Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Busy Week: Farmer’s Market, Youth Horse Show

Interest in a farmers market has picked up in the Water Valley area.  Justin McGurk along with Water Valley Main Street Association have been working on this project.  There are a few details to be worked out before the farmers market will come to be.  However, if you are interested in selling at the market, you may want to go ahead and contact Justin at 473-9994.

The Mississippi Youth Championship Horse Show will be held at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building this Saturday, June 16th, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  A judged Tri-Lakes Western Horse Show will follow at 2:00 p.m. and a timed event show will start no earlier than 6:00 p.m.  So, you can come just about any time and see the horse shows.  Our 4-Her’s use the youth show as a fund raiser to help pay their entries in the district and state 4-H Horse Shows.  A concession stand will be available.  Our 4-H horse program is looking to get back to dominating the district 4-H show like it use to.  With over 100 entries in the district horse show this year, this group will be a force to be dealt with.  I encourage you to come out and watch these youth shows.

Horticulture Tips:

Fire Blight Is A Hot Disease This Spring

The appearance of dead terminal branches in many apple and pear trees this spring is an indication that fire blight, a bacterial disease, is active in many home orchards across the state. Increased fire blight occurrence can be attributed to recent periods of wet, cool weather favorable for fire blight development.

Fire blight is also causing twig and branch dieback problems in Bradford pear, a popular landscape plant. Additionally, flowering crabapples, pyracantha, cotoneaster, flowering quince, and other plants are susceptible, but have not been damaged as extensively by fire blight as Bradford pear.

Fire blight is a descriptive name for the problem, since disease symptoms include black, scorched appearing branches, twigs, and foliage. The most common symptom of fire blight is a shoot blight, which occurs when the entire end of the branch is killed by the disease.

To reduce the incidence and severity of fire blight, a full season program of disease management practices such as variety selection, pruning, proper fertilization practices, and chemical control have to be followed.

At this point in the season, control measures, which may be used to control fire blight in orchards and landscape plantings, are limited.

However, fire blight spread within trees can be reduced by applications of “fire blight spray,” available at most garden supply stores under several trade names. Look for products that contain streptomycin sulfate as the active ingredient. This information is located on the product label.

Generally, one level tablespoon of this material should be mixed with two and one-half gallons of water and sprayed onto foliage and all branches of fire blight affected trees. To obtain best disease control with fire blight spray, the first applications should have been made at the start of the bloom period, and every five to seven days thereafter. For additional information on use of fire blight spray material, refer to product labels.

An essential part of the control program for many canker and dieback diseases, such as fire blight, involves pruning out infected branches <http://msucares.com/lawn/tree_diseases/images/pear.gif> . Removal of dead or dying branches and twigs will also reduce the amount of fire blight cankers you’ll have to deal with next spring. This is important since these cankers are the primary sources of the bacteria, which contribute to fresh outbreaks of disease on new growth. Thus getting rid of them is a good idea.

However, there’s a “right way and a wrong way” to remove fire blight cankers, and the wrong way can actually contribute to more disease. The following pruning technique for fire blight is recommended. When possible, remove branches 6 to 10 inches below the last visible signs of infection.

Clean and disinfect pruning tools between cuts to prevent spread of the fire blight bacteria over the rest of the tree and other trees you decide to prune. Bleach diluted to 10 percent strength or rubbing alcohol are good common disinfectants. Make a 10 percent bleach solution by adding 1 part bleach to 9 parts of water. Pruning tools should be washed and dried before storing to prevent corrosion. Bag and properly dispose of the diseased plant material. For additional information on fire blight of Bradford pears refer to Plant Pathology Infobyte Fire Blight is a Hot Disease This Spring at:

http://msucares.com/newsletters/pests/infobytes/19970425.htm

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