Reminder: Cider makers’ and growers’ meeting June 28 in Middlebury

By Terence Bradshaw

Registration for the June 28, 2016 cider makers’ and apple growers’ educational meeting at Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, VT is now open. Topics will include: updates on apple production and cider apple economics projects (Terence Bradshaw and Florence Becot); cider marketing (Farrell Distributing Cider Education & Training Manager Jeff Baker); and evaluation of ciders for quality improvement and cultivar selection (Cornell Cooperative Extension Enologist Chris Gerling). There is a $10 fee to cover lunch. The meeting will be held from 10:00-3:30.

Feel free to forward to appropriate parties.

Tentative Agenda:

Cider Apple Production in Vermont: Field Research and Cider Quality

The Woodchuck Cidery

1321 Exchange Street

Middlebury, VT 05753

June 28, 2016


10:00 Apple Cultivar Evaluations for Cider Making

Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit & Viticulture Specialist

10:45 Growing Apples for the Cider Industry: Does the Math Add Up?

Florence Becot, UVM Center for Rural Studies

11:15 Roundtable Discussion:
Product, Price, and Promotion: Perspectives on Cider Marketing

Jeff Baker, Farrell Distributing Cider Education & Training Manager (moderator)

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Risk Management

Jake Jacobs, UVM Extension

1:15 Developing Evaluation Programs to Improve Cider Making

Chris Gerling, Cornell University-NYSAES Enology Extension Associate

2:00 Coordinated Evaluation of Ciders

Moderated by Chris Gerling

3:30 Closing Comments and Adjourn

Orchard management, June 21

By Terence Bradshaw

As we settle into summer, it’s time to shift our focus from weekly scab management to insects, and one disease in particular. Codling moth (CM) trap captures around the state declined last week, which indicates that the first generation flight has subsided. But it’s not the adult moths that we worry about, it’s the hatching larvae that will feed on fruit and cause damage (not to mention pupate and emerge as second-generation adults). Egg hatch is predicted to begin at 175-200 degree days (base 50F) after first sustained catch, but can extend for several hundred degree days after that. Spray treatment is recommended at 250-360 degree days, which were reached last week in most orchards; in orchards with heavy pressure, a second application may be warranted. Reduced-risk, CM-specific materials such as granulosis virus (Madex, CYD-X), molting disruptors (Intrepid, Rimon), and somewhat more broad-spectrum materials particularly active against lepidoptera (Altacor, Delegate) are good options at this time. Those last two materials are also effective against apple maggot (AM), and thus growers may want to save them for later applications when both CM and AM are targeted. Bt materials have little effect against CM, in my experience. Oriental fruit moth (OFM) have not traditionally been considered a major pest in Vermont, but trapping conducted by Eric Boire at CPS has shown high numbers in some orchards beginning around May 21 which is timed very closely with CM. Timing of spray materials against hatching larvae is the same for OFM as CM. Most materials recommended above (with the exception of CYD-X, which is specific to CM) will also target OFM, so management of one will typically target the other.

Oblique banded leafroller (OBLR) have been caught in traps since around June 1, but the overwintering larvae of that pest is generally well-managed with petal fall insecticides. Summer brood adults and newly hatching larvae may be controlled now with an application of any of the materials listed above for CM (except the carpovirusine materials CYD-X and Madex); additionally, Bt products are effective against OBLR. This pest has an extended flight and hatch period, with the worst damage occurring on fruit later in the season just prior to harvest. It would be prudent to ensure that all insecticide sprays in midsummer for orchards that have had a history of damage include a material with efficacy against OBLR. If not spraying for CM or AM, monitoring shoots for developing larvae is advised in order to best time control measure. The following is taken from an Ontario fact sheet on OBLR management; I have converted degree days (base 43F) to Fahrenheit: “The degree day accumulations for the obliquebanded leafroller degree model starts when first sustained moth catch occurs…

DDs are summed each day. At [439 DDb43F (degree days base 43F from date of first sustained trap catch)], egg hatch of the summer generation begins and at [780 DDb43F], 95% egg hatch has occurred. Immature larvae are very small and difficult to see. Larvae initially feed on tender growing terminals, water sprouts and developing fruit. After they reach the third instar, larvae cause more damage to fruit. Monitor for emerging larvae by examining 10 shoots and 10 fruit on 10 trees in a 4 ha block for the presence of larvae or feeding damage. Often damage is more apparent in orchards than are larvae. Management for the summer generation is recommended if 1% to 2% of terminals or fruit are infested. Resample the orchard in three to five days to ensure the population was not underestimated. Once [432-504 DDb43F] is reached and 1% to 2% of terminals or fruit are infested, an insecticide is recommended. Follow up sprays may be required because of the extended larval emergence of the summer generation (four to five weeks).” Note: June 7 was the first sustained catch at the UVM Hort Farm; 6/5 in the Shoreham area. I would use a date of 6/5 in the NEWA model to be conservative.

