Michael J O'Donnell

Small Farms Team Coordinator & Extension Educator
Delaware County
Area(s) of Interest: Soil health, cover crops, vegetable production, pastured poultry and eggs, and agronomy
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5 articles by this author

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Bok choy with wooden stake.

A lot of things are different this year. With the changes come opportunities to try something new. Liz Brownlee with Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition mentioned to me that some markets, especially in rural areas, do not have a steady supply of Fall crops, and that farmers might be looking to extend the season with crops not grown before. Many Indiana vegetable farms thrive on the warm season crops planted in spring: tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, sweet corn. But cool season crops planted in late summer are also grown and marketed successfully at farmers’ markets and to other outlets like food hubs and online marketplaces. For those new to these crops and thinking about trying them, this is a reminder that it’s not too late to plant some crops for fall harvest. (Figures 1 and 2). Lettuce, spinach, kale and many other greens in the brassica family (mustards, mizuna,[Read More…]


Anthracnose of garlic, a new disease to Indiana, may cause sunken, orange lesions on scapes.

Earlier this summer, sunken lesions were observed on garlic scapes on a small farm in east central Indiana. Lesions started out a cream or tan color (Figure 1), however under rainy or humid conditions, spore production caused lesions to turn orange (Figure 2). Larger lesions resulted in the collapse of the scapes. It is estimated that 45 to 50 percent of scapes were affected. Lesions ranged from ¼ to ½ inch long. Samples of these scapes were sent to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory in West Lafayette where they were diagnosed as anthracnose of garlic, a new disease to Indiana. This new disease is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum fiorinae. This fungus has also been reported on elephant garlic in New York. Reports from New York suggest that onion is unaffected. In the US, C. fioriniae has also been reported as an Apple post-harvest decay, causing bitter rot on[Read More…]



OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid during October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017, not to exceed $750 per certification scope. Certified organic producers and handlers who have paid certification fees may apply for reimbursement of the incurred cost. Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to Farm Service Agency county offices beginning on March 20, 2017. More information about the program can be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp/ or https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/2016/organics_fact_sheet_2016.pdf


If you are an organic grower and use manure and compost, you might be interested in spending a few minutes to participate this survey conducted by University of California-Davis, The Organic Center and Organic Trade Association. The purpose of the survey is to characterize the use of manure and compost based soil amendments. Results from the survey will be used to study the use of untreated manure and compost in organic agriculture and the impacts of those practices on food safety. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/manurefoodsafety