To receive a notification through the Remind text messaging system when a Tangi-Washington Grower Update is posted, please contact Mary Helen Ferguson. Click here for links to previous Tangi-Washington Grower Updates.
Happy New Year!
Please see below for information about upcoming events (including but not limited to next week’s Watermelon Education Meeting), as well as resources available to you.
More information is available here.
The Bogue Chitto-Pearl River Soil and Water Conservation District is having a seedling sale at the USDA office in Franklinton (1111 Washington St.). (Note that this is *not* at the LSU AgCenter office.) They will be offering seedlings of the following plants: bald cypress, shumard oak, black walnut, mayhaw, southern crabapple, red maple, persimmon, nuttall oak, sawtooth oak, white flowering dogwood, Powderblue rabbiteye blueberry, Premier rabbiteye blueberry, and Tifblue rabbiteye blueberry. Call 985-322-3048 with any questions about the sale.
The LSU AgCenter will hold a meeting for watermelon growers from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at the AgCenter’s Washington Parish office (1104-B Bene St., Franklinton). Weed, disease, and insect management, as well as fertilization and pollination will be addressed. Speakers will include Drs. Mary Helen Ferguson and Ron Strahan of the LSU AgCenter and Mr. Perry Talley of the newly formed Washington Parish Watermelon, Fruit, and Vegetable Association.
Please RSVP to Horticulture Agent Mary Helen Ferguson if you plan to come. For accommodations for persons with disabilities, please contact her at least one week before the event.
The next meeting of this newly formed group is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 1 (6:00 PM), at the Franklinton Town Hall (301 11th Avenue). Purposes of the group include hosting a watermelon festival and engaging in other activities that support local fruit and vegetable growers.
This will take place from at the Tangipahoa Parish LSU AgCenter office in Amite (305 E. Oak St.). The cost is only $20, but you do need to pre-register. For more information and to register, click here.
One part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Fresh Produce Safety rule is that, “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.” For those who aren’t familiar with FSMA requirements or need a refresher, this fact sheet is handy. As mentioned on that fact sheet, farms that “that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or less” are exempt from the Produce Safety rule. There are also exemptions related to certain crops that are identified as “rarely consumed raw,” and some farms that sell a majority of their food (not just produce) to “qualified end-users” are exempt from some but not all parts of the Produce Safety rule. If you think that you may qualify for a partial or full exemption, please see the above-mentioned fact sheet and this chart.
The second day of the training is for those interested in becoming GAP certified in the future. GAP certification is not legally required but is required by some buyers.
Those whose PPA cards expire in 2022 should receive a letter about this year’s class options. Letters for Washington Parish, which I handle, will be mailed out in about a week. There are both online and in-person options for attending a recertification class. If you would like to attend an online class, you can click here for more information.
In-person Tangipahoa Parish classes are being offered on March 8 (Tangipahoa Parish LSU AgCenter Extension office, Amite) and March 15 (Hammond Research Station), at 9:30 AM. If you have questions about the Tangipahoa Parish recertification classes, please contact Dr. Gary Hay.
In-person Washington Parish classes will be held the Washington Parish LSU AgCenter Extension office (1104-B Bene St., Franklinton) at 2:00 and 6:00 PM on March 15. If you have questions about the Washington Parish classes, contact me.
Be sure to read the letter you receive for details on what you need to bring to the class.
More information is available on the Louisiana Women in Agriculture Facebook page.
The updated IPM guides for strawberries and caneberries (blackberries/raspberries) are now available on the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium website.
The 2021 versions of the blueberry, muscadine, and bunch grape IPM guides are currently available. I expect that the updated versions of those will be posted soon, as well.
The Handbook is available online, here.
I expect to have some hard copies soon. Members of the LA Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association typically receive a hard copy in the mail.
This handbook is updated each year by university faculty from across the southeastern US and has pesticide (fungicide/insecticide/herbicide) recommendations for vegetables, as well as a lot of general production information.
Blueberry growers have been asked to complete a survey about their pollination practices. More information and a link to the survey are available here.
Contact Mary Helen Ferguson, Ph.D.
The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.