Hort Morsels - Bits and Pieces - Hort Snacks - July 2018

  Hort Snacks - July 2018
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 In the News / Interesting Articles | Mental Snacktime | Q and A | Check Your Elm Trees for Dutch Elm Disease (DED) Symptoms | Constant Vigilance - Watch out for Late Blight | Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Programs

In the News / Interesting Articles

Mental Snacktime – Connections
  • “Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” – Charles Eames
  • “If you're gonna make connections which are innovative... you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does.” – Steve Jobs
  • “We wind a simple ring of iron with coils; we establish the connections to the generator, and with wonder and delight we note the effects of strange forces which we bring into play, which allow us to transform, to transmit and direct energy at will.” – Nikola Tesla
  • “Nonsense and beauty have close connections.”– E. M. Forster“
  • Connections with other people affect not only the quality of our lives but also our survival.” – Dean Ornish
  • “Your connections to all the things around you literally define who you are.” – Aaron D. O'Connell
  • “Those who speak up, those who use their connections, are more likely to succeed than those who sit and wait.” – Madeleine M. Kunin
  • “People today sometimes get uncomfortable with empirical claims that seem to clash with their political assumptions, often because they haven't given much thought to the connections.” – Steven Pinker
Q and A

Q: What is your favorite (and most effective) way of reaching your customers?
A: Word of mouth
A: Favourite, at market; most effective, social media
A: Texting.
A: Instagram, Facebook, and now email list newsletter
A: We use Facebook, Twitter, newspaper ads, etc., but my favorite is word of mouth and interacting with repeat customers on an ongoing basis
A: Farmers Markets
A: In person visits
A: Facebook
A: In person. But they are already the committed converted. As the vast majority are female we have found Facebook to be superior to other social media.
A: In person! I am working for a municipality, so direct contact is always an option.
A: Facebook/ Instagram. I have done newspaper articles also, but for younger adults these work better.
A: Going to tradeshows and conferences
A: So far it has been with face to face with customers at markets.

Next Month’s ? What is your best "people management" tip? (this could relate to staff, customers, etc.)

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 2018, 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

Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Programs

Have a look at the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Program website (www.cap.alberta.ca). CAP is a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. It is the successor of the 2013-18 Growing Forward 2 (GF2) partnership.

In Alberta, CAP represents a federal - provincial investment of $406 million in strategic programs and initiatives for the agricultural sector. The roll-out of the CAP program suite in Alberta began in April, 2018, and will consist of a phased roll-out of 15 programs over the spring, summer and fall of 2018. Applications and program details consisting of cost-shares and eligible activities and/or items will be released with the opening of each program. The criteria for eligibility will be made available along with the program details.

Please note, there are some differences between CAP and GF2 programs, including many of the programs being merit-based (as opposed to 1st come/1st served), with specific intake periods staged throughout the year. Check each program for specifics.

In Alberta, CAP will deliver programs developed in consultation with stakeholders, and is organized under five themes: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change; Products, Market Growth and Diversification; Science and Research; Risk Management; and Public Trust.

If you had subscribed to receive updates from the GF2 website, you will have to re-subscribe for updates from CAP. Click on the ORANGE button in the upper right, to subscribe.


As of July 1, 2018, details on 2 of the 5 themes (groups) of programs have been released and are open. The following programs are included:
Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Theme
  • Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change - Group
  • Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change - Producer
  • Farm Water Supply
  • Irrigation Efficiency
Public Trust Theme
  • Agriculture and Food Sustainability Assurance Initiatives
  • Public Agriculture Literacy
  • Youth Agriculture Education
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on June 26, 2018.