<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 18:58:57 GMT Wed, 26 Jun 2019 18:58:57 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[We pick, you enjoy!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postour-fresh-picked-berry-tent-is-open-for-the-season https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postour-fresh-picked-berry-tent-is-open-for-the-season Fri, 14 Jun 2019 00:00:00 GMT Everyone loves Nourse Farms Fresh Picked Berries!!

click here to see fruits currently available

Hours M-F 9-5 / Weekends 9-4 - Weather Permitting
Berry Line 413-665-2650 (always best to call for most current conditions)

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Thank you for your business!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postonline-ordering-closed-for-2019-season https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postonline-ordering-closed-for-2019-season Mon, 03 Jun 2019 00:00:00 GMT We wish all of our customers a BERRY bountiful summer in their garden!  As always, we are here if you have questions regarding your plants during your growing season.   If you are a commercial grower still needing plants, please call our office at 413-665-2658 to check availability.

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Yes, spring has sprung!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postyes-spring-has-sprung https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postyes-spring-has-sprung Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Time to get outside and breathe the fresh air and put your hands in the dirt :)

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<![CDATA[Picking the appropriate varieties for your operation is an important decision...]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one_ https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one_ Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT Not sure how or what to pick?  Read this article from our Fall 2018 Newsletter for guidance.

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Raspberry Plant selection still good!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postraspberry-plant-selection-still-good https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postraspberry-plant-selection-still-good Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT View our raspberry selection here and make your choice!

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_spring_2019 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_spring_2019 Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT Welcome to our 2019 spring newsletter.  We hope you find it useful. If you have any suggestions on how the newsletter could be more helpful to you, please let us know.

We all experienced a very difficult growing season in 2018 with the excessive rain. As a result, many of this spring’s discussions focuse on the results those conditions could have on your plantings this coming season.

But very importantly, the wet conditions also affected our operations at nourse Farms. I believe we grew one of our most outstanding crops but could not dig all the plants we needed in our fall digging period. We experienced very wet and unusually cold temperatures from early November through mid-December.

As a result, we have a lot of packing to do this spring. We will be increasing our packing crew to accomplish this. Depending on how spring breaks, it is very likely we might not be able to ship the day you request.

IMPORTANTI suggest you give us as much notice as possible for when you want your plants shipped for us to schedule your shipment. This prior notice will be critical or very important for us to respond to your requirements. We understand it will take a lot of communicating on our part. Working closely together we will make this a successful spring shipping season.

We experienced a successful winter trade show and meetings period that were well attended and with a lot of grower interest. There is considerable focus and interest on all the berry crops.

The north american strawberry growers meeting with the north american research group was the highlight of all the meetings. There was two days of presentations about excellent research going on that will be very helpful for strawberry growers moving forward.

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

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<![CDATA[FIVE Points to PREPARE]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-2019 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-2019 Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT GET READY FOR THE SEASON!


1) WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - They might be “cute as a button” or beautiful and fun to watch but wildlife, specifically deer, birds and rodents can do significant harm to small fruit crops.

WHITE TAILED DEER -  Deer cause damage throughout the year but the most severe damage occurs on strawberry plants in the fall before mulch is applied and on any small fruit planting in winter months when availability of natural food is limited. Feeding on canes and dormant buds may lead to stunted or distorted growth and lower fruit production. When severe, it can reduce plant vigor and even cause death. During the spring and summer, deer may feed on new growth and eat ripening fruit. There are a variety of options that can be considered for damage control including hunting/shooting, repellents, and fencing. Repellents should be applied at the first sign of damage and are most effective when integrated into a damage control program that includes fencing, hunting and several types of repellents. Milorganite, a slow release organic fertilizer (6-2-0) produced from human sewage has worked as a repellent for some growers. Fencing deer out of the field is the most effective way to reduce damage when deer density is high. A conventional 8-foot woven wire fence, an electric fence or a combination of the two effectively keeps deer by forming a barrier around the field. The addition of a line of blue baling twine, at the top of the 8-foot fence, has increased success. Though not inexpensive, fencing is effective, long lasting and requires little maintenance.

RODENTS - Rodents are a big concern for growers, particularly those with drip irrigation systems. Pests like gophers, moles, squirrels and voles will feed on the plants and fruit. In addition to crop damage, rodents can also attack drip tape – expensive and time consuming to replace. The first line of defense begins in the early stages of the growing season. Some growers can fumigate fields for overall pest control. This can assist in eliminating moles who feed on earthworms. Given that rodents are drawn to areas around the field, it’s advised to create a buffer zone surrounding the field to eliminate weeds and ground cover growth. Consider applying rodenticides in the buffer zone if rodent pressure is high. During the growing season, techniques like baiting/trapping and system defenses like flooding or destroying mounds/ hills, combined with the targeted use of rodenticides can be very effective.

Ramik Green AG is a good rodenticide for control of mice, rats, and voles around strawberry production. It can easily be applied into bait stations around the perimeters of the field or nearby structures to keep pest levels to a minimum. With no baits that can be used directly in a strawberry field it is important to control the pests before they have a chance to enter. For more information on baiting needs please contact your local Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC location.

