New England 2016 Grape Survey

I urge all grape producers, regardless of size, to complete this important survey. It has been difficult to put an appropriate vale on the grape industry in Vermont and New England, and now that they are counting, the industry needs to participate. The grape industry is likely worth a bit more than $4.2 million region-wide, but we can’t tell unless growers report. I am forwarding the following message from the regional National Agricultural Statistics Service Office. -TB

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, New England Field Office is about to conduct the 2016 New England Grape Production and Value Survey. Last year the survey results indicated the value of New England grown grapes sold in 2014 to be $4.2 million. We were able to publish some State estimates but limited response for some States didn’t allow us to do so. The results were published in the 2015 New England End of Season Fruit and Vegetable Yield and Price Report,

I’m asking for your help to encourage grape producers to respond. We will mailed the questionnaires this week and will be phoning those that do not respond around mid-February.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Gary R. Keough, State Statistician

U.S. Department of Agriculture | National Agricultural Statistics Service

Field Operations | New England Field Office

53 Pleasant St. Room 3450

Concord, NH 03301

T: 603-227-3129 | F: 603-225-1434 | M: 603-568-6535 |

New England 2016 Grape Production and Processing Survey Press Release.pdf

2017 UVM Apple Program IPM survey


We are conducting an anonymous survey to evaluate past and present Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and other programming in support of apple producers in Vermont and the surrounding region and to guide future research and outreach programming. A comprehensive survey of IPM adoption on Vermont orchards was last conducted in 2012. You may answer none, any, or all questions in the survey, but complete surveys will generate more meaningful results. Appropriate respondents include anyone in Vermont or the surrounding region who grows apple commercially, including small, organic, and cider apple growers as well as traditional retail and wholesale apple growers.

Survey results will be reported to administrators, grant providers, and the academic community to quantify impacts and justify continued support for this work on behalf of Vermont farmers. Your participation in completing this survey is much appreciated. The survey will be open until January 27. It should take 15-20 minutes to complete.

Thank you in advance.

Terry Bradshaw

Webinar Series on Crop Pollination

Experts to present webinar series on crop pollination

The majority of U.S. specialty crop growers depend on bees for pollination of their crops. Growers know that without adequate pollination, they would not be profitable. But what are the best pollination strategies for fruit, vegetable, and nut crops? What farm management practices can growers use to support bees and the crop pollination they provide? Experts in crop pollination working under the Integrated Crop Pollination Project will present on these topics and will report on their recent research in this project as part of a webinar series titled: Ensuring crop pollination in US specialty crops. The webinar series will examine the role of wild bees, honey bees and other managed bees in supporting crop pollination and yield in almond, blueberry, tree fruit, pumpkin, and watermelon.

These webinars will all be 45-60 minutes long, with time for questions and discussion with the presenter afterwards. Registered attendees will receive a link to the slides and a recording afterwards.

The register, click on the link for each webinar that you are interested in attending.

· January 24, 2017, 2pm EST: Ensuring almond pollination (Theresa Pitts-Singer, USDA-ARS and Utah State University)

· January 31, 2017, 2pm EST: Pollinating highbush blueberries: bees bring bigger berries (Rufus Isaacs, Michigan State University)

· February 14, 2017, 2pm EST: Pollinating apples and cherries east of the Rockies (Julianna Wilson, Michigan State University)

· February 28, 2017 2pm EST: On-farm pollinator benefits for watermelon pollination (Neal Williams, University of California, Davis)

· March 21, 2017, 2pm EST: Ensuring pumpkin pollination (Shelby Fleischer, Pennsylvania State University)

· March 28, 2017, 2pm EST: How to manage solitary orchard bees for crop pollination (Theresa Pitts-Singer, USDA-ARS and Utah State University)

The webinar series will be hosted by icpbees. Certified Crop Advisor CEU credits applied for. Funding for the webinar series is provided by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, a USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant (#2012-51181-20105).

2017 Bee Health Webinar Series_POLLINATION.pdf

Clarification re: Apple acreage reporting deadline, Jan 15.

This is a clarification of the message sent to the group on January 5, from Jake Jacobs, UVM Crop Insurance Education Coordinator:

Producers who participate in crop insurance or other USDA-supported programs are required to file yearly acreage reports with FSA and/or RMA as applicable. Those that participate with FSA programs and are insured through crop insurance can report with either RMA (your crop insurance agent) or FSA. However, those who do not participate with FSA would only file with crop insurance. The filing deadline is January 5.

Online Introduction to Tree Fruit Production course offered this winter

BF 223: Tree Fruit Production

an online course from the Cornell Small Farms Program

January 18 – Feb 22, 2017, with webinars each Wednesday evening from 6:30-8pm Eastern time.

Apples, pears, plums, and more! All are important components of the agricultural and homeowner landscape. This course trains beginning tree fruit growers in fundamental concepts in orchard planning and management.

Join Anna Wallis, Regional Fruit Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program and Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Research Assistant Professor and Tree Fruit & Viticulture Specialist at the University of Vermont in this six week course, which covers basics of tree fruit production, harvesting, and marketing.

Content will include site selection and management, rootstock and cultivar selection, orchard systems, pest management, nutrient management, and harvest considerations for commercial orchards tailored to the northeast U.S.

The course is for beginning tree fruit growers, or experienced growers seeking a refresher on basic concepts in orchard management. The topics covered will be specific to orchard systems. Individuals looking for general farm business management and marketing can find this content covered in other courses, including BF101: Starting at Square One and BF202: Business Planning.

For more information and registration:

Save the Date: 2017 Northeastern NY and VT Grape School March 9

Northeastern NY and VT Grape School

Presented by:
Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program &

University of Vermont Grape Program

Thursday, March 9, 2017, 8:30-5:00
Holiday Inn Lake George, 2223 Canada St. Lake George, NY

AM: Viticulture presentations

PM: Wine faults workshop

Agenda and registration are forthcoming.

Apple acreage reporting deadline, Jan 15.

From Jake Jacobs, UVM Crop Insurance Education Coordinator:

Producers who participate in crop insurance or other USDA-supported programs are required to file yearly acreage/production reports with FSA.

There are different deadlines for different commodities. For apples, the deadline is January 15. If any growers are not sure about filing this report, they should check with their insurance agent or their local FSA office.

2017 VTFGA/UVM Apple Program Meeting, Feb 16


As the New Year swings into gear, it’s time to plan for the 2017 VT Tree Fruit Growers Association and UVM Apple Program annual educational meeting. This year, the meeting will be held on February 16 at the American Legion Hall in Middlebury, VT. Attached you’ll find the meeting program and registration form. As we did last year, all registrations will be handled by VTFGA treasurer Ginny Brees, and payment will be by check only in order to reduce transaction costs.

We have a full program this year, and for the regular attendees from past years, it’s important to note that we will be starting a bit earlier than previously, with registration starting at 8:30 and the first talk at 9:00. We will welcome a diverse slate of guest speakers who will discuss critical issues identified during the 2016 growing season, including: Cornell entomologist Peter Jentsch, discussing insect pest management in orchards; Cornell plant pathologist