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

Grape phenology and GDD accumulation

We usually begin grape phenology on April 1st, but since development is a bit early this year, we will begin on this first day of Spring.

GDD base 50 accumulation count begins April 1 in this resource. We will calculate the March data by hand and add it to our April 1 count  http://agebb.missouri.edu/weather/reports/gddTable.asp

Phenology stages according to the Modified E-L system http://door.uwex.edu/files/2010/10/ModifiedEichhornLorennzsystem.pdf

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Will it be an early spring?

We noticed that the Magnolia stellata was blooming last week! It is usually in full bloom around April 1, so it looks like things are developing early at this point. That brings bad memories of the Easter Freeze of 2007 when March was warmer than April and things started to grow ahead of schedule. Early April 2007 saw record cold temps and all fruit crops were lost. This scenario, where March is warmer than April, occurred about 4 times in the early 1900s. We hope the early 2000s are not following suit!

I looked at the Cayuga White grape buds last Friday and they were not pushing. We had a cold weekend and hope that March remains a cool month so things don’t get too ahead of schedule. Just keep your fingers crossed and keep an eye on the following map:
https://www.usgs.gov/news/just-how-early-spring-arriving-your-neighborhood-find-out-0

This Magnolia stellata is ahead of schedule. It was bit by frost over the weekend.
This Magnolia stellata is ahead of schedule. It was bit by frost over the weekend.
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MSU Ag at Farm Bureau Thank a Farmer Brunch

We set up our College of Agriculture booth at the Farm Bureau thank a Farmer today with recruitment materials, a display of wines, jams and honey, and out fruit production information. The brunch was followed by an auction to benefit a farm family who lost a loved one.

Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.

 

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Pruning Peach Trees

The field crew began pruning peach trees yesterday.  The crew will work on this over the next couple of weeks.  We prune the peaches after most of the other fruit crops at the station since peaches can be injured if pruned too early.

 

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Plastic Replaced on High Tunnel

The plastic was replaced today on the high tunnel.  The entire crew took advantage of the nice warm day with calm winds to replace the plastic on the high tunnel.  It takes teamwork, patience and some muscle to pull the cover over.  The cover is Dura-Film Super 4, 6-mil polyethylene greenhouse film.  Let the planting begin.  Thanks to all our crew for working together to get this done.

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Plastic removed from the high tunnel today

We managed to take the plastic off of the high tunnel in time for holiday break. The tunnel has been covered since 2010, so it is definitely time for new plastic. We took a soil sample today in order to compare it to the soil sample taken in 2010 in order to see if there has been a buildup of salts. Soluble salts may build up in a high tunnel since it is covered and rain does not wash salts out. By taking the plastic off and waiting a while before we replace it, we hope that rain will allow any salt buildup to wash away.

Wiggle wire holds the plastic onto the high tunnel.
Wiggle wire holds the plastic onto the high tunnel.
All of the wiggle wire is removed from the north and south sides of the tunnel.
All of the wiggle wire is removed from the north and south sides of the tunnel.
The wire is also removed from both ends.
The wire is also removed from both ends.
The plastic is pulled off of the high tunnel.
The plastic is pulled off of the high tunnel.
The plastic is folded up for removal.
The plastic is folded up for removal.
Randy covers the breaker box with plastic.
Randy covers the breaker box with plastic.
Now the high tunnel is open to the elements.
Now the high tunnel is open to the elements.
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Mountain Grove holiday party on December 19

We held our holiday party on Monday, December 19 for our faculty and staff. Here are some pics from the event.

Everyone pitched in on the food as usual.
Everyone pitched in on the food as usual.
Susanne gives some rabbit ears to Pam.
Susanne gives some rabbit ears to Pam.
Dr. Elliott came for lunch.
Dr. Elliott came for lunch.
The kids enjoyed the food.
The kids enjoyed the food.
Shelia keeps eating and eating.
Shelia keeps eating and eating.
It's almost time for a nap.
It’s almost time for a nap.
It's great to visit with the folks from main campus.
Carrie caught with her mouth full.
The ugly tie contest was expanded to include sweaters and hats this year.
The ugly tie contest was expanded to include sweaters and hats this year.
Dr. Del Vecchio talked about the new College of Agriculture and helped to dedicate this dawn redwood tree planted on campus to Dr. Elliott for his years of service.
Dr. Del Vecchio (left) talked about the new College of Agriculture and helped to dedicate this dawn redwood tree planted on campus to Dr. Elliott for his years of service as Director.
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Raspberries moved out of the high tunnel today.

The raspberries in grow bags were moved out of the high tunnel today and mulched with straw. The leaves did not fall before the bags were moved, but low temperatures predicted this weekend led us to decide to move the bags and mulch them for protection.

The canes were cut about 2 - 3 inches from the base.
The canes were cut about 2 – 3 inches from the base.
Jeremy and Shelia finish the first two blocks.
Jeremy and Shelia finish the first two blocks.
The two blocks on the south side are moved out via assembly line.
The two blocks on the south side are moved out via assembly line.
Avery and Mannie getting near the end of the line.
Avery and Mannie getting near the end of the line.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter.
Straw bales are placed around the perimeter.
Raspberries in bed for the winter.
Raspberries in bed for the winter.
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