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        2013 SARE IPM Study

Progress Report & Log      Back to Study Page - Insect Log

March 11, 2013 Initial Assessment: Grant approved.

Page 1 - March to June     Page 2 - July to Sept     Final report
  • April 15 - The ground temperature is below 40 F. The winter rye cover crop in the gardens is only about 10" high, far to short to crimp.
  • April 28 - Water still standing in the garden area. Ground temperature still in the 40's.
  • April 18 - Planted the Blue Hubbard and Red Kuri in the green house for transplant into the gardens as soon as the weather breaks. The sacrificial crops should be planted two weeks ahead of the cash crop. The 2013 weather is running about three weeks behind the norm for planting.

  • Benificial Perimeter Crops Winter Rye Cover Crop
    Beneficial insect perimeter crop strip Winter rye cover crop

  • April 29 - Forecast is for frost on May 3 and 6 to 7 continuous days of rain. Planted sorghum sudan grass, buckwheat and millet mix in a 5' wide band around the perimeter of the gardens in an attempt to beat the frost. This is the beneficial insect habitat for the study. (photo #1)
  • May 2 & 3 - Snow and freezing temperatures as predicted. The winter rye cover crop is on the ground from the weight of the snow. (photo #3) We will have to access weather to mow it, till it or try to stick to our original plan to crimp it. The original intent was to crimp the rye and use it in place of mulch. So far it appears to have done an excellent job of choking out the weeds which took over in the wake of last years extreme drought.

  • Winter Rye After Snow Blue Hubbard Trap Crop
    Winter rye cover crop snow damage Blue hubbard in crimped rye

  • May 8 - Buckwheat and millet sprouted (10 days since planting). Conducting three test with the winter rye: 1) crimping the rye 2) mowing then tilling & 3) tilling strips then crimping between the rows. Cover Crop Crimping Without a Crimper - how to crimp a cover crop without a crimper using a rotary tiller.
  • May 12 - Transplanted the Hubbards and Kuris to the gardens. Planted six Blue Hubbards and six Red Kuris in each of chicken tractor plots. The winter rye was crimped as mulch for the hubbards and kuris. Four plots were planted; two for the chicken tractors and two alternates. The chicken tractors will be moved on a regular basis between the primary and alternate plot to relieve stress on the test plots.
  • May 17 - Everything is sprouted and in much need of a rain. A preliminary assessment meeting with the Lincoln Univ. staff has been scheduled for May 23. The first of two field days to present the project has been scheduled for June 6 at 6:30 pm Flyer PDF file. The winter rye appears to be ready to crimp in about 3 days.
  • May 18 - Chicken tractor construction started.
  • May 21 - Millet and buckwheat doing well, rye still not ready to crimp, temp 40's night / 60's day, need rain. Put out yellow sticky pest collection strips.
  • May 23 - Dr. Pinero and Lincoln Univ. staff made an initial visit to the farm to assess the program and prepare for the upcoming field day June 6.
  • May 24 - Saw the first lady bug on the millet. First one we have seen on this farm since we bought it 4 yr ago.

  • Chichen Tractor Construction Beneficial Insect Crop
    Chicken tractor construction started Beneficial insect crop - buckwheat, millet & sorghum

  • May 25 - Continued work on the chicken tractor, the wheel support brackets have proven to be the biggest obstacle. I want adjustable height wheels so that it can be raised and lowered in wet and muddy soil. Design and photos
  • May 26 - Buckwheat approx. 6 in. tall. Rye is still not ready to crimp. Chicken tractor finished but the hubbards and kuris are not mature enough to start the test.
  • May 27 - Received much needed 1.25" rain to get the beneficial and trap crops growing.
  • May 28 - Hubbards starting to take root, about 6 to 8 inches now. No indication of any pest at this time. Most of the garden has been planted. Due to weather conditions we still have most of the cucurbits to plant. We are also waiting on the rye to go to milk stage so we can crimp it. The rye will provide the mulch for the cucurbits. The buckwheat and millet are also looking good, about 6" now.
  • May 31 - Over 6" of rain in the last few days. The proto-type chicken tractor is finished. It appears to work well, a few minor modifications planned for the next one. The biggest change is to put the wire on the inside to hide all the ends instead of over the outside. The second will be to make a lever operated wheel height adjustment.

