Fruit Program News
Mass Aggie is for You
Each year the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the UMass Extension offer one or more workshop series on topics of general interest to homeowners and small scale farmers. In the past workshops have been offered in fruit tree grafting, pruning, wildflower identification, and cider making. All workshops have a hands-on component that will help participants gain new skills that they can use in their own gardens or landscapes.
See the link(s) below for the latest offerings:
Click here for the Mass Aggie Seminar Spring 2019 schedule
Wondering where to begin with food safety? Start here! The PSA Grower Training is currently the only official FDA-recognized produce safety training to help growers implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and understand their responsibilities under new Federal regulations. Whether you have a farm that is fully covered by the law or a small, exempt farm and you’re just looking for information, this training is for you.
The PSA Grower Training Course satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’ The training is also required for participation in Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Quality Program.
Each program can also be accessed from the UMass website:
- Plymouth: https://ag.umass.edu/
vegetable/events/produce- safety-alliance-grower- training-plymouth-ma
- Holyoke: https://ag.umass.edu/
vegetable/events/produce- safety-alliance-grower- training-holyoke-ma
- Westborough: https://ag.umass.edu/
vegetable/events/produce- safety-alliance-grower- training-westborough-ma
- Beverly: https://ag.umass.edu/
vegetable/events/produce- safety-alliance-grower- training-beverly
- Stockbridge: https://ag.umass.edu/
vegetable/events/produce- safety-alliance-grower- training-stockbridge-ma
A reminder that the deadline for getting apple (or other tree fruit) crop insurance for the 2019 crop year is November 20, 2018. For more information, see the information sheet "November 20th Deadline Nears for Fruit Producers" provided by the UMass Risk Management Education team of Tom Smiarowski and Paul Russell.
According to a recent (September 11, 2018) Healthy Fruit Pest Update, "UMass Extension has been tracking the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, since 2012. For the past six years, the number of BMSB captured in pheromone-baited traps had remained relatively low, until now. Trap-capture data for 2018 have shown that, this year, BMSB populations are greater than any of the six previous years. Suspected feeding injury by stink bugs (allegedly BMSB) has been reported in a couple of orchards. However, the actual levels of damage have not been quantified yet." Growers are encouraged to monitor/scout their situation and only use control measures where damage by BMSB is documented or trap catches exceed threshold. For more information, see Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.
At a poster session for UMass CAFE Summer Scholars on September 12, 2018 at the UMass Amherst Campus Center, Nicole Foley presented the results of her study "Evaluation of plant-based materials for attractiveness to the invasive spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii " UMass Extension Fruit Entomologist Jaime Pinero was Nicole's advisor. Here is the poster...Poster-Evaluation of plant-based materials for attractiveness to the invasive spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii