June Newsletter

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Upcoming Events/Perennia Updates

Below is a summary of some of the industry events that are coming up in the next few weeks! The events listed below are primarily hosted by Perennia, and more information on each of them can be found here.
  • TunnelTalk (virtual Series)
    • June 13 - Greenhouse Ventilation w Matthew Kleinhenz
    • July 10 - Implementing Commercially Available Bio-Control Agents
    • August 14 - Expert Panel Discusses Greenhouse Structures
  • David Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station Maintenance Workshop - Murray Siding
    • June 7
  • Understanding Alternative Nutrient Amendments (Virtual Series)
    • June 25 @6:30 pm - Introduction to Nutrient Amendments 
    • July 2 @ 6:30 pm - Management and Considerations with Compost
    • July 9 @ 6:30 pm - Nutrient Amendments and Soil Interactions 

New Service Launched!

The Plant Health Lab is now offering plant parasitic nematode analysis, following a two year study of nematode presence and distribution across Nova Scotia! 

Check out our website for more information about nematodes, sampling, and general submission guidelines.

Weather Updates

Cucumber beetles have been observed across the Northeastern States! Check back to last month's newsletter about management options

Lets take a look at the weather data collected for this year, and how it compares to our historical records. Growing degree days (GDD) are important for anticipating key dates for crop growth stages, as well as pest emergence and flights. Consider some of the most persistent critters on your farm, and when they typically start to show up. Even if we are still early in the season, its a good reminder to revisit those dates, and think about what needs to happen to prepare for them to limit the impact they have on your farm. 

Figure 1. Degree day accumulation as of May 28, 2024. All data are taken from the Environment and Climate Change Canada weather station located at the Kentville Research and Development Centre, provided by Jeff Franklin. 

Table 1. Degree day accumulations as of May 28, 2024. All data are taken from the Environment and Climate Change Canada weather station located at the Kentville Research and Development Centre. Calculations are based on a start date of March 1, and calculated using the single-sine method. Provided by Jeff Franklin.

Seasonal Considerations: Irrigation

In 2021, the focus of Perennia's annual 'Getting Into the Weeds' series was Irrigation. As precipitation levels remain significantly lower than what typically falls through the month of May, it may be worth revisiting the resources available for those who are looking to fine-tune their irrigation systems. 

Ted van der Gulik, President at the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, lays the foundation for planning and design of a drip irrigation system, as well as operating and managing it. These session are focused on implementation outdoors, compared to protected production, but the key considerations for either setup are the same. Concepts such as the importance of considering the amount of water 'lost' to the environment are crucial when calculating the maximum system capacity required, and how much water should be applied on a regular basis. Wind, solar radiation, temperature and relative humidity impact evapotranspiration, which is water lost from the soil surface. The use of plastic mulch, or growing a crop in a container that quickly becomes shaded by the canopy overhead, significantly reduces the amount of water that is lost from the rootzone through evapotranspiration.

Lets consider vegetables that are not mulched in raised beds, and are not grown in a container. Farmwest's Evapotranspiration calculator is a great tool to estimate how much water is lost from the soil through normal environmental conditions. Adjustments can be made seasonally to figure out how much is estimated to be lost different times of the year, however for the most protective strategy, choosing a date range of about a week where evapotranspiration is at its peak (ex. August) allows for you to establish your system at maximum capacity, and scale back when it is not needed. 
  •     Looking to maximize the use of this tool? Check the peak dates over a few years to establish a more reliable value. It's been a wild few years, and we don't want to make assumptions based on one scenario!
Check out the source material on Perennia's Youtube channel for an in-depth refresher!

Production Tidbits: Tank Mixing Made Easy:

As we move towards peak spraying season, growers should be reminded that many tank-mix compatibility problems can be avoided by adhering to the proper tank mix order. The WALES method has been put together to help remind folks of the ideal mixing order. Prior to creating any complex mixes, it is recommended to perform a small-scale test known as a jar test to assess chemical compatibility. This is a good time to remember that the sprayer should be thoroughly cleaned out between uses so that residues from previous applications do not interfere with mixability and application. 

By following the Wales method below growers can generally, mix products in the tank without incident. 


  • fill the tank about ½ full with WATER and start the agitation
  • add WATER CONDITIONERS at this time, if needed, for hard water or pH adjustment
  • add WATER SOLUBLE BAGS (WSB) to the clean water in the tank.  Allow the bags to completely dissolve before adding any other products

These products may have to be pre dissolved or slowly added to the tank so that they will be dissolved before beginning sucked into the sump, collecting in the filters and plugging the sprayer. Be sure dry products are thoroughly dissolved prior to adding other products. 


  • continue AGITATION and allow the dry products to mix entirely to ensure uniform dispersion.


  • add LIQUIDS (L)
  • add FLOWABLE liquids(F)




  • Finish by completely filling the spray tank with water and continue to agitate until the spray application is complete. 
  •  Test and adjust water pH if needed before heading to the field

 If boron fertilizers are required in the spray mixture make sure that water soluble bags are completely dissolved before adding the boron fertilizer to the tank. 

For products that quickly degrade at high pH’s be sure to measure the pH of the tank solution before and after mixing is complete as multiple pesticide and fertilizer products can change the overall solution pH. 

There are new rules beginning December 20, 2024, outlining what will be allowable for tank mixes which will be stated on each of the product labels.  To find out more about these new regulations please follow this link.  CLICK HERE. For a summary article on the subject please follow this link: CLICK HERE. 

 Article has been adapted from https://www.syngenta.ca/agronomy/wales-mixing-order.

Feature Pest/Disease: Squash Bug

It will soon be time to start scouting for squash bug, a pest of cucurbits with a particular preference for pumpkins and squash. They feed with their piercing sucking mouth parts and cause leaf necrosis, rapdi plant wilt and scarred fruit. Crop injury from feeding damage can result in reduced yields, delayed plant growth, and poor fruit storability. Squash bugs can also vector bacterial diseases such as angular leaf spot. 

Adults overwinter in plant debris stones, or clods  of soil. They can also be found in nearby wood piles and around building foundations. Adults begin emerging in early to mid-June when they mate and lay bronze coloured eggs on the undersides of leaves. After one or two weeks, the first nymphal instars (immature squash bugs) will emerge. The adults aren't affected by pesticides, and the youngest instars are the must susceptible, so its best to flag a few egg clusters and check back regularly to time your sprays. Be mindful of pollinator presence and only apply spray when bees are not active. 

If you have multiple types of squash in the field, squash bugs seem to prefer pumpkins, blue hubbard, buttercup and kabocah types, so make sure those are getting extra attention during your scouting walks. For more information please refer to Perennia's factsheets on Squash Bug and Cucurbit Angular Leaf Spot

Recent Uploads


That's all for now! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your extension specialist.

Happy growing everyone!