BIRDS -  Birds eat fruit to help meet their water requirement in addition to their energy requirements. Bird damage may be more intense in dry years as birds turn to fruit to meet their nutrition and hydration needs. Fruit growers can employ one or more bird deterrent strategies including auditory and/or visual scare devices as well as physical barriers like netting. Here at Nourse Farms, we are in an active nesting area that makes netting an important economical alternative for us.

 

2) DRIP IRRIGATION START UP TIPS - Drip irrigation use is a key cultural component when raising strawberries in the plasticulture system as well as bramble and blueberry production.

The best success with drip irrigation comes with setting up a plan and working closely with your drip tape supplier. Our supplier does a farm visit reviewing the layout of field and our needs with us. Tips on items to review with your supplier:

• Crops to be planted and what specific fields.
• Will the drip be used with or without plastic mulch?
• What is the water source and volume available – this can determine how much area you can water or how much you can apply at one time.
• What is the water quality and filtration needed? • Any treatment needed for algae, iron or other problems?
• Is the field flat or is there more than 6 – 8 feet elevation change? This impacts uniformity and may require a pressure compensating or moderating drip tape.
• What mil is most appropriate?

Our supplier recommends a 15 mil. for strawberries. Having a plan and working closely with your supplier can save you $ and headaches down the line! These recommendations are based in part on conference presentations by Bill Wolfram, District Sales Manager, Toro Ag Irrigation. For a copy of these presentations email Anne Kowaleck at akowaleck@noursefarms.com

 

3) COVER CROPS TO CONSIDERThere are many great reasons for growing cover crops.

These include:

• Improving soil structure. Cover crops add organic matter when they are incorporated into the soil.
• Adding nitrogen to soil. Through relationships with symbiotic soil bacteria, many cover crops, particularly legumes, can add nitrogen credits to the soil.
• Suppressing weeds and disease. Cover crops compete with weeds for light, water and nutrients. Hairy vetch as a cover crop has shown to suppress some anthracnose species.
• Erosion control. Cover crops reduce water and wind erosion on all types of soil.

Choice of a cover crop should be based on what the priorities are for the cover crop benefits. If the goal is to increase nitrogen contribution to the soil, legumes are your best option. If weed control and increasing organic matter is what you want, consider the non-legumes.

LEGUMES 
Hairy Vetch – becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to fix large amounts of nitrogen as well potential disease suppression. Is seeded in mid-August – mid-September, often with winter rye or oats to ensure ground cover for erosion control.
Alfalfa – long lived perennial that requires deep, well-drained soil and neutral. No suited for short-term rotation but will fix large amounts of nitrogen if maintained for several years. Seed early spring or late summer.
Sunn Hemp - easy to grow and productive. Plant when soils reach above 50°F and at least four to five weeks before frost. Plants will be killed when temperatures dip below 28°F. Optimal soil conditions include a pH between 5 and 7.5 and good drainage. Seed can be treated with cowpea inoculant to increase nitrogen fixation. Sunn hemp possesses many soilbuilding traits, including high rates of biomass production — over 20 percent greater than crimson clover and hairy vetch in research trials. It is not only resistant to plant root nematodes but actively suppresses them. In as little as 60 to 90 days it can produce 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre and can suppress weeds up to 90 percent.

NONLEGUMES
Annual Ryegrass
– direct seeded in spring or late summer, this low growing cover crop produces an extensive root system good at capturing leftover nitrogen from previous crops. Good for erosion control as it forms a dense sod. This can also be a downside as it can be difficult to kill overwintering ryegrass with only cultivation or disking.
Winter Rye – often seeded from late August through October, often following field or vegetable crops. Very hardy and adapted to a wide range of conditions, can produce significant root and top mass for increasing organic matter. A rye cover crop suppresses winter annual weeds effectively. Due to the mass it creates, allow at least 2 weeks from killing to crop planting to ensure adequate residue breakdown.
Sorghum-Sudan grass – Sorghum-Sudan grass is one of the most common cover crops. A fast-growing cover crop, it has an extensive root system that thrives in the heat of summer and excels at suppressing weeds. For growth, the soil temperature must reach 65 to 70 F for two months before frost. The crop is extremely drought-tolerant once established, but it does need rain or irrigation during early growth. Seed Sorghum-Sudan grass at a rate of 40 to 50 pounds per acre, after the threat of frost has passed in spring. However, for maximum growth potential, don’t wait too long to plant, depending on your climate. In the Northeast, for example, it’s best to plant before July 15th. Soil temperatures of at least 60 F are required for this cover crop to germinate. Repeated mowing can increase the root system, leading to greater penetration in compacted soil. In fact, this cover crop should be mowed several times in the season to prevent it from setting seed. Maintain your Sorghum-Sudan crop by mowing several times during the season before the crop seeds. Just prior to a killing frost, mow the grass to finely chop it, and then immediately till into the ground while it is still green. Due to the presence of weed-suppressing compounds in the freshly mowed crop, wait several weeks before planting new crops. SorghumSudan grass is a great cover crop for revitalizing worn-out, “farmed-out” soils because it adds a lot of organic matter and bulk to the soil.

