I have seen several sweet corn fields lately that have sulfur deficiencies (fig 1). One of the possible reasons we are seeing more S deficiency is because less sulfur is being deposited into the soil from the atmosphere due to reductions in acid rain. In 1986 about 24 lbs/a of sulfate were deposited in Maryland soils per year, however in 2011 it was closer to just 8 lbs/a each year. Organic matter supplies most of the sulfur to the crop, but sulfur must be mineralized to sulfate-S to be taken up by crop plants.
A few blueberry and cherry growers in central Maryland have reported fruit damage to their crop from Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) this week. If you grow any small fruit such as blueberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries it would be best if you check these crops for the presence of SWD.
Hurricane Ida dumped a lot of rainfall in Montgomery, Frederick, and Howard Counties. If you farm in an area where local creeks or rivers overflowed their banks and flooded produce fields, your crop may have been contaminated and should be discarded. Plowing under after the soil has dried is a common method of disposal.
Developing a food safety culture is an ongoing exercise that requires reminders, reinforcement and retraining. What about regulations? What about certificate (or audit) programs? Where do each of them begin, and who needs to either comply or elect to participate? That is where the confusion often comes in.