New to the forums!
Just wanted to say hello. We're farmers in Oklahoma growing fruits and vegetables, and also raising rare breed pigs. We grow organically, although we're not certified. We love to grow stuff and learn new ideas and share ideas as well. We have a blog called Hot Off The Haywire where you can see videos and photos of our farm. We look forward to getting in some good discussions!
Do y'all market direct to the public or wholesale?
Do you have a problem with TSWV (Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus)? It arrived here in 2007 and wiped-out our whole crop. I know it's been a major issue in Okla and the Texas Panhandle counties for some time. Thank goodness there are resistant varieties available - they got us by the last two years but I'm worried the Western Flower Thrip, which serves as the vector, is gonna develop resistance to them. This will be our third year with commercial determinates. We put in 1200 plants a year.
Jack, we sell direct to the public thru farmers markets. We didn't have any problems with TSWV last year, knock on wood. We grow indeterminates, mostly heirlooms, but a few hybrid varieties as well.
Originally Posted by eltejano
I hope it stays away from your place! If you get it, you can kiss those heirlooms goodbye forever. All the resistant varieties, so far, are determinates - and they don't taste as good as our old vining cultivars. Our clients aren't very sophisticated, though, and didn't notice - but yours probably would! The scary part about this disease is that many farmers are experiencing TSWV crop failures with the resistant cultivars! They're only good for a few years, it seems! Hopefully, the plant science researchers in the universities will come-up with something else.
I should correct what I said above - it's the VIRUS than gets immune, not the thrip. :-). A lot depends on what's growing around you. Our neighbor's pasture borders us on the south and, of course, it's full of all sorts of weeds, many of which host the thrip, which can't fly very far on its own, can blow on the wind for a loooong ways. That was the source for us. The bad part is that there's no way to know the crop is infected until the toms start to ripen - and by that time it's too late to do anything or even replant. Spinosad (which is okay for organic, I think) kills the adult thrip itself but doesn't touch the larvae. She bores into the stem immediately after landing and deposits her egg deep in the tissue where no pesticide can touch it. The whole process takes a couple minutes! Spinosad works like bt (and it's also bacteria-based) - the insect must ingest it - so the female moth dies from chewing the spinosad-coated stem but her larvae escapes and continues the life cycle.
Do all you can to keep flowering weeds down - and no flowers anywhere around! I got in trouble - spent a few nights sleeping in the recliner - for spraying my wife's cannas with Roundup :-). Cannas are a prime host for the Western Flower Thrip and there was huge line of them along the fence on the upwind side of the tomatoes in 2007 - and that was when it hit us. I believe it came from those cannas, but maybe from the neighbors pasture as well!