 

4)  SPRING FERTILIZATION FOR STRAWBERRIES
Spring fertilization should be considered in a variety of situations. If young plantings went into the fall in a weakened condition, or with heavy leaching fall rains, a spring application of 20 pounds /acre of actual nitrogen would be appropriate. When you suspect signs of winter injury, spring fertilization is a must. Depending on the degree of damage a range of 15 – 30 pounds of actual nitrogen would be effective by “spoon feeding” small amounts over several applications either by light ground application or foliar with your fungicide applications. Many growers have acknowledged the benefits of the following recommendations. Add these micronutrients in moderation for the benefit of all varieties. Special needs of the Cabot variety: Many growers like Cabot for its excellent size and good flavor, but under certain conditions the early fruit are rough and misshapen. Looking at the surface of the fruit, the seeds appear to be uneven or have varying levels of development, caused at pollination. Boron is an important element in the pollination process. A spring application using Solubar (soluble Boron) applied at 5 pounds per acre, 1 lb. actual, can avoid this initial fruit roughness. We suggest making the application just before blossoms open. Special needs of the darselect variety: Apply 5 pounds of Epsom salt per acre in 2-3 sprays during the bloom period and green fruit development stage. The small amounts of magnesium in Epson salt should improve the appearance of the fruit and foliage.

 

5) ARE BLACKBERRIES FOR YOU - as growers look to expand their small fruit offerings, we are often asked about the feasibility of growing blackberries in northern locations.
Historically options were somewhat limited as floricane/summer bearing thornless varieties had limited winter hardiness. Thorny varieties that had better hardiness were difficult for growers to work with and had challenges with customer acceptance in a pick-your-own situation. Two new advances in the blackberry industry have made the possibility of growing blackberries in northern locations a real possibility. At Nourse Farms, we use a rotating cross arm trellis in our floricane blackberry production. This type of trellis allows us to bring canes to a position close to the ground where they can be covered with a thick row cover for winter protection. The second advance has been the introduction of the Prime Ark series of primocane bearing blackberries – Prime-Ark 45, Prime-Ark Freedom and Prime-Ark Traveler. Like primocane bearing raspberries, they can produce two crops. For fall production only, which we recommend in northern locations, prune or mow all canes to the ground in early spring. The Prime-Ark series has unique tipping requirements – please contact us for details.

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Planting on Plastics]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postplanting-on-plastics https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postplanting-on-plastics Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT The Basics

A successful late season strawberry planting on plastic, particularly mid-June - July plantings, requires close attention to the details:
1. We suggest you schedule the ship date for your order as a “will call” so there is no chance of plants arriving when you are not ready. When planting conditions are ready – call and we will ship.
2. Lay plastic and drip lines 30 days before planting to get solarization of the beds reducing weed pressure.
3. Make your beds when the soil is good and moist. If made under dry conditions, it takes a long time to get beds into proper moisture. Turn on drip prior to planting to assure adequate moisture for plant establishment. This is especially important if you do not have over head irrigation for watering directly after planting.
4. Inspect plants upon arrival. Be sure to remove bubble wrap immediately to check for plant temperature. Opening boxes will allow plants to cool if they got warm in transit. If dormant plants are cool or cold, reseal the cartons and store them as close to 28’F as possible. Do not add water or soak your new plants until you are ready to put them in the ground.
5. Dormant plants should be hand-planted. Hand planting promotes proper hole size for good root-soil contact and fewer weeds. Plant mortality is kept to minimum leading to better plants stands. Growers have had success using a plasticulture tool from Nourse Farms that was custom designed to push dormant, bare-root strawberry plants through plastic.
6. To establish good root-soil contact, overhead irrigation should be used the first week of establishment, to set plants immediately after planting. Drip irrigation is used throughout the balance of the season to maintain optimal water and nutrient levels.
7. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have, particularly if the plants are not performing to your standard.

We suggest you also review our Plasticulture Production Guide on our website for a quick review of the process. Following these basics steps will limit plant mortality and yield a successful late season strawberry planting!

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Small Fruit Winter Injury Update]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postsmall-fruit-winter-injury-update https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postsmall-fruit-winter-injury-update Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT Again this year, growers in many locations throughout the country, have seen near record breaking cold temperatures.

For information on strawberry winter injury, including assessment and management review, see our Spring 2018 Newsletter article available on online or email akowaleck@noursefarms.com for a copy of the article. A recap of key items from that article:
1. To assess damage, sample production by cutting the crown from top to bottom.
2. Injury levels can range from brown flecking on crown (mild) to major extensive dame if the crown is dark brown and corky.
3. Damage can be managed to ensure you do get a good strawberry crop, including appropriate moisture and nutrient levels.

Brambles
• With raspberries and blackberries, winter injury can appear in a variety of ways. Very cold temperatures during the winter can kill overwintering floricanes and damage the crown and root system in extreme cases. Late frost in spring can result in injury or even death of flower buds on floricane-fruiting varieties, drastically impacting yield.
• The most typical form of winter injury, however, results from fluctuating temperatures during the dormant season. This injury occurs after plants have achieved their chilling requirements and are no longer fully dormant. Variable temperatures during the winter tend to damage less cold-tolerant tissue. March can often be when injury occurs as you see more fluctuating temperatures, rather than in mid-winter when plants are totally dormant.
• Winter injury typically kills or damages the overwintering floricanes but not new primocanes. There are a variety of methods for assessing winter injury that allow you to evaluate the extent prior to spring pruning. One of the simplest methods including cutting bud lengthwise (tip to base), as buds have begun to swell to check for blackened centers or damaged tissue.
• Winter injury is prevented by making appropriate site selection, avoiding frost pockets, having good air drainage and planting sufficiently winter hard varieties for your area.

