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UVM Fruit Blog

Fire blight model upgrade in pace for 2017

Posted: March 22nd, 2017 by fruit

[Terence Bradshaw] See the note below regarding upgrades to the Fire Blight model in NEWA that will be implemented this year. Upgrades to the apple scab model will be coming as well.- TB

We are pleased to announce that an upgrade to the fire blight model on NEWA is now in place, available from http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=apple-diseases.

Kerik, Keith Eggleston and I worked to put this together. It incorporates season long disease management messages, an infection potential (EIP) calculation, Cougarblight logic upgrades, wetness events color-coded and calendar sensitive changes to the risk predictions.

These improvements were based on suggestions and comments from the field, as well as upgrades to Cougarblight in Washington. We hope you will like the new fire blight tool and welcome any suggestions you have going forward.

We are also working on upgrades to the apple scab model. We’ll write a blog and Scaffolds newsletter article on all of these once they are both operational.

-Julie Carroll

Respirator resources for new Worker Protection Standard compliance

Posted: March 17th, 2017 by fruit

Remember- the EPA Worker Protection Standard increased requirements as of January 1 this year.

Thanks to the AgriSafe Network and OSHA for assembling these resources and Annie MacMillan at Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets for passing them on.

Respirator medical evaluation – including a printable questionnaire in English and Spanish


Respirator fit-testing – including instructional videos in English and Spanish


Record-keeping forms and other resources are in-progress. Stay tuned.

Dr. Kevin Folta seminar recording from Feb 17, 2017

Posted: March 10th, 2017 by fruit

Following up from our February 2017 UVM Apple Program / VT Tree Fruit Growers Association meeting when Dr. Kevin Folta, Chair and Professor of the University of Florida Department of Horticulture, discussed communicating science to a concerned public. I hosted him the next day in a seminar at UVM that was recorded and posted at:

https://youtu.be/JJIWwOUr5as (part 1)

https://youtu.be/UfowWBTolTc (part 2)

https://youtu.be/hZmgVi4myoo (part 3, Q&A)

Feel free to ignore my rambling introduction. The talk is much the same as the one he gave in Middlebury, but this one includes the slides he cut out in the middle to keep in the timeframe of out meeting.


Announcing the NGP March Webinar (Note date change – Mar 22nd)

Posted: March 9th, 2017 by fruit

Dear Northern Grapes Project Webinar participants:

Announcing the March Webinar:

*PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE (March webinar only)*

“Impact of training systems on viticulture performance of cold-hardy wine grapes”

Amaya Atucha Paolo Sabbatini Madeline Wimmer
UW-Madison Michigan State University UW-Madison

*Wednesday*, March 22nd, 2017

12:00 Noon Eastern (11:00 am Central)

7:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Central)

With Amaya Atucha, Paolo Sabbatini, and Madeline Wimmer

This seminar will present research results from a trial in southern Wisconsin on the effect of three training systems: vertical shoot positioning, Scott-Henry, and high wire cordon on the viticulture performance of four cold-hardy grape cultivars: Marquette, Frontenac, La Crescent, and Brianna. Amaya Atucha is an assistant professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has a research and extension program in fruit crops focused on production practices to increase sustainability and fruit quality. Madeline Wimmer is a graduate student at UW-Madison in the Atucha group. Paolo Sabbatini is an associate professor of horticulture at Michigan State University. He has research and extension responsibilities in viticulture, and he has evaluated wine grape cultivars to optimize vine productivity and quality for the Northern Grapes Project.

If you have received this email from someone other than Alex Koeberle, you need to register via the link below:


Registering for one Northern Grapes Webinar will place you on the mailing list, and you will receive announcements and connection instruction for all further Northern Grapes Webinars.

Registration will close at 12pm (Eastern) on Friday, March 17th.

Registration is NOT required if you received this email directly from Alex Koeberle, as it means that you are a member of the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list.

