Missouri State University
What's happening in the field?
At the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station

Shoring up the high tunnel for late winter vegetables

The sidewalls on the high tunnel are automatic and lift up from the ground to close. Sometimes there is a gap at the top of the sidewall where cold wind can blow in. Randy had the idea of putting a sheet of some material on the top so it would block the gap. We decided on plastic. Shelia, Randy and Jeremy put the plastic strips up today. We are going to see if this helps.

Shelia and Randy staple the plastic strip at the upper part of the sidewall.
Shelia and Randy staple the plastic strip at the upper part of the sidewall.
Jeremy rolls out the plastic from the inside of the tunnel.
Jeremy rolls out the plastic from the inside of the tunnel.
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MSU Grad Student presents research at Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph

The Great Plains Growers’ Conference was held in Saint Joseph, Missouri from Thursday, January 7 – Saturday, January 9, 2016.  Jennifer Morganthaler, an MSU graduate student in Agriculture working with Drs. Elliott and McClain, presented some information on the research project she is working on for her Master’s degree program in the Small Fruit Session on Saturday. The project involves the evaluation of raspberry cultivars in grow bags in a high tunnel. Progress to date on the second year of this four-year project was presented. There was a lot of interest from the growers and the group had many questions. Jennifer did a great job!!

This research is funded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the USDA.

Jennifer presents background information on the primocane bearing raspberry cultivars that are being evaluated in this experiment.
Jennifer presents background information on the primocane bearing raspberry cultivars that are being evaluated in her experiment.

 

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Raspberries moved out of the high tunnel for overwintering

The bagged raspberries were moved out of the high tunnel today. We left the canes in the tunnel and removed the roots. The reason is we want to record the weight of the canes for each replication, but need the leaves to dry and then be removed before we do so. The raspberry crown and roots in the grow bags are protected with straw mulch and will overwinter outdoors.

Canes are cut about 2 inches from the top of the media and left in place to be weighed after the leaves dry and are removed.
Canes are cut about 2 inches from the top of the media and left in place to be weighed after the leaves dry and are removed.
After the canes are cut, the bags are removed from the row.
After the canes are cut, the bags are removed from the row.
Bags are taken out from the north row in order.
Bags are taken out from the north row in order.
The canes are left on the wire and tied so they don't fall. They will be weighed after the leaves dry and are removed.
The canes are left on the wire and tied so they don’t fall. They will be weighed after the leaves dry and are removed.
You can see that some roots grew out of the bag into the soil.
You can see that some roots grew out of the bag into the soil.
Bags from the southern row were moved out of the side of the tunnel.
Bags from the southern row were moved out of the side of the tunnel.
After all of the bags are set outdoors in order, the first straw bale is set in place for winter protection.
After all of the bags are set outdoors in order, the first straw bale is set in place for winter protection.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter of the bags.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter of the bags.
Almost finished with the outside.
Only one bale to go for the outside edges.
Randy shows the crew how to much the top of the bags with straw.
Randy shows the crew how to mulch the top of the bags with straw.
The straw much is applied.
The straw mulch is applied.
We made sure the straw was not matted and the bags were well covered.
We made sure the straw was not matted and the bags were well covered.
And here is our group shot. Lower row from left is Shelia Long, Jennifer Morganthaler, Sean Gillette, Randy Stout and back from left is Avery Crisp, Drew Rogers, Manny McFall and Clayton Odneal.
And here is our group shot. Lower row from left is Shelia Long, Jennifer Morganthaler, Sean Gillette, Randy Stout and back from left is Avery Crisp, Drew Rogers, Manny McFall and Clayton Odneal.
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Chongquing Academy of Agricultural Research faculty visit the Fruit Experiment Station

Faculty from the Chongquing Academy of Agricultural Research visited the Fruit Experiment Station yesterday, Monday, November 9. Drs. Wenping Qiu and Chin-Feng Hwang participated in the event and helped interpret information for the group. Gary Dau, International Coordinator for University of Missouri, let the group who toured the genomics lab, greenhouses, the field and research area and the winery distillery.

Photos will be uploaded shortly (as soon as my work computer is back online!)

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Bottling the Chambourcin Reserve

The Chambourcin Reserve wine was bottled today. Here are some photos from the bottling line.

Here is the bottling line crew from left to right: C. J. Odneal, Dr. Karl Wilker, Manny McFall and Avery Crisp.
Here is the bottling line crew from left to right: C. J. Odneal, Dr. Karl Wilker, Manny McFall and Avery Crisp.
C. J. sparges the bottles with nitrogen before filling them from the tank.
C. J. sparges the bottles with nitrogen before filling them from the tank.
Karl checks the levels and then puts the bottles in the corking machine.
Karl checks the levels and then puts the bottles in the corking machine.
Manny puts the labels on the bottles and Avery finishes by putting the capsule on the bottle and then putting the bottle in the case. C.J. gives them a pat on the back for a job well done.
Manny puts the labels on the bottles and Avery finishes by putting the capsule on the bottle and then putting the bottle in the case. C.J. gives them a pat on the back for a job well done.
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Raspberries keep on going and going . . .

If I have a nickle for every time Jeremy Emery (one of our two Field Supervisors) asked me when we are going to quit harvesting the high tunnel raspberries . . .

Crimson King is the latest bearing cultivar in our raspberries in grow bags trial with the majority of the crop ripening in November. The good news is that we sprayed pesticides for spotted wing drosophila control until the end of September, but have not seen any larvae in sound fruit using salt water tests since then. We did not apply any pesticides in October and do not see any signs of the pest in this late season harvest period.

Shelia Long (left) is still harvesting raspberries in the high tunnel with Tom Barker. Shelia has managed the data collection for this research trial.
Shelia Long (left) is still harvesting raspberries in the high tunnel with Tom Barker. Shelia has managed the data collection for this research trial.
Crimson Giant is the latest bearing cultivar of the five cultivars in the experiment.
Crimson Giant is the latest bearing cultivar of the five cultivars in the experiment.
We have not seen any larvae floating on the surface of the salt solution so we have not applied pesticides since the end of September for spotted wing drosophila.
We have not seen any larvae floating on the surface of the salt solution so we have not applied pesticides for spotted wing drosophila since the end of September.

 

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Mystery of the wolfberries solved

Pam Turner brought in the branch of a flowering shrub for identification. I had not seen it before so we sent a photo to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Chip Tynan – manager of the garden’s Horticultural Answer Service – informed us that the specimen was a THORNLESS form of Lycium chinense – the goji or wolfberry! Pam brought a specimen with the fruit on Monday. Here are photos of the flower and the fruit.

This goji flower photo was taken September 22, 2015.
This goji flower photo was taken September 22, 2015.
This photo of the goji berries was taken November 2, 2015.
This photo of the goji berries was taken November 2, 2015.
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Misty autumn morning

Susanne Howard took some phone photos this misty morning and shares them on the blog.

Morning mist and sunlight - photo by Susanne Howard
Morning mist and sunlight – photo by Susanne Howard
Pretty pine silhouette - photo by Susanne Howard.
Pretty pine silhouette – photo by Susanne Howard.
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