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Key Small Fruit Pests]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postkey-small-fruit-pests https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postkey-small-fruit-pests Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT Prevention • Detection • Control

Strawberries and brambles can be attacked by a range of pests including insects, pathogens and weeds. An important factor in controlling pests is the ability to maintain healthy plants and where starting out with a good site is critical. Keeping on top of pest levels, particularly Insects, through scouting and subsequent control allows you to manage a problem before it becomes serious.

SITE SELECTION
Preparations for small fruit plantings should begin at least one year in advance. A nutritionally healthy planting in a well-drained soil with exposure to air movement is less susceptible to damage from pests and frosts. Small fruit crops need good internal soil drainage to grow and do best on a well-drained sandy loam. Wet soils restrict root growth and respiration, resulting in weak growth and reduced yields. Planting on raised beds is useful to improve soil drainage in the rooting zone, particularly on heavier soils. Air drainage is an important consideration in choosing a field site. Cold air, like water, runs downhill, and collects in low areas or areas where trees or hedgerows obstruct airflow. These ‘frost pockets’ increase the risk of both mid-winter cold injury and spring frost damage, putting the plants under stress which can make them more susceptible to pests. Selecting a site with a gentle slope (3-4%) and good air drainage will also reduce this risk. Good air drainage will also promote faster drying of foliage, flowers and fruit which will reduce the duration and frequency of disease infection periods.

SCOUTING
A key component of a successful pest management program is developing a well-orchestrated scouting strategy. A scouting strategy to determine their presence during bloom period could help growers prevent crop loss from their mass migration. We recommend growers begin to plan a scouting routine that will begin the day mulch is removed from the plants. Plan to visit or have your field visited at least 1 time per week during the entire season.  During blossom and fruit set seriously consider scouting twice per week. Have a check list in hand that  identifies possible pests so that no pest goes unchecked. For identification, there are a variety of excellent tools including free phone apps such as MYIPM -SED and MYIPM-SEP. If you are not planning to do scouting, then consider putting a spray program into place to control insects. Flower thrips and tarnished plant bug are the two critical pests along with strawberry clipper.

KEY PESTS
• Flower Thrips - For several strawberry seasons in a row, many growers have seen crop damage due to Flower Thrip infestations. Flower Thrip damage is very similar to Tarnished Plant Bug, where fruit are misshapen, damaged or ‘Cat Face’. In some instances, the Flower  thrips took the entire crop due to extensive damage. A scouting strategy to determine their presence during bloom period, can help growers prevent crop loss from their mass migration. Several insecticides labeled for use on strawberries are effective on thrips. Again, as thrips can cause extensive damage, if you are not going to scout, consider making preventative insecticide applications for control. Consult your local Cooperative Extension office for state recommendations.

• Cane Blight and Cane Botrytis - Due to last year’s wet conditions cane blight and cane botrytis could be more prevalent this spring. Cane blight and cane botrytis are serious diseases in brambles that display as dark brown to purple cankers on the main canes or branches, and can extend several inches along the cane. The risk of cane blight is greatly increased when primocanes are injured or improperly pruned. Although pruning cuts provide a major infection site, insect damage, herbicide damage, and winter injury can also be infection sites. In many cases, cane blight is located at the base of the canes where they were wounded by old canes. Once fruit canes are inoculated, it is necessary to spray fungicides to prevent infections to the primocanes. However, established infections on fruiting canes can’t be removed or cured by fungicide sprays as most are protective, not curative. Proper removal of fruiting canes and application of effective chemicals together with cultural practices that minimize injury on canes play an important role in managing the disease.

• Black Root Rot Complex - Black root rot is the general name for several root disorders that product similar symptoms. The disorders are not clearly understood and are generally referred to as root-rot complex. Our wet conditions this past season could precipitate more black root rot symptoms that usual. The exact cause of the black root rot is thought to be a combination of several soil fungi (such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Phytophthora and Fusarium) as well as nematodes, winter injury, fertilizer burn, soil compaction and saturated soils. Incidences of black root rot have increased, particularly in the last 2-3 years and more on heavier, clay-type soils due to the high moisture levels. Roots affected by black root rot are smaller than normal overall, main roots are spotted with dark patches or in sever cases, all or part is dead. Feeder roots are lacking or spotted with dark patches or zones. All lead to the appearance of black “rat-tail” like roots. Crop rotation and fungicide/Oxidate dip are your first line of defense for this complex as there is little controls available once it is established.

• Phytophthora Root Rot - Considered the # 1 enemy of raspberries, the wet conditions of this last season saw an above average incidence of Phytophthora Root Rot, especially on heavier soils and in low-lying areas of fields that are slow to dry. Given that there is very little  resistance available in varieties, your best line of defense is good, sound cultural practices -- most importantly, the use of raised beds. These practices start out with a soil rotation plan where you avoid planting back into a prior raspberry site for at least 2- 3 years. Secondly, planting on well drained soils using raised beds is a good management step to increase drainage in the root zone, particularly for organic growers. For conventional growers, the use of soil fungicide drenches in the spring and fall of Ridomil Gold and Phosphate type materials are helpful in the control of Phytophthora Root Rot.

• Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) - 
Growers continue to battle with this pest that becomes more problematic as the summer season progresses. SWD Basics:
1. Most state extension departments are wellschooled in Spotted Wing Drosophila identifi cation and potential control. We strongly encourage you to seek out resources in your area. For specific pest control recommendations, consult your local cooperative extension office for specific state recommendations.
2. Monitor with traps to know when present.
3. Timing of insecticide sprays begin with first color. Maintain 5-7-day crop protectant application along with a frequent picking schedule.
4. Cultural controls include removal of cull fruit from field and harvesting all ripe fruit every picking.
5. Deliver harvested fruit to the cold storage hourly, maintaining temperatures as close to 32’ F as possible.


For more detailed information, below are 2 excellent resources for information:
http://extension.umass.edu/fruitadvisor/spotted-wingdrosophila 
UMass Extension offers an excellent monthly newsletter that includes several informative articles on small fruit production.
https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila/


Posted in: Newsletter, Pests

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<![CDATA[Raspberry Variety Spotlight]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postraspberry-variety-spotlight https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postraspberry-variety-spotlight Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT AAC EDEN RED RASPBERRY

Tested as K06-2, this variety was released by Andrews Jamieson at Kentville, Nova Scotia. A cross between ‘Glen Ample x ‘K93-11’, the strong canes are spineless and shown to be moderately winter hardy. The conical fruit are large, firm, light to medium in color with exceptional flavor. Early results show this to be a great mid-season choice to trial when looking for a variety with high productivity and flavor.  



 DOUBLE GOLD RASPBERRY 

This is a recent release by Dr. Courtney Weber from Cornell University. The deep blush, golden champagne color berries are medium in size and have a conic shape. They are considered to have an excellent, sweet fl avor. The plant grows vigorously, suckers freely, and shows tolerance to diseases. Double Gold can be grown as both a fl oricane (summer) and primocane (fall) producer. This plant is more suited for Pick-your-own, and local commercial sales. Double Gold adds an alternative yellow variety to our program!



OUACHITA BLACKBERRY
This thornless blackberry variety has excellent quality fruit, with fi rm, sweet, attractive berries. Fruit ripens before Navaho. Plant has very erect canes, and intermediate vigor. Winter Hardiness appears to be less than Navaho, similar to Apache. Plants appear resistant to anthracnose, and double blossom/ rosette. Orange rust has not been reported on any plants. We highly recommend it for the Mid-Atlantic, West Coast and Southern states based on excellent grower results.

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Select your variety now!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postselect-your-variety-now https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postselect-your-variety-now Fri, 25 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT Yes, we are already selling out of some varieties!   Be sure to plan and place your order soon to ensure that you get your first choice....

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[2019 Catalog]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/post2019-catalog https://www.noursefarms.com/news/post2019-catalog Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT View our catalog to help you select the best berry plants available! Start your order now  - - - - while quantities last!

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[2018-2019 Tradeshow Schedule]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/post2018-2019-tradeshow-schedule https://www.noursefarms.com/news/post2018-2019-tradeshow-schedule Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT We have completed our Tradeshow Circuit this season - - -   Thanks to all who stopped by our booth at the various shows.....   We always enjoy visits with customers at these meetings.

 

See schedule here

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Early Pay Discount!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttake-advantage-of-our-early-pay-discount https://www.noursefarms.com/news/posttake-advantage-of-our-early-pay-discount Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT Take advantage of our Early Pay Discount!

Orders $500 and over that are paid by 1/15/2019 receive a discount of 2%.

Order now and take advantage of the Nourse Farms Early Pay Discount.....

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_fall_2018 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postnewsletter_greeting_fall_2018 Tue, 02 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT Greetings from Whately  ~

Welcome to our 2018 Fall Newsletter. As I reviewed past newsletters and the “Greetings from Whately”, from the last several years, we once again have to talk about the extreme weather conditions and growing challenges faced in our industry. At Nourse Farms, we had experienced the extreme of the extensive wet weather like many. In conversations with customers some have also seen the opposite in bearing with excessively dry conditions.

Even with the all the challenges growers face, there are continued opportunities
in growing berries because of demand, favorable pricing of the crop and how it works into grower’s production systems.

Given our optimism, we are expanding into even more innovative propagation and growing techniques as we see continued new opportunities in growing the berry crops.

As we look to the future, I am pleased to announce the addition of John Conner to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer (photo below right with Tim). John’s extensive experience in Business Management, Sales and Operations will provide us strong leadership and new opportunities. You will meet him at various trade shows in the coming months.

We are enthusiastic about the great crop of plants we have for the 2019 planting season. This includes the new Eden floricane bearing red raspberry -- details on that variety are on on page 7. I would also encourage you to take advantage of our early pay discounts. We appreciate your past business and look forward to meeting your planting needs for the coming season.

 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Day Neutral Strawberry Production - the Ins and Outs]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postday-neutral-strawberry-production https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postday-neutral-strawberry-production Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT Day-neutral strawberry varieties offer growers in many areas the ability to provide strawberries throughout a period of four to five months, or longer under protection.

