William Campbell, Argo had spent a great deal of her career happily handing out awards to others. Her arrival on stage to accept the honor was met with a standing ovation.
“This is a surprise! I had not a clue about this!” Argo exclaimed. “I have been very, very jealous of all the people who have gone before who have won this, ” Argo continued. “This is a wonderful, wonderful award. I can’t think of anyone finer to follow than Joy Sparks.”
The Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award was established in 2009, in memory of Joy Sparks, Delaware 4-H program leader, who died in February 2009. The honor recognizes outstanding achievement in individuals who exhibit dedication, enthusiasm and embody 4-H values. The four H’s of the program represent Head, Heart, Hands and Health, which members and volunteers pledge to dedicate to their club, community and country through leadership, citizenship and the furtherance of life skills and community service.
Mary Argo’s career began at the University of Delaware 23 years ago, the last 18 as Sussex County 4-H agent. One of Argo’s signature events was coordinating the annual 4-H Spring Farm Tours at Green Acres Farm – an event that invites area school children to visit Delaware’s largest dairy farm, owned and operated by the Hopkins family of Lewes. Each year, for two day in May, this valuable partnership welcomes between 1,500 and 2,000 youth who embark on discovery and participate in the sounds, smells and textures offered as lessons in an authentic agricultural experience – oftentimes, receiving their first introduction to Cooperative Extension and the University of Delaware. With the help of Argo’s colleagues at Carvel, tens of thousands of young students have been reached through this one event alone during her tenure as 4-H agent.
In a prepared statement, Argo was recognized for her belief in the value of personal visits, through which Argo cultivated many strong community relationships throughout her career. A particular favorite program Argo initiated was Fridays with 4-H, an afterschool program at La Casita in Georgetown. Every Friday, Argo introduced 4-H curriculum and experiential learning activities. The outreach program impacted hundreds of Hispanic youth in Sussex County and was the direct result of Argo’s networking and personal touch in her community.
“All who know Mary never fail to mention her tireless work ethic, positive outlook and enthusiastic dedication to make 4-H available to every child in Delaware,” said Mark Manno as he read from the nomination. “She has never missed an opportunity to shine the spotlight on an accomplishment of a 4-H youth member or adult volunteer.”
Argo joined 4-H at the age of 10, as an inaugural member of the Broadkill Kool Kats 4-H Club, a club founded by her mother, Frances Millman. As an adult, Mary served as the club’s organizational leader for 12 years. In 1986, Argo was inducted into the prestigious 4-H alumni organization known as the Sussex County 4-H Order of the Link. Two of Argo’s daughters are currently Delaware 4-H leaders, and 10 of her 11 grandchildren are currently enrolled in Delaware 4-H.
Argo was joined on stage by members of Joy Sparks family, brother Alex Gooden and niece Lindsay Gooden Hughes,who presented Argo with the Award. Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair in Soil and Environmental Chemistry was not able to join family members at the ceremony said later, “Mary richly deserves the 2013 Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award. Her numerous contributions to Delaware 4-H will be long lasting. I wish her the very best.”
For a career and 4-H program dedicated to “Making the Best Better,” Argo’s best will be hard to beat.
Article and photo by Michele Walfred
Click here to view additional photos of Argo, and the Sussex 4-H event.
Is the food you are eating prepared safely? Knowledgeable, well-trained staff equals customer confidence!
The University of Delaware Sussex County Cooperative Extension office in Georgetown will offer two different levels of food safety courses, ServSafe® and Dine Safe in September, 2013. Workshops will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown. Both ServSafe® and Dine Safe are appropriate for any individual who works for the food industry (restaurant, church cafeteria, school) or who handles, prepares and serves food to the public.
Food safety in a food service establishment is non-negotiable; each year, an estimated 6 to 12 million Americans contract a food-borne illness as a result of micro-organism contamination. These illnesses are preventable. Proper training is the key to preparing food in a safe environment.
Dr. Anne Camasso, Family & Consumer Science educator for Sussex Cooperative Extension, is a certified ServSafe instructor and a registered ServSafe proctor. She teaches both ServSafe and Dine Safe at the Carvel Facility in Georgetown. Camasso said employee instruction in food safety practices is not only vital, but makes good business sense.
“With all the information about food borne illnesses in the news today people want to make sure they get the best for their money, restaurants who can demonstrate that they have done all in their power to provide safe, as well as tasty food, have a better chance of bringing in the business, ” says Camasso. “If someone from your restaurant takes either of these classes, post a copy of their certificate in your facility so show your patrons that you care.”
