Agriculture

Extension Interns Receive Award

Casey Lambert (’19) and Evan Lentz (’19) won 2nd place honors for their poster and presentation at the national meeting for the USDA-iPiPE project (Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education) held in Raleigh, NC February 4-6. Mary Concklin, Fruit Extension Educator, PSLA, is the grant PI. The primary focus of the project was to provide grape pest monitoring and IPM information by working closely with CT grape growers during the 2018 season, uploading the information to the iPiPE website and writing newsletter articles. In addition, they collected and tested plant tissue samples for sap nutrient analysis – a new area of fruit plant nutrition. Another part of their work involved working with blueberry and strawberry growers to validate 4 pest models for the NEWA system (Network for Environment and Weather Applications) located at Cornell. These included strawberry Botrytis and anthracnose models which would alert when the risk of infection during bloom and fruit ripening by the pathogen is either low (none), moderate or high; the blueberry maggot degree day model alerts when to hang traps to monitor adult emergence; and the cranberry fruitworm degree day model is used to predict the onset and end of egg laying and to time blueberry fruit protection with insecticides that are low risk to pollinators.

School of Business Partnership Strengthens Extension

School of Business marketing students on an educational hike in the UConn Forest with Dr. Mike Dietz

Extension brings the research of the land-grant university to communities statewide. Other departments at UConn are helping Extension grow and impact new audiences with the research and resources they produce. We have built a partnership with the Department of Marketing in the School of Business that has transformed the marketing initiatives of UConn Extension, and strengthened our brand.

Our partnership started with a branding workshop presented by Robin Coulter, Professor and Head of the Department of Marketing. Jane Gu, Associate Professor of Marketing conducted a follow up workshop on digital marketing.

Extension educators completed an exercise on the importance of their programs prior to the fall 2017 Extension meeting. Responses were used to create a new mission statement for UConn Extension: UConn Extension is on a collaborative journey. We co-create knowledge with farmers, families, communities, and businesses. We educate. We convene groups to help solve problems. Join us.

Summer interns in 2017 and 2018 have expanded our marketing capacity by developing initiatives and campaigns to increase awareness of Extension, building off of the previous work. Groups of digital marketing students in the School of Business chose Extension as their class project for the spring 2018 semester. Students in the undergraduate class focused on marketing UConn 4-H. The MBA students created a lifelong learning campaign for Extension that ties multiple program areas together.

The scope of work accomplished in a one semester course can be limited. Faculty in the Department of Marketing shifted the honors thesis for senior marketing students into a yearlong project with Extension. The class conducted research in the fall 2018 semester, and is currently developing and implementing a campaign to market Extension to UConn students.

Our partnership with the Department of Marketing has allowed us to increase the impact of UConn Extension, and raise awareness of the programs and opportunities available. Audiences that we are reaching were previously unfamiliar with Extension. We appreciate the opportunities that our partners in the School of Business provide to market Extension and grow our impact across Connecticut.

By Stacey Stearns

Job Openings with UConn Extension

food, health and sustainability venn diagram

We have jobs open at Jobs.UConn.edu – an Assistant Extension Educator with UConn 4-H based in Torrington, an Assistant Extension Educator in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, and a Research Assistant 2 – Connecticut Farm To School Specialist based in Vernon. All positions will have statewide responsibilities. Apply today, applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis.

Workshop Series: Sustainable Livestock Production

Nutrition’s Role in Sustainable Livestock Production Practices 2019
A new workshop series on pasture management and infrastructure and the nutritional needs of livestock raised on pasture

collage of people and livestock

All workshops held in the training room at Farm Credit East, 240 S Rd. Enfield CT

Monday, February 11, 2019 8:30 am to 1 pm

(Snow Date: February 13, 2019)

Improving existing pastures and establishing new pasture

Topics: Pasture plants, soil, existing pasture care, reseeding new pasture

Monday, March 11, 2019 8:30 am to 1 pm

(Snow Date: March 13, 2019)

Properly managing your existing pasture

Topics: Grazing management, forage calculations, pasture design and infrastructure

Monday, April 29, 2019 8:30 am to 1 pm

Nutritional management of pasture raised animals

Topics: Pasturing versus confinement systems, nutritional challenges of raising animals on pasture, multi species grazing, forage quality

A certificate of participation from University of Connecticut Extension will be awarded to each person who completes the three classroom workshops and at least one of the field workshops.

Register for any or all of the workshops at https://goo.gl/forms/sFIqmM2oxieDkTdg2 or by emailing jean.king@uconn.edu

Winter weather policy: February and March workshops each have a designated Snow Date. In the event of inclement weather those registered will receive an email by 5 pm of the previous day. Changes will also be posted on our website.

These workshops are part of a 2017-2020 USDA/NESARE Professional Development Program Grant, a joint project among the Universities of CT, Mass and RI.

Project Director: Rachel Bespuda, UConn

rachel.bespuda@uconn.edu or www.meatsystems.uconn.edu

collage of logos

New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide is Available

The 2019-20 edition of the New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide is now available. Order your copy today!

greenhouse guide cover 2019-2020

New England greenhouse growers have long relied on the New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide,for its unbiased, detailed information about insect and mite management, disease prevention and management, weed control, and plant growth regulation. The Guide is updated every two years to ensure that it provides up-to-date information about crop management methods and products.

The new edition presents updates on available products and rates, and natural enemies for greenhouse use. We also updated the section of Best Management Practices to minimize the threat to bees and other pollinators.

The Guide is updated every two years by floriculture faculty and staff from the six New England State Universities, and is published by New England Floriculture, Inc.

The 2019-20 edition of the Guide is now available for $40 per copy via the Northeast Greenhouse Conference website (www.negreenhouse.org) or at the UConn CAHNR Store.

