Join UMass Extension and Ward’s Berry Farm for a free Twilight meeting on disease reduction through the use of UV light.
UV light has been used with several crops including strawberry, squash, and beet to reduce diseases like powdery and downy mildew. In this study funded by the Northeast SARE Novel Approaches for Sustainable Ag, researchers from Mt. Sinai partnered with UMass Extension and Ward’s Berry Farm to evaluate efficacy of UV light to reduce downy mildew in cucumbers, a very destructive late-season disease. Jim Ward of Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, MA worked with the researchers to build a UV-emitting “sprayer” that can be used in the field to combat disease. Nick Skinner of Mt. Sinai will discuss the use of UV light in several disease systems, Jim will share his experience of building and using the UV sprayer, and Sue Scheufele will discuss the cucumber downy mildew pathogen and the experiments conducted in 2020 and 2021.
In addition, Jim will highlight some other experiments happening around the farm, including a pumpkin variety trial, using the UV sprayer on other crops around the farm including for powdery mildew control in zinnias, and describe his ongoing “experiment” with no-till pumpkins.
Lastly, Sue Scheufele and Andy Radin from URI Cooperative Extension will moderate a roundtable discussion of pest and crop issues seen this season.