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2012

2013 Orchard Spray Spreadsheet Now Available!
December 26, 2012
The Orchard Spray Spreadsheet has been updated for the upcoming 2013 season. Overall the spreadsheet is still the same with easy drop down menus and most commonly used sprays for record keeping convenience, however a few new features have been added.
Fall Programs to Prevent Wildlife Damage in Orchards
November 16, 2012
Meadow and pine vole populations can erupt periodically unless food sources and habitat cover are reduced and their numbers are kept in check. Control of vegetation around tree trunks and regular mowing limit cover and food sources and expose voles to natural predators. Population reduction strategies are applied after harvest before damage begins and before snowfall. To successfully manage deer damage, it is important to monitor behavior and apply controls before feeding or antler rubbing habits are established.
African Fig Fly: Another Invasive Drosophilid Fly Discovered in Pennsylvania
November 16, 2012
Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae), commonly known in Brazil as the African Fig Fly (AFF), is an invasive species recently found in Pennsylvania for the first time. First discovered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in early October in Grape and Tomato Pest Survey traps, it was found immediately after by Dr David Biddinger at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville. Adult flies were found in apple cider vinegar traps used for the seasonal monitoring of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), another recently introduced invasive pest of small fruit crops in Pennsylvania that Dr. Biddinger first detected in Pennsylvania and Maryland in July of 2012.
2013-14 Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide Now Available
October 29, 2012
The 2013-14 Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide is now available both in print and on-line. The guide has contributors from Penn State University, Rutgers University, The University of Delaware, The University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, West Virginia University and USDA-ARS.
Spotted Wing Drosophila as of October 2012 and Your Winter Plans
October 29, 2012
It’s getting a little late in the season to do much about Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) for this year, but here are some observations that you might want to consider as you make plans for next year. If you have nearby wild berries, you might want to treat them with a herbicide this fall, cut them back this winter, and keep the areas mowed next spring. As you plan where you are going to plant next year’s crops, consider the following information regarding farm layout.
Yellow Jackets and Hornets in Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Orchards
October 17, 2012
The shift to more selective pesticides has complicated orchard pest control in many ways for fruit growers. While greater opportunities for biological control of some apple pests exist, we are seeing a greater diversity of generalist predators. We have also noticed increases of nuisance pests such as ticks, deerflies and mosquitoes in orchards as broad-spectrum insecticide use declined. The most dangerous resurgence directly affecting humans, however, has to be that of increased numbers of hornets and yellow jackets.
Weed Control Materials for Tree Nuts
October 17, 2012
Dr. Bernard Zandstra, Weed Specialist at Michigan State University, recently put out a table listing herbicides that are labeled for nut trees. As he indicated, large acreage of most nut trees are grown in areas that have decidedly different climatic and soil conditions from here in the eastern U.S. Most of the almonds are grown in California while pecans are grown primarily in the southern states and west through Oklahoma and Texas; filberts/hazelnuts are primarily grown in Oregon. You may have a few nut trees under which you would like to control weed growth. In all cases the herbicides are common ones used in deciduous tree fruit production.
Invitation to Penn State FREC Open House to Observe New Vacuum Assisted Harvester - Stop by on Friday, Sept 28, 2:00 pm!
September 25, 2012
The Penn State Tree Fruit Team will be evaluating a new vacuum harvester this season designed specifically for the terrain and systems common in Eastern orchards. The harvester has 4 vacuum tubes for improved efficiency. Growers are invited to an Open House to see the harvester in action and provide project feedback.
Do you have these Necrotic Symptoms on your Apple Trees?
September 24, 2012
Virginia producers are observing necrotic blotches on Gala, Golden Delicious, and Cripps Pink (Pink Lady). The lesions start as purple spots, then growth with concentric rings that may eventually coalesce.
