The Extension Vegetable Management Team team have engaged new stakeholders, revitalized our applied research program, and responded to regulatory changes impacting stakeholders. We have been successful in garnering external funds to support the expansion of this project and the scope of our efforts to address stakeholder needs. We continue to provide advanced IPM training through mentor farm relationships and have expanded our outreach to beginning farmers regionally through on-farm IPM scouting and monitoring training. We collaborated with other Principle Investigators on the following projects: Risk Management Education on Worker Protection Standards for Organic Growers”, Kathleen Carroll, PI (RMA) -$11,083. “Multi-level Extension Delivery to Support IPM for Massachusetts Vegetable and Fruit Growers” H. Sandler, PI (USDA EIP) - $298,739. Ten growers received whole-farm mentorship in implementing farmer identified IPM goals through regular, biweekly visits throughout the growing season. These “Mentor Farms” served as locations for field walks and twilight meetings for 125 participants this year. Four on-farm research and demonstration projects were developed with farmers on organic and reduced risk pesticides for cabbage root maggot, and growing mustard as a biofumigant for management of Phytophthora capsici. We hosted an advisory meeting attended by 25 farmers and 12 agricultural service providers from across Massachusetts to prioritize our research and educational programming which informed our program efforts.
We launched a Hot Water Seed Treatment Service this year and have served farmers in CT, MA and NH. It is the only service of its kind among Universities in New England.