The who, what, why, when, where, how and how much of everything you need to know about fire blight and its management in preparation for the 2015 season.
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit and Pesticide Education Teams have cooperatively produced a pocket guide to tree fruit disorders, pests and beneficials. The guide is in Spanish and English and is designed for use by orchard employees - often the first individuals to detect a new occurrence of a fruit disease or insect pest.
Pollinators need a diverse, abundant food source and a place to build their nests and rear their young. As land managers, if we keep these two elements in mind we can encourage native bee populations.
Backpack sprayers are very useful tools for crop farmers to have on hand. Whether your farm is large or small, newly established or centuries old, certified organic or conventional, there is a spot for a backpack sprayer or two on your farm. However, to make the most of a backpack sprayer, we recommend that you make some upgrades to the sprayer wand assembly and of course, keep your sprayer calibrated.
In the literature covering hard cider production apples are typically classed as either ‘dessert’ or ‘true cider’ apples. Despite this dichotomy, some ‘dessert’ varieties are reported to be useful for cider.
Penn State Extension has planned ten educational meetings for commercial tree fruit growers this spring. The meetings are being held in orchards all across the state. Growers have an opportunity to visit other commercial tree fruit operations, learn from Extension specialists who are experts in their program areas, and discuss current tree fruit issues with other growers at a critical time of the growing season.
Dormant season urea and copper sprays are recommended for decreasing available populations of apple scab spores and fire blight bacteria in the orchard for the 2015 season.
Prior to pruning peach trees this season, check for bud mortality from subzero winter temperatures.
This week at a winter meeting I was asked why poison ivy seems to be popping up in orchards where it was never seen before and in isolated spots. I suspect you will see a lot of perennial species popping up in new areas for several reasons.
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production website - http://extension.psu.edu/plants/tree-fruit - has a number of useful resources for fruit growers. Check back often for the latest resources on fruit diseases; insects, mites and beneficials; and fruit culture.
Approximately three quarters of our major food crops are pollinated. At the same time domestic honey bees hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago. Here we will look at how wild bees provide insurance against ongoing honey bee losses. Keep a look out for upcoming articles on factors affecting pollinators and ways farmers can promote pollinator health.
Organic fruit growing in the Mid-Atlantic Region can be successful and profitable with careful study and planning. There are natural features in the Mid-Atlantic region that offer nearly ideal conditions for growing high quality organic fruit. Also, the market in this area for locally grown organic fruit far exceeds the current production capacity of existing organic fruit farms.
The question that seems to be on every berry grower’s mind is how much winter injury occurred this winter. This, of course, depends on the crop.
Proper calibration is a must to make sure pesticide applications get to the target at the proper rate. The Penn State Pesticide Education Program uses calibration units that enable us to collect the output from each nozzle.
Researchers at the University of Maryland are conducting a nationwide survey of vegetable and fruit growers to better understand how the FDA's proposed rule on produce safety under the Food Safety Modernization Act will impact them. As an incentive to take the survey, participants have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a free Apple iPad after completing the survey.
On January 13th, Penn State Extension hosted their first Hard Cider Production workshop at the Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville, PA. The day was filled with various speakers from New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia with perspectives from various Mid-Atlantic state hard cider industries. Topics were focused on the economics of hard cider production in the Mid-Atlantic, experiences with growing apples for hard cider production, how to produce hard cider, and orchard considerations for new hard cider apple variety growers.
The Penn State Tree Fruit Pathology Program has established a Twitter account to be another tool for folks to receive updates, information, and interesting pictures. Please start following!
As folks are pruning their apple trees, the presence of the Nectria fungus is being reported. A weak fungus that attacks already compromised trees, growers are encouraged to prune out symptomatic tissue from trees to limit spread of the disease.
Hannah Burrack in the Department of Entomology at NC State has put together a survey to quantify spotted wing drosophila's impact on berry growers in the Eastern U.S. While Hannah coordinates the survey, she shares the information with others. In fact, you can see the last 2 years’ results when you visit the site with the survey hyperlink below.
Q. I've read in one or two places that strawberries continue to ripen after harvest, but most other articles I've read say they don't. Do they continue to ripen after harvest or not?