Apple maggot (AM) will soon emerge in Vermont orchards- now is the time to get sticky and prepare and deploy monitoring traps. Red sticky ball traps coated with Tanglefoot adhesive should be hung at four per ten-acre block and baited with an attractant to increase captures. AM traps are first and foremost visual traps, so they must be hung so that they can be seen from 10-20 yards away, which may mean trimming shoots and foliage around them. The traps should be located at the edge of the orchard, especially near woodlots and abandoned / unmanaged apples. Treatment is recommended when five adult flies per trap are caught. This typically occurs around mid-July, but variation in AM emergence can be great. More information on AM management may be found at:

Diseases, at least those which you can spray for, are quiet now, but fire blight remains a concern and I have heard many reports from growers with strikes in the orchard (and please, keep me posted). Keep cutting out every infection as soon as you see it; cut in dry weather only; and remove prunings from within the tree. If you have a lot of prunings, leave them on the ground but do not move or mow them until five or more days of dry, sunny weather dries them out. If it’s a more manageable amount, removing is advised as long as it can be done without dragging them through the orchard in contact with non-infected shoots. If you have fire blight strikes in blocks that were treated this year with streptomycin, let me know ASAP. A colleague in Connecticut is screening New England populations of Erwinia amylovera for streptomycin resistance, but any sample sent must be appropriately collected and handled.

Final horticultural notes: water those trees, especially new plantings. Include a calcium material ion all sprays for the rest of the season to increase fruit firmness and storability. Keep up with in-row weed management, but put the glyphosate away after July 1 to reduce likelihood of tree damage and make sure not to contact trunks or foliage any time you use it.

Canopy management, grape diseases, and phylloxera

By Terence Bradshaw

By now, you should have thinned shoots down to 4-6 per foot of cordon length, and spaced them evenly through the canopy. Growing shoots are beginning to lignify at the base, which makes combing possible (and timely). Combing the canopy on high-wire training systems by manually separating shoots and pulling them down will greatly facilitate canopy management, fruit sun exposure, spray penetration, and drying of the canopy to reduce disease. This is a very important step that should not be ignored. We have a video of canopy combing from a previous season viewable at:

Grape diseases remain a concern now as we enter the late-bloom period. All or the major diseases are a threat now, and maintaining fungicide coverage through the next few weeks is of critical importance. A broad-spectrum contact fungicide like captan or mancozeb is recommended and should be combined with a strobilurin (Sovran, Abound), sterol-inhibitor (Rally, Inspire Super), or SDHI (Luna Experience, Aprovia) for extended disease control. This may be the last time to use the mancozeb fungicides, which have a 66-day preharvest interval. Organic growers should keep the fungicide schedule tight, with no more than 7-10 days between applications and careful scouting and removal of diseased leaves and tissues throughout the season. Bordeaux mixture or fixed copper (C-O-C-S, Kocide, Champ) fungicides are the best materials at this time. Risk of black rot infection decreases at 3-4 weeks after bloom, but powdery and downy mildews remain as threats throughout the summer.

I saw a potentially troubling development recently when a grower sent pictures of a Marquette vine that showed decline in vigor and was easily pulled from the ground during cultivation. The roots had deformations known as “nodosities” that are indicative of phylloxera damage. I have not viewed the vine directly and cannot say that insects were present on the roots, but the pictures look pretty conclusive. Most growers are probably familiar with foliar phylloxera which appear as ‘warts’ on leaves which contain a single larvae each. We have often treated these as a generally tolerable annoyance, although some growers have sprayed for them in vineyards with excessive damage. The conventional wisdom has been that American grapes are not economically affected by root-feeding phylloxera in contrast to Vinifera grapes which can be decimated by them and thus are typically grafted onto resistant rootstock of American origin in areas where the pest id present. This observed damage on Marquette suggests that we may be more susceptible, at least on that variety, than previously thought. Much work needs to be done to confirm the pest on Marquette, and to assess best options for management. In the meantime, growers with vineyards that have had high levels of foliar phylloxera, especially on Marquette, may wish to apply a spray to manage the nymphs (“crawlers”) that will move to new tissue and form foliar galls. Systemic insecticides are recommended, and Movento was suggested by Michigan State Extension Entomologist Rufus Isaacs as the most effective material at this time, with a second application suggested 30 days after the first. Organic growers may use Surround crop protectant which is a clay that, when applied to foliage, deters (but does not kill) insects and must be reapplied throughout the growing season as new tissue expands and rain washes the material off. Another benefit of Surround is that it is fairly effective as a deterrent against Japanese beetle. A good fact sheet on phylloxera management can be found at: As I mentioned, much remains to be learned about this situation, and I don’t recommend alarm over it. Grape growers have managed phylloxera for the past two hundred or so years since North American varieties have been cultivated and Vinifera distributed around the globe. We’ll keep abreast of this development in the coming weeks.

Vineyard management June 14

By Terence Bradshaw

The near-daily rain the past week hasn’t amounted to much accumulation, so any protective fungicides applied during the narrow low-wind window of June 10-11 are likely still present on the surface of leaf tissues. However, plentiful moisture plus the warm, sunny weather on tap the next few days and grapes’ propensity for vigorous growth means that new shoot tissues will be emerging that require coverage. We have mostly left phomopsis infections behind, but powdery and downy mildew, black rot, anthracnose, and botrytis remain active concerns in the vineyard and vines should be protected again before the next expected rain (which may be a week out).

Insects are a relatively minor concern for Vermont vineyards, with a few exceptions. We are seeing a bit of grape tumid gall in the UVM vineyard this year. This is an infrequent pest that causes visually striking but relatively insignificant damage to the vines, and management practices are not recommended against them. Grape berry moth is the next insect to note in vineyards, although it likely won’t be active for another couple of weeks. Traps are available from Gemplers or Great Lakes IPM to assess flight patterns in the vineyard. Generally, one application of a narrow-spectrum material effective against lepidopteran pests such as Intrepid, Delegate, or Altacor (see other options in the 2016 New York Pennsylvania Grape IPM Guidelines), applied 10-14 days after bloom followed by another application 10-14 days after that will generally manage that pest for the season. Better management may be performed by scouting clusters and applying one of those materials or a Bt product immediately upon the first signs of larval feeding. There is also a good grape berry moth degree day model in the NEWA system that may be of use in your vineyard.

Orchard notes week of June 13

By Terence Bradshaw

After the past week of rain I expect any remaining apple scab ascospores to have been released. Maintain fungicide coverage through the next week or so, and check orchards methodically for scab lesions to determine if you’re really done managing the disease for 2016. Summer diseases, particularly sooty blotch and fly speck however will start becoming a concern next week or so when more leaf wetting hours accumulate, but for now, if your coverage was good during scab season, you’ve probably got a week off from managing fungal diseases.

Fire blight however is appearing in orchards across the state. Most growers are reporting sporadic strikes on trees that received no streptomycin; I haven’t heard of anyone with a major outbreak but please let me know if our orchard is venturing into that level of disease. Dry, sunny weather Wednesday – Friday will be good timing for cutting out strikes. Prune well below the site of infection, sterilize between cuts with alcohol or 10:1 bleach solution if you can, and for now just drop the cut tissue on the orchard floor until it can dry out, pick it up later. Time and effort this week should be spent on removing infected tissue from the tree.

Insect activity is high across the state. Plum curculio is winding down, orchards with recent coverage of a suitable material are probably okay for this pest. I am seeing higher than expected catches of codling moth in many orchards monitored by Eric Boire from CPS. For those with >5 moths per week trapped in the past couple of weeks, a second lepidopteran-specific spray (everyone sprayed for CM last week, right) is due.

The window is closing to apply nitrogen fertilizers for 2016. If you have a light crop or fire blight (or both), no more nitrogen should be applied this season to prevent excess vegetative growth which is susceptible to fire blight and some insect pests.

If you’re not cutting fire blight this week then focus on groundcover management. Small amounts of weed cover in the tree rows at this time of year turns into a real headache in late summer-early fall.