The ServSafe® program is the premiere food safety certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The program is designed for the food-service professional.
A ServSafe® certificate from the NRAEF will be awarded to individuals who complete the course and receive a passing grade on the written exam. The cost of $150 for the course covers the training, textbook, lunch, and certification examination from the NRAEF. A reduced course fee of $130 is available for three or more registrants from one establishment. A ServSafe certification is valid for five years and is nationally recognized.
Delaware Dine Safe is a three hour short course designed to focus on the basic principles of food safety and handling. Each participant receives a training guide with the information covered in the program. The instructor will use presentations and hands-on activities to reinforce the lessons taught. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.
The Dine Safe training concentrates on five food service topics: Food Safety; Ensuring Proper Personal Hygiene; Purchasing, Receiving and Storing Foods; Preparing Cooking and Serving Food; and Cleaning and Sanitizing. The Dine Safe short course is $25. Dine Safe can be scheduled at a business location provided there are at least 10 employees enrolled.
It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin. If you have special needs, please advise the office upon registering.
Below is the course schedule and contact numbers:
ServSafe® will be taught on:
All ServSafe® classes are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Deadlines to register for ServSafe® are approximately three weeks prior to class date, in order for student to obtain and study materials for the national exam.
Dine Safe ($25) will be offered on:
- Wed., Sept.10,2013. The class runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
There is no exam for Dine Safe.
For a full listing of all food safety classes county and statewide and to download registration forms please visit our food safety website at http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/food-safety/ For more information contact Kim Lewis at 302-856-2585 ext 542.
Child care credits, accepted by the Delaware Office of Child Care Licensing are available with both courses. Please notify us at registration if you will require a OCCL certificate.
Extension Vegetable & Fruit Program Open House
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Carvel Research and Education Center
16483 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE 19947
Come see and hear about many of the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Vegetable and Fruit Program’s field research projects from the 2013 season.
Watermelons: potassium, growth regulators, nitrogen and irrigation, stress mitigation
Sweet Corn: fresh market Bt sweet corn variety trials, processing corn stand reduction
Lima Beans: tillage, stress mitigation, rhizobium inoculants, regrowth cropping, disease resistance breeding, pole, Fordhook and baby lima bean breeding will be discussed
Fruit: blueberries, grapes, blackberries
Other: nitrogen sources, mulch color, processing snap bean crop tillage, onions
We will also have graduate students on hand to discuss their research in these areas: Phytophthora capsici in lima beans, root knot nematodes in lima beans, watermelon fruit set
Dinner featuring local produce will be served.
Sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware.
Please pre-register by August 9 by contacting Karen Adams at 302-856-2585 ext. 540 or email@example.com.
Sussex County Master Gardeners will offer two workshops in August. On Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 1 p.m., Master Gardener Vickie Thompson will conduct a workshop on hostas. Learn about these easy-to-grow, shade-loving perennials known for their beautiful foliage. See examples of several different colors, sizes and leaf styles. Also, become familiar with the many uses for this plant in containers and in the landscape. There will be information on how to plant and care for hostas and what to do when insects or disease attack.
You just have to look! You might encounter a Fritillary butterfly in the garden!
Grownups, kids and grand kids will enjoy a workshop scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m., “You Just Have To Look for Butterflies and Other Interesting Creatures in the Garden.” A lively presentation and a storyteller will lead up to a jungle safari through the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. Bring the children or come by yourself.
Both workshops will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. You must pre-register by contacting Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, ext 544, firstname.lastname@example.org. or http://extension.udel.edu/lawngarden/. These workshops are free. Come early or stay late to enjoy the Demonstration Garden behind the building.
Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.
Move over Maine, the First State has its eye on blueberries as a production crop.
UD Extension Researcher Emmalea Ernest in the middle of a multi-year study on blueberries for Delaware
Blueberries,Vaccinium corymbosum, the tiny sweet blue fruits touted for their health benefits are a favorite among fruit lovers and health conscious people. With consumer demand trending toward buying local, blueberries could be a no-brainer bonanza for the First State. For Delaware to do it right, knowing the best varieties to plant and growing conditions for commercial production is essential.
At the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and beyond, Emmalea Ernest is informally known as “the lima bean lady” in part for her research efforts to build a better lima bean, a vegetable crop that has enjoyed success and prominence in Delaware.
