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2016

Apple Rootstocks on the Horizon
December 27, 2016
I spent most of the summer writing a review paper on apple rootstocks and came across quite a bit of information that might be of interest to commercial fruit growers.
New Sustainable Agriculture Educator
December 5, 2016
A new Sustainable Agriculture Educator, Megan Chawner, joined Penn State Extension in Lehigh and Northampton counties the beginning of December.
Having RAD is Also SAD
December 5, 2016
There is a mystery surrounding rapid apple decline/sudden apple decline of young, dwarf apple trees. For the last several years, there have been many reports in Pennsylvania and, most recently, in the Northeast and states south about unusual sudden decline of young, dwarf apple trees.
Tree Fruit Disease Management Tips For 2017 Continue: Canker Management
December 5, 2016
Sanitation is the best offense for disease management, especially when it comes to canker removal.
Extension Translates Tree Fruit Videos into Spanish
December 2, 2016
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has created new videos for Spanish speaking fruit growers.
Final Observations—Fruit Maturity Project
November 30, 2016
In general, apples matured slightly earlier than normal this year.
Pruning Safety Tips
November 18, 2016
After a busy harvest season, there are still several jobs to be done and one of those important jobs is pruning.
USDA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling Equipment
November 2, 2016
Portable equipment can help producers, including small-scale and local farmers, get products to market quickly.
New Videos Explain Key Concepts in Efficient Fruit Production
October 28, 2016
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has created new videos for fruit growers. These ten minute ‘Learn Now’ videos are short, to-the-point guides explaining topics that are fundamental to commercial orchard intensification and efficiency.
Wrapping Up The 2016 Season: Disease Management For 2017
October 28, 2016
Growers can get a jump on disease management for the 2017 season this fall. This month’s article will be a review of tips to manage apple scab, peach leaf curl, and cherry leaf spot.
Putting Orchards to Bed
October 27, 2016
With the onset of colder temperatures at the end of the harvest, there are still things that need to get done in the orchard before winter.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 11
October 13, 2016
Honeycrisp is a wildly popular apple variety. While it has outstanding crispness and flavor, it has its faults.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 10
October 7, 2016
During August and September we saw apples mature a bit earlier than normal. Once mature, they quickly tree-ripened. The hot, dry weather and full sun exposure of tall-spindle trees compressed the harvest window. This earliness and rapid ripening has continued with Fuji and Cripps Pink.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug a Possible Challenge this Season
October 3, 2016
During the last four weeks we have observed a very sharp increase in the number of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults collected in various monitoring traps placed around orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. After relatively lower levels of infestation on fruit observed during the last two seasons, this 2016 harvest seems to bring back a serious BMSB challenge.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 9
September 30, 2016
During August and September we saw apples mature a bit earlier than normal, but once mature, they quickly tree-ripened. Due to the hot, dry weather, and the full sun exposure of trees managed as tall-spindles, the harvest window was compressed. This week, we began sampling late-season varieties, Fuji and Cripps Pink. While Fuji fruit lacks red color, fruit ripening has already begun.
Safety Data Sheet Use
September 30, 2016
The purpose of safety data sheets (SDS) is to provide detailed information about all chemicals and pesticides including the chemical properties, various hazards (e.g., physical, health, environmental, etc.), protective measures, and safety precautions (e.g., handling, storing, and transporting).