Managing the Effects of Spray Water Quality on the Efficacy of NAA Stop-Drop Sprays—Things We Used to Know(?), but Forgot
September 24, 2012
Napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) has been used as a stop-drop spray for over 60 years, often with variable results. With such a long history, it is perhaps understandable that some of the advice learned from early studies with NAA has slipped from our consciousness. One such example is that water quality is an important factor to stop-drop success… or is it? This article takes a look at what we knew, or perhaps once thought we knew about this topic.
Post-Harvest Disease Threat for Apples
September 24, 2012
Apples going into storage need to be free of disease and injury to keep their value. A good crop can be destroyed in storage due to decay by parasitic fungi. Some fungi can easily be discerned such as common summer rots while others that are not common (sometimes caused by environmental factors) are more difficult to diagnose.
It’s Fall, and You Can Help Reduce Your Weed Pressure
September 24, 2012
For several years now I have been trying to stress the importance of applying herbicides in the fall as a key management tool. A fall application of a herbicide can be part of an integrated management approach for other orchard pests like cat facing insects and rodents.
Remain Vigilant and Respond Immediately to Increases in Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
September 24, 2012
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults are still causing severe fruit damage in apple orchards. As the season turned into the fall, the pre-overwintering intensive feeding by BMSB adults become the main source of BMSB injuries on fruit. It is often overlooked, but the presence of BMSB adults in already harvested blocks of apple or stone fruit also can significantly contribute to the re-infestation of fruit in surrounding, still not harvested blocks.
StopBMSB.org Website Launches Latest Stink Bug Science
September 11, 2012
The brown marmorated stink bug is advancing, yet its secrets are unraveling. Today a team of more than 50 researchers launches a website bringing its latest findings to growers in North America. The group is solving the mysteries of this pest that damages a huge range of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. You’ll find a photo identification guide and recommendations for how to control it.
Update on Azinphos-methyl Status
August 31, 2012
The Environmental Protection Agency just released an update on the status of azinphos-methyl ( Aug 30, 2012, EPA Pesticide Program Updates, From EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs: www.epa.gov/pesticides). The full text of the announcement is posted below.
Wine Grape Recommendations as Harvest Approaches
August 27, 2012
Harvest is fast approaching and the weather has changed from warm and dry to warm and wet. This presents particular danger for fruit rots (sour, ripe, bitter, botrytis), powdery mildew and especially downy mildew. The alert should be up for all of these and hopefully the necessary measures (canopy, crop and disease and insect management) were taken throughout the year. These conditions remind growers of the necessary up front viticultural investment needed to secure a high quality grape crop in the fall.
Insect Bytes
August 27, 2012
It is important to use on-site monitoring information in deciding if additional pesticide applications are necessary. Due to the unusual weather pattern this season, some of the commonly used developmental models (e.g., egg hatch models) are not fully reliable indicators of the actual situation in orchards. Properly maintained pheromone traps for our common lepidopteran pests are the best and most accurate tools to assess the need for management activities. Late in the season when trees are bigger, the volume of water per acre should often be increased. Even the most efficacious pest management products will not work if coverage is not sufficient.
Spotted Wing Drosophila Update, August 24, 2012
August 27, 2012
This is intended to remind to all Pennsylvania berry growers that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is present across the state. In some situations, SWD adults are being found in very large numbers and the number of larvae in berries has resulted in a cessation of harvest. With the primocane-fruiting raspberry harvest either just getting underway or being about to start in some locations, growers should be vigilant about watching for SWD. Even if only a few adults are found, sprays may be needed. Fruit should definitely be checked for larvae (see photo).
Crop Insurance Update on Fresh-Market Recordkeeping Requirements for Apple Producers
August 21, 2012
This past season there were many issues regarding the new crop insurance regulations regarding fresh and processing production and the documentation needed to verify production of each. Many of you have already filed claims this year for hail damage and hopefully, this year is going much better than the past year. Here are some changes for the 2012 season that may be beneficial to you when filing claims should they become necessary.
Penn State Partners to Create a National Agriculture Safety Website
August 21, 2012
Penn State has partnered with other land grant institutions to develop a new farm-safety section for a national agriculture website created by cooperative extension agents. The online resource covers critical agriculture safety questions, such as grain bin entrapments, cattle hauling, ATV safety and confined space hazards.
