Hort Morsels - Bits and Pieces - Hort Snacks - July 2017

  Hort Snacks - July 2017
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 In the News / Interesting Articles | Mental Snacktime | Q and A | Check Your Elms for DED | Constant Vigilance - Watch out for Late Blight | Seasonal Insect Pest Occurrence on Fruit and Vegetables - Charts

In the News / Interesting Articles

New FAQ - Seasonal Pest Occurrence for Fruit and Vegetable Pests

Mental Snacktime – Nurturing

“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” – Tom Peters

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” – Virginia Satir

“Really in technology, it's about the people, getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment and helping to find a way to innovate.” – Marissa Mayer

“Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It's about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people, and heart. Winning is the result.” – Joe Torre

“It takes a little bit of mindfulness and a little bit of attention to others to be a good listener, which helps cultivate emotional nurturing and engagement.” – Deepak Chopra

Q and A

Q: Herding cats - what are some useful customer management tools that you use in your operation?

A: When calling back customers that leave angry voicemails I first give them a day to cool down and then call them back.
A: Hmmm, what's a herding cat?
A: We keep careful watch on customers when they are in our orchards and request that
all product be presented at cash out area prior to loading.
A: Wunderlist Email Sheets
A: I have upick by appointment only and I use a lot of signage.
A: Rule #1 the customer is always right; rule #2 when customer is wrong refer to rule #1; While this may seem facile always remember your own experiences when dealing with sales people and companies. No one want excuses or "that’s our Policy" type answers; Try to understand the actual issue. May not be what they say, read body language and other clues; Ask open ended questions; Offer solutions. It may be referring them to another producer or god forbid a grocery store; Never lie; If you promise something do it; Under promise and over perform; Gladly and quickly refund money if necessary; Happy customers might tell a couple of friends, unhappy customers tell their tales of woe to 10-20 others unjustified or not; Be empathetic and understanding; Be transparent

Herding Cats video

Next Month’s ? When do you decide to stop harvesting a crop? What tells you that it is "done"?

Check your Elm Trees for Dutch Elm Disease (DED) Symptoms

By Janet Feddes-Calpas

Dutch Elm Disease Awareness Week is recognized annually throughout the province of Alberta from June 22- 28. The intent is to raise awareness on how dangerous Dutch elm disease (DED) is, the importance of elm trees to our communities, and that DED can be prevented. At present, Alberta has the largest DED-free American elm stand in the world, and it is important to protect this valuable resource. The Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) is asking for your assistance to save our beautiful elm trees from this deadly disease.

DED is caused by a fungus that clogs the elm tree's water conducting system, causing the tree to die. The fungus is primarily spread from one elm tree to another by three species of beetles, the smaller European, the native and the banded elm bark beetle. The beetles are attracted to weak and dying trees, which serve as breeding sites for the beetles. Once the beetles have pupated and turned into adults they leave the brood gallery and fly to healthy elms to feed, thus transporting the fungus on their bodies from one tree to the next. Monitoring for the beetles is done annually throughout the province by STOPDED. The smaller elm bark beetles have been found throughout the province in low numbers and now the banded elm bark beetle is found in larger numbers throughout the City of Medicine Hat and area. For this reason we must be even more vigilant.

Leaves on a DED-infected elm will wilt or droop, curl and become brown. This appears in mid-June to mid-July. Leaves on trees infected later in the season usually turn yellow and drop prematurely. Leaf symptoms are accompanied by brown staining under the bark. All DED suspect elms must be tested in a lab so if you think you see DED symptoms call the hotline.

During DED Awareness Week, please take a moment and find out how you can help save our elms.
What can you do?
  • Be aware of the Alberta elm pruning ban between April 1 and September 30. The beetles are most active at this time and can be attracted to the scent of fresh tree cuts, possibly infecting a healthy elm.
  • Keep your elm trees healthy, and vigorous.
  • Water elms well from April to mid-August. To allow the tree to harden off for the winter, watering should be stopped mid-August followed by a good soaking or two before freeze-up.
  • Only between October 1 to March 31, remove dead branches and trees as they can provide beetle habitat.
  • Dispose of all elm wood immediately by burning, burying or chipping.
  • Report all suspect trees to the DED Hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS. A confirmed DED tree must be removed immediately to prevent further spread.
What you shouldn’t do!
  • Do not transport or store elm firewood at any time! DED and the beetles are declared pests under the AB Agricultural Pests Act and this can be enforced.
  • Do not transport elm firewood into Alberta! Firewood is confiscated at all the Alberta-Montana border crossings.
  • Do not prune elms between April 1 to September 30.
To report a DED suspect elm tree or for more information, call the STOPDED hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS or check out the web site at www.stopded.org

Constant Vigilance – Watch out for Late Blight

Over the last few years, there has been a great deal of concern in Alberta surrounding a serious disease called Late blight that affects mainly potatoes and tomatoes. This disease is caused by a fungal pathogen called Phytophthora infestans. The favourable conditions for disease development, combined with the presence of the pathogen, have resulted in multiple outbreaks of Late blight in commercial, market garden and urban potato and tomato crops throughout parts of Alberta in past years. A number of different strains of the pathogen have been identified in different years, each being more or less aggressive on either potatoes or tomatoes. For 2017, this disease continues to be a risk for all Solanaceous crops (potato/tomato family) grown in Alberta.

Although the hot and dry conditions that are sometimes observed in Alberta during the summer help to reduce the potential for this disease, irrigation and rain showers can create favourable conditions in localized fields and plantings. Certain strains of Phytophthora infestans are also more tolerant of warmer/drier conditions than others, which increases risk.

It is recommended that ALL growers of potatoes and tomatoes be extra vigilant to try and catch any diseased material early on, before a significant outbreak can occur. In the early season, growers should watch for:
  • Tomato transplants and newly emerged potato shoots with water-soaked leaf lesions
  • Plants that develop lesions early on in the season or as the season progresses, particularly if conditions are moderate and wet/humid
If you find plants showing suspicious lesions, it is strongly recommended that you can contact 310-FARM (3276) to determine if further testing is required and to discuss management. Please do not hesitate to report an incidence, as early awareness will help to prevent and contain an outbreak and can help others to protect their crops.

While undertaking identification, producers should dispose of infected material as quickly as possible, removing disease parts (small scale) or killing out plants so disease cannot develop further. Protective fungicide applications can be made if conditions favour disease (and if disease is known to be present in the province

Information on Late Blight
FAQ – Late Blight of Potatoes and Tomatoes

Seasonal Insect Pest Occurrence in Fruit and Vegetables - Charts

FAQ - Seasonal Pest Occurrence for Fruit and Vegetable Pests

Fruit Insect Pest Occurrence Chart

Vegetable Insect Pest Occurrence Chart
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on June 29, 2017.