Apple scab spores are rapidly maturing and beginning to discharge. Combined with the rain and temperatures in the 60s, these are great conditions for scab infection. Early season apple cultivars with green tissue need to be protected.
If not already completed, copper sprays are encouraged for fungal and bacterial disease control. Scab spores have not yet been released. Excellent resources are available for growers for resistance management this season.
In the March 19, 2014 Federal Register the Environmental Protection Agency issued proposed changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The intent of these changes is increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families.
There is a need to figure out novel disease management strategies necessary for staying one step ahead of postharvest decay pathogens. Evaluating wild apples for resistance to postharvest diseases, understanding fungi causing decay in storage, and finding alternatives for controlling rots are briefly discussed.
The 2014 edition of the Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations guide is now available on-line. The guide contains up-to-date research-based information on growing vegetables sustainably.
As you begin thinking about your IPM scouting program for the new season, consider the value of field guide for proper identification of orchard pests and beneficials. The Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America includes 500 color photos, actual size drawings of pests, over 20 pages of diagnostic keys.
Upon occasion, commercial growers try to find information on growing an alternative crop and find that there just isn't much information available. One crop that has received a lot of good press lately has been Goji berry. We have very little experience with this crop here, so were fortunate enough to get some information from others who have.
Our berry good question this month brought to mind a number of other questions about fertilization that we are frequently asked. So more questions and answers follow this first question from Sarah Blevins, S.J. Blevins Berries, etc. Thanks for asking, Sarah!
Penn State was the first institution in the country to put its production guide up on line in the mid-1990s. The new 2014-2015 Tree Fruit Production Guide is available as a hard copy and also as a pdf with a table of contents hot linked to the appropriate sections in the guide and all the URLs to additional reference material also hot linked. To save postage, purchase a copy of the production guide at one of the 9 spring twilight meetings for fruit growers!
Penn State Extension is hosting two Farm & Tractor Safety courses. Courses will be held April 17 – 18 in East Berlin, PA and April 24 – 25 in Perkasie, PA. The courses are designed to give farm owners and managers the resources and skills to confidently train farm employees and apprentices in tractor and farm safety.
As stated on the pesticide label – the sprayer needs calibrated before you spray! The challenge with air blast sprayer (ABS) calibration is accurately and efficiently collecting and comparing nozzle output.
Since temperatures got as low as -6˚F locally this winter, we evaluated bud mortality of four varieties of peach growing in Adams County on Feb. 26, 2014. Given the colder sub-zero temperatures experienced this winter in parts of western and northern Pennsylvania, it is likely that flower bud mortality may be higher in these regions.
The Young Grower Alliance and the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania (SHAP) announce the availability of scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year for students planning to pursue careers in the Pennsylvania fruit industry. Scholarship applicants must maintain full time enrollment in an undergraduate program at a university, college, community college or trade or technical school. Scholarships are open to high school seniors and students currently enrolled in a degree program.
The February 13th storm caused the postponement of the Winter Tree Fruit Educational Meeting in the Northeast Region.
We continue to see some below zero temperatures that were preceded by warmer temperatures. During the past 30 days, there were 3 dates with temperatures below 0°F.
A March 6th Pesticide Safety Course for Orchard Employees will cover "Fruit Tree Pollinators" and "A Pesticide Applicators Exam Review." A certificate of participation will be awarded.
"Ag Business Skills and Entrepreneurship Round Two" is the second in a series of programs covering Farm and Food Business Opportunities for individuals already working in agriculture or individuals interested in enterprise start-up. The program is presented in Spanish and English.
The Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center is hosting an in-depth peach pruning session at their research farm in Arendtsville, PA. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about pruning research in open center and three "V" training systems with cultivars of varying growth habits.
The Orchard Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet has been updated and is available at the Penn State Tree Fruit Production website (http://extension.psu.edu/plants/tree-fruit). New features include the addition of FRAC codes and pages for supplying additional information required by processors.
At the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention this year, the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania (SHAP) asked researchers to display posters so everyone can see the results of grower-funded research and extension projects. Industry support not only allows researchers and extension personnel to solve industry problems, but industry funding is becoming a requirement for hiring applied researchers and extension workers.