An Extension agent and fruit and vegetable researcher, based at UD’s Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center,Ernest works closely with her colleague, Gordon Johnson, Vegetable and Fruit Extension Specialist. Ernest’s efforts have focused on evaluating varieties of crops that can be grown in Delaware for commercial production. Though lima bean breeding remains her specialty and area of doctoral study, Ernest also conducts trials of sweet corn, lettuce, watermelon, pole beans and for the third year in a row, blueberries are part of her research repertoire.
“Not a lot of Delaware acreage is devoted to blueberries at present,” Ernest explains, “but there is a lot of interest from growers.” Ernest’s research will provide valuable information on what varieties produce the best yield and taste for success in Delaware.
In its third year of research, blueberry varieties on this half an acre research plot were allowed to bear fruit
Since 2011, rows of blueberries-in waiting occupy approximately a third of an acre at the Thurman G. Adams Agricultural Research Farm part of Carvel’s 344 acre complex. In all, each of 23 blueberry varieties, with names like Aurora, Sweetheart, Star, Reka, and Chandler, to name only a few, are part of the large, multi-year study. In addition to the Carvel site, Ernest is conducting variety trials and other studies in collaboration with Hail Bennett, of Bennett Orchards in Frankford.
In the first two years, Ernest and her “veggie team” have been pinching off the flower blossoms, preventing fruit production.
Stopping blossoms from progressing into blueberries allows the plant to become fully and firmly established. This summer, the third year of research has been the charm, or at least a change for the senses. Now, they will see and taste the fruit of their labors.
Ernest refers to her crop as “my blueberries” but she is willing to share their various shapes, sizes and flavors, as well as give credit to her team of interns and UD colleagues for the hard work. This summer, the study will benefit from volunteer Master Gardeners who will help harvest the 275-plus bushes as they ripen. Size, weight, color, taste and overall health will be logged in and evaluated. While she is curious to receive feedback from others about their taste and texture, Ernest’s trials currently concentrate on the results of soil amendments, mulching techniques and specific variety’s response to Delaware’s seasons and weather conditions. The varieties reach their peak at different times in the summer, important knowledge that will help growers to expand their production over several months.
Star blueberries, one of 23 varieties grown on the research plot were among the first to ripen and are among the largest of varieties
Blueberries are relatively disease free Ernest explains, and while her research plot has yet to be picked off by birds, she anticipates they will be a major issue for the crop. Currently, uncovered, Ernest says there are plans to enclose the entire trial area with a trellis covered by one large net.
Also working closely with Ernest is Extension IPM Specialist Joanne Whalen, who monitors the plots for the presence of spotted-wing drosophila, a potential, pesky fruit fly for the crop. The best bird netting won’t stop visits from fruit flies, however. If the presence of the spotted-wing becomes more of an issue, Extension experts will seek to find a solution to the pest.
Aurora variety not yet fully ripe on a mid-June afternoon
As they near perfect harvest conditions, blueberries will plump up as they turn blue. Varieties run from sweet to slightly tart, and vary in size.
On its way to being fully ripe, this variety displays a patriotic splash of red, white and the final blue
As the berries turn from green to blue and violet, they are picked and weighed from each bush. Taste tests at this stage are informal, with Carvel’s staff serving as willing taste critics.
Three different experiments are being conducted at the trial site. In addition to the variety trial, the team is evaluating blueberries’ response to various soil and mulches that she and her team apply.
Blueberries are traditionally planted with peat moss under the root, Ernest explains. They are evaluating less-costly alternatives. Materials being tested include pine bark fines, waste silage, composted saw dust horse bedding, chipped-up construction waste wood, and for control, no amendments at all. Mulching materials include the same list of ingredients, and also chopped corn stalks. The ongoing results are published in a vegetable and small fruit blog she and Gordon Johnson maintain, and articles also appear in the Weekly Crop Update.
What mulches work best? Emmalea Ernest will study various mulching materials to determine what works best for Delaware blueberries
“Blueberries like wet conditions,” Ernest said, acknowledging that a very wet June has been good for the blueberry’s first year of production.’They’ve been very happy this summer,” Ernest says. “They do well in bog-like conditions, but they aren’t an aquatic plant,” she cautions.
Ernest plans to collect data for several more years before being comfortable making recommendations to area growers. Conducting successful variety trials, soil amendment studies and mulching recommendations can only be executed across an array of conditions and time. It is exacting work where patience is a virtue. Ernest, ever the scientist, is nonetheless excited about the prospects of bigger and better blueberry crops in Delaware. “I think people will get more excited about them than lima beans,” Ernest admits, and she’s probably right. “I have no shortage of people offering to eat them.”