A Rot For Your Radar: Bitter Rot On Apple
September 30, 2016
There have been many reports of bitter rot on apple while fruit are being harvested. With Mother Nature recently dumping a ton of rain, which will have washed off any plant protection materials, growers are encouraged to apply protectants to apple varieties that have yet to be harvested. Tips for identification and late season management are discussed.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 8
September 23, 2016
During our August and September sampling we have seen apples mature a little earlier than normal, but then quickly tree-ripen. Between the hot, dry weather and the full sun exposure of trees on size-controlling rootstocks, the harvest window for each of the early varieties has been compressed. Fruits moved quickly from storage-ready to tree-ripe and when left unharvested became destined for cider. This rapid tree ripening can lead to softer apples with poorer quality of late-harvested fruit destined for cold storage.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 7
September 16, 2016
Fruit have quickly progressed from storage-mature to tree-ripe. In many cases fruits in commercial orchards have softened quickly and wound up being picked for cider. This rapid ripening may also reduce the quality of late-harvested apples, and growers are advised to carefully time harvest based on maturity indices.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 6
September 7, 2016
This grower-supported apple maturity update focuses on new apple varieties grown at the University of Maryland orchard in Keedysville, to provide pertinent information ahead of the picking dates for growers further north.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 5
September 2, 2016
This grower-supported maturity update focuses on new apple varieties grown at the University of Maryland orchard in Keedysville, to collect pertinent information on fruit maturity ahead of the typical picking dates for growers further north.
Weekly Insect Bytes for September 2, 2016
September 2, 2016
The numbers of brown marmorated stink bug adults are increasing in many orchards. Codling moth adults will be active for at least another 2 to 3 weeks. The fourth generation Oriental fruit moth adults are likely to be present in orchards during all of September and into October.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 4
August 26, 2016
This grower-supported apple maturity update focuses on new apple varieties grown at the University of Maryland orchard in Keedysville, a warm, low-elevation site in southern Washington County, MD.
A Rot For Your Radar: Rhizopus Rot On Peach
August 26, 2016
Management strategies are discussed for mitigating the postharvest disease Rhizopus rot on peaches and nectarines.
Keeping Apples Clean: Managing Pre- and Postharvest Fruit Rots
August 26, 2016
A review of managing pre- and postharvest apple fruit rots is discussed. Alternative rot management strategies are included.
Notes on the 2016 growing season and drought conditions
August 24, 2016
It is August already, which, for many grape growers in Pennsylvania, means veraison and the beginning of fruit ripening. It seems a good time to comment on the seasonal weather and how it can affect the vines.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 3
August 19, 2016
For the past few weeks we have been posting information for Brookfield Gala fruit from Keedysville, along with Honeycrisp and Premier Honeycrisp from Mt. Ridge Farms.
Weekly Insect Bytes for August 19, 2016
August 19, 2016
While the harvest of peaches and nectarines is in a full swing and it is only a matter of a couple of weeks when we will start the fully fledged harvest of apples, it is still important to remember that some important fruit pests are still active and can cause damage of fruit.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments—Week 2
August 12, 2016
Comparisons of Premier Honeycrisp, Brookfield Gala and Honeycrisp.
Using Sanitizers in Wash Water Video Series Now Available
August 8, 2016
A three-part video series on best practices for post-harvest washing of fresh produce, including proper use of sanitizers in wash water, is now available on the Penn State Extension site.
Weekly Insect Bytes for Aug 05, 2016
August 5, 2016
Codling moth (CM) second generation adults are very active in most Pennsylvania pome fruit orchards. All stages of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) including young summer adult bugs are being observed in and outside of orchards. The third and probably fourth generation Oriental fruit moth (OFM) adults are also active in both, pome and stone fruit orchards.
2016 Apple Maturity Assessments – Week 1 Comparisons of Premier Honeycrisp and Honeycrisp
August 4, 2016
With an early bloom, many people have been expecting an earlier harvest this year. This initial week’s sampling of Premier Honeycrisp and Honeycrisp indicates that Premier may be ready to be spot-picked as early as next week.
Pre- and Postharvest Practices to Manage Storage Disorders in Honeycrisp
July 29, 2016
Penn State Extension and Pennsylvania growers and packers cooperated with Cornell University in storage trials to assess ways to reduce postharvest disorders in Honeycrisp. Implications from the study are: 1) If risk of bitter pit is high, fruit should be stored without conditioning and marketed earlier than conditioned fruit. 2) Fruit with low bitter pit risk should be conditioned and stored at 38°F if storage periods are uncertain.
