Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association

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Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association

An Association of Commercial Vegetable, Potato and Berry Growers

PVGA Allocates a Record Amount of Research Support 2016

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association Board of Directors budgeted $84,000 for vegetable and small fruit research in 2016 although to date only $81,700 has been allocated towards specific projects. This year’s contributions put PVGA’s funding for research over the past 28 years at $942,000.
The research funding has been made possible through the profits earned at the Association’s food booths at the Farm Show and Ag Progress Days. While the Association earned much less than $84,000 at the Farm Show and Ag Progress Days booths, this amount of research grants would not be possible without these food booth profits. Surplus income from the Mid-Atlantic Convention and General Fund reserves are helping to fund the 2016 research grants. This year, PVGA will contribute $59,700 towards vegetable research, $10,000 to help support a tomato breeding technician at Penn State and $12,000 for small fruit research. While $14,000 was budgeted for small fruit research, the proposals funded will only require $12,000.

The following fourteen vegetable projects are being funded in conjunction with the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program which will contribute another $24,700 for a total of $84,400 for vegetable research. The projects approved for funding with their objectives are listed below.

Managing Corn Earworm While Conserving Aphid Biocontrols
Shelby J. Fleischer Penn State Univ. and and Jeff Stoltzfus, ELANCO Adult Farmer Education Program $4,500
– Test the efficacy of Gemstar against corn ear worm in conditions in Pennsylvania.

New Herbicide Options for Weed Control in Sweet Corn
Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State Univ. and Mark VanGessel, Univ. of Delaware $3,000
– Examine various new herbicides in sweet corn to determine their effectiveness on weed control.
– Evaluate these herbicide programs on sweet corn injury and yield impact.

Evaluation of Select Seed and In-Furrow Treatments for the Management of Soilborne Pathogens of Snap Bean.
Beth K. Gugino, Penn State Univ. $4,891
– Evaluate select seed and in-furrow treatments for the management of soilborne pathogens of snap bean.

Efficacy of Fungicides for the Management of White Mold in Snap Bean in Pennsylvania
Sarah Pethybridge, Cornell Univ., New York Ag. Exp. Station, and Beth K. Gugino, Penn State Univ. $7,676
– Quantify the efficacy of fungicides and biofungicides in different resistance groups (FRAC codes) for the control of white mold in snap bean. Biofungicides will be included in the trial to provide options for the organic production of snap beans.

Reflex for Pumpkins: Does it Have a Fit?
Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State Univ. $2,000
-Evaluate pumpkin safety of fomesafen (Reflex) with four common pumpkin varieties.
– Evaluate herbicide effectiveness when fomesafen is used alone and in combination with Curbit and/or Command herbicide.
– Determine the effect of Reflex when used in combination with a rye cover crop.

Keeping Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Profitable: Statewide Pumpkin Cultivar Trials
Elsa Sánchez, and William Lamont, Penn State Univ.; Timothy Elkner, Thomas Butzler, Steven Bogash, and Robert Pollock, Penn State Extension $12,000
– Evaluate up to 25 cultivars of 15-25 lb orange, smooth-faced pumpkins at three locations: southwestern Pennsylvania, central Pennsylvania and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Breeding Tomatoes for Disease Resistance and other Desirable Horticultural Characteristics for Production in Pennsylvania
Majid R. Foolad, Penn State Univ. $12,000
– Development and evaluation of experimental F1 hybrids with high yield, early blight (EB) resistance, and other desirable horticultural characteristics including high fruit quality.
– Development of inbred lines of processing and fresh-market tomatoes with late blight (LB) resistance
– Development of a limited number of experimental F1 hybrids with LB resistance and other desirable horticultural characteristics.
– Development and genetic characterization of a new recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of tomato segregating for LB resistance.
– Genetic characterization of new sources of LB resistance
– Field evaluation of Penn State advanced processing and fresh-market tomato breeding lines

Bacterial Diseases of Tomato: Developing and Augmenting Current Management Strategies.
Beth K. Gugino, Penn State Univ. $4,091
– Expand the collection of bacterial pathogen isolates, identify them to genus and species using microbiological and molecular techniques and characterize their sensitivity to copper.
– Evaluate the efficacy of select products and programs for the management of bacterial spot on tomato with a field trial.

Control of Thrips in High Tunnel Tomato Production with Natural Enemies and Entomopathogenic Fungi.
Cathy Thomas, PA Department of Agriculture and Sarah Pickel, Penn State Univ. $5,000
– Utilize one-on-one training with an IPM/biocontrol specialist to help growers integrate a biological control program for management of thrips in high tunnel tomato production.
– Reduce the use of conventional and high-risk pesticides in high tunnels of participating growers by at least 50%.

Fresh Market Slicer Tomato Variety Evaluation Including Advanced PSU Selections
Timothy Elkner, Penn State Extension and Majid Foolad, Penn State Univ. $7,350
– Evaluate disease resistance, yield and fruit quality of commercially available slicing tomato varieties in a replicated trial in southeast Pennsylvania. Several advanced selections from Dr. Foolad’s breeding program will also be included in the trial to compare them with the commercial slicing varieties.

High Tunnel Tomato Leaf Mold Management Evaluation
Timothy Elkner, Penn State Extension and Beth Gugino, Penn State Univ. $7,750
– Evaluate currently labeled chemicals as well as combinations of alternative products in a replicated trial to improve control of this disease. A spring screening trial will be conducted in a greenhouse followed by a larger-scale tunnel evaluation of promising treatments in the fall using both resistant and susceptible tomato varieties.

The Effect of Cover Crops On Weed Control in Organic Production of Tomatoes and Brassicas.
Cynthia James and Andrew Smith, Rodale Institute $5,500
– Determine if cover cropping will reduce labor, tillage, and cultivation costs for weed management in an organic vegetable production system and if two years of cover crop use is economically viable.
– Measure any impacts of one or two years of cover crop usage in a vegetable production system on soil health and the potential to reduce input costs.
– Compare tomato and broccoli productivity between plots with and without cover crops and assess the overall economic viability of inserting a cover crop phase into the rotation for vegetable production.

Deploying Microbes as a Seed Treatment for Protection Against Soil-Borne Plant Pathogens
Rick Carr and Kris Nichols, Rodale Institute and Eric Nelson, Cornell Univ. $5,000
– Vary the rate of freeze-dried compost extract application on cucumber seeds.
– Conduct plant disease bioassays to measure suppression of P. aphanidermatum using seed treatments of freeze-dried compost extract.
– Determine efficacy of freeze-dried compost extract in supressing Pythium damping-off.

PVGA also provided $2,600 to fund the statewide sweet corn insect trapping network with Dr. Shelby Fleischer.

The Board approved funding for the following small fruit research project for 2016:

Evaluation of Strawberry Cultivars and Selections for Plasticulture and Matted-Row Production and Value of Crown Thinning for Plasticulture Production”
Kathleen Demchak and Richard Marini, Penn State Univ. and Timothy Elkner, Penn State Extension $4,000

Two years ago the Board had also committed $8,000 annually for five years to a multi-state project on high tunnel strawberry production funded by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant. The project includes researchers at Penn State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University and others. PVGA’s contribution is part of the required industry matching funds required by the grant program.

Reports the vegetable research projects funded from 2009 to 2015, click here.