Savvy Farm Promotion Made Simple
August 21, 2012
If you are unable to be lucky enough or willing to pay the money for the development of your own farm app, a great way to replicate some of the functions is through the use of QR codes. Many area markets are starting to add these codes to their value added product labels, door stickers and the backs of their business cards. When incorporated correctly, meaning printed in a clear and easy to identify fashion, these codes can be used as another quick method to direct customers to your website.
Dinotefuran and Bifenthrin Section 18 Emergency Exemption Registrations for the 2012 Season
July 31, 2012
During the 2012 season growers in Pennsylvania will be able to use two additional, highly effective active ingredients for the management of brown marmorated stink bug.
Assessing Optimum Harvest Dates following the 2012 Early and Extended Bloom Season
July 30, 2012
Fruit growers recognize that attention to detail can mean the difference between a crop of high quality apples picked at the proper time and a crop that has reduced market potential. Predicting optimum harvest date in this season following an early and extended bloom will require extra attention to detail, particularly with early cultivars such as Honeycrisp and Gala.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Who’s Posting Online Reviews?
July 30, 2012
In this article, we will provide results related to "who" has posted product reviews online and where they have posted the reviews. As we described in the last article, 82% of respondents said they have read online reviews, so knowing who is writing the reviews is important.
Late Summer Considerations in Controlling Fruit Insect Pests
July 30, 2012
We are continuously finding all possible instars of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) on various wild plants in vegetation and woods surrounding orchards but not too many in orchards themselves. Although during this season the egg hatch models based on degree-day accumulation appear to be running ahead of observed moths’ activities in orchards (mostly due to the unusual weather pattern in the spring), the flight of the second generation of codling moth (CM) and the third generation of Oriental fruit moth (OFM) is well underway in orchards located in south-central Pennsylvania. Also, our two leafroller species, tufted apple bud moth (TABM) and obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR), started their second generation flight.
Spotted Wing Drosophila Fact Sheets Completed and On-line
July 27, 2012
Thanks to receiving funding from the NE-IPM Center, we were able to complete a set of four full-color factsheets on spotted wing drosophila, and they are now available on-line. These fact sheets were written with northeastern U.S. growers of the most susceptible crops (raspberries, blackberries, day-neutral strawberries, and cherries) in mind.
Potato Leafhoppers and Berries in 2012
July 27, 2012
Potato leafhoppers cause varying levels of damage to small fruit crops in different years, and this year we are seeing a fair amount of leafhopper damage to both strawberries and raspberries. In many cases where leafhopper feeding injury is severe, dry conditions cause plant growth to slow down, and damage from the leafhoppers then accrues and symptoms become more severe.
Collaborate and Stand Out – Differentiating Your Product through Partnerships
July 27, 2012
When enjoying ice cream made with tree-ripened peaches at a roadside farm market it’s easy to appreciate the local flavor of a community. However, what may not be realized are the unique partnerships and business savvy it took to get that food from the field to delicious first bite.
Orchard Fertility Checkup Time
July 25, 2012
Nutritional analysis of fruit trees should be an ongoing practice in your orchards. Unlike agronomic crops the trees in your orchard are capable of absorbing mineral nutrients the entire year as long as soil temperatures are adequate.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Who’s Reading Online Reviews?
July 23, 2012
Focusing on online reviews, this article provides data not only about who is reading online reviews, but also how they are responding to other's reviews. This is important because people are likely talking about your business and products on Yelp.com or on social media sites.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Traditional Advertising Tools
July 16, 2012
Focusing on traditional advertising, this article provides results regarding our respondents' views of print advertisements or broadcast ads, including television and radio, as being a good fit for direct marketers.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Internet Tools
July 9, 2012
Continuing our discussion about online and social media tools, this article presents responses pertaining to social media and web-based tools that might be good fits for direct marketers.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Is Facebook a Good Fit?
