Fruit Times

November 18, 2016

After a busy harvest season, there are still several jobs to be done and one of those important jobs is pruning.

November 2, 2016

Portable equipment can help producers, including small-scale and local farmers, get products to market quickly.

'Abion' strawberries and 'Polka' (left) and 'Josephine' raspberries (right) at Penn State's High Tunnel facility.
November 2, 2016

Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) High and Low Tunnel Berry Project Update #1—information on growing strawberries and raspberries in containers.

Learn Now videos allow fruit growers to access information from Penn State researchers when it best fits into their schedule.
October 28, 2016

The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has created new videos for fruit growers. These ten minute ‘Learn Now’ videos are short, to-the-point guides explaining topics that are fundamental to commercial orchard intensification and efficiency.

Take care of fallen scabby leaves to prevent scab infection in 2017. (Photo: K. Peter)
October 28, 2016

Growers can get a jump on disease management for the 2017 season this fall. This month’s article will be a review of tips to manage apple scab, peach leaf curl, and cherry leaf spot.

Closely mowed row middles make it easier for predators to see and catch any potential rodents. Photo: Rob Crassweller
October 27, 2016

With the onset of colder temperatures at the end of the harvest, there are still things that need to get done in the orchard before winter.

Honeycrisp apples spot-picked on August 19, 2016 at Keedysville, MD. Photo: Chris Walsh
October 13, 2016

Honeycrisp is a wildly popular apple variety. While it has outstanding crispness and flavor, it has its faults.

Despite their lack of red color, Fuji are beginning to lose starch. Cripps Pink maturity appears to be about 10 days ahead of schedule. Aztec Fuji (Left), Nagafu Fuji (Center) and Cripps Pink (Right). (Photo by Chris Walsh)
October 7, 2016

During August and September we saw apples mature a bit earlier than normal. Once mature, they quickly tree-ripened. The hot, dry weather and full sun exposure of tall-spindle trees compressed the harvest window. This earliness and rapid ripening has continued with Fuji and Cripps Pink.

October 5, 2016

View this new 4-part video series to help you understand how your farm or food business may be affected under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Adult brown marmorated stink bug on mature apple. Photo: Greg Krawczyk
October 3, 2016

During the last four weeks we have observed a very sharp increase in the number of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults collected in various monitoring traps placed around orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. After relatively lower levels of infestation on fruit observed during the last two seasons, this 2016 harvest seems to bring back a serious BMSB challenge.

In Aztec Fuji, starch had cleared from the core region and was also disappearing from the fruit flesh. Photo: Chris Walsh
September 30, 2016

During August and September we saw apples mature a bit earlier than normal, but once mature, they quickly tree-ripened. Due to the hot, dry weather, and the full sun exposure of trees managed as tall-spindles, the harvest window was compressed. This week, we began sampling late-season varieties, Fuji and Cripps Pink. While Fuji fruit lacks red color, fruit ripening has already begun.

September 30, 2016

The purpose of safety data sheets (SDS) is to provide detailed information about all chemicals and pesticides including the chemical properties, various hazards (e.g., physical, health, environmental, etc.), protective measures, and safety precautions (e.g., handling, storing, and transporting).

Bitter rot spores on the surface of the lesion arranged in a concentric ring. (Photo: K. Peter)
September 30, 2016

There have been many reports of bitter rot on apple while fruit are being harvested. With Mother Nature recently dumping a ton of rain, which will have washed off any plant protection materials, growers are encouraged to apply protectants to apple varieties that have yet to be harvested. Tips for identification and late season management are discussed.

Maturity and red color development of Daybreak Fuji (upper row), Aztec Fuji (middle-row) and Nagafu Fuji (lower row) picked this week from tall-spindle plantings at Keedysville, MD. Photo: Kathy Hunt
September 23, 2016

During our August and September sampling we have seen apples mature a little earlier than normal, but then quickly tree-ripen. Between the hot, dry weather and the full sun exposure of trees on size-controlling rootstocks, the harvest window for each of the early varieties has been compressed. Fruits moved quickly from storage-ready to tree-ripe and when left unharvested became destined for cider. This rapid tree ripening can lead to softer apples with poorer quality of late-harvested fruit destined for cold storage.

Daybreak Fuji fruit were surprisingly soft, with a median firmness of 13.2 pounds.
September 16, 2016

Fruit have quickly progressed from storage-mature to tree-ripe. In many cases fruits in commercial orchards have softened quickly and wound up being picked for cider. This rapid ripening may also reduce the quality of late-harvested apples, and growers are advised to carefully time harvest based on maturity indices.

September 7, 2016

This grower-supported apple maturity update focuses on new apple varieties grown at the University of Maryland orchard in Keedysville, to provide pertinent information ahead of the picking dates for growers further north.

September 2, 2016

This grower-supported maturity update focuses on new apple varieties grown at the University of Maryland orchard in Keedysville, to collect pertinent information on fruit maturity ahead of the typical picking dates for growers further north.

Brown marmorated stink bug on maturing apple fruit. Photo: Greg Krawczyk
September 2, 2016

The numbers of brown marmorated stink bug adults are increasing in many orchards. Codling moth adults will be active for at least another 2 to 3 weeks. The fourth generation Oriental fruit moth adults are likely to be present in orchards during all of September and into October.

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.