Unlike June-bearing varieties that produce fruit over a more concentrated harvest period, day-neutral varieties flower and fruit continually over the growing season with temperatures between 40°– 90° F. Day-neutrals begin to ripen in late May and June. Production continues through October depending on weather conditions and use of protective structures. We recommend planting two varieties for the best season extension. The fall crop is the largest of the two crops the first year. In the second year, the spring crop provides good yields beginning in mid - late May. Though day-neutrals require constant attention, the returns can be quite high, particularly if priced appropriately. Many growers can charge the same price for one pint of day-neutrals that they typically receive for one quart of a June-bearing variety.

PREPARING TO PLANT
ay-neutral strawberries perform best in a production system tailored to their long fruiting season. They are generally grown on raised beds covered with a black or reflective plastic mulch to suppress weed and warm the soil. Drip irrigation is laid on the soil’s surface (covered by the mulch) and provides plants with water and nutrients. We recommend building the beds late fall or early spring, so they can be planted as soon as possible in spring, preferably by late April. Delaying planting into June can significantly decrease yields the first year.

CHOOSING A VARIETY
There are a number of variety options available for growers:

ALBION (U.S. Plant Patent #16,228) With high yields of large berries, Albion is fast becoming one of the most popular day-neutral varieties for commercial growers. The fruit are firm with good flavor and red color. A good watering and nutrient program -- specifically nitrogen -- is necessary to attain the high yields this variety is capable of. Increased spacing will allow the fruit to reach maximum size. Albion is resistant to Verticillium wilt and Phytophthora crown rot and shows some resistance to anthracnose crown rot.

SEASCAPE The standard for flavor in commercial day-neutrals, Seascape is a top performer. Though berries can start smaller, they quickly increase to a large size while maintaining firmness and the excellent flavor for which they are known. Seascape plants have the potential to be the most productive of any day-neutral variety.

EVIE-2 (Patent Applied For). This day-neutral is easier to grow, higher yielding and less sensitive to the warm summer temperatures that shut down day-neutral production in the East and Midwest. Berries have an attractive red color, good flavor and maintain their size. In fruiting trials at Nourse Farms, Evie-2 produced the largest spring crop of any day-neutral variety we have tested to date.

PORTOLA (U.S. Plant Patent #20,552) Fruit is lighter in color and should be harvested before fully red. A very high yielding variety, Portola has good flavor, ripening as early as Evie-2. This variety will perform in warmer climates.

SAN ANREAS (U.S. Plant Patent #19,975) One of the largest berries of any day-neutral variety. San Andreas is a consistent-yielding variety, and is used as a second variety by many growers. The berries are firm with good flavor and lighter red color than other day-neutrals.

PLANTING
As noted earlier, it’s important to plant early in the spring. The earlier the planting, the higher the yield. We recommend planting in a staggered, double row on black or reflective plastic mulch with drip irrigation. For planting, many growers have had great success using our Plasticulture Tool. This stainless steel tool is designed to push dormant, bare-root strawberry plants through the plastic at the correct planting depth with little disturbance to the plastic. Fertilize the planting with 2 lbs. of actual nitrogen per planted acre per week for the first few weeks after planting.

TUNNEL PRODUCTION
Growers in many parts of the country have had success with the use of low-tunnels – coverings of rows with plastics on metal hoops. The tunnel plastics not only exclude rain, but they can decrease the amount of ultraviolent light and infrared radiation. This can reduce fungal spore germination as well as heat load on plants. They also provide some protection from cold temperatures allowing for harvest well into the fall. Install tunnels when plants begin to send the first new flower trusses. Cover the tunnels with 4 -6 mil plastic keeping one side of the plastic up under normal weather conditions to allow for pollination and to prevent heat buildup. Lower the sides during cold or stormy weather and once temperatures fall below 40. If the temperature falls below 30° F, you can cover the field with a row cover to preserve ripening fruit.

MAINTENANCE
Once the plants begin to set fruit, increase nitrogen to 5 lbs/ acre per week through the drip irrigation system. Failure to provide weekly applications of nitrogen is a major reason for producing lower yields than anticipated. Plants begin to fruit in July or early August. Harvest the fruit at least twice per week. Peak yields occur in September with fruiting continuing possibly into early November. Once harvest is over, remove any tunnels or rowcovers, if used, and cover beds with a thick mulch once the soil is frozen. You can remove the straw in late March/early April and allow the plants to fruit again that next season. In spring of the second year, you can expect a flush of fruit similar in yields to the previous fall. Depending on variety, ripening is similar to early Junebearers but can be accelerated with the use of tunnels and/ or row covers.

PEST MANAGEMENT
Many of the pests that impact June-bearing varieties can also be present in day neutrals, including fungi like Botrytis Fruit Rot and Powdery Mildew. Insect pressure comes primarily from Tarnished Plant Bug, Spotted Wing Drosophila and Slugs. Please contact us for control recommendations or your local Cooperative Extension office.

 

Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

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<![CDATA[Varieties - Key Factors for Selecting the Right One]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postvarieties-key-factors-for-selecting-the-right-one Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT Picking the appropriate varieties for your operation is one of the most important decisions a grower can make.

