In late 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency issued the long awaited revision to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Although it is now technically active it will not be enforced until 2017 but the original WPS will still be enforced until the end of 2016. Please keep in mind that the WPS covers both restricted use AND general use pesticides. This article will deal with the highlights to the revision but also some areas of the current WPS that need emphasized.
A growing percentage of consumers are very interested in understanding how and where food comes from. This trend is a cue to farm and other agricultural producers to prepare to answer questions from customer about production practices.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.
According to moth captures in sex pheromone traps located in various orchards in south-central PA, the flight of the third generation Oriental fruit moth (OFM) and the second generation of codling moth (CM) just started this past week. It is probably still too early to initiate control of those pests, however at some locations control may be needed within the next 7-14 days.
Damage from potato leafhoppers is showing up in strawberry and raspberry fields, and by some accounts, seemingly came out of nowhere. This pest moves up from the South in the spring, and by early summer is established in a wide range of crops in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The latest information that growers need to know for apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch and flyspeck, rots, bacterial spot, and cherry leaf spot.
The Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at FREC is seeking fire blight samples again this season from around the state of Pennsylvania in commercial orchards and home landscapes for evaluation for antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria and other projects. If you have fire blight present in your orchard/yard, please contact Dr. Kari Peter for instructions for sampling.
July is usually a good month to assess the results of early season insect pest management practices and to make sure nothing will be missed for the remaining of the season. Early July also marks the beginning of a much higher pressure from brown marmorated stink bug nymphs and summer adults.
Spotted wing drosophila has been found in very low numbers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, so it’s time to be watching for spotted wing drosophila presence in raspberries, blueberries, and other thin-skinned fruit. A few Pennsylvania growers reported finding larvae in late-season strawberries.
We all get a little rusty as we get older, but one thing that we don’t want to see getting rusty is our brambles. There are several rust diseases that affect brambles. I’m just going to focus on orange rust, which is the most important rust disease in the northeast. We are definitely seeing a bit of orange rust this year, with the cool wet springs. You’ll see this disease on blackberries, black raspberries and purple raspberries. Orange rust does not affect red raspberries.
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
This past week we started to see a significant buildup in the numbers of Japanese beetles in many orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. The nymphs of brown marmorated stink are now present in orchards, which indicates a shift from “probable injuries” to actual nymphal feeding (and injuries) on fruit. The end of June is a good time to search for the first male adults of spotted wing drosophila, and traps are a very effective tool to detect increasing populations of SWD.
We continue to observe a strong presence of codling moth adults in pheromone traps placed in commercial apple orchards. Despite the codling moth developmental model suggesting the end of the codling moth egg hatch period (95% eggs hatched by June 25), the presence of moths in the traps in the next few weeks still warrants extended management activities.
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
This past week (June 1) we finally captured the first moths of obliquebanded leafroller in pheromone traps. This completes the list of establishing important biofixes for the 2016 season. While the first biofix for the earliest active species, redbanded leafroller happened on March 22 (a tie for the earliest ever), the obliquebanded leafroller biofix was one of the latest on record for the Biglerville area. Looking at the degree day accumulation, it appears we are back to an “average year,” with a very similar accumulation of degree days base 43 as during the 2015 season.
A new smartphone application, called MyIPM-NED, was developed to promote integrated disease management for apples, pears, cherries, and cranberries and is available for free for Android and iOS devices. These apps are also able to be used on tablets, as well.
Although we experienced several cool, cloudy weeks, those conditions didn’t deter the bacteria and fungi in the orchard. As the temperatures are warming up and the humidity rolling in, disease symptoms are becoming more apparent. Recommendations for several apple and stone fruit diseases folks need to be mindful of are discussed.
This will be the last published run of the Cornell carbohydrate model for determining apple thinning rates and timings. You can still go to the web site and run the model but the model will not give you a recommendation. As I mentioned in the last posting you can interpret the 4 Day Average Balance by looking at the recommendation chart in the "More Info” tab.
We’ve received a number of calls from growers who are concerned about various types of leaf distortion on their strawberry plants this year. Here is a review of some of the more common causes.
The window for thinner applications is rapidly closing in the south central and eastern part of the state. Four day carbohydrate average balances for the most part are positive numbers representing the fact that shoot growth is rapidly increasing as shoots become net exporters and the response to thinners is more difficult.