Monday, July 23, 2012

Week of July 23 2012 : Odds

Here is a photo of an Elmo-spotted toddler not-so-quietly sneaking through the rows of sweet corn. The most loveable of all critters, she is also one of the most destructive. But once I hear her joyous giggles as she runs up and down the rows discovering her foods of choice, I just dont want to stop her. Go, free range Francie, GO!

Agriculture departments at many universities publish research documents that classify certain events as likely to occur every year or possible to occur some years, or rare. This classification is useful to estimate the probability that an event will occur, and therefore, estimate the likelihood that a solution is necessary.

For example, powdery mildew on winter squash is an event that is likely to occur every year.

However, this year's hot and dry weather has certainly disrupted the typical events, for both better and worse.

One of the better disruptions has been the apparent impact on Japanese beetles.

These beetles have usually appear during the first week of July and made a disgusting nuisance of themselves for at least 6 weeks.

This year I scouted the first beetle on June 15, nearly 3 three weeks early, and I braced for the swarms that were sure to come. Several weeks later, the swarms still have not arrived. The ultimate Japanese beetle magnets, edamame plants, had only one leaf skeletonized and few nibbles on other leaves.

I am savoring this small victory and not at all wondering the effects on next year's generation.

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