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Spinach Production in West Central Michigan. James Breinling:. Michigan State University Extension Veggie School Thursday, February 26, 2004 Jim Breinling,Michigan State University Extension. Brief Background. Interest in processed frozen spinach Spring of 2003 - 4 growers planted

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Spinach Production in West Central Michigan

James Breinling:

Michigan State University Extension

Veggie School

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Jim Breinling,Michigan State University Extension


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Brief Background

  • Interest in processed frozen spinach

  • Spring of 2003 - 4 growers planted

  • Summer of 2003 - 4 plantings in Mason/Oceana counties - approx. 80 acres

  • Decision - not to harvest - over winter

  • Potential for expansion 2004-2006


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Planting of Spinach in Mason County, Oct. 13, 2003


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About the same time last Sept.- Oct.

  • Found on a web site

    National Spinach Conference

    November 20 & 21 2003

    Fayetteville, Arkansas

  • Vegetable AoE - Growing the Michigan Vegetable Industry

  • $2,000 grant - myself and three other growers attended


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1st Day of Meetings at Washington County Extension Office

What did we learn?

  • Spinach is good for you

    - Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron

    - Antioxidant activity

    - Folic Acid & disease-prevention properties

    - Age-related Macular Degeneration

    - Bottom-line - eat more spinach! Why? For all the above reasons…. it’s good for you!


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Herbicides Issues

Nilda Burgos - Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences at University of Arkansas

  • Need for additional herbicides critical

  • 3 registered in Arkansas

    - cycloate (Ro-Neet), sethoxydim (Poast), and phenmedipham (Spin-aid)

    - metolachlor (Dual) preemergence; Sec. 18, many years

    - Exploring herbicide resistance by whole plant selection


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Herbicides Issues (con.)

- started fall of 2001 - 4 cultivars

- .5 and 1.0x rates of glyphoste (Roundup) and glufosenate (Liberty) - a few plants survived

- 2003 study spinach tolerance to imazamox (Raptor)

- Raptor labeled cowpea - rotation with spinach

- rates highly injurious when applied preemergence

- lower rates need to be tested

- Spinach cultivars show differential tolerance to foliar application of Raptor


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Potential Herbicides - Spinach Texas the Oklahoma

Russell Wallace - CES, Texas A&M

  • Bixby, Oklahoma 2002-2003

  • 3 highest yielding preemergence treatments

    - Lorox (0.10 lb. a.i/A)

    - Ro-Neet (3.0 lb. a.i) & Lorox (0.05 lb. a.i)

    - Define (0.15 lb. a.i) & Lorox (0.05 lb. a.i)

  • Crystal City, Texas

    - Ro-Neet, Dual Magnum and Outlook alone had least crop injury

    - Best combination included:

    Ro-Neet (3.0 or 4.0 lb. a.i) and Outlook (0.25 lb. a.i)

    Ro-Neet (3.0 or 4.0 lb. a.i) and Lorox (0.05 or 0.10 lb. a.i)

    Outlook (0.25 lb. a.i) and Lorox (0.05 or o.10 lb. a.i)

  • Results look promising , need more investigation regarding rates and and combinations


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Other topics

  • Update on Downy Mildew of Spinach

  • Biology and Management Spinach White Rust

  • Verticillium Wilt of Spinach

  • Foliar Fungicide Alternatives in Spinach

  • Screening and Breeding for Resistance to Leafminer in spinach

  • Current and Future Insect Management in Spinach and Greens

  • Spinach Breeding in the Mid South


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Spinach Insect Pests and Controls

  • Paul McLeod, Department of Entomology at U. of A.

  • Aphids - Green Peach Aphid

    - Scout 2 - 3 weeks prior to harvest

    - 20 plants - threshold average 5/plant

    - Control - imidacloprid

  • Grasshoppers

    - Spinach spring and fall “green islands”

    - Pyrethroid insecticides

    - Other controls; location of field, “bug knockers”


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What we saw - Fri. Nov. 21, 2003

Trip to University of Arkansas - Vegetable Substation - Kibler, Arkansas

  • Spinach Variety Trail - Focus White Rust Resistance

    - 39 selections - 5 Tiers

    - Flat Leaf F-380, XP-17047

    - Semi Savoy - Padre

    - Full Savoy - Ozarka II


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Spinach variety trial, U. of A. Kibler Substation


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Du-All; seed bed preparation; U. of A.


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White Rust on spinach - underside of leaf


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White Rust on spinach - top of leaf


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St. Helens, spinach variety trial, Nov. 21, 2003

8 weeks after planting


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Greens harvest at Newton Farms; Kibler, AR


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Returned to U. of A. Vegetable Substation


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Dual damage on spinach leaf


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Raptor resistance plots


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Visit to Gist Farms Spiro, Oklahoma

Sat. Nov. 22, 2003

  • 7,000 acres - Sharecropping

  • 800 acres Spinach and Greens, also grow acreage of Snap Beans

  • Harvesting of Greens and Spinach

  • Overwinter plantings of spinach


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Growers pose during inspection of spinach planter


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Close up - one of three planter units


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Three ten row beds - note, roller in front


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Over winter spinach, Gist Farms, Nov. 22, 2003


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Roller used to level spinach beds


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So after all that, what did we really learn...

  • Need 15-18 # of sulfur /A in the form of ammonium sulfate - reduce need of nitrogen

  • Plant on heavier soil types - ph level important 5.8-6.2 min.

  • Can increase plant population / acre - more rows to drilling

  • Proper seedbed preparation - 4 times w/ Du-all in Oklahoma

  • shallow seeding - use of “pop up fertilizer”


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So after all that, what did we really learn….. (con.)

  • Roll after planting, roll overwinter plantings in spring to level

  • Spintor for control of leafminer 2 days prior to harvest

  • Use 2-3 varieties - flat leaf types grow faster than some savoy and full savoy

  • yield goal - 7 to 8 ton/acre

  • Stomp spinach, pack tight 40,000 lb.+ per load

    - 70° and lower, Oklahoma up to 3 days

    - cut early mornings or evenings

    - if over 80° - problems


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