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UVM Fruit Blog

Final mention for now: A succinct guide to FSMA compliance for small farms

Posted: October 26th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

Only when describing a new Federal initiative can we say the a 35-page guide is succinct, but this is an excellent resource that should answer many questions about implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and how it applies to your farm:

http://go.uvm.edu/fsmashortguide

-Terry

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Registration Open- New England Fruit & Vegetable Meetings December 12-14

Posted: October 26th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

Online registration is now open for the 2017 New England Fruit and Vegetable Meetings in Manchester, NH, to be held December 12-14. As usual, there will be sessions for growers of all scales, scopes, and specialty crops, including two sessions each for apples and grapes, a stone fruit session, a cider and cider apple session moderated by me, and numerous other vegetable and general farm management topics. This is one of my favorite meetings of the year, and I look forward to seeing many familiar faces there.

Registration information may be found at: https://newenglandvfc.org/registration

Hotel information: https://newenglandvfc.org/accommodations

See you in December,

Terry

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Food safety meeting November 7 & 8

Posted: October 26th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

I have received a number of questions regarding the November 7&8 Food Safety Training hosted by UVM Extension that I mentioned in a post this week. Below I summarize some quick answers from myself and UVM Extension’s Hans Estrin to the more common ones:

1. Will this training be offered again?

This training is offered again and again across the country and world (see Produce Safety Alliance schedule). It is unlikely, however that Vermonters will ever find a course SO close and almost fully subsidized!

2. What farmers need to take this?

Farms covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce rule MUST take it. That means any farm that sells more than $25,000 annually in ‘covered produce’, which includes fresh produce. If you sell less than $25,000 in edible produce. Producers who sell between $25k and $500k may fall into a ‘qualified exemption’ category, but the producer must still comply with rules surrounding the exemption. A quick chart regarding exemptions is available here. It is recommended for any other produce grower, and especially growing farms or farm somewhere near the 500K cut –off or those with sales below that who utilize wholesale markets.

3. Will CAPS suffice (no, if you’re not exempted or qualified exempt)?

No. This refers to the UVM Extension / VT Vegetable and Berry Growers Association Community Education for Produce Safety program. CAPS and Produce Safety Alliance training are different things. CAPS is a comprehensive program and with a certificate. PSA grower training is an extended education (standardized) presentation with mandatory attendance for covered farms. SO….CAPS is a good foundation for FSMA compliance, but does NOT substitute for the official grower training.

Answers to many Frequently Asked Questions regarding FSMA may be found here.

I will offer a word of warning passed on from Hans: this is, unfortunately, going to be a fairly bureaucratic training that is required for many producers as this Federal law continues to be implemented. It may be difficult to sit through, but the trainers are doing their best to make the information as useful as possible to growers. -TB

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Important Information for Vermont Produce Growers

Posted: October 24th, 2017 by fruit

See below for important opportunities to help with implementation of food safety programs on your farm. As we proceed with implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, this stuff matters. -TB

Dear Vermont Produce Grower,

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) would like to share the following opportunities related to produce safety. Continue reading to learn about produce safety trainings, grants, and how to stay in the loop with timely produce safety news.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course: Nov. 7-8

VAAFM and UVM Extension invite all produce growers to attend the PSA Grower Training held on November 7 and 8 in Richmond, VT. This hands-on training provides all you need to know about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and how it impacts Vermont growers. $30 subsidized workshop fee includes training manual, meals, and Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) certificate—a $130 value. Click here to register. This training satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement for covered farms that “at least one supervisor or responsible party” completes “food safety training…recognized as adequate” by FDA (§112.22(c)).

Produce Safety Improvement Grant: Request for Proposals Available Now!

VAAFM is pleased to announce the first round of a two-round grant opportunity to improve on-farm produce safety! The Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant program provides grants for on-farm improvements to reduce produce safety risks. Approximately $74,000 in funding will be available each round. Growers will be able to submit applications beginning November 15, 2017; however, VAAFM strongly encourages growers to read the request for proposals (RFP) and prepare their applications in advance, as funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for the grant, applicants must grow, harvest, pack, or hold “covered produce” as defined by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, and have average annual produce sales of greater than $25,000 over the past three years. Click here for the Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant webpage.

