Vegetable Fruit News April 2023 Cover
Updated: February 2, 2024

May 2023 | Volume 14, Issue 3

Spinach Crown Mites in Spinach

By Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist UME

Spinach crown mites Rhizoglyphus sp. feed within the folds of new leaves in the crown of spinach plants. This feeding causes the new leaves to become deformed as they...Read more about Crown Mites in Spinach

Multi-Year Basil Downy Mildew Trials

By Stanton Gill, David Clement, Alan Leslie, Ginny Rosenkranz & Sheena O’Donnell, UME

Basil downy mildew (BDM) continues to be the big-gest challenge to basil production in America be-cause it can spread rapidly and result in complete yield loss. It is caused by...Read more about Multi-Year Basil Downy Mildew Trials

Russet on Apples: Current Understanding and Management

By John Skae, Candidate for B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology, and Macarena Farcuh, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, UMD

What is russet on apples?

Russet on apples is a disorder of the skin that results in discoloration and changes to the ex-pected smooth texture of the skin of apples. Russet appears as a spectrum from...Read more about Russet on Apples: Current Understanding and Management

MDA Pesticide Container Recycling Program Ending

Rob Hofstetter, Program Manager Maryland Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Regulation

After collecting more than a million pounds of plastic and conducting an empty pesticide container collec-tion program for 30 years, the Department's 2023 Program will be cancelled. The Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC) provides a contractor to pickup and/or grind the collected plastic free of charge. For the last two years we have been working with a new contractor, assigned by the ACRC. The contractor has not been able to keep up with demand and we have received no additional assistance from the ACRC. As such, we have several sites that are full or overflowing. Until we can clean out these sites, the program will be postponed. We thank everyone who has participated in this program and apologize for any incon-venience this will cause. We hope to be able to continue the program in 2024. For further information please contact the Pesticide Regulation Section at (410) 841-5710 or via email at

Cyclamen mites found in strawberries

By Jerry Brust, UME

Cyclamen mites have been found in a few Maryland strawberry fields in the last few weeks. They are not much of a problem now but when...Read more about Cyclamen mites found in strawberries

Viruses turning up in high tunnel tomatoes

By Jerry Brust, UME

In the last week or so high tunnel tomato plants have been reported that look a bit squirrely. I thought it was possibly herbicide or...Read more about Viruses turning up in high tunnel tomatoes

White Rot of Onion and Garlic

By Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist UME and Karen Rane, UMD Plant Diagnostic Lab

One very serious soil disease that affects Allium species, especially onion and garlic, is white rot, caused by the fungus Stromatinia cepivorum (syn. Sclerotium cepivorum (fig. 1)). White rot is NOT the same as white...Read more about White Rot of Onion and Garlic


  •  Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) (Say, 1824) photo by Ward Upham, KSU

    May 2023 Vegetable and Fruit Insect Scouting Tips

  • Line drawing of vegetables

    Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations Guide

Update on Pesticide Testing Requirements for PFAS in Maryland

Summary by Niranjana Krishnan, Maryland Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator

In April 2023, two bills (SB0158 and HB0319) were amended and passed in the Maryland General Assembly. The bills require the Maryland Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Maryland Department of Environment, Mary-land Department of Health, and the EPA to study the use of PFAS in pesticides. PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoro-alkyl substances) are a class of fluorinated compounds that do not degrade easily and are found in many products and matrices. Exposure to certain PFAS compounds can adversely affect human health. The bills originally proposed pro-hibiting pesticide products from being registered in the state unless it was tested for PFAS. However, several questions were raised about PFAS testing methods which resulted in the bills being amended.

The bills now require:

  • An analysis of the health and environmental impacts of PFAS in pesticides in Maryland.
  • An identification of testing methods capable of testing PFAS in pesticides.
  • An examination of characteristics that distinguish testing methods for PFAS that are validated for drinking water from testing methods that are validated for pesticides.
  • A status update on federal efforts to certify a method for testing PFAS in pesticides.
  • A status update on state and federal efforts to regulate or ban use of pesticides containing PFAS.

The bills take effect on June 1, 2023, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture must report its findings and recom-mendations by November 1, 2023.


Upcoming UME Events

Additional events, information and registration link can be found on the University of Maryland Extension Agriculture & Food Systems website.

  • Strawberry Twilight Tour. May 16, 2023, from 6 to 8 pm at the University of Maryland Wye Research & Edu-cation Center (211 Farm Lane Queenstown, MD) Come and listen to University specialists discuss current condi-tions and issues with Maryland strawberry production, including fungicide resistance and scheduling fungicide sprays. See and taste some of the varieties in the 2022/23 annual plasticulture variety trial, which includes a few standard varieties as well as a few newer selections. The program is free, but we ask that you please RSVP for planning purposes. For more program information, contact Chris Cochran at 443-446-4277 or Megan Stibbe at 410-827-8056 ext-114.
  • Small Grain Field Day. May 23, 2023, from 3pm till 5:30 pm at the Wye Research and Education Center (211 Farm Lane, Queenstown, MD 21658) Free. Agenda and Registration link: For additional program information, contact Dr. Nicole Fiorellino at or 443-446-4275.
  • Pasture Walk at Goose Hill Farm. May 31, 2023. 6:00 pm – 8:30pm. Fee. Goose Hill Farm, 10240 Augustine Her-man Hwy, Chestertown, MD 21620. (

Vegetable & Fruit News, May 2023, Volume 14, Issue 3 (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.