Given these are primarily perennial crops, small fruit can be a long-term investment, making it difficult to change varieties once established. At Nourse Farms, the #1 question we field from growers is “What varieties should I grow?”. This article outlines for strawberries and brambles the common questions we ask growers regarding their variety needs and any additional factors to consider.

STRAWBERRY VARIETIES  - One key suggestion we give growers is the importance of trialing a variety at their location before planting on a large scale. Variety performance is indicative of the conditions under which they are grown – a “dog” for another grower might be your “Blue Ribbon” variety. With over several dozen strawberry varieties available in the marketplace today, there are many options to consider.

COMMON QUESTIONS WE ASK:

How do you plan to market the berries?  Wholesale growers require a large berry which is not only firm but will hold in refrigeration for a time. For many pick-your own farms, flavor and fruit quality are top considerations. Some varieties, like Jewel, can meet both needs.

What are the Field conditions?  A good disease resistance package is a priority for farms that have grown berries for many years with limited land for rotation or that have heavy, wet soil.

How long do you want to be picking berries?  Some growers want the longest season extension possible. In those cases, we not only recommend very early varieties like AC Wendy, a mid-season variety and then our very latest June-bearing variety Malwina (ripens in mid-late July in many areas). To extend it even further, day-neutral varieties, like Albion and Seascape can keep you picking strawberries in the late spring as well into the fall. On the flip side, there are operations that due to the various crops they produce, prefer strawberries for a shorter window of time. In those cases, highly productive varieties like Galletta, Honeoye and Jewel are options.

Where are you located? In more northern locations (zones 3 & 4) with very cold winter temperatures, hardiness is a key priority. Annapolis, Cavendish and Honeye are varieties often considered. In southern locations, varieties that can withstand high temperatures, like Chandler are necessary.

Are you growing on a matted row or plasticulture system? Most varieties we sell should grow well in either system. AC Wendy, Galletta, Darselect, Flavorfest & Cabot are varieties that have performed particularly well in the plasticulture system. In the matted row system, varieties that are vigorous and runner well are of interest, from a plant stand perspective, for filling out the row.

 

BRAMBLE VARIETIES - Like strawberries, many options are available for bramble varieties – red, black, yellow and purple raspberries, blackberries and many at different ripening times. Nourse Farms offers 29 varieties of raspberry and blackberry plants for your choosing.

COMMON QUESTIONS WE ASK:

Are you looking for summer production, fall production, or both? Let’s start with a review of raspberry terminology. Floricane varieties are a perennial raspberry that bears fruit on the second-year canes that survived the winter. Primocane varieties are also a perennial raspberry; the key difference is they bear fruit on first year canes. Also known as everbearing, they can produce berries the following summer on canes that survived the winter. In many years past, while berries were produced, not every variety would yield fresh market quality. In recent years, newer primocane varieties have been released that will produce two marketable crops per year. These include Prelude, Himbo Top® (RAFZAQU), Joan J, and Polka.

How do you plan to market the berries –  wholesale, retail, or pick-your-own? A marketing plan is vital when you begin planning! Where red raspberries have always been the mainstay, particularly in the wholesale and retail sectors, we see an increasing interest in black and yellow raspberries. At our Nourse Farms fruit operation, we consistently sell out of black and yellow raspberries to our commercial market customers. The various colors really add to local farm stand retail sales as it’s something your competition will likely not have. Different colors also = different flavors! Pick-your-own operations are also interested in these different variety of color options for increasing overall sales per customer.

Where are you located? In northern areas, winterhardiness is a key factor in choosing a variety. As an example, in zone 3 locations, your best options would be Boyne, Nova and Polana. Variety options open up significantly in zones 4 and higher. Black raspberries and blackberries should only be grown in zones 5 and higher unless swing type trellises are used which allow canes to be mulched for winter protection. On the flip side, in zones 7 & 8, care should be taken in variety selection to ensure the fruit can handle intense summer heat.

What are the field conditions? Disease resistance is an important factor in variety selection. Planting in a rich, well-drained soil with drip irrigation on raised beds will yield the best results. In cases, though where the fungus Phytophthora root rot may be present or if you have poor drainage, choosing a tolerant variety like TulaMagic is a good option. Blackberries and black raspberries are less susceptible than many red and purple raspberry varieties.

Please always contact us with questions you may have about variety selection and what may work best in your specific situation.

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter, Strawberry Production

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<![CDATA[It's Never too Early to Plan for 2019!]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postpoints-to-ponder https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postpoints-to-ponder Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT

FIVE POINTS TO PONDER

1) PH – WHY IT MATTERS!

1)  Why are soil pH levels so important for all small fruit crops and asparagus?  Not only can soil pH levels impact the availability and uptake of mineral nutrients but crops like asparagus and blueberries have very specific pH needs. With asparagus, it performs best at an alkaline pH of 7.2 or higher; blueberries require a very acidic pH in the 4.5 – 4.8 range.  For strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, we recommend a relatively neutral pH of 6.5 – 6.8.  The chart below outlines nutrients essential for plant growth and how their availability is affected by soil pH. 

An autumn soil test is a key way to evaluate not only nutritional levels in soil, but also pH and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).  CEC is important as it will measure the ability of a soil to absorb calcium (Ca), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) ions (among others) and its resistance to change pH in response to liming and sulfur additions.  Clays and soils high in organic matter have a high CEC, whereas sands have a low CEC.  Silt loam and clay load soils are more difficult to impact pH due the soil structure and its particle size. 