All members of the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list will receive an email the Monday before the webinar containing the web address (URL) for both webinar sessions as well as connection instructions.

Feel free to email Alex Koeberle (alk239) with any questions, if you want to check your registration status, or if you’d like to be removed from the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list. Please DO NOT respond to the Northern Grapes listserve.

The Northern Grapes Project Webinar Series 2016-2017:

A recording of the February 2017 Webinar “Tales from the NE1020 Coordinated Variety Trials” is now available online. Please visit this link.

Be sure to follow our Facebook page Northern Grapes Project for updates and announcements. We encourage feedback on current webinars and requests for future topics through Facebook.

The Northern Grapes Project is online and on Facebook!

The Northern Grapes Project was funded by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Project #2011-51181-30850 and through the New York State Specialty Crops Block Program.

We thank the following organizations and businesses for their support of the Northern Grapes Webinar Series:

Grower Associations Sponsors

Iowa Wine Growers Association

Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association

North Dakota Grape and Wine Association

Eastern Winery Exhibition

Colorado Wine Industry Development Board

Michigan Wine Industry Council

Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association

Wisconsin Grape Growers Association

South Dakota State University Grape Program

Southern Minnesota Wine Grower Alliance

South Dakota Winegrowers Association

Industry Gold Sponsors

Double A Vineyards

Agro K

Bevens Creek Vineyard & Nursery

Mariposa Fields Vineyard

Industry Silver Sponsors

Scott Labs[Terence Bradshaw] //

2017 New York & Pennsylvania Pest Management Guidelines for Grapes

Posted: March 7th, 2017 by fruit

The 2017 New York & Pennsylvania Pest Management Guidelines for Grapes is now available for order at: https://store.cornell.edu/p-197039-2017-new-york-and-pennsylvania-pest-management-guidelines-for-grapes.aspx Anyone who is growing grapes on a commercial or even a large hobby scale in the northeast should have a copy of this guide.



NEXT WEEK: March 9 NY-VT Winter Grape School, Lake George, NY

Posted: March 2nd, 2017 by fruit

Last reminder: 2017 Northeastern NY and VT Grape School

Note: we do not anticipate offering a separate Grape School in Vermont in June, so this is your opportunity to network and catch up on the latest developments in the industry.-TB

Please pre-register so we may have accurate headcounts.


Come and join Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program and the University of Vermont Grape Program, Dept. of Plant and Soil Science for the 2017 Northeastern NY and VT Grape School!

Approved in VT and NY for two pesticide certification credits.

For questions about the program contact Anna Wallis 518-410-6823 or email aew232

8:00 AM Registration & DEC Credit Sign In

8:30 AM Welcome & Introductions
Anna Wallis, Fruit Specialist, CCE ENYCHP
Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Fruit Specialist, UVM
Lindsey Pashow, Agr Business Development and Marketing, Harvest New York

8:40 AM Eastern NY Grape Industry Summary
Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist, CCE ENYCHP

9:00 AM Weed and Floor Management for New and Existing Vineyards
Tim Martinson, Viticulture Specialist, CCE

9:30 AM Crop Insurance Update
Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist, CCE ENYCHP

9:50 AM Break

10:15 AM Vineyard Disease Management for Cold Climate Grapes
Ann Hazelrigg, University of Vermont

10:45 AM A Minimal Spray Program for Cold Climate Grapes
Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Fruit Specialist, UVM

11:15 AM Resistance Management
Laura McDermott, Fruit Specialist, CCE ENYCHP

11:45 AM NY Grape and Wine Association Update
Sam Filler, President, NY Grape and Wine Association

12:00 Noon Lunch

1:00 PM Wine Faults Workshop
Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University
Chris Gerling, CCE Geneva

5:00 PM END

2017 NENY & VT Grape School Registration Form.pdf
2017 NENY & VT Winter Grape School Agenda.pdf

UVM Farmer Training Program 2017

Posted: February 27th, 2017 by fruit

UVM’s Farmer Training Program is a six-month, hands-on program for aspiring farmers and food-systems advocates that provides experiential, skills-based education in sustainable farming. Students will get a unique and comprehensive education by running all aspects of the 10-acre Catamount Educational Farm, learning from expert farmers and educators in the classroom, and alongside successful, inspiring farmers in the Burlington area.

