Farmer Alerts Archive
Hurricane Crop Damage
September 6, 2011
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has multiple disaster relief programs available. If your farm has suffered excessive losses, crop or livestock, due to extreme weather conditions this year, contact your local FSA office to learn more. A clear message from the FSA is to avoid destroying any crops or fields until the damage has been appraised by the FSA office. Contact a 3rd party verifier, such as a veterinarian or county agent, to verify livestock losses. If you are not covered by any federal assistance or insurance programs, you may still be eligible for other forms of assistance through the FSA. In addition, all New Jersey counties have been declared disaster areas by President Obama, which grants eligibility to farmers for hurricane assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Governor Christie has urged all affected citizens to take advantage of this funding. The Rutgers Jersey Vegetable Crops Ag Updates blog has outlined post-hurricane steps that farmers should take in order to recoup some losses and stem any further damage.
Disaster Relief Request
August 24, 2011
Governor Chris Christie has requested a natural disaster designation from the USDA, in response to the heavy rains, high winds, flooding, and extreme heat during this 2011 growing season. Christie stated that "severe weather conditions that commenced on May 14, 2011 and continue to this day have adversely impacted New Jersey farmers this growing season, causing substantial crop damage." The requested issuance would cover the following counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren. The designation will make emergency relief possible for affected producers through the Farm Service Agency.
Cucurbit Downy Mildew: Increased Threat
August 15, 2011
Rutgers has reported cucurbit downy mildew on pumpkin and has issued a vegetable alert for all cucurbits in New Jersey. It is vital that producers be vigilant with scouting and preventative measures, such as reducing leaf wetness time and applying preventative fungicides. In the alert, Andy Wyenandt, Vegetable Plant Pathologist, reminded growers to kill foliage from any abandoned cucurbit fields, to eliminate any potential breeding grounds for the disease. Copper controls are generally considered to be the most effective preventative material for organic growers, however copper buildup can lead to phytotoxicity. View the Ohio State Univeristy publication Managing Downy Mildew in Organic and Conventional Vine Crops for photos of symptoms and some recommended cultural controls.
Downy Mildew on Basil
August 2, 2011
Reports of downy mildew on sweet basil have been posted to the Vegetable Crops Ag Updates Blog, with the disease confirmed in Atlantic and Cumberland Counties. Daily scouting is recommended—the most noticeable symptom is yellowing tissue, with purplish gray spores on the underside of leaves. Sweet basil is susceptible to the disease, but there are less common varieties that show differing degrees of resistance. Andy Wyenandt, Vegetable Plant Pathologist, recommends that organic producers, in the absence of effective organic amendments, use cultural controls to prevent this disease—increase spacing between plants, avoid overhead watering, early harvest, and resistant varieties.
Record Heat Alert
July 19, 2011
An excessive heat watch is in effect for many parts of New Jersey this week. Prolonged periods of high temperatures and high humidity are expected for Thursday and Friday—this combination can cause many heat illnesses, which may be life threatening. Please view the publication Preventing Heat Stress in Agriculture for more information on this vital topic.
Cucurbit Downy Mildew: 2nd Confirmed Case
July 5, 2011
Another case of cucurbit downy mildew has been confirmed in Cumberland County. Daily scouting and preventative measures, such as reducing leaf wetness time and applying allowed suppression materials, are recommended to make sure the disease is controlled. View the Ohio State Univeristy publication Managing Downy Mildew in Organic and Conventional Vine Crops for photos of symptoms and some recommended cultural controls.