Fire blight symptoms appearing in area orchards

By Terence Bradshaw

Note: because I still cannot get my email program to post photos to this listserv, there will be references to pictures in the message below but nothing there. Growers who are very familiar with early fire blight symptoms should get out and inspect their orchards now; others might take the extra minute to view the pictures in the accompanying blog post at:

Fire blight symptoms are beginning to appear in area orchards where infection occurred. This first came to my attention when a grower from southern Vermont sent me a picture over the weekend for confirmation of whether or not the symptoms he was seeing were from fire blight. I’m still not sure that’s what we were looking at in that photo, but it’s entirely possible (and I’m beginning to think more likely).

Figure 1. Suspected fire blight on a shoot from southern Vermont.

Today I received notice from Eric Boire at CPS that growers in the Champlain Valley of New York are reporting shoot blight symptoms on susceptible cultivars: Cortland and Gala in particular. Cornell Extension Associate Anna Wallis has confirmed this and sent notice to area growers to be on alert. I immediately checked our organic orchard at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center and definitely saw symptoms of the disease.

Figure 2. Classic ‘shepherd’s crook’ symptom of shoot blight on Crimson Crisp at UVM HREC organic orchard.

Figure 3. Blossom blight symptoms shown on developing fruit.

As the name implies, symptoms look like tree shoots and / or fruit clusters were burned with a torch, although early symptoms may appear as water soaked tissues. A good fact sheet on symptoms and management may be found at:

I did not see symptoms on trees that received streptomycin during bloom (strep is prohibited in certified organic orchards).

This is not a disease to underestimate, as, unlike most other tree fruit diseases which are fungal in nature, the bacterial pathogen associated with this disease enters the vascular system and can severely affect tree growth and production and even kill trees in a single season.

NOTE: It is CRITICAL that you not apply streptomycin to symptomatic trees in an attempt to manage the disease. You will NOT get control, and you will select for resistant strains of the bacteria.

Orchards should be scouted immediately for disease symptoms, and several courses of action should be considered. I will be referencing a 2014 post from Penn State Plant Pathologist Kari Peters for management considerations (found here). The primary courses of action are to cut the symptomatic tissue out of the tree, to reduce vegetative growth that is susceptible to shoot blight, and /or to spray a material with bactericidal activity (NOT STREP). A few notes:

1. If pruning out infections, only do so in dry weather and not within at least 8-12 (preferably 24) hours before rain, which could spread the bacteria throughout the orchard and increase infection. That shuts down most of this week for pruning.

2. When you do prune, cut shoots at least 8-12 inches below the extent of symptoms because bacteria can be present in vascular tissue below visibly affected regions. Focus on removing infected tissue and not saving this year’s crop- you’re saving the tree.

3. Concentrate first on susceptible cultivars like Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Mutsu. A further list of relative cultivar susceptibility to disease may be found at:

4. Young trees, especially on susceptible dwarfing rootstocks (M9, M 26, and others) will be most susceptible to tree damage or loss. Focus on them.

5. Application of Double Nickel (8 fl oz/100 gal dilute) plus Cueva (2 qt / 100 gallons dilute) fungicides have shown efficacy in reducing disease severity in past trials. These should be applied as soon as possible and repeated on 10-14 day intervals until shoot growth subsides. However, Cueva, a copper fungicide, may cause fruit russeting and should be applied in as concentrated a spray possible (low gallons per acre) and under good drying conditions, and not to wet fruit or foliage.

6. Shoot growth can be reduced by applying a high rate (8-12 oz/100 gallons) of Apogee now. Consider reapplying in 2-4 weeks if symptoms continue to appear and excessive growth continues.

All spray rates per 100 gallons are based on tree row volume calculations as referenced in the 2015 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide.

A couple of other considerations deserve mention. When scouting for infection, be careful not to over assess symptoms when you see fruit with yellowing stems, these are normal since we are still in the window where thinning practices will be apparent in the orchard.

Figure 4. Normal thinning response, the fruit with yellow stems will soon drop. This is not fire blight.

You also may note yellowing on leaves where streptomycin was applied during bloom. This is normal and will not greatly affect the tree, not anything like fire blight will.

Figure 5. Normal leaf burn symptoms from application of streptomycin during bloom.

Please let me know if you see symptoms of fire blight in your orchard, especially in orchards where strep was applied this year. I have a colleague interested in testing for strep-resistant strains of causal agent Erwinia amylovera, and I may be interested in collecting samples from affected orchards.

Wet weather over the weekend…and continuing

By Terence Bradshaw

This joint apple/grape notice is in reference to the amount of rain that fell Sunday. Rainfall amounts at all NEWA stations in Vermont were between one and two inches, and closer to the latter. Most pesticides can be considered completely depleted by two inches of precipitation, so we can assume that most orchards and vineyards have little to no coverage now.