Graduates will gain:

  • A Certificate in Sustainable Farming from UVM
  • Experience in organic crop production, from seed to market
  • A deeper understanding of small-scale farm management
  • Entrepreneurial skills to start a farm business
  • A network of incredible people to provide support and guidance

Why is this program important?

Now more than ever we need to sow seeds of resistance. Climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, and food access – are all issues at the forefront of our society. We must combat these socio-economic and environmental problems however we can. Growing local food is one significant way. Small, diversified farms that employ sustainable practices can improve soil, water and air quality, sequester carbon and increase biodiversity. The Farmer Training Program provides you the skills to manage a diversified farm and be that change our planet so desperately needs. Planting those seeds of resistance is the first step to localizing your community’s food system and healing the earth.

“They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds.” – Greek poet Dinos Christianopoluos


(application deadline: April 1)

S’ra DeSantis and Rachel Stievater

Co-Directors of the Farmer Training Program

“It’s not a bachelors, masters or doctorate, but this certificate means more to me than any achievement or degree in my life. I am a man transformed because of the Farmer Training Program. I have discovered my passion, my purpose and even more who I am. And I owe it to those six months.” – Taylor Jespersen, FTP graduate 2016

Winter chill, bud break, and frost risk, late February, 2017

Posted: February 26th, 2017 by fruit

By Terence Bradshaw

February 26, 2017

I am following up on a notice I received from Mary Conklin at UCONN regarding recent warm temperatures in Connecticut and thoughts on bud break in fruit crops. I started to look at this on Friday, Feb 24, but went away to Montreal for the weekend where cooler temperatures were the norm. Prior to leaving, the forecast for Vermont showed a gradual cooling trend which I assumed would prevent any loss of cold hardiness in apple trees and grapevines. However, temperatures hit 72°F in Burlington on February 25, and although temperatures are cooling down from there, it is worth assessing the situation.

Temperate fruit crops undergo several phases of cold hardiness development. In fall, trees reduce shoot growth and export water from cells into intercellular spaces in response to shorter day length and cooling temperatures. During this period, known as acclimation, the cold hardiness of plant tissues increases until maximum dormancy is reached , usually sometime in mid-December. This state is called endodormancy, and requires a period of cold below 45° and above 32°F for the tree to ‘reset’ and initiate hormonal processes that will allow it to bud out in spring. Without this process, plants would bud out easily during winter warm spells, and subsequent cold could kill deacclimated bud s and other tissues. The chill hour requirement ranges from a high of about 1200 for apples to as low as 200 for some grapes. As of today, Shoreham, VT has accumulated 1173 hours since November 11, and East Dorset 926. So, warmer regions may have accumulated chill hours for apples or are near doing so, while cooler upland orchards still have a little ways to go. We should assume that all orchards will have met this requirement in the next few weeks. After chill hour needs have been met, the plants are in a state known as ecodormancy, where environmental conditions are the only thing preventing them from resuming growth. However, that doesn’t mean that buds will immediately start popping. Trees will then need to undergo deacclimation which is driven by accumulated heat units.