July 2, 2012
If you are a food retailer, have you ever wondered if Facebook is a good fit for your business? In this installment, we will provide responses to survey questions designed to explore this question for several different types of food retailers.
Dinotefuran Section 18 Emergency Exemption Registration in PA for BMSB Control
June 27, 2012
As in 2011, the insecticide active ingredient dinotefuran received a special Section 18 Emergency Exemption Registration from the US Environmental Protection Agency to help control brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in Pennsylvania on both pome and stone fruit.
Dry Weather and Extreme Temperatures
June 27, 2012
Many orchard soils are getting dry. Keep your irrigation on this week. It is essential with trickle irrigation not to lose your subsoil moisture and replace what the trees are using on a weekly basis. Beginning this weekend the forecast is for extreme temperatures for 5+ days in the 90s. Make sure to get your cover sprays (for BMSB) and Ethephon for return bloom on before then.
Strong Leader Growth is Critical When Growing a Weak Apple Cultivar in Years 1 to 3
June 27, 2012
With weak growing cultivars such as Honeycrisp, the lack of sufficient leader growth to reach the top of the trellis (10 ft) by the end of the 3rd year is a serious problem that limits yield in future years. Honeycrisp can be a difficult tree to achieve sufficient leader growth when grown on M.9 or B.9 rootstocks. With more vigorous cultivars such as Gala, Fuji or McIntosh, reaching the top of the trellis by the end of the 3rd season is usually not a problem. However, with weak growing cultivars, growers need to intensively manage the trees in the first 3 years to achieve the desired growth.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Online and Social Media Tools
June 25, 2012
In an effort to provide stakeholders with information they can use to develop or enhance their social media presence, today we are sharing results pertaining to how our Internet survey participants connect with fruit or vegetable businesses.
Brown Rot Pre-Harvest Alert
June 25, 2012
June 25, 2012. Brown rot is a major disease of stone fruits and warm, humid weather favors brown rot infection. Two species of fungi are responsible for brown rots: Monilinia fructicola and Monilinia laxa which can infect blossoms and cause brown rot on fruit. M. fructicola is the specie that is known and widespread in Pennsylvania orchards. M. laxa is suspected of causing blossom blight early in the season but has not yet been identified in PA orchards.
Spotted Wing Drosophila Management
June 22, 2012
You may be getting tired of hearing about Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), but adults are being found in traps in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania and eastern Maryland, and its larvae have been found in summer raspberry fruit in Maryland (along with lots of other kinds of larvae in all sorts of berries).
Fruit Insect Pest Monitoring and Management Considerations for July
June 22, 2012
Insect pests to be monitoring at this time include second generation leafrollers, green/spirea aphids, leafhoppers, leafminers, Japanese beetles, wooly apple aphids, mites, apple maggots and brown marmorated stink bugs.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Expected Web Presence
June 18, 2012
A business has many Internet-based tools to choose from when connecting with customers. These include websites, email, and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. In today's article you will learn what online or Internet tools survey respondents expect businesses to use.
Apple Scab Spore Release Now Zero
June 13, 2012
2012 Apple Scab Infection Periods April 16 to June 10 and forecast/infection prediction through June 17* from Penn State Fruit and Research Extension Center in Biglerville, PA.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Finding a Retailer’s Social Network
June 11, 2012
Continuing with disseminating results from Internet survey, in today's article we provide a better understanding of how people are finding food retailers' social networks.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Consumers’ Expectations of Connecting With a Food Business via Social Networking
June 4, 2012
In today’s installment, we provide a more detailed view of the types of information that consumers expect to obtain from a food business. We also look at a few differences in expectations across demographic groups.
Sprays to Promote Return Bloom in Apple
June 1, 2012
Chemical thinning alone may not be sufficient to promote annual bearing for apple varieties which possess a genetic tendency to alternate bearing. Examples of these include York Imperial, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Fuji, Macoun, Honeycrisp, and spur-type strains of Delicious.
