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ECHOcommunity Updates

Crop Management Tip: Blossom End Rot 2022-06-22

Have you experienced blossom end rot before? Blossom end rot is commonly found on tomato, zucchini, pepper, squash, eggplant, and watermelon fruit. It's often mistaken for a disease, but it's actually caused by calcium deficiency in the plant (not always in the soil)! Calcium is a macronutrient required for plant cell walls and cell elongation among other functions. Calcium is taken up passively into plant roots along with water. Deficiency symptoms in leaves are rare so sometimes it is difficult to know if plant calcium is low until blossom end rot appears! Blossom end rot is more common if the growing season begins wet and then shifts to become dry during fruit set. This causes calcium absorption to decrease in the plant as fruit develop. If your growing season is following this trend, practice good irrigation management to increase calcium absorption potential during fruit development.

Calcium is most available in soils with neutral pH (around 7) and becomes less available in slightly acidic (pH of 6) or slightly alkaline (pH of 8) soils. Adjusting your soil pH may help increase calcium availability and reverse the effects of blossom end rot. Options for increasing calcium content of deficient soils include lime (which will increase soil pH), gypsum (which will not change soil pH), or crushed egg shells, oyster/snail shells, or animal bones (bone meal).

Some varieties are prone to blossom end rot while others are resistant to it. Keep good plant records to better understand what crops and varieties show calcium deficiency in which areas of your field or garden. 

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ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.   View a list of ECHOcommunity.org features here.

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Upcoming events

System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Workshop
Fri, 22 July 2022 » Fri, 22 July 2022

ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center (ศูนย์ฝึกอบรม และธนาคารเมล็ดพันธ์ุเอคโค่), Thailand (ประเทศไทย)

Learn the principles of the "System of Rice Intensification" (SRI) and explore how rice yield can be increased even while reducing the amount of seed, water, and pesticides needed. This rice management system is well suited to the Asian smallholder farmer as it does not require additional technical knowledge, capital or machinery and, instead, capitalizes on rice farmers' existing skills with adaptations to minimize transplant stress, promote plant robustness, and effectively manage water...

Introduction to Tropical Agriculture Development
Mon, 12 September 2022 » Fri, 16 September 2022

ECHO Global Farm, USA

This course covers a broad range of topics relevant to those starting out in agricultural development in a tropical environment. The purpose of this class is to expose you to several different ideas and concepts. Although a significant amount of time will be spent looking at examples on the ECHO Farm, given the breadth of topics covered, extensive hands-on farm work should not be an expectation of taking this course. Those interested in preparing for short to long-term involvement in inter...

ECHO International Agriculture Conference
Tue, 15 November 2022 » Thu, 17 November 2022

ECHO Global Farm and Holiday Inn, USA

For Full Details Visit The Conference Website For twenty-eight years, ECHO has brought together networks of like-minded individuals devoted to eradicating hunger and improving lives through agriculture and community development. For the past two years, due to novel coronavirus, ECHO’s Annual Conference moved online. This year we are returning to our in-person event. We are thrilled to invite you to join us in Fort Myers, Florida on November 15th-17th to connect once again together on E...

Latest Resources

The rise and fall of Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) − what went wrong and some implications for legume breeding, evaluation and management

Jones, Richard. (2014). The rise and fall of Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) ? what went wrong and some implications for legume breeding, evaluation and management. Tropical Grasslands - Forrajes Tropicales. 2. 154. 10....

Challenges of degradation in the Tropical Environment: Causes, Footprints and Remedies

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One of the challenges that pose threats to human survival in these contemporary times is environmental degradation. The over-exploitation of natural...

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UF/IFAS TREC is the premier research, extension, and teaching institution in Florida with primary focus on tropical and subtropical fruit crops, traditional and tropical vegetables, tropical ornamental crops, energy crops an...

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Natural Resource Management Plans with Participatory Rural Appraisal

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An introduction and overview of participatory rural appraisal, including specific tools and techniques around mapping.

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From Seed to Seed is a series of 40 short films allowing anyone to learn how to produce vegetable seeds. It provides the basics of theory and practice, an ABC of seed production and shows all the necessa...

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Educational films on seed production.