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The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has created videos to refresh growers on innovative growing techniques for the start of the 2017 growing season.
Timely tree training and integrated management of newly planted trees will ensure the success and future profitability of high density apple plantings.
Cloudy, warm weather may result in a greater tree response to chemical thinners this week.
The reliability of the Cornell carbohydrate thinning model forecast is dependent on weather forecasts.
A few more weather stations are in full bloom. Normal rates of chemical thinners were recommended for the weekend, and decreased rates are suggested for the next 4 days.
Conditions are favorable for fire blight and apple scab. Additional tools for the fire blight management toolbox are discussed.
Warm weather this past weekend pushed apple flower development, and growers will be looking for windows of opportunity for the application of chemical thinners.
Bloom is well underway in parts of PA and MD. Fire blight and scab disease conditions are in full force now. Growers are encouraged to protect trees.
Despite the calendar indicating just the middle of April, all stone fruits and even some apple cultivars in southern Pennsylvania are already in bloom.
While I panicked in February, the warm March weather slowed flower development and as it turned out, March was colder than February.
This Penn State Extension publication, in Spanish and English, is designed for use by orchard employees - often the first individuals to detect a new occurrence of a fruit disease or insect pest.
Some of the burn-down herbicides have been implicated as possible causes of damage to young tree trunks that have green tissue on portions of the lower trunk.
We just finished winter tree fruit meetings during which I talked about some new herbicide registrations.
Consider applying dormant sprays soon to manage fungal and bacterial diseases this season.
The updated Penn State Extension Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet for apples, pears, peaches, and cherries is now available from Penn State Extension.
Depending on your location, the warm weather over the last few weeks may have pushed some fruit trees along. For disease management, consider applying dormant copper and urea sprays soon.
Evaluating relationships between variables involves a statistical method called “regression analysis.”
Moldy core is characterized by the growth of fungus mycelium within the apple fruit seed cavity, without penetration into the flesh of the fruit.
A new Sustainable Agriculture Educator, Megan Chawner, joined Penn State Extension in Lehigh and Northampton counties the beginning of December.
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.
Sanitation is the best offense for disease management, especially when it comes to canker removal.
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has created new videos for Spanish speaking fruit growers.
In general, apples matured slightly earlier than normal this year.
After a busy harvest season, there are still several jobs to be done and one of those important jobs is pruning.
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.
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.
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.
Honeycrisp is a wildly popular apple variety. While it has outstanding crispness and flavor, it has its faults.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Management strategies are discussed for mitigating the postharvest disease Rhizopus rot on peaches and nectarines.
A review of managing pre- and postharvest apple fruit rots is discussed. Alternative rot management strategies are included.
Employers must often keep up with a variety of required government posters at their orchards, farms, or other places of business which can be daunting at times. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor changed two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.
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.
Comparisons of Premier Honeycrisp, Brookfield Gala and Honeycrisp.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With peach season in full swing, a review of management strategies for controlling brown rot is discussed.
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.
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.
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.
The latest information that growers need to know for apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch and flyspeck, rots, bacterial spot, and cherry leaf spot.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pennsylvania had a little bit of everything in yesterday’s weather – snow, rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
Please note that we have added another site in Schuylkill County in Hegins, PA.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mike Basedow recently joined Penn State Extension in Adams County as an Extension Tree Fruit Assistant.
The Orchard Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet for 2016 has been updated and is available online.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Since 1980 weather patterns such as rainfall quantity and duration, temperature and extreme weather events have become increasingly erratic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.