This week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) assistance for losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year. The program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides supplemental NAP payment to eligible producers.
Plant tissue analysis is used to directly measure the amount of nutrients in fruit trees, and for established perennial crops, is usually a better indicator of nutrient status than a soil test. Nutrient management plays an especially critical role in new high density plantings because the trees come into production earlier, have higher per acre yields and smaller root systems.
Four of 7 spotted wing drosophila found this week were in black raspberries which are finishing up in Pennsylvania and shouldn’t be an issue at this point. First captures occurred in blueberry, grape and blackberry.
According to moth captures in sex pheromone traps located in various orchards in South-central Pennsylvania the third generation of Oriental fruit moth (OFM) and the second generation of codling moth (CM) just started. The first summer Brown Marmorated Stink Bug adult generation is imminent. While in the majority of orchards the numbers are still very low, at some locations we observed the first fruit injuries caused by this pest.
Growers of raspberries (both red and black), blackberries, and blueberries in particular should be monitoring for spotted wing drosophila (check traps daily if possible), and should be prepared with effective materials for control.
The first male adults of spotted wing drosophila were observed in traps placed in nearby northern Maryland. European red mite populations are increasing in some orchards.
With the cold winter last season, we are expecting a higher than normal winter mortality, and hopefully a later than usual emergence of spotted wing drosophila. At this time, we do not believe cherries are at risk and that we probably have at least another week before the first flies will be caught.
We are collecting brown marmorated stink bug adults and nymphs (first week of capturing nymphs) in traps located in fruit orchards and baited with a combination of BMSB aggregation pheromone. Also, earlier this past week we received a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture confirming the EPA approval for Section 18 Emergency Registration for PA of bifenthrin (pyrethroid, IRAC Group 3A). Japanese beetles are present in orchards located in southern Pennsylvania.
Today we are experiencing our fourth wave of interest in summer pruning fruit trees during the past 130 years. Summer pruning is a vague term and simply refers to the time of year pruning is performed (when trees have foliage) and does not describe the type of pruning cuts, pruning severity or the physiological stage of tree development when pruning is performed.
Conditions so far this season have been excellent for many stone and pome fruit diseases. Sooty blotch/flyspeck treatment threshold has been reached and disease control is encouraged. In addition to SBFS, management strategies are covered for fire blight, apple scab, fruit rots, bacterial spot, cherry leaf spot, and powdery mildew.
Brown marmorated stink bug nymphs are now present in orchards, which means a shift from “probable BMSB injuries” to actual nymphal feeding (and injuries) on fruit. From mid July until November, traps baited with commercially available, BMSB lures are very effective in detecting and capturing BMSB adults and nymphs. Green/spirea aphids, leafhoppers (potato, white apple and rose) and leafminers are the insects to watch for during the month of July.
I suppose I do not have to tell you that bacterial spot is a difficult disease to manage. Despite numerous bactericide applications, significant yield loss is not uncommon depending on the disease pressure and cultivar susceptibility. As a Master’s student in the department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State, much of my research was focused on refining bacterial spot management. Specifically, I examined the epidemiology of bacterial spot, the defoliation associated with the disease, and age related resistance in fruit.
A toll-free hotline is available for growers in the region to receive seasonal updates about pest and pest management information. Laminated copies of the fungicide resistance management guidelines for scab, powdery mildew, brown rot, and peach scab are available for anyone who didn’t receive a copy during the spring twilight meetings this year.
This week marked the second consecutive week of increased captures of Oriental fruit moth (OFM) in pheromone traps placed both in peach and apple orchards. BMSB nymphs are present in orchards, which means a shift from “probable BMSB injuries” to actual nymphal feeding (and injuries) on fruit.
Pesticides can have benefits, but they can also have undesirable side effects. Our job in integrated pest management (IPM) is to make sure that if a pesticide is to be used, its benefits outweigh the undesirable side effects.
Cheetah™, which is the new name for a formulation of glufosinate, is now labeled for the full spectrum of tree fruit that we grow in the mid-Atlantic region. Our current warm, wet, sunny weather that favors good weed growth provides ideal conditions for application.
The primary infection period for apple scab is over. If growers are experiencing apple scab at this time, control measures will be needed throughout the remainder of the growing season to keep the disease in check. An option for fire blight management is also discussed.
First generation codling moth flight is occurring in apple and pear orchards, and moth captures in pheromone traps should serve as the main indicators if and for how long control will be needed. The next two weeks will represent the best timings for the control of tufted apple budmoth and obliquebanded leafroller. The larvae of first generation Oriental fruit moth are feeding either in growing shoots or inside developing stone fruit.
Fire blight is being reported throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. Management strategies are discussed for dealing with active fire blight infections.
The susceptible period for fruit appears to be over. While early May showed some deficit periods in Adams County, Rock Springs experienced deficits at the end of the month. Any small fruit left on Fuji or Gala will hopefully drop in the near future.