Assessing Apple Fruit Maturity in 2016—a Multi-State Outreach Project Supported by Grower Funding
July 29, 2016
Routine assessments of fruit starch levels, ground color and other maturity indices allow growers to make improved decisions about optimum harvest dates for long-term storage. During August through the end of October, 2016, Fruit Times subscribers will receive weekly summaries on changes in fruit maturity and will also be directed to more comprehensive information at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center Seasonal Update site.
Late Summer Monitoring and Management of Fruit Insect Pests
July 29, 2016
Moths of the second generation codling moth, third generation of Oriental fruit moth and the second generations of tufted apple bud moth and obliquebanded leafroller are active and, if present, the injuries caused by juvenile larval stages will be observed at harvest. Woolly apple aphid (WAA) colonies are being observed in many orchards across the region. Control at the correct timing will help manage second summer generation of San Jose scale crawlers. Adult brown marmorated stink bugs will soon move into orchards from surrounding vegetation. Plan ahead with the choice of products utilized against BMSB, and preserve the most effective options for when the pressure from this pest will increase in the later part of the season.
Just Peachy: ‘Tis The Season For Brown Rot
July 29, 2016
With peach season in full swing, a review of management strategies for controlling brown rot is discussed.
Highlights of the New Worker Protection Standard
July 28, 2016
In late 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency issued the long awaited revision to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Although it is now technically active it will not be enforced until 2017 but the original WPS will still be enforced until the end of 2016. Please keep in mind that the WPS covers both restricted use AND general use pesticides. This article will deal with the highlights to the revision but also some areas of the current WPS that need emphasized.
The Worker Protection Standard and Safety Data Sheets
July 27, 2016
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.
Weekly Insect Bytes for July 15, 2016
July 15, 2016
According to moth captures in sex pheromone traps located in various orchards in south-central PA, the flight of the third generation Oriental fruit moth (OFM) and the second generation of codling moth (CM) just started this past week. It is probably still too early to initiate control of those pests, however at some locations control may be needed within the next 7-14 days.
Tree Fruit Disease Update For the Season Mid-point: What You Need To Know
July 1, 2016
The latest information that growers need to know for apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch and flyspeck, rots, bacterial spot, and cherry leaf spot.
Wanted: Fire Blight Samples From Pennsylvania
July 1, 2016
The Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at FREC is seeking fire blight samples again this season from around the state of Pennsylvania in commercial orchards and home landscapes for evaluation for antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria and other projects. If you have fire blight present in your orchard/yard, please contact Dr. Kari Peter for instructions for sampling.
Insect pest update for July, 2016
July 1, 2016
July is usually a good month to assess the results of early season insect pest management practices and to make sure nothing will be missed for the remaining of the season. Early July also marks the beginning of a much higher pressure from brown marmorated stink bug nymphs and summer adults.
Orange rust on brambles—an Ongoing Saga
July 1, 2016
We all get a little rusty as we get older, but one thing that we don’t want to see getting rusty is our brambles. There are several rust diseases that affect brambles. I’m just going to focus on orange rust, which is the most important rust disease in the northeast. We are definitely seeing a bit of orange rust this year, with the cool wet springs. You’ll see this disease on blackberries, black raspberries and purple raspberries. Orange rust does not affect red raspberries.
Bumble Bees are Picky Eaters!
June 28, 2016
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
Weekly Insect Bytes for June 27, 2016
June 27, 2016
This past week we started to see a significant buildup in the numbers of Japanese beetles in many orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. The nymphs of brown marmorated stink are now present in orchards, which indicates a shift from “probable injuries” to actual nymphal feeding (and injuries) on fruit. The end of June is a good time to search for the first male adults of spotted wing drosophila, and traps are a very effective tool to detect increasing populations of SWD.
Weekly Insect Bytes for June 18, 2016
June 17, 2016
We continue to observe a strong presence of codling moth adults in pheromone traps placed in commercial apple orchards. Despite the codling moth developmental model suggesting the end of the codling moth egg hatch period (95% eggs hatched by June 25), the presence of moths in the traps in the next few weeks still warrants extended management activities.