Leafroller Biofixes and Pear Psylla Hatch
May 29, 2012
Based on the egg hatch models (SkyBit, Inc) for TABM we should observe 10 percent egg hatch around May 29, while for OBLR around June 3. In the majority of Pennsylvania orchards where leafrollers are present, TABM is the dominant leafroller species responsible for most fruit injury. A critical time to control the second generation of pear psylla is during the first week of hatch of the young nymphs and then a repeat application should be made 12 to 14 days later. An action threshold of 1 nymph per leaf is recommended.
Management Options for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Pennsylvania Fruit Orchards - 2012 Perspective
May 29, 2012
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Heteroptera-Pentatomidae) continues to dominate the list of potentially most damaging insect pests in Pennsylvania fruit orchards. Since the pest explosion during the 2010 season, this invasive exotic pest dictates most insect pest management activities in Pennsylvania orchards.
Disease Development Status (as of May 25, 2012)
May 29, 2012
From May 1 through May 24 we had spotty rain that accumulated 5.18 inches. These wet conditions favor apple scab, rust, bacterial spot and cherry leaf spot development. And when rain stops, powdery mildew takes off, which is difficult to manage once it gets established in the orchard.
Have We Found Spotted Wing Drosophila Yet in Fruit Crops this Season?
May 29, 2012
I’ve been getting a lot of calls from growers asking whether spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been found in fruit crops in Pennsylvania yet. The good news is that it hasn’t been showing up in traps, not even in locations with SWD problems last year. So far, so good in Maryland as well. However, this doesn’t mean that growers should let their guard down.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Belonging to a Food Business’s Social Network
May 28, 2012
As we continue with presenting data from an Internet survey conducted to learn how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers, below you will see highlights related to reasons people join a business’s social network by liking or following the business.
The 2012 Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet has been Updated with a New Function to Calculate Season-Long Use of a Product!
May 23, 2012
The pesticides listed are the same as they were two months ago, but the new spray record-keeping spreadsheet now has a new function. A Pivot Table that is located to the right of the spreadsheet, allowing growers to fill in chemical use information, is designed to calculate how many times a grower uses specific sprays throughout a season.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Blogging and Tweeting
May 21, 2012
In this week’s installment of data describing how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers, we are sharing demographic characteristics of participants who indicated they were blogging or tweeting and how this could help your business.
May 21st Disease Update
May 21, 2012
Based on the Sky-Bit Ag E-Weather forecast and the MaryBlyt infection model, there is a potential for fire blight infections May 21st to 24th. Check newly planted and fire blight susceptible blocks for late bloom and apply control measures as needed.
Disease Infection Status
May 16, 2012
The primary scab infection period is almost over. Mature spore release is now down to less than 2% from the 100% peak on April 17.
Carbon Balance Model Tables for May 5 to 19
May 16, 2012
This will be the last posting of the Cornell MaluSim carbon balance tables. Most areas of the state are now beyond the effective thinning fruit size. As you can see all areas are in a carbon surplus meaning fruit is being adequately supplied with carbon and should not respond to thinners. As mentioned yesterday by Jim Schupp, there seems to be a heavy fruit drop in south-central and southeastern PA in response to a carbon deficit back the first week of May.
Apple Re-Thinning Advisory for May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012
Growers are advised to carefully check their orchards prior to making another thinning application. In Adams County, it is ten days since a stress event caused by three days of cloudy weather and we are beginning to see a new wave of fruit drop.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Sharing Facebook Content
May 14, 2012
As we continue with presenting data from an Internet survey conducted to learn how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers, below you will see highlights related to the demographic characteristics of participants who shared content on Facebook and with whom they shared.
Carbon Balance Model for May 14
May 14, 2012
Below are the carbon balance tables from Cornell’s MaluSim model. All regions show a projected surplus of carbon, meaning the trees will be less responsive to chemical thinners. Berks and Southwestern Adams county show a slight deficit for today but not very strong; over the next two days it will be positive.
Carbon Balance Model for May 11
May 11, 2012
Below are the Carbon Balance Model tables for five locations around the state based on SkyBit temperatures and radiation estimates. The graph represents data from the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville.