Unfortunately, we do not have a good handle on how much accumulated heat is needed to push apple (or cold-hardy grape) buds. I looked at the last seven years’ ‘McIntosh’ budbreak date from the UVM Hort Farm and calculated accumulated growing degree days (GDD), base 39°F (or about 4°C) since January 1 for each of those years from NEWA. This is far from comprehensive, as a true analysis would need to consider bud health going into the winter, acclimation conditions, date when chill hours were reached, soil moisture, and soil temperature conditions. But this is what I pulled together quickly on a Sunday night anyway. Bud break occurred after an average of 134.7 accumulated GDD base 39°F (range 132-174) from January 1 in South Burlington, VT. Today, we are calculating 54.1 GDD at this same site. In order to accumulate any GDD at this base, we need to see high temperatures in the high 40s and above. In the near-term outlook, I only see a couple of days (2/28 and 3/1) that might accumulate a few GDD in the Champlain Valley, and in cooler upland regions I don’t know if those days will accumulate GDD as far as apple phenology is concerned. Plus, it is likely that upland orchards still need some chill hours to accumulate before dormancy is broken, so they are even better off. In my opinion, apples are fine as far as cold hardiness to the temperatures expected in the near future and early (pre-April) bud break are concerned.

As for grapes, the news is a little worse, and yet better. There is no question that grapes have met their chill hour requirements in all of Vermont, although we really don’t know what those requirements are for the cultivars we grow. However, grapes need a bit more heat accumulation after entering ecodormancy to break bud than apples (although exposed tissue is more vulnerable to cold once it has emerged). Again, I don’t have a good handle on how much heat it will take to make grapes push bud, nor at what deacclimation stage they are in. However, the few (and not entirely reliable) long-range forecasts available are not suggesting more extreme (-0° or +50°F) weather after Wednesday. That means that even if buds have lost some hardiness (and some preliminary analysis by Tim Martinson at Cornell suggests we have), we are not likely to see the deep cold needed to cause damage, while we are not likely to accumulate the heat required to push budbreak until well into March. We’ll keep an eye on things, but I do not see, at this time, no cause for worry.

Here’s a good rundown on how things are developing in the southern U.S.:


It’s good to remember that the chilling hour requirement and generally cooler temperatures overall help keep Vermont and other northern country growers a bit more protected than those who are living in areas with warmer winters. It’s why we had fruit in 2010 and 2012 (albeit a smaller crop) when Tennessee and Michigan did not.


Summer 2017 Cold Climate Viticulture Class at UVM

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 by fruit

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am – 3:45 PM

June 20 – July 13, 2017

University of Vermont Horticulture Research & Education Center
South Burlington, VT

Information and registration

Students will learn principles and practices of commercial cold-climate grape production, including: site selection and preparation; varietal selection; vine training; nutrient, water and pest management; harvest; and introductory winemaking considerations. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental and economic sustainability of the vineyard operation. The class will apply knowledge of integrated horticultural and pest management practices in a real vineyard setting. The class format will consist of a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on fieldwork, and visits to local commercial vineyards. Students are responsible for their own transportation to the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center.

For more information contact Terence.Bradshaw

Follow up from Feb 16 UVM Apple Program & VTFGA Meeting

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 by fruit

I’d like to thank everyone for your attendance at the 2017 UVM Apple Program & VTFGA Annual meeting. You make those meetings work, and we work for you. Below are some follow up items from the meeting:

· Copies of presenter slides are available on our program website. Please use as you see fit, but remember that the slides alone do not come with the context of the talk they supported. More reason to attend the meeting… http://www.uvm.edu/~fruit/?Page=treefruit/tf_meetings.html&SM=tf_submenu.html under ‘2017 Annual Meeting’

· Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Alyson Eastman mentioned that there is someone in the Agency who continues to do CA room certifications: Tim Schmalz, tim.schmalz. (802)828-1317.

· Annie MacMillan detailed changes to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which are outlined at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/revisions-worker-protection-standard

· Dr. Kevin Folta provided some resources for helping to craft your message with the public, including a book, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, and his website, http://www.talkingbiotech.com/. His weekly podcast may be found at: www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com, and is an excellent way to pass time pruning or in the tractor. I particularly like the episodes that detail the domestication of numerous crops. He can also be found at: https://kevinfoltacom.wordpress.com/.

Thanks again!


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