To provide Asian pear growers with more sustainable, cost-effective thinning strategies, a SARE-funded team of researchers and farmers studied how effectively Asian pears were thinned by benzyladenine. They found that MaxCel, one of several chemical thinners that contain benzyladenine, can reduce the cost of hand-thinning by up to 50 percent while delivering fruit yields and sizes comparable to those of untreated, hand-thinned control trees. Rutgers University has produced a fact sheet that provides a brief introduction to plant growth regulators and directions on how to use MaxCel as a crop thinner for Asian pears.
Codling moth egg hatch is at about 10 percent and Oriental fruit moth egg hatch is at almost 100 percent. The flights of obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR) and peach tree borer (PTB) are expected to start within the next few days. Green peach aphid (GPA) (on stone fruit) and spirea aphid (SA) (on stone and pome fruit) colonies are being observed in some orchards. Watch for predator populations such as ladybird beetles or syrphid fly larvae.
The rain occurring today could have the potential to produce an apple scab infection event if adequate leaf wetness hours are achieved. Growers are encouraged to monitor conditions in their orchards and spray accordingly to protect for apple scab. In addition, be mindful of rust: the cedar galls have made their appearance, making spores available to cause infection in apple trees.
Firefighters and EMS still make house calls. How fast they respond is dependent on local volunteers being involved in their communities.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today announced a quarantine of an equine barn in Tionesta, Forest County, after a horse at the barn tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1) on May 13.
Rains soothing some regional shortfalls but dryer and cooler conditions anticipated through the weekend.
Local conditions dictate the risk for fusarium head blight. Be familiar with the indicators for elevated risk and respond accordingly.
Temperatures will gradually increase to more seasonable weather beginning Monday. Bright sunny days with seasonable temperatures will mean it will be harder to remove fruits.
Corn at V3 stage in Centre County showing uniform spacing and development.
Growing degree accumulations indicate the potential for black cutworm feeding at several locations around the state and scouting is key for managing this occasional but potentially impactful pest. Vigilance in our small grains and grass hay crops is also warranted as several Midwestern states are reporting significant flights of true armyworm.
Perennial weeds are not created equal and so too the timing for best control varies. Manage those vulnerable now and anticipate opportunities later in the season for others.
Growth stage of the forage rules the day on forage quality and timely harvesting can set the trajectory for optimum yields over the balance of the season.
Despite it feeling like a wet and gray winter, it hasn’t translated into a very wet spring. We are blessed to have the giant sponges that are forested watersheds to help us out. Penn’s Woods isn’t just about the trees.
Researchers explain what science reveals about GMOs – both the benefits and the risks
These maggots attack seeds and small seedlings. While cabbage maggot and onion maggot attack only the seeds and seedlings of their namesakes, seed corn maggot will attack many plant species. Peak flight for the first generation of seed corn maggot was May 2nd in SE PA. Maggots have been confirmed in three fields in Adams, Lehigh and Lancaster Counties. Cabbage maggot is at 25% emergence and onion maggot is not out yet.
Substances commonly used for drilling or extracting Marcellus shale gas foamed from the drinking water taps of three Pennsylvania homes near a reported well-pad leak, according to new analysis from a team of scientists.
When plastic bottles and other trash are washed into local waterways, they don't degrade like most organic material. Instead, they break down into tiny pellets, beads and fibers that persist in rivers, streams and the Bay.
The Penn State Extension Water Resources Team has concluded its research project on the roadside springs of Pennsylvania. Extension Educator, Jim Clark, presented the findings at the recent Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium in State College, PA, on May 6, 2015.
Runoff from pavement with coal-tar-based sealant is toxic to aquatic life, damages DNA, and impairs DNA repair, according to new research. Rainwater runoff collected as long as three months after coal-tar-sealcoat application caused 100% mortality to minnows and water fleas, which are part of the base of the food chain