Horticultural Pollinator Research Investments Bearing Fruit
June 8, 2016
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
Early Summer Management of Fruit Insect Pests
June 3, 2016
This past week (June 1) we finally captured the first moths of obliquebanded leafroller in pheromone traps. This completes the list of establishing important biofixes for the 2016 season. While the first biofix for the earliest active species, redbanded leafroller happened on March 22 (a tie for the earliest ever), the obliquebanded leafroller biofix was one of the latest on record for the Biglerville area. Looking at the degree day accumulation, it appears we are back to an “average year,” with a very similar accumulation of degree days base 43 as during the 2015 season.
MyIPM: New Smartphone Apps for Tree Fruit Disease Management
June 3, 2016
A new smartphone application, called MyIPM-NED, was developed to promote integrated disease management for apples, pears, cherries, and cranberries and is available for free for Android and iOS devices. These apps are also able to be used on tablets, as well.
Time For Vigilance: Tree Fruit Diseases Becoming More Obvious As Warm Temps Prevail
June 3, 2016
Although we experienced several cool, cloudy weeks, those conditions didn’t deter the bacteria and fungi in the orchard. As the temperatures are warming up and the humidity rolling in, disease symptoms are becoming more apparent. Recommendations for several apple and stone fruit diseases folks need to be mindful of are discussed.
Cornell Carbohydrate Model Run for June 3
June 3, 2016
This will be the last published run of the Cornell carbohydrate model for determining apple thinning rates and timings. You can still go to the web site and run the model but the model will not give you a recommendation. As I mentioned in the last posting you can interpret the 4 Day Average Balance by looking at the recommendation chart in the "More Info” tab.
Cornell Carbohydrate Model Run for May 31
May 31, 2016
The window for thinner applications is rapidly closing in the south central and eastern part of the state. Four day carbohydrate average balances for the most part are positive numbers representing the fact that shoot growth is rapidly increasing as shoots become net exporters and the response to thinners is more difficult.
Disease Update: Scout For Apple Scab And Fire Blight Infections
May 27, 2016
We had optimal conditions for apple scab infections this month and it’s time to start scouting the orchard for possible infection. Fire blight symptoms have been slow due to the chilly weather over the last several weeks; however, with the warm weather this week, fire blight may become more symptomatic. Be vigilant when scouting for fire blight and prune infections as soon as possible. In addition: newly planted blocks that may be blooming need protection to prevent blossom blight right now.
Cornell Carbohydrate Model Run for May 27
May 27, 2016
As we suggested last week and early this week the temperatures and solar radiation levels are very high setting up 4 Day Average Balances that are quite negative for all the sites.
Mid-Atlantic Tree Fruits Integrated Pest Management Survey
May 27, 2016
A new set of tools is currently being developed to help you manage crop pests and increase your profitability. The Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (iPiPE) is a national Web-based IT platform that combines user-contributed pest observations and translates them to real-time pest distribution maps and forecasts of pest risk. Throughout the season iPiPE informs you about the pests and diseases in your vicinity and provides management recommendations from professionals to help you make decisions about protecting your crop. The project is funded by a USDA Food Security Program grant and involves 28 crops around the nation.
Cornell Carbohydrate Run for May 24, 2016
May 24, 2016
The weather has finally broken with temperatures in Adams County to be in the 80s for most of the week. Today’s run does not contain as many sites due to discrepancies in some of the data reported to Rainwise.
Weekly Insect Bytes for May 23, 2016
May 23, 2016
The codling moth egg hatch developmental model provided by SkyBit Inc., initiated on May 7 (biofix in Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center orchards), forecasts about 5 to 10 percent egg hatch to occur on May 30 for the Biglerville area. This is an optimal timing to initiate management activities against codling moth.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 20
May 20, 2016
The majority of the sites are showing a 4DB of slightly positive carbohydrate levels (3.07 to 15.15 g/day) to slightly negative(-2.12 to -16.32 g/day). The trend through the weekend into early next week shows positive 4DB for six of the sites.
