Apples going into storage need to be free of disease and injury to keep their value. A good crop can be destroyed in storage due to decay by parasitic fungi. Some fungi can easily be discerned such as common summer rots while others that are not common (sometimes caused by environmental factors) are more difficult to diagnose.
For several years now I have been trying to stress the importance of applying herbicides in the fall as a key management tool. A fall application of a herbicide can be part of an integrated management approach for other orchard pests like cat facing insects and rodents. Elimination of winter annual weeds, which are hosts for insects, from the orchard floor reduces cat facing insect populations. Rodents find orchards infested with winter annual weeds attractive. Ground cover provided by weeds creates a desirable rodent habitat.
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults are still causing severe fruit damage in apple orchards. As the season turned into the fall, the pre-overwintering intensive feeding by BMSB adults become the main source of BMSB injuries on fruit. It is often overlooked, but the presence of BMSB adults in already harvested blocks of apple or stone fruit also can significantly contribute to the re-infestation of fruit in surrounding, still not harvested blocks.
The brown marmorated stink bug is advancing, yet its secrets are unraveling. Today a team of more than 50 researchers launches a website bringing its latest findings to growers in North America. The group is solving the mysteries of this pest that damages a huge range of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. You’ll find a photo identification guide and recommendations for how to control it.
The Environmental Protection Agency just released an update on the status of azinphos-methyl ( Aug 30, 2012, EPA Pesticide Program Updates, From EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs: www.epa.gov/pesticides). The full text of the announcement is posted below.
Harvest is fast approaching and the weather has changed from warm and dry to warm and wet. This presents particular danger for fruit rots (sour, ripe, bitter, botrytis), powdery mildew and especially downy mildew. The alert should be up for all of these and hopefully the necessary measures (canopy, crop and disease and insect management) were taken throughout the year. These conditions remind growers of the necessary up front viticultural investment needed to secure a high quality grape crop in the fall.
It is important to use on-site monitoring information in deciding if additional pesticide applications are necessary. Due to the unusual weather pattern this season, some of the commonly used developmental models (e.g., egg hatch models) are not fully reliable indicators of the actual situation in orchards. Properly maintained pheromone traps for our common lepidopteran pests are the best and most accurate tools to assess the need for management activities. Late in the season when trees are bigger, the volume of water per acre should often be increased. Even the most efficacious pest management products will not work if coverage is not sufficient.
This is intended to remind to all Pennsylvania berry growers that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is present across the state. In some situations, SWD adults are being found in very large numbers and the number of larvae in berries has resulted in a cessation of harvest. With the primocane-fruiting raspberry harvest either just getting underway or being about to start in some locations, growers should be vigilant about watching for SWD. Even if only a few adults are found, sprays may be needed. Fruit should definitely be checked for larvae (see photo).
This past season there were many issues regarding the new crop insurance regulations regarding fresh and processing production and the documentation needed to verify production of each. Many of you have already filed claims this year for hail damage and hopefully, this year is going much better than the past year. Here are some changes for the 2012 season that may be beneficial to you when filing claims should they become necessary.
Penn State has partnered with other land grant institutions to develop a new farm-safety section for a national agriculture website created by cooperative extension agents. The online resource covers critical agriculture safety questions, such as grain bin entrapments, cattle hauling, ATV safety and confined space hazards.
If you are unable to be lucky enough or willing to pay the money for the development of your own farm app, a great way to replicate some of the functions is through the use of QR codes. Many area markets are starting to add these codes to their value added product labels, door stickers and the backs of their business cards. When incorporated correctly, meaning printed in a clear and easy to identify fashion, these codes can be used as another quick method to direct customers to your website.
During the 2012 season growers in Pennsylvania will be able to use two additional, highly effective active ingredients for the management of brown marmorated stink bug.
Fruit growers recognize that attention to detail can mean the difference between a crop of high quality apples picked at the proper time and a crop that has reduced market potential. Predicting optimum harvest date in this season following an early and extended bloom will require extra attention to detail, particularly with early cultivars such as Honeycrisp and Gala.
The Penn State Pesticide Education Program recently purchased a calibration tool that provides a solution to accurately calibrate air blast sprayers. A demonstration of an air blast sprayer calibration will be held at Penn State's Ag Progress Days on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14 and 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm at the tractor rollover site.
In this article, we will provide results related to "who" has posted product reviews online and where they have posted the reviews. As we described in the last article, 82% of respondents said they have read online reviews, so knowing who is writing the reviews is important.
We are continuously finding all possible instars of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) on various wild plants in vegetation and woods surrounding orchards but not too many in orchards themselves. Although during this season the egg hatch models based on degree-day accumulation appear to be running ahead of observed moths’ activities in orchards (mostly due to the unusual weather pattern in the spring), the flight of the second generation of codling moth (CM) and the third generation of Oriental fruit moth (OFM) is well underway in orchards located in south-central Pennsylvania. Also, our two leafroller species, tufted apple bud moth (TABM) and obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR), started their second generation flight.
Thanks to receiving funding from the NE-IPM Center, we were able to complete a set of four full-color factsheets on spotted wing drosophila, and they are now available on-line. These fact sheets were written with northeastern U.S. growers of the most susceptible crops (raspberries, blackberries, day-neutral strawberries, and cherries) in mind.
Potato leafhoppers cause varying levels of damage to small fruit crops in different years, and this year we are seeing a fair amount of leafhopper damage to both strawberries and raspberries. In many cases where leafhopper feeding injury is severe, dry conditions cause plant growth to slow down, and damage from the leafhoppers then accrues and symptoms become more severe.
When enjoying ice cream made with tree-ripened peaches at a roadside farm market it’s easy to appreciate the local flavor of a community. However, what may not be realized are the unique partnerships and business savvy it took to get that food from the field to delicious first bite.
Nutritional analysis of fruit trees should be an ongoing practice in your orchards. Unlike agronomic crops the trees in your orchard are capable of absorbing mineral nutrients the entire year as long as soil temperatures are adequate. Scientists have determined there are 16+ essential mineral elements needed for tree fruit growth. The amount varies by element. In most cases our soils are adequately supplied with these elements. However there are five elements in orchards that should be monitored with more scrutiny because shortages can develop. These minerals are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and boron.