Carbon Balance Model for May 10, 2012
May 10, 2012
The carbon balance model for the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville indicates that May 9th was essentially a neutral day, with neither a large carbon surplus nor a deficit. Cool temperatures and increased sunlight on May 10th are initiating what is forecasted to be a 3 day period of projected surpluses.
Disease Update for May 9th, 2012
May 9, 2012
In Biglerville, rainfall from April 18 through May 8 was mostly scattered, with soaking rainfall totaling 3.52 inches. This likely resulted in apple scab, fire blight, rust, bacterial spot and cherry leaf spot infections on unprotected susceptible blossoms, foliage and fruitlets.
Carbon Balance Model Updates
May 9, 2012
Based on the predicted weather, the carbon balance model suggests we will be in a carbon surplus period. High temperatures for Thursday and Friday are not expected to get out of the upper 60’s.
Updated MaluSlim Carbon Balance Model Tables
May 8, 2012
Warm cloudy weather should result in negative balances in some areas of the state. Today’s balance and for the next two days were derived from SkyBit forecasted weather.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Facebook Ads
May 7, 2012
In our previous article, we discussed how demographics affect what respondents expect from a food business on Facebook. In this installment we describe some of the highlights of the data related to how people interact with business pages by posting content and clicking on a company’s Facebook ad.
The Latest MaluSlim Carbon Balance Model for the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center
May 7, 2012
The attached graph illustrates the carbon balance data for the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The last three dates including today are based on weather forecasts from SkyBit.
The Forecast for Southeastern Pennsylvania has Pushed Some of the Cloud Cover Back a Few Days
May 4, 2012
As indicated in yesterday's thinning advisory for Southeastern Pennsylvania, it is important to adjust for changes in the weather forecast. Here is the carbon balance model for this morning.
Apple Chemical Thinning Advisory for Southeastern PA, May 3, 2012
May 3, 2012
The diameter of the largest fruits in many orchards is in the 12-14 mm range, meaning that we are in the advanced stages of the primary thinning window.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Facebook Usage
May 1, 2012
Last week, we introduced you to research that members of Penn State Extension conducted in 2010 to better understand how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers. This week we are providing some of the highlights of the data related to Facebook.
Cornell MaluSim Carbon Balance Model Update for Penn State FREC
April 30, 2012
The Cornell MaluSim Model can be used to assess potential thinning response of apple trees. Environmental and physiological factors that are considered in the model include: leaf area development, light interception, daily canopy photosynthesis, respiration rate and dry matter partitioning within the tree.
A New Tool for Apple Cropload Management - Cornell MaluSim Model for Determining Carbon Balance in Apple Trees
April 25, 2012
Dr. Alan Lakso, the Cornell pomologist who developed this model, explains that "the Cornell simplified apple carbon balance model estimates the general balance of tree carbohydrate supply versus demand of a 'standard tree', reflecting the effects of the input weather. It is not intended to apply to any specific orchard, thus the results should be used appropriately."
Early Season Disease Development Situation
April 23, 2012
Apple scab lesions appeared April 17 on trees that were not adequately protected March 20-25. This could have led to severe secondary infection April 18-23. Proper and thorough coverage at this time of the year is critical for preventing infection of young fruits. This article contains updates on pome and stone fruit diseases and new fungicide properties.
How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers
April 23, 2012
Earlier this year, a podcast series “Social Media and Food Retailers: Consumer Perspectives” was released on YouTube to describe the results of a consumer study designed to better understand how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers. Social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) allow for two-way communication between the consumer and the food retailer, and these research results provide important insights for food retailers interested in enhancing their marketing efforts.
Confusion in the Insect World Due to the Early Season
April 20, 2012
Looking at the comparisons of accumulated degree-days (base 43) for the last 6 years, as of April 20 we are still about 100-150 DD ahead from any other year or about 200-300 DD ahead of the average DD accumulation for this time of the year. And while this difference is becoming smaller as the spring progresses (especially when compared to the weather pattern during the spring of 2010 season), this unusual weather seems to have caused a lot of confusion in the insect world that surrounds our fruit trees.