Weekly Insect Bytes for May 16, 2016
May 16, 2016
This past week we were finally able to establish the biofixes for codling moth and tufted apple budmoth on May 07 and May 10, respectively.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 16
May 16, 2016
Pennsylvania had a little bit of everything in yesterday’s weather – snow, rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 13
May 13, 2016
Please note that we have added another site in Schuylkill County in Hegins, PA.
Some Thoughts on the Carbon Balance Model for Apple Chemical Thinning
May 10, 2016
Chemical thinning is a complex process that annually challenges the professional apple grower. In recent years, many growers have started using the MaluSim Carbon Balance Model to assist them in managing the crop load of their trees.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 10
May 10, 2016
Generally we had the most sunshine Saturday and Sunday that we have had in over a week. Most sites are calling for a decrease in the rate of thinner
Weekly Insect Bytes for May 06, 2016
May 6, 2016
The colder than usual weather during the last two weeks is slowing the normal activities of most insects, including the most important fruit pests. However, while some fruit pests may be slower to complete their development, the current weather will not prevent potential injuries.
Grape Pests Updates – Spring 2016
May 6, 2016
As a new grape season approaches, you all may be asking yourselves, “What is going to be my biggest headache this season?” As far as insects go, I would have to answer, as always, the grape berry moth (GBM). In this blog I would like to touch on the most recent research regarding the grape berry moth, as well as, other insects to scout for in your vineyards in the early part of the growing season.
Disease Update: Scab infection Period Through May 6—Spore Dispersal Peaking
May 3, 2016
According to the models, we have been in an apple scab infection period since April 27 and will continue to have favorable disease conditions through the weekend. This is an extremely important infection period since the scab spores are peaking. Be sure to get complete coverage of your trees and tank mix with a broad spectrum (EBDC or captan) for maximum protection of your trees.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 3
May 3, 2016
More orchards have entered full bloom over the weekend. In some cases, there was as much as a week’s difference in full bloom with some cultivars.
Components of an Insecticide Resistance Management Strategy for Grape Berry Moth
May 2, 2016
Understanding insecticide modes of action may not be easy but following the IRAC MoA Classification for resistance management is as simple as rotating the numbers.
Tree Fruit Disease Management: Outlook For May And Controlling Disease On Trees Without Fruit
April 29, 2016
After a dry April, rain has crept into the forecast making conditions ideal for apple scab, fire blight, and cherry leaf spot. Other diseases to keep an eye for management are powdery mildew and bacterial spot. For those who had their stone fruit crop frozen out in April, disease management is still needed. Disease infection periods are being posted for regions in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Apple Carbohydrate Thinning Model for Precision Crop Load Management
April 29, 2016
After an early beginning to the growing season that saw green tip stage reached on average about 18 days ahead of last year, the weather cooled off and for stations reporting full bloom as of the morning of April 30, they are only 11 to 12 days ahead of last year. Obviously frost damage to flowers and spur leaves will be a compounding factor in deciding whether and when to thin this year.
Entomology Update—The Roller Coaster Ride Continues
April 29, 2016
The spring weather, and its impact on the development of insects, continues to be a roller coaster ride. The Oriental fruit moth biofix (first sustained moth flights for the season) was established on April 12, the second earliest date on record.
Early Season Foliar Boron Sprays
April 29, 2016
Boron is one of the essential micronutrients for tree fruit. It helps in the fruit setting process by facilitating pollen development and subsequent pollen tube growth.
A Review of Cookbook Guidelines for Retooling Pennsylvania Orchards with the Tall Spindle Apple Training System
April 29, 2016
Many of you are replacing older orchards with newer varieties and newer training systems. One of the systems that is currently in vogue is the Tall Spindle System (TSS). It was proposed and developed largely by Terence Robinson at Cornell University. Its popularity is due to the simplicity of its pruning.
