Early-season yield and packout predictions are useful for growers and packers to plan for adequate harvest labor and storage space, to obtain the appropriate numbers of bins for harvest, and to develop an orderly marketing plan. Fruit yield is a function of numbers of fruit per acre and the size of those fruit. To accurately predict yield, one must have an accurate estimate of the average number of fruit per acre and average fruit size. If one would like to predict fruit packout, then an estimate of the distribution of fruit size is also needed. Obtaining accurate estimates of fruit numbers and fruit size requires appropriate sampling schemes. The purpose of this article is to review the information in the scientific literature on estimating yield and fruit size along with suggestions for next steps.
Stinger, a selective, postemergence herbicide for control of broadleaf weeds, is now labeled for use on apples. It is especially effective against thistles, dandelion, nightshades, and goldenrod, with some activity against clovers. Its mode of action is somewhat similar to 2,4-D, acting as a synthetic auxin, and it is in the same HRAC category as triclopyr (Garlon®).
The application to nominate a Young Apple Leader for the Class of 2014 is now available.
Like many people, you may have fallen into the trap of thinking, “I am a farmer, not a business person.” However, consider the amount of money you handle in a year – most small business owners would like to handle that much money in a year’s time. You are a business person, and as such, you need to plan for success!
Under its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR1910.1200), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for all hazardous chemicals. In March 2012, OSHA published a final rule to align its HCS regulations with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The primary goal of GHS is improved protection of human health and the environment by providing chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.
This year, several Young Grower Alliance (YGA) events are scheduled during the week of the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center (325 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033). Alliance members and individuals wishing to join the next generation initiative are invited to participate. Please contact Catherine Lara, email@example.com or 717-334-6271 ext. 315 for more information.
Penn State Cooperative Extension is organizing a day of sessions presented in Spanish to be held on Wednesday January 29th at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA. Researchers and educators from participating institutions will address a variety of relevant topics on fruit and vegetable production, farm safety and more.
Penn State Extension has planned nine educational meetings for tree fruit growers throughout Pennsylvania. The meetings are designed to address current challenges with the latest research based information.
The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention educational program is cooperatively planned by Mid-Atlantic horticultural associations and university extension faculty. Tree fruit sessions during the convention to be held January 28th to 30th in Hershey, Pennsylvania, feature future possibilities for chemical regulation of apple crop load, innovations and pest management in the Western US, securing the future of the fruit industry through successful transitions, conserving biological control agents by using selective insecticides, research team updates on BMSB, fungicide resistance management, herbicide resistance management, peach training systems, and regulatory issues.
Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 20 counties can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily in 2014 through the Department of Agriculture's CHEMSWEEP Program.
Vole populations exhibit distinctive population fluctuations of approximately 4 year cycles, and based on reports from around the state, this may be an “up” year. One of the last tasks in getting the orchards ready for winter is planning your strategy to control voles and prevent their damage.
Based on vole monitoring reports from the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, 2013 may have been an ideal year for vole reproduction in orchards. Late fall is an important time to place bait for voles because this practice helps reduce populations before the onset of winter, when vole damage is most severe and snow cover precludes the use of toxicants. Timing influences the success of control programs. Wet weather reduces the effectiveness of toxicants. Therefore, try to place the bait when the weather is likely to be fair and dry for at least three days. Baits are most effective when naturally occurring foods are limited.
There are many types of tree nuts that grow in Pennsylvania, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the state. If you’d like to grow nuts to add to your product selection, you are more likely to be successful with a little planning and careful selection of the types of nuts you plant.
Apple fruit will withstand up to 4 hours at 28°F before serious injury occurs, but it is difficult to give a hard and fast rule to predict injury based upon minimum temperatures and duration, as the recovery depends not only on the extent of freezing, but also the rate of thawing.
To reduce apple scab risk for next season, growers are encouraged to spray a fall application of urea as close to leaf drop as possible. Additional disease management strategies are also discussed.
Berry producers may want to investigate learning opportunities offered at the 2013 Strawberry Expo, a joint meeting of the North American Strawberry Growers Association and the North Carolina Strawberry Association. If you are a beginning berry grower, you might want to register for a Cornell webinar that runs twice a week from November 21 to December 12, 2013.
Biomass equipment is now available for smaller operations requiring large amounts of heat, and it offers considerable savings to a variety of operators. A demonstration of a new biomass greenhouse heating system will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 in Orrtanna, PA.
A new website developed by Penn State Extension specialists is designed to be a one-stop resource for those seeking information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was created under the federal Affordable Care Act. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a unique opportunity for small businesses, previously uninsured consumers, and others to shop for health insurance and compare plans at one location.
Researchers and growers explain management methods for BMSB such as insecticides, trap cropping, physical barriers, and organic and biological control techniques—in a new video.
The Penn State Extension Integrated Pest Management web site has a Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) page. This web page contains links to some very good SWD publications, including updated Penn State Fact Sheets on the fruit pest.