Frost Protection for Berries
April 19, 2012
Given the growth stage of berry crops and the current weather, frost protection is on everyone’s mind. In this update, you will find a re-run of a portion of a frost-related article, and some frost-related “Berry Good Questions” from past years paraphrased and condensed, plus a couple of new ones thrown in. Most of this information is also contained in Appendix A in the Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide, along with a lot of other frost-protection information.
Early-Season Temperatures Affect Peach Fruit Size
April 18, 2012
We have known for more than 80 years that post-bloom temperatures can influence harvest date, but not until recently have we realized that post-bloom temperatures can also affect fruit size at harvest.
An Orchard Blueprint for High Density Apple Plantings
April 18, 2012
As you train your high density orchards this spring, keep in mind some underlying components ("blueprint") for a successful intensive apple system.
2012 Version of the Orchard Spray Record Spreadsheet Now Available at Penn State FREC Website!
April 18, 2012
The Orchard Spray Record Spreadsheet has been updated for 2012 with 26 new pesticides and herbicides. This is an easy-to-use tool to help growers keep track of spray records with individual sheets for Apples, Peaches, Cherries and Pears. The spreadsheet is set up with drop-down lists for easier and faster completion. It will keep track of the various products used and maintain a cost summary.
First Apple Scab Lesions Observed at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville
April 17, 2012
As explained at the orchard twilight meeting last week, we expected and found the first scab lesions today on non-sprayed check trees of Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland and Stayman.
Apple Thinning in 2012 – Postponed, not Cancelled!
April 17, 2012
Several cold temperature events before and during bloom occurred in 2012. This resulted in apple flower mortality, and there is also a possibility of some non-lethal injury to flowers and/or spur leaves. This leads to some uncertainty about the number and strength of initial fruit set.
After-Infection Control of Rusts
April 13, 2012
If you are in an area prone to cedar-apple or quince rusts, many of the apple scab wetting periods were also favorable for rust infection.
Follow the Weather Forecast for this Weekend and Apply Streptomycin before likely Fire Blight Infection Events
April 13, 2012
If there is wetting during the anticipated warm-up on April 15th to 17th, there is the potential for severe fire blight infections.
Apple Scab and Powdery Mildew Updates - Watch for the First Scab Lesions this Week
April 13, 2012
Apple scab lesions should be expected this week on trees that were not adequately protected March 20th to 25th. Any infections could lead to a severe secondary infection on April 17th, given the current weather forecast.
Potential for Fire Blight
April 11, 2012
Based on conditions at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center and the Sky Bit Ag E-Weather Apple IPM Disease Report, the potential for fire blight infections may occur during the upcoming weekend.
Apple Scab Predictions through April 17th
April 11, 2012
Apple scab infection periods and predicted infections through April 17th for the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center are attached.
New Report on Neonicotinoids and Bees
April 6, 2012
A possible link between neonicotinoids and honey bee die-offs has led to controversy across the United States and Europe. Beekeepers and environmentalists have expressed growing concern about the impact of neonicotinoids, concern based on the fact that neonicotinoids are absorbed into plant tissue and can be present in pollen and nectar, making them toxic to pollinators.
Improved Assessment of Freeze Damage to Buds Using an Equilifruit Disk
March 30, 2012
Flower mortality following Monday's low of 28 degrees F at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville was assessed with an Equilifruit disk designed for determining how much to thin apples following fruit set. Although flower mortality on the most advanced variety, was 49%, limbs still had 4 to 10 times as many live flowers as needed for a full crop.
Apple Scab Infections to Date
March 29, 2012
Actual and predicted apple scab infections for Penn State FREC, based on the Campbell Scientific Weather Data System and the New Mills Apple Scab Disease Model, are now posted.
Fire Blight Risk
March 29, 2012
Apple fruit bud development at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville is pre-pink to pink, with a few blossoms open on Pink Lady. Fire blight risk to date, based on the MaryBlyt Prediction Program and Campbell Scientific Weather Data Systems, are presented in the attached graph.