Tall Spindle Apple Tree Training System - Additional Comments from Experience
April 29, 2016
We have been working with the Tall Spindle System (TSS) since 2008 with Jonagold/B9 and Daybreak Fuji/M.9 T337. We also have a planting established in 2010 with Aztec Fuji as an NC-140 uniform rootstock trial. In 2014 we established another NC-140 trial with Honeycrisp and Aztec Fuji on 7 and 6 rootstocks respectively.
It’s That Gray Mold Time Of Year And Fungicide Resistance Issues Abound
April 29, 2016
Strawberries are blooming, the rain is falling and it’s warming into the 60’s and 70’s—and as a plant pathologist, all I see is Botrytis spores dancing about the farm. We have already started to see Botrytis popping up on stem tissue and flower petals. Scouting for the pathogen in your fields will help inform you whether you need to spray.
New Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Team Member
April 26, 2016
Mike Basedow recently joined Penn State Extension in Adams County as an Extension Tree Fruit Assistant.
2016 Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet Now On-Line
April 25, 2016
The Orchard Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet for 2016 has been updated and is available online.
A Special Pollinator Edition of Penn State Today
April 25, 2016
As spring takes hold across the state and country, research and outreach efforts at the University are continuing to combat the decline of bees and other pollinators in an effort to safeguard our environment and the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania and around the world. This issue includes stories on faculty and student pollinator research, features ongoing work at Penn State to assist bees and other pollinators, and provides tips on how everyone can get involved and support pollinator health.
Weekly Insect Bytes for April 22, 2016
April 22, 2016
Unusually warm weather in March, despite relatively colder conditions in early April, pushed the development of most insect pests well ahead of a routine timetable.
2016 Pre-Bloom Grape Disease Management Review
April 18, 2016
Spring has arrived, but it sure doesn’t feel like it in many parts of the Northeastern U.S. However, the cool weather is buying us some extra time that can be used to review our pre-bloom disease management plans and familiarize ourselves with all the tools at our disposal.
Assessment of Apple and Peach Flower Viability following Recent Freeze Events in Adams County, PA
April 15, 2016
Following an unseasonably warm month of March, a pair of cold fronts brought cold temperatures across much of the eastern United States in early April 2016. The cold weather was stressful, both for the fruit grower and the flowers!
Pest Alert: Green Fruitworm and Rosy Apple Aphid
April 14, 2016
We are seeing indications that the numbers of green fruitworms and rosy apple aphids will be high this season. Both pests tend to flare in a cool, wet spring due to suppression of predators and other biocontrols.
Crop Insurance Update: Cold Weather and Coverage
April 11, 2016
In light of the cold temperatures experienced recently, a call to your crop insurance agent may be in order. If you believe the recent low temperatures may have damaged your crop you have 72 hours to report the event to your insurance provider.
Assessing Fruit Bud Survival and Crop Potential
April 7, 2016
A series of advective freeze events have damaged fruit buds, and following an additional freeze this weekend, growers will want to assess crop potential. It can be discouraging to count the buds that didn't survive the cold, so focus on bud survival by using a technique Jim Schupp adapted from strategies to adjust crop load at thinning time.
Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks
April 7, 2016
Agriculture Handbook 66 (AH-66) represents a complete revision and major expansion of the 1986 edition. It has been reorganized and now includes 17 Chapters and 138 Commodity Summaries written by nearly a hundred experts in 792 pages.
Disease Update: Potential Scab Infection Period April 7
April 5, 2016
The recent winter-like conditions do not kill scab spores and the spores continue to further mature and release. If the weather forecast comes to fruition, an apple scab infection event is predicted for April 7. If your trees have green tissue, recommendations for dealing with scab while managing cold injury are discussed.
Spring Entomology Update: Early Start to the 2016 Season
April 1, 2016
The calendar still says March but it feels as though it is at least mid April. Be prepared to set out your sex pheromone traps earlier than normal, as they are the simplest tools to accurately establish biofix dates and to precisely monitor the trends in population development through the season. Warm temperatures resulted in increased activity of pear psylla adults, and pre-bloom application(s) of oil should slow down egg laying. San Jose scale nymphs become active when the sap begins to flow in the spring, and they should be controlled pre-bloom or during the first cover spray.
