Fruit Times

Three Brookfield Gala apple fruit grown at Keedysville with stem end cracking. Those with small cracks like the apple shown in the upper left had a starch pattern index of at least 6 on the 8 point scale. Photo: C.S. Walsh
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.

August 26, 2016

Thanks to receiving a multi-state Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant, research and extension activities related to high and low tunnel berry production are taking a significant step forward.

Spotted wing drosophila male wingspots. Photo: David Biddinger
August 26, 2016

Presumably due to the state receiving some much-needed rain and temperatures cooling off a bit, spotted wing drosophila numbers took a significant jump over the last couple of weeks.

If ripe fruit are not kept cold, Rhizopus rot can take over very quickly. (Photo: K. Peter)
August 26, 2016

Management strategies are discussed for mitigating the postharvest disease Rhizopus rot on peaches and nectarines.

Protect your fruit: bitter rot on apple can wreak havoc in the orchard. (Photo: K. Peter)
August 26, 2016

A review of managing pre- and postharvest apple fruit rots is discussed. Alternative rot management strategies are included.

August 25, 2016

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.

Figure 1. Map of drought intensity for Pennsylvania released on August 4, 2016 (
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.

Spotted lanternfly adults on Ailanthus. Photo: Emelie Swackhamer
August 24, 2016

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014.

Photo 1: Honeycrisp apples spot-picked this week at Keedysville, MD. Photo: Chris Walsh
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.

Ag-Bio Dead-Inn pyramid and Rescue BMSB traps.
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.

August 18, 2016

The Rural Economic Development Clinic at Penn State Law is now accepting clients for the fall semester. The clinic provides food and agriculture businesses with free legal services on a variety of legal issues.

Post-harvest research laboratory photo of fruit maturity measurements. (Photo: Chris Walsh)
August 12, 2016

Comparisons of Premier Honeycrisp, Brookfield Gala and Honeycrisp.

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.

Brown marmorated stink bug adult. Photo: Greg Krawczyk
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.

Comparisons of background color and starch pattern of Premier Honeycrisp (left) and Honeycrisp (right). Photo: C. Walsh.
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.

August 4, 2016

Stages of pear fruit bud development.

August 4, 2016

Stages of sweet cherry fruit bud development

August 4, 2016

Stages of peach fruit bud development.

August 4, 2016

Stages of apple fruit bud development.

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.