Critical Temperatures for Various Fruit Crops
March 27, 2012
Tree fruit crops are in various stages of bloom and freezing temperatures are a concern. The temperature at which fruit buds are injured depends primarily on their stage of development.
Managing Apple Scab in High Inoculum Orchards
March 26, 2012
In apple orchards where scab was poorly controlled last fall, growers will need to compensate this spring for what we might call the five curses of high-inoculum, which are outlined in this article.
A New Tool for Accurately Calibrating Your Air Blast Sprayer
March 26, 2012
There are many reasons for calibrating your air blast sprayer, and Penn State Extension now has a new tool to assist growers in this important task. Chemicals should be applied at the proper rate to be effective and safe without causing pollution. The calibration test helps ensure accuracy of the application with selected nozzles, pressure, sprayer design, and travel speed.
Mature Apple Scab Ascospore Release Escalates
March 23, 2012
The release of mature apple scab ascospores at Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, PA approached 18,000 on March 22nd, just 72 hours after we first detected mature ascospores (Monday, March 19th).
Insect Pest Control in an Early Season
March 23, 2012
You probably have heard it a thousand times already but the degree days base 43°F accumulation for March 23 in southern Pennsylvania is about 4 weeks ahead compared to previous years (or 3 weeks compared to the 2010 season). Since most of us do not have first hand experience with such an unusual season, what it will mean to our orchards remains to be seen.
Apple Disease Situation in this Year of an Early Onset of Bloom
March 20, 2012
Primary infection periods for apple scab started two weeks early this year. Beginning with this report, the status of disease infections will be updated weekly at this Fruit Times website. To receive these reports as soon as they are posted, please click on " Subscribe to E-Mail Updates."
Keys to Planting Fruit Trees
March 7, 2012
This winter has been mild enough that many of you have a good majority of your pruning completed. If you are in this position, you might want to consider turning to another rite of spring -- and that is planting trees.
High Tunnel Raspberry and Blackberry Publication Updated and Expanded
March 7, 2012
Northeast growers can capture more of the lucrative local market for fresh berries by growing brambles (raspberries and blackberries) in high tunnels. And the place for them to start is with the updated and expanded edition of High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries.
Season-Long Strawberry Production Publication Available Online
March 7, 2012
For those of you who are interested in producing day-neutral strawberries, there’s a guide out there for you – Season-Long Strawberry Production with Everbearers for Northeastern Producers. This 70-page guide covers information on production techniques, economics and pests in day-neutral production.
New PA Tree Fruit Production Guide and Posting of Winter Meeting Presentations
March 7, 2012
The 2012-2013 Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production Guide is now available at your local extension office or the Penn State Publications Distribution Center (814-865-6713; AgPubsDist@psu.edu). Presentations from the Penn State Extension Winter Educational Meetings for Fruit Growers are posted at http://agsci.psu.edu/frec/resources (scroll to the bottom of this resource page to find “Presentations.”)
Disease Management Strategies Following the Challenging 2011 Season
March 7, 2012
This article provides a short review of the early-season fungus diseases of apples, a quick review of fungicide properties, a short discussion of how epidemics arise, some ideas about how to maintain fungicide efficacy and delay resistance, and finally, some disease management examples, including the integration some of the new SDHI fungicides into an effective program for 2012.
Investigating Value-Added Apple Product Consumption and Interest, Part I
February 6, 2012
The Ag. Entrepreneurship Extension Team at Penn State (farmbusiness.psu.edu) investigates opportunities for stakeholders (e.g. growers, wholesalers, processors, retailers) and disseminates applicable information to these groups. A few of us in the team have been focusing on gathering data from consumers residing in Pennsylvania and surrounding states pertaining to their fruit and vegetable purchasing attitudes and behaviors, with particular emphasis on better understanding the fresh and processed apple purchaser. We have conducted a few studies since 2008 and would like to share that data and provide examples of marketing strategies that stakeholders could implement based on the research.