And So the 2016 Season Begins—Tips on Using the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) weather system
April 1, 2016
All current conditions point to an early spring and tree fruit bloom. At Rock Springs we had first bloom on Methley plums and pink on peaches on Friday March 25th. Last year we observed the same growth stage on April 29th!
Predicting Infection Periods to Apply Protection
April 1, 2016
This article will help you manually determine infection periods for certain diseases (scab, fire blight, cherry leaf spot). Also included is a table listing coppers available to manage bacterial spot during cover sprays.
Webinar: Orchards and Climate Change—mitigating risk & improving resilience
April 1, 2016
Since 1980 weather patterns such as rainfall quantity and duration, temperature and extreme weather events have become increasingly erratic.
Pome Fruit Fungicide Update: New Product Available and One Product Cancelled
April 1, 2016
Aprovia is a new fungicide (SDHI, FRAC group 7) available for pome fruit disease management. Due to crop safety concerns, BASF will be cancelling the pome fruit registration for Vivando.
Broadworks Herbicide for Stone Fruit and Tree Nuts
April 1, 2016
New this spring is the herbicide Broadworks from Syngenta. It is a new chemistry for use in tree fruits with the active ingredient being mesotrione. The chemical family is triketone with an HRAC of Group 27.
2016 Winter Temperatures
March 31, 2016
A top-three “warm episode” (El Niño) brought some widely expected winter weather impacts to the U.S., but also provided some surprises. For example, atmospheric warmth in part supplied by the balmy central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean contributed to the nation’s warmest Decembe to -February period on record.
Disease Update: Potential Apple Scab Infection Period Late March 31–April 1
March 31, 2016
If the rain that is forecasted comes to fruition, we will experience a major scab infection period late March 31–April 1. With temperatures averaging around 60°F, only 6 hours leaf wetness is needed to cause an infection event. Protection is needed for vulnerable green tissue.
Disease Update: Scab Infection Period March 13 – 17
March 15, 2016
Due to the presence of green tip on early varieties of apples combined with rain the last several days plus forecasted for the next two, we are in our first apple scab infection period for 2016. Protection is needed for vulnerable green tissue; a copper spray will be useful for trees not at green tip.
First Scab Spores Of The 2016 Season Detected—Time For Copper Sprays
March 10, 2016
The first scab spores of the season have been detected; however, there is no scab infection risk until green tissue is present and there is an infection period. Since trees are pushing due to the warm weather the last several days, now is a good time to apply dormant copper sprays to manage diseases.
Pennsylvania’s First Hard Cider Guidebook Released
February 25, 2016
The Hard Cider Guidebook is a resource that directly addresses the business development and marketing needs of the growing cider industry in Pennsylvania.
On-Farm Research II - Summarization and Analysis of Data
February 22, 2016
In a recent article I described some important aspects of designing field experiments to avoid biasing the data. The take home lesson was that treatments should be replicated and randomized. In this article I will describe methods to summarize and interpret the data resulting from field experiments with a single qualitative treatment variable.
Crown Gall – A Growing Concern in Vineyards
January 21, 2016
The past two winters have ramped up concerns about crown gall in Pennsylvania and other parts of the Northeast. Wine grape growers are discovering, many for the first time, the horrors of this disease and the extent of the damage it can cause in their vineyards. While there is reason for great concern, I would like to start out by saying that research efforts are generating extensive information on management of this disease, and there are new solutions from research in the pipeline.
Fighting Fire Blight During Winter: Canker Management
January 15, 2016
When it comes to managing fire blight, the first line of defense is good sanitation, which is removing the overwintering source for the bacteria: cankers. Understanding what a canker is, being able to identify them in orchard, the importance of removal, and pruning strategies are discussed.