Fruit Times

A tarnished plant bug on a strawberry flower. Photo: Kathleen Demchak
April 11, 2016

Last month, we discussed new herbicides that have become available for use on berry crops in the last few years. In this article, we’ll cover changes with insecticides and miticides.

Dissection of peach flower bud with live pistil.
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.

Peach trees are in full bloom in many orchards, while apple trees are at the tight cluster stage.
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.

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.

Gala at tight cluster. Photo: K. Peter
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.

Picture 1. Pheromone traps for Oriental fruit moth in peach orchard during the 2016 season. Photo: G. Krawczyk
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.

Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA)
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!

A thermometer that records the maximum and minimum temperature is extremely useful for determining degree hours.
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.

April 1, 2016

Since 1980 weather patterns such as rainfall quantity and duration, temperature and extreme weather events have become increasingly erratic.

Aprovia is a new fungicide to help in the apple scab fight. (Photo: K. Peter)
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.

Mesotrione injury on tomato.  Image from University of Missouri IPM 1007, November 2009
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.

Selection #3 from the Rutgers breeding program showing elongated fruit shape. Photo: Tim Elkner
March 31, 2016

This planting was established in August 2014 and included 11 named cultivars with ‘Chandler’ and ‘Sweet Charlie’ as the standards for comparison. In addition, there were 3 advanced selections from the breeding program at Cornell and 3 advanced selections from the breeding program at Rutgers.

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.

Apple scab conidia Photo: Kari Peter
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.

Green tip peeking through saying, “Be sure to protect me from apple scab!” Photo: K. Peter
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.

March 9, 2016: No green tip yet on Gala…but it will be soon! Photo: K. Peter
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.

Yellow woodsorrel
February 26, 2016

Some new herbicides, or in some cases, new formulations, have become available for use in berry crops in the last few years. Here is a summary of these additions.

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.

February 24, 2016

Between presenting and working at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference (MAFVC), I did have a chance to catch a few presentations (out of 200 plus) that were very interesting. Below are a few comments on some of the talks I attended.

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.