Be in the know with Produce Safety News: Produce Portal Enrollment

The Vermont Produce Program Team encourages all Vermont produce growers to enroll for the Produce Portal to:

  1. Receive timely policy updates for produce safety requirements.
  2. Access grant funds for farm food safety improvements.
  3. Request an On-Farm Readiness Review (a voluntary assessment of a farm’s produce safety readiness prior to inspection).

Click here to enroll today!

Questions? Email AGR.FSMA or call (802) 828-2433.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training – November 7 & 8 – Richmond, VT

Posted: October 17th, 2017 by fruit

Good Morning,

As the new Outreach and Education Coordinator for VAAFM’s Produce Program, I’d like to share with you the upcoming Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training held in Richmond, VT on November 7 and 8. Attached is a sheet containing more information on who should attend, benefits of attending, and what to expect from the training. In partnership with UVM Extension, we are happy to offer this training at a subsidized cost ($30) and are encouraging all produce growers to attend. Please spread the word about this training utilizing the attached sheet to your apple and grape growers and/or anyone else you feel will benefit from the training.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as I’m sure I will be communicating with you regularly. Before moving to Vermont, I lived in Breckenridge, Colorado for the past 5 years where I obtained a BA in Sustainability Studies. My most recent work has been with environmental non-profit, High Country Conservation Center, where I worked to help promote solutions for waste reduction and resource conservation. Now in my second week at VAAFM, I’m very excited to dive into working with partners and stakeholders to help educate the produce industry about produce safety and FSMA. I look forward to working with you all.

Please reach out with any questions regarding the training.

Best,

Dominique Giroux

Produce Program Outreach and Education Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street |Montpelier VT 05602-2901

Dominique.Giroux | (802) 522-3132

http://agriculture.vermont.gov/produceprogram

PSA-Grower-Course-Invitation November 2017.pdf

2017 New England Veg & Fruit Conference

Posted: October 12th, 2017 by fruit

Forwarding information on the upcoming New England Fruit & Vegetable Meetings in December from Mary Concklin. I hope to see many of you there.

-TB

Good morning,

I have attached the 2017 New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference brochure for your planning purposes. A great educational program has been put together covering a wide range of topics and knowledge levels. On-line registration will be ready shortly.

As for hotels, the conference hotel (Radisson Hotel Manchester) is now fully booked. For those of you who haven’t booked a room yet, there are other area hotels that have conference rates, including

Hilton Garden Inn – Discounted rate of $139/night when you mention affiliation with NEVFC. Less than a mile from the conference site. Must call before Nov 20 to get discounted rate. 101 South Commercial St., Manchester, NH 03101 (603) 669-2222

Comfort Inn Airport – Discounted rate of $89/$94 for single/double occupancy when you mention affiliation with NEVFC. Amenities include full hot breakfast & onsite fitness center & indoor pool. *Must make reservation by Nov 20* The Comfort Inn is 1.4 walking miles to conference site.
298 Queen City Ave., Manchester, NH, 03102 (603) 668-2600

Fairfield Inn – Discounted rate of $84.00 when you mention affiliation with NEVFC. Amenities include full hot breakfast & onsite fitness center. *Must make reservation by Nov 20*
860 S Porter St., Manchester, NH 03103 (603) 625-2020

La Quinta – Discounted Rate of $95.00 when you mention affiliation with NEVFC. Includes complimentary breakfast. *Must make reservation by Nov 20* La Quinta is 2 miles from the conference site. 21 Front St., Manchester, NH 03102 1-603-669-5400

Have a great day.

Mary Concklin

NEWA upgrade survey

Posted: September 2nd, 2017 by fruit

By Dan Olmstead

PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN OUR ONLINE NEWA SURVEY – help us build our new website!

1 September 2017

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) wants you to take our online survey — it’ll only take about 10 minutes of your time.

Take the survey now:

https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0GRlhOIDI5HwbR3

Whether you’ve used NEWA’s online pest forecast models for years or have never used NEWA at all, we will benefit from your responses. Why? Because we are building a new website at newa.cornell.edu, one that’ll be as easy to use on your smart phone as on your desktop, and we want to build it the way you want it to be.

