Downy mildew of blackberry (Rubus sp.) is a systemic disease caused by the fungal-like pathogen Peronospora sparsa. Nearly all blackberry cultivars are susceptible to downy mildew. The disease also occurs on boysenberry, youngberry, and rose (Rosa spp.). Downy mildew affects both the leaves and fruit of blackberry, although leaf symptoms are most common in Ohio. Stunting can occur in infected plants even when foliar symptoms are not visible. Disease is most severe during wet weather with cool to warm temperatures.
Farm and agricultural businesses often have high capital investments in land, machinery, livestock, and miscellaneous equipment. The typical Ohio farm has over $1 million in capital assets. These assets are usually owned and held by multiple members of a family. With the rising divorce rate (almost 60%), it is in the long term financial interest to protect business assets from a divorce of one of the business partners.
Goal setting is a critical step in the strategic planning process of any agricultural business. While a mission statement steers the direction of the business, it tends to be rather abstract. Goals are more concrete and are therefore easier to comprehend and to act on. Ultimately, goals will be the standard by which we will measure our progress in the agricultural business, so goal setting deserves the utmost attention.