For apples, overwintering scab inoculum can largely be assumed to be depleted, but it would be prudent to keep coverage on trees for another week or so. Insects are the main targets right now: codling moth; leafrollers; and plum curculio are all active. For vineyards, we are entering peak disease season, with phomopsis, black rot, powdery and downy mildews all active as we enter the immediate prebloom window.

The take home: get out and get covered as soon as weather conditions allow.

Vineyard disease management, June 3

By Terence Bradshaw

Vines are growing rapidly in Vermont, we have shoots over 16” in the UVM vineyard, and we will be approaching the ‘immediate prebloom’ period when phomopsis, black rot, powdery mildew, and downy mildew are al active. Rain is expected Sunday June 5-Wednesday June 8, and low winds are expected tomorrow, June 4. I recommend that all vineyards be covered with an effective fungicide (or mix of fungicides) against these diseases. For IPM growers, that means a combination of a mancozeb or captan plus a DMI (Rally, Inspire, Rubigan, etc.) or strobilurin (Sovran, Flint, etc.). For organic growers, a fixed copper or Bordeaux mixture is recommended, this is your ‘big gun’ that will provide some control of black rot as well as other diseases in combination with a strict sanitation program.

‘First cover’…codling moth, plum curculio, apple scab, and other pests

By Terence Bradshaw

June 3, 2016

By now all orchards should be past petal fall and many fruit are sizing up into the 10 mm range. There are a number of factors to consider in the week ahead. Rain is expected Sunday through Wednesday of next week.

Apple scab should still be protected against. Even though the NEWA models show complete ascospore maturity and likely release of all mature spores for all sites, the RIMpro model still suggests that there may be mature spores ready to be released in next week’s rain. This is also an important time for management of powdery mildew (PM) and cedar apple rust, so fungicide coverage is warranted for those as well. Captan has no effect on the latter two diseases, so if using it for scab you’ll need to add another material such as a strobilurin (Sovran, Flint), SDHI (Fontelis, Luna), or DMI (Inspire, Procure, Rally); mancozebs applied now (only at the 3#/acre rate, and not if you have used a higher rate earlier this season) will provide protection against rust but not PM. For organic growers, sulfur remains the most effective material against scab and PM, but has little to no activity against rust. Early results from spray trials I ran last year showed some effect of low-rate copper (Cueva, Badge) on rust, but there is risk of fruit russeting so caution is advised.

Insect activity is picking up in Vermont orchards. Eric Boire from CPS is monitoring traps in several Champlain Valley orchards and all had captured codling moth (CM) by May 26. I would conservatively use May 21 as the biofix date for CM in the NEWA system. First sprays for CM should be applied at 250 degree days (base 50° F) after biofix, and all Vermont orchards are approaching that target so the next spray should include a material effective against this pest. Many materials have good activity against CM, please check the 2015 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide for specific materials (CM is listed with the ‘Int(ernal lep)’ column in Table 7.1.1). Bt, while generally effective against most lepidopteran (caterpillar) pests, has poor efficacy against CM in my experience. Plum curculio remains active in Vermont orchards, and European apple sawfly may be active especially in orchards bordering unmanaged apples, so a broad-spectrum material is likely warranted for this next application.

Thinning is still an important consideration for many orchards and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In blocks with many fruit remaining in clusters, application of a thinner is recommended.

Equipment Field Day and Twilight meeting in Connecticut

From: Concklin, Mary []
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2016 2:48 PM
Subject: Equipment Field Day and Twilight meeting

Good afternoon,

On Wednesday June 15, beginning at 2 pm, there will be an equipment field day and twilight meeting for tree fruit, berry and grape growers and related industry, held at Belltown Hill Orchards in South Glastonbury. Dinner and the twilight meeting will follow beginning around 6 pm. The agenda and list of companies is attached. There is no cost to attend.

This event is sponsored by the CT Pomological Society, the University of CT, Risk Management Agency/USDA, and the CT Dept of Agriculture.

We hope you will join us for a great day of demonstrations, education and catching up with ole friends!

Any questions, please let me know.


Mary Concklin

Visiting Associate Extension Educator – Fruit Production and IPM

Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

1376 Storrs Road, U-4067

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT 06269-4067

Telephone: (860) 486-6449

Email: mary.concklin

Funded in part by USDA-NIFA

Equipment Field Day June 15.pdf