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Fruit Times

Well-Feathered Fuji/V6 at planting. Photo: R. Crassweller
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.

Botrytis cinerea sporulation on a ripe strawberry.  Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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.

April 26, 2016

Mike Basedow recently joined Penn State Extension in Adams County as an Extension Tree Fruit Assistant.

April 25, 2016

The Orchard Spray Record-Keeping Spreadsheet for 2016 has been updated and is available online.

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.

Oriental fruit moth larva(e) (Grapholita molesta). Photo: Clemson University, USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org
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.

Spotted wing drosophila male (upper right on berry) and female (lower left). Photo by Kathy Demchak
April 19, 2016

Spotted wing drosophila, or Drosophila suzukii, lays eggs in such valuable soft-skinned fruit as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries. The eggs develop into larvae, leaving the fruit unmarketable.

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.

In spite of the cold injury evident on these spur leaves, the apple flowers are viable. Spur leaf health will be an important consideration later in the season when growers adjust crop load. Photo: E. Winzeler.
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!

Photo: green fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci), Whitney Cranshaw, Bugwood.org
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.

April 12, 2016

In a previous article, I had mentioned Closer (sulfoxaflor) insecticide as being registered for use on strawberries. It had been for a while, but last fall EPA issued a cancellation order for the product, after the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that EPA improperly approved the registration.

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.