The biennial Northeast Greenhouse Conference & Expo is co-sponsored by New England Floriculture, Inc. – a group of grower representatives from the Northeast, augmented by University and Cooperative Extension staff in each state who specialize in greenhouse crops and management.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @negreenhouse and look for our hashtag #negreenhouse on Twitter.

For more information, contact Delaney Meeting & Event Management, Phone: 802-865-5202 ,info@delaneymeetingevent.comhttp://www.negreenhouse.org

Solid Ground Farmer Trainings in January

The following Solid Ground Farmer Trainings are scheduled for January.

BF 106: Vegetable Production for Small Scale Farming – January 5th

BF 240: Pesticide Safety for Conventional & Organic Producers – January 9th

BF 270: Welding Basics for Agriculture – January 12th – FULL

BF 110: Growing Crops in Low, High and Movable Tunnels – January 26th

All classes are free, but registration is requested. Email Charlotte.Ross@uconn.edu for more information.

Chicken Questions?

Do you own chickens? Our poultry care video series with retired Extension Educator Dr. Mike Darre can answer your questions. There are 10 videos, topic include: how to hold your birds, how to inspect your birds, determining if your chicken is a good layer, watering systems, nest boxes, feeding, housing and heating, bird litter, housing, and the egg cleaning and quality check. You can watch the entire series on our YouTube channel.

 

In pilaf, salmon, manicotti, kelp’s versatility impresses chefs

a chef tastes kelp
Juliet Wong, convention services manager at the Sheraton, samples one of the kelp dishes.

Story and photos by Judy Benson

After tasting rice pilaf with carrots, peppers and kelp, grilled shrimp wrapped in kelp leaves, baked salmon topped with leeks and kelp and manicotti stuffed with mushrooms and kelp, restaurant owner Chris Szewczyk is eager to incorporate the Connecticut-grown seaweed into his menu.

“It’s an exciting product,” said Szewczyk, owner of Taino Smokehouse in Middletown.

Standing nearby in the kitchen of the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill was Lydell Carter, sous-chef at the hotel restaurant. Between forkfuls of the various dishes, Carter said he, too, is a convert to the possibilities of cooking with kelp.

“I definitely see it’s very versatile,” he said. “I really liked it with the shrimp.  I like the flavor profile and the texture.”

Read more…

Originally posted on the Connecticut Sea Grant website.

Pre-Register for Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers’ Conference

vegetable conference banner photo

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – UConn Extension’s 2019 Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers’ Conference will be taking place on Monday, January 7th, 2019. The conference will be held at Maneeley’s Conference Center on 65 Rye Street in South Windsor.

The day will include 9 educational sessions, an extensive trade show with over 30 exhibitors, and plenty of time for networking. Session topics range from Farm Labor to High Tunnel Production including Growing Brambles, Growing Strawberries and Tomato Nutrient Management. Other highlights include a Cut Flower Production session that will give us a taste of the following full day workshop on January 8thin East Windsor. A farmer panel that will discuss Marketing, specifically POS (point of sale) Systems will round out the event. Three pesticide re-certification credits will be available for licensed applicators.

This event is organized by UConn Extension, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Connecticut Vegetable & Berry Growers’ Alliance. The steering committee uses evaluations from previous years to produce a fruitful program, gathering the best speakers from within our region and across the country to fulfill the requests and meet the needs of Connecticut growers.

This day will not only be great for learning, but also for networking with other growers, Extension educators and industry representatives. We hope you take the time to gather plenty of ideas and knowledge to take home with you to practice on your own farms and improve your farm businesses.

Pre-registration to attend the conference is $40. The pre-registration includes the trade show, continental breakfast, coffee, and lunch. The pre-registration fee for students (high school or college) is $18 (must show valid ID). Pre-registration must be received by January 2nd, 2019). After the deadline and at the door is $60 per person. The registration form, additional information and other upcoming events can be found at http://ipm.uconn.edu/under events.

This institution is an affirmative action/ equal employment opportunity employer and program provider. Contact us 3 weeks in advance for special accommodations.

Poinsettias: From Production to Decoration

poinsettia plant in greenhouse
E. eremicus. Photo: Leanne Pundt

Wholesale growers across Connecticut started shipping poinsettias in mid-November. Poinsettia are a long-term crop, started from rooted cuttings in early to mid-July.    Plants are pinched to promote branching and growers measure the height of the plants on a weekly basis, and enter data into a computer program, to make sure the plants will be at the desired height for their customers. These particular poinsettias were grown using biological controls. Whiteflies can be a troublesome pest for poinsettias, because homeowners can object to even one whitefly on a plant. Using biological controls, growers regularly release a small mini-wasp, Eretmocerus eremicus that parasitizes the whitefly nymphs. In the photo at left, you can see pupae glued to paper cards. Growers also release a predatory mite, Amblyseius swirskii that feeds upon whitefly eggs and nymphs. Biological fungicides are also used to prevent root rot diseases.

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are originally from Mexico. In the 20th century, the Ecke family of California was

poinsettias in a Connecticut greenhouse
Photo: Leanne Pundt

instrumental in the development of the poinsettia as a potted holiday plant. Today, there are hundreds of compact, long lasting cultivars. Red continues to be the most popular color, however, white, pink, and specked or marbled varieties also sold.  The flowers of the poinsettia are the small, cup-like structures at the center of the showy “bracts” which are modified leaves.

Retail Care Tips

Place plants in a sleeve to protect them from temperatures below 50° F when bringing your plant home. Be careful not to overwater your plants, they are very susceptible to root rots. Place poinsettias in a bright, sunny location away from hot or cold drafts.  Poinsettias are not poisonous, but their milky sap can irritate the skin. December gardening tips are available from the UConn Home and Garden Center.

By: Leanne Pundt