  • Chichen Tractor Chicken Tractor
    Chicken tractor side view, to roll over hubbards & kuri Ends up to facilitate moving over the hubbards

  • June 1 - Chicken tractor moves very easy on wheels, even after a 6" rain.Cost analysis for chicken tractor construction.
  • June 2 - Winter rye cover crop finally hit milk stage ready to be crimped.
  • June 3 - Crimped winter rye, my modified cover crop crimper worked great. 43 F at 6:00 am.
  • June 4 - Planting cucurbits in crimped rye, temperatures still in the 60's and low 70's, 3/4" rain.

  • Crimped Winter Rye Cover Crop Buckwheat 50 days
    Crimped winter rye cover crop Buckwheat & millet at 50 days

  • June 5 - Army worms ate all the lettuce in the raised beds.
  • June 6 - First field day at the farm, a great success. Counted Army worms in lettuce bed, saw one cabbage worm moth in the cabbage row, found a couple of stink bugs and a few spotted cucumber beetles.. Not significant numbers to present a problem at this point, except the loss of the lettuce. The hubbards are not mature enough to start the test and they have no evidence of pest at this time. Set pest traps and sticky strips.
  • June 7 - Buckwheat is doing very well and continuing to bloom. Millet is coming on a little slow probably due to the unusually cool weather.
  • June 11 - Some damage to the eggplant by flea beetles also noted a few spotted cucumber beetles on the cucumbers, no damage.
  • June 16 - Pest count on the hubbards and kuris: 1 lady bug and 7 spotted cucumber beetles, no eggs and no damage at this time.

  • Blue Hubbards at 40 days Red Kuri at 40 days
    Blue Hubbards at 40 days Red Kuri at 40 days

  • June 18 - First squash bug eggs on the hubbards, also most of the hubbards are in bloom. Found several squash bugs but only 2 spotted cucumber beetles.
  • June 19 - Temperature starting to stay in the 90's each day. Getting some pest damage on the lettuce and cabbage plants.
  • June 20 - Striped beetles ate part of the eggplant, white moths ate part of the cabbage. No pest today on the hubbards or kuris. 6 squash bugs and 6 cucumber beetles on 50 cucumber plants.
  • June 22 - One hubbard eaten off at base of stem. 4 squash bugs and 9 egg nest, 2 striped beetles. Found a brown recluse spider on one of the hubbards. To date there have been no pest or eggs on any of the red kuris. At 40 days since planting the red kurri are still very small as seen in the photo.

  • Squash Bug Eggs on Blue Hubbards Blue Hubbard Squash Baby
    Squash bug eggs on blue hubbard Baby blue hubbard squash on vine

  • June 25 - The pest are here as seen in the photo above - Susan Jaster, Lincoln Univ. and I did an in depth count on the entire garden. Killed - 10 squash bugs and approx. 150 clusters of eggs, 1 Carolina sphinx or tobacco horn worm, 6 striped cucumber beetles, 1 stink bug, 1 western corn beetle, 1 diamond back moth caterpillar, 1 as yet un-identified caterpillar. Noted good insects; 1 assassin bug and several lace wing flies on the buckwheat.
  • June 27 - Jacob Wilson, Susan Jaster & Gratto did a bug check. Captured approx. 20 squash bugs and 20 bug clusters, Lincoln Univ. will use them for organic pesticide test. We learned that winter rye must be crimped for 3 weeks before other crops can be planted in the garden Tomorrow will be 21 days since the rye was crimped. The garden has been slow growing this year. We had thought it was the cool spring, in the last 3 days we have seen an explosion growth. We now feel it may have been the winter rye which slowed the growth. See: Winter Rye
  • June 28 - Lost 3 hubbards to cut worms, probably Carolina corn worm since we killed an adult a few days ago.
  • June 29 - About 50 egg clusters on the hubbards. Today I found the first squash bug nymphs hatching on a leaf buried in the mulch. They were just hatching, destroyed entire leaf. On the zucchini 2 squash bugs and 6 egg clusters.
  • June 30 - Hubbards starting to grow very quickly now, first squash on one plant larger than golf ball size. Hubbards are large enough now to start the chickens in the chicken tractor tomorrow.
  • Page 2 - go to next log for July to (open)
  • This project and all associated reports and support materials were supported by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture


    2013 Rocky Creek Valley Farm

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    * Support data provided by Lincoln University, University of Missouri & Purdue University