NEWA is an online agricultural decision support system that uses real time weather data, streamed over the internet from 573 weather stations throughout the Northeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic. NEWA provides insect and plant disease pest management tools, degree days, and weather information for growers, consultants, Extension educators, faculty, and others.

NEWA models and resources are available free of charge, and are used to make informed localized crop management decisions. The NEWA website will be upgraded soon and we want to know what users’, new and old, want and need out of the new website.

All responses are anonymous and confidential and will not be shared with any outside group.

Thank you for participating!

For more information:

Dan Olmstead

315.787.2207

dlo6

NEWA Coordinator, New York State IPM Program

Cornell University, NYSAES

630 West North Street

Geneva, NY 14456

NEWA is a Partnership of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Getting ready for harvest in orchards and vineyards…

Posted: August 8th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

Mid-August is approaching, and that means that fruit are beginning the ripening process in Vermont orchards and vineyards. This is an important time to plan some final management practices before things get too busy.

Foliar (apple) and petiole (grape) tissue sampling: Now is the time to collect plant tissue samples for nutrient analysis in apples and grapes to best tweak fertility programs next year. If you’re applying fertilizers without tissue samples, you are doing it blind. Samples collected every two, up to three years should be sufficient, unless you are noticing or correcting a particular deficiency. Samples should be collected separately by cultivar, rootstock, and planting system/block- basically, the sample should come from a uniform set of trees/vines. I’ve given instructions separately for grapes and apples in the past, and refer to those now if you need them. Each includes contact information for the appropriate labs that conduct the analyses and also provide important recommendations from them. As for timing, apples leaves are typically collected July 15 – August 15, and grapes at veraison, so we’re on-schedule to do both any time now.

Veraison signifies the beginning of the ripening process in grapes, and we have seen the beginnings of that process for the past few days at the UVM Hort Farm. This is an important time when nutrient flows are changing in the vine. It is especially important that grapes have good access to sunlight during ripening, so continue to position shoots and remove leaves around clusters. This is also a good time to find lagging clusters that are behind the main crop for ripeness and remove them to improve overall fruit quality. Diseased clusters may also be removed at this time.

Disease management remains important- in grapes, we have been seeing more powdery mildew on fruit than we like, and downy mildew and botrytis are also potential problems at this time. And eradicate application of stylet oil or oxidate may be appropriate on PM-infested grapes but only if you can get excellent, thorough coverage. Otherwise one last application of materials labeled against those diseases may be warranted before harvest.

In apples, we have had ample opportunity for infection from the whole range of summer disease: sooty blotch; flyspeck; black rot; bitter rot; etc. A final fungicide application may be warranted to keep fruit clean through harvest, and for wholesale packing orchards, an early September application may be needed on late-ripening cultivars.

ReTain application in apples: ReTain is a commercially available plant growth regulator that delays harvest, reduces drop, and potentially improves fruit quality in apples. It is applied three weeks prior to anticipated harvest, and has a 7-day preharvest interval. Growers should be thinking about their ReTain needs and scheduling in the coming days. Glen Koehler at University of Maine runs a useful model based on reported weather data for the UVM Hort Farm that may help consider when to apply this material in local orchards. Note: ReTain applications are expensive, and are best when carefully timed. I expect to forward some more detailed information in the coming week, so use this information only as a rough guide, and consider how your orchard environment may differ from ours.

“Preliminary McIntosh Harvest Date Forecasts

CAUTION: The estimates shown below are appropriate for long-term planning only. Harvest decisions should only be made on basis of direct orchard observations. Accuracy of these apple maturity estimates can vary between orchards and between years in a single orchard.

Harvest date estimates are based on temperature observations from the first 30 days after Full bloom. Estimates for this location are based on incomplete data until Tuesday, June 13.

To delay single pick harvest up to 7 to 10 days, apply ReTain 21 to 28 days prior to beginning of expected harvest date for untreated fruit.

To delay fruit maturity and improve storage potential of later picked apples (2nd, 3rd, 4th picks), apply ReTain 7 to 14 days prior to beginning of expected harvest date for untreated fruit. This later timing will not delay the start of harvest (1st pick), but will delay maturity for later picks.

