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Updated: February 2, 2024

October 2023 | Volume 14, Issue 8

UME Grafted Watermelon Spacing Study

By Haley Sater and Ben Beale

Introduction Fusarium wilt in Watermelons is caused by the soil borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Niveum and several new races have been identified in Maryland. There are few options for fungicide products to...Read more about the UME Grafted Watermelon Spacing Study.

Using Spring-Seeded Cover Crops to Complement Weed Management in Cucurbits

By Kurt Vollmer, Thierry Besançon, Alan Leslie, Dwayne Joseph, and Cerruti Hooks

Weed management in plasticulture vegetable systems can be challenging. Control can be achieved with herbicides, but fewer options are available due to lack of registered products and loss of efficacy due to the...Read more about Using Spring-Seeded Cover Crops to Complement Weed Management in Cucurbits.

Building a Farm Food Safety Culture

By Carol Allen, Agent Associate in Food Safety

The end of the growing season is in sight, and apple and pumpkin harvest season has begun. For many operations, this is a time of increased numbers...Read more about Building a Farm Food Safety Culture.

Evaluating Biosolarization as a Weed management Tactic in Organic Vegetables

By Dwayne Joseph, Alan Leslie, Kurt Vollmer & Cerruti Hooks

Biosolarization, akin to solarization, is a soil disinfection technique but involves the addition of organic amendments before the passive solar heating process. As the damp soil warms, organic materials break...Read more about Evaluating Biosolarization as a Weed Management Tactic in Organic Vegetables.

  • Line drawing of vegetables

    Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations Guide

  • What is Sustainable Agriculture? front cover of publication

    What is Sustainable Agriculture?

    Find a free pdf of this book and others on SARE Resources & Learning website:

Plant growing in soil

The University of Maryland Extension is seeking dedicated individuals to join our team as Nutrient Management Advisors. Our mission is to provide educational programs and resources to Maryland farmers, helping them implement environmentally responsible nutrient management practices. As a Nutrient Management Advisor, you will play a crucial role in helping Maryland farmers develop and implement nutrient management plans. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about agriculture, have strong communication and organizational skills, and an understanding of farming operations and computer systems. There are multiple positions statewide at various locations, more information is available at


The University of Maryland, College Park is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer; all qualified applicants, including veterans and people with disabilities, will receive consideration for employment. UMD is actively engaged in recruiting, hiring, and promoting underrepresented communities.


Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Proposals Due November 14, 5 p.m. EST

The Call for 2024 Northeast SARE Farmer Grants is available on SARE website ( Approximately $800,000 has been allocated to fund projects for this grant cycle. Awards of up to $30,000 are available, depending on the complexity of a project.2024 Farmer Grant Proposals are due...Read more about Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Proposals.

Maryland Pesticide News

By Niranjana Krishnan, Assistant Professor and Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator, Department of Entomology and University of Maryland Extension

*Note the express purpose of the newsletter is to share proposed and upcoming changes to pesticide regulations; the information provided does not supersede existing pesticide labels and regulations. *

Forthcoming change: DCPA (Dacthal) herbicide suspended

In September 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspended the herbicide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA) following the registrant’s failure to...Read more about Maryland Pesticide News.

University of Maryland Extension Leads the Next Generation of the Statewide Nutrient Management Program

University of Maryland Extension (UME) has launched an enhanced nutrient management planning process designed to adapt to modern farming practices and operations that better align with Maryland’s agricultural regulations and environmental goals. Moving forward, UME will now administer and coordinate statewide nutrient management planning following the finalization of the agreement between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

This reinvigorated effort marks a significant opportunity for...Read more about University of Maryland Extension Leads the Next Generation of the Statewide Nutrient Management Program.

Implementing Genome Editing as a New Tool in the Breeder’s Toolbox

By Daniel Rodriguez Leal, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

Although we have seen an upward trend in plant yields in the past decades, current estimates suggest we will not meet future food, feed, and fuel demands. Therefore, we have a need to develop innovative approaches to accelerate crop improvement and make its outcomes more predictable. Some of the...Read more about Implementing Genome Editing as a New Tool in the Breeder’s Toolbox.

Meetings and Events

Train-the-Trainer Integrated Pest Management for Urban and Small Farms Series
October 19-December 7, 2023 (Thursdays)
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Description: This lunch and learn program is for agricultural service providers and people who teach about urban or small scale farming. Weeds, diseases, and insects are often a major concern for mixed-produce growers in Maryland. Integrated pest management (IPM) programs incorporate multiple pest management strategies into their production practices. This series include 6 lectures give on topics such as over of IPM, plant diseases, weed management, insect management, and communication tips for farmers.

More information and register online at
If you have questions about the program or need reasonable special accommodation to participate in this event please contact Emily Zobel at 410-228-8800 by October 4, 2023.

2023-2024 Winter Meetings
Upcoming Agriculture fall meetings are a great opportunity for farmers, ranchers, and other professionals in the industry to come together and discuss the latest trends and innovations. These meetings often focus on topics such as crop yields, livestock management, and sustainable farming practices. If you're involved in the agriculture industry, attending a fall meeting can be a great way to stay informed and connect with others in your field.  Click on the buttons below to find a meeting near you.

  • Pesticide Certifications

  • Agicultural Nutrient management Meetings and Nutrient Voucher

  • 2023-2024 Winter Crop Meetings

Harvest & Postharvest Practices for Improving Apple Fruit Workshop, November 7, 2023. 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center, Keedysville MD. Cost $20. More information and registration here:

UMES Extension’s 20TH Annual Small Farm Conference, on the UMES campus, on November 2-4, 2023. Registration is $90 for both days or $45 for only one day. More information and registration here:

Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School, in Ocean City, MD, November 14-16, 2023. Registration $375. Payment of registration fee entitles you to participation in 2½ days of sessions, materials, 3 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches, and refreshment breaks. More information and registration here:

Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference, November 16, 2023, 8:00 am—4:00 pm. Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis MD. In-Person-$65; $45-Online; Student-Free; (Late/Onsite: In-Person-$90; Online-$70). The conference will begin with a look at preparing for a disease outbreak on a poultry operation, PFAS, and a 2023 legal overview of the decisions that will impact agriculture. More information and registration here:

Maryland Agritourism Conference, at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Md. on December 10-12, 2023. The three-day event will gather and identify critical elements to enhance agritourism in the state. More information and registration here:

Central MD Vegetable Growers Meeting, January 25, 2024. 8:00 am—1:00 pm. Hereford Vol. Fire Company in Monkton, MD. $20.00 if you register prior to January 25th; pay at the door for $25.00. More information and registration here:

Eastern Shore Vegetable Growers Meeting, February 20, 2024. 8:30 am—2:00 pm. More information and registration here:

Vegetable & Fruit News, October 2023, Volume 14, Issue 9 (pdf)

Vegetable & Fruit News is a research-based publication for the commercial vegetable and fruit industry available electronically from April through October.  Published by the University of Maryland Extension Agriculture and Food Systems team.

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Emily Zobel
University of Maryland Extension Agent - Dorchester County
501 Court Lane, Room 208
Cambridge, MD 21613
Phone: (410) 410-228-8800

Note: Registered Trade Mark® Products, Manufacturers, or Companies mentioned within this newsletter are not to be considered as sole endorsements. The information has been provided for educational purposes only.