2) TRY SMALL FRUIT ALTERNATIVES
At Nourse Farms, we are routinely asked for suggestion for companion crops to strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. We have many options small fruit growers could implement for additional income: Asparagus – Most asparagus is sold as fresh produce, direct to consumer through roadside markets, farmers markets, local retailers, CSA, and pick-your-own. Asparagus is an excellent source of early income prior to strawberries and other traditional vegetable crops. Please see our Fall 2018 newsletter online or contact us for a comprehensive article on commercial asparagus production. Ribes & Elderberries - Currants and gooseberries are two small fruits that date to the 1600’s when they were brought over from Europe. In recent years, they have grown in popularity as a specialty fruit for fresh eating, juice and jams. Elderberry, long known and utilized in Europe and America, makes a great wine or jam and is prized for its medicinal qualities. Fruit holds up well both on the vine and in refrigeration. Plants are winter hardy, preferring a slight slope that is not southern facing. With niche markets such as customers of eastern Europe descent, it pays to have these berries as they are not readily available. Some states restrict growing currants and gooseberries – contact your local extension office or Department of Agriculture to determine if there are restrictions in your state.

3) AGRITOURISM ADVICE
It’s hard to find a small grower’s conference or trade publication where information on agritourism isn’t included in some aspect. Incorporating agritourism has many benefits for a farm business. Why? The answer is twofold. One, on-farm events are a great way to gain and keep customers. Two, agritourism can help with selling your product off the farm – farmers markets, roadside stands and local markets – by getting your name out there. Luckily, with agritourism, you don’t have to choose between nothing and becoming a huge rural entertainment center. There is a whole host of events varying in size to consider. In the fall alone, you can start small with a single short school tour during pumpkin season all the way to incorporating corn mazes, apple picking, cider press demonstrations and haunted hay rides open to the public. With the high popularity of fall agritourism, berries will add to visitors choice besides just the corn maze and apple picking – all adding to your cash flow by being a popular destination. Partnering with civic groups in your area like schools, boys & girls clubs, garden clubs, and senior centers is a great way to bring in business while assisting your community. Finally, there are many resources available pertaining to Agritourism. Sit in on a session at the next state conference you attend! Meanwhile, a wide variety of information is available on the internet. One excellent site, that includes over 50 podcasts highlighting different farms and details on their events that took place, is found at www.agritourismideas/podcasts.

4) STRAW MULCH VERSUS PLASTIC?
In recent years we have received an increasing number of calls from growers looking at alternatives to straw mulch. In our experience straw mulch provides the best overall winter protection however this is not the only reason we recommend it. Straw mulch will provide the most consistent crown temperatures during winter months, and it can also prevent early season growth caused by winter warmups. This is of benefit to a grower by preventing the plants from beginning growth when temperatures can still damage. By delaying spring growth the risk of frost damage to the flowers is reduced. Row covers can be an alternative to straw when good snow cover can be depended upon for the winter. Conversely, in the spring when there is little to no snow cover, using floating row cover can drive growth, increasing risk of frost damage and moving fruiting dates forward. Floating row cover can provide adequate winter protection in areas with more mild winters however care should be taken to ensure the cover is properly weighed down. If not done effectively the row cover can blow off exposing the plants to killing temperatures. You also must be prepared for situations where you may get 70°F temperatures for several days in February or early March. Row covers would need to be removed to prevent early season growth but then reset when the forecast calls for sub-zero temperatures. The second alternative to straw mulch is not mulching. This is a method we do not recommend as it relies entirely on heavy snow cover or winter temperatures over 20°F.


5) BENEFITS OF JOINING NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
As members of the North American Strawberry and North American Bramble Growers Associations, we are asking our growers to please consider joining one or both organizations. NASGA and NARBA have put together very informative grower conferences for many years with the “best of the best” of our country’s extension personnel and growers. The NARBA meeting, in association with the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable conference, will be held in Savannah, Georgia Jan. 9 – 11th. In Orlando, Florida from Feb 3 – 6th, NASGA will be meeting along with the 9th North America Strawberry Symposium. In addition, both organizations have contributed to and facilitated towards research efforts in every growers’ best interest. With all that is happening on the national stage that impacts our businesses both short and long term, joining these organizations efforts couldn’t come at a more important time. As a charter member of both of these organizations, we have experienced and appreciate the value and benefits of membership. 


For details on the conferences, and membership information, please contact:

Debbie Wechsler, Executive Director
North American Bramble Growers Association (NARBA)
197 Spring Creek Rd Pittsboro, NC 27312
(919) 542-4037
Email – info@raspberryblackberry.com www.raspberryblackberry.com

Kevin Schooley North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA)
72 Julia Drive Welland,
Ontario, Canada L3C0E7
(613) 258-4587
Email – info@nasga.org www.nasga.org

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Plant Ordering Open for 2019 Season]]> https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postopen_for_2019 https://www.noursefarms.com/news/postopen_for_2019 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 GMT Time to plan,  - - - - don't lose out on your favorite varieties - - - order early to guarantee your favorites make it into your garden for 2019.   As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have regarding selection.

 

Posted in: News

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