Date to apply ReTain to delay first harvest for apples which without treatment would be ready for storage harvest on September 11 is from

Monday August 14 to August 21

Date to apply ReTain to delay maturity for 2nd, 3rd or 4th pick of those apples, without delaying start of harvest maturity, is from Monday, August 28 to September 4. Begin measuring actual McIntosh starch-iodine index no later than Thursday, August 24. The McIntosh maturity date estimate shown below is a preliminary, early-season forecast and in no way a substitute for starch index and other direct observations as harvest nears.

The Michigan formula estimates that non-spur McIntosh will reach starch index 4.0 and start the optimum harvest window for long term storage on Monday, September 11. Cornell Bulletin 221 provides formulas for different locations to estimate date when non-spur McIntosh not treated with ReTain will reach starch index 6.0 and the end of the optimum harvest window for long term storage. Using the Champlain Valley NY formula, McIntosh maturity is forecast to reach starch index 6.0 in South Burlington VT on Thursday, September 21.”

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Open House 8/25: UVM Apple & Grape Team

Posted: August 8th, 2017 by fruit

University of Vermont Apple and Grape Program Open House

UVM Horticulture Research & Education Center

65 Green Mountain Dr, South Burlington, VT 05403

Friday, August 25. 2:00-4:00 PM

Join Dr. Terence Bradshaw and his colleagues for an open house highlighting research, teaching, and outreach projects of the UVM Apple and Grape Team. This self-guided tour will include chances to see organic apple evaluation, winegrape cultivar assessment, high density tall spindle apple plantings, and unique cider apple production systems. In addition, other partners at Catamount Educational Farm will be available to highlight vegetable crop teaching and research programs.

No RSVP is required, this will be an informal tour useful to commercial growers; fruit and vegetable enthusiasts; UVM faculty, staff, and students; and anyone else interested in sustainable food production in Vermont. Any questions should be referred to Terence Bradshaw, tbradsha.

Orchard pest management, late July

Posted: July 25th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

Many growers, especially of pick-your-own or retail-sold fruit, are starting to think about wrapping up the pest management season for 2017. Before doing so, it is important to consider late-season insect and disease pests that could affect the crop going into harvest.

Apple maggot numbers ticked up in a lot of orchards last week so most sites that have a problem with that pest have reached the threshold for treatment. AM is relatively easy to manage and there are many materials labeled for doing so- Assail is probably the most commonly-used one, as well as Delegate or Altacor (good if you also have problems with lepidopteran pests), or Avaunt. Pyrethroids are also quite effective against this pest, but they are harsh on beneficial predatory mite species and thus their use after pink bud stage can cause flareups of mites and other secondary pests. Imidan is another old-guard material in the organophosphate class, but its use has been substantially restricted, and as a whole, we are encouraging growers to move past it. Organic growers can use a trapout strategy which would need to have been in place already to be effective; in lieu of that, carefully-timed application of spinosad (Entrust) or pyganic may be effective, although the latter breaks down very quickly in sunlight and thus cannot be counted on for any residual control.

We remain between generations for codling moth in most orchards. It would be best to keep an eye on NEWA for timing the management of the second generation. Application of a material effective against hatching eggs and young instar larvae is best applied at 250 degree days after moths begin flight, which is right about now. That would put us at about the first week of August to treat in warmer production areas of Vermont.

Mites are mostly a non-concern around the state except in certain problem areas, especially where pyrethroid insecticides are used to manage other pests. Scouting is the best way to determine need for treatment at this stage, and should be performed regularly and using the Cornell sequential mite sampling guidelines (here, page 15) as a reference.

Summer diseases-sooty blotch/flyspeck, late-season apple scab (if you didn’t control it in the spring), and rots (particularly black rot in Honeycrisp) are of particular concern, given the wet weather that has continued this season. Maintaining fungicides on a 14-20 day schedule should be the minimum.

Calcium will be important to maintain fruit quality and to reduce bitter pit; it should be in every tank that you’re spraying, especially for large-fruit cultivars.

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification,

no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.

Always read the label before using any pesticide.

The label is the legal document for the product use.

Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the

label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the

University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM

Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Contact Us ©2010 The University of Vermont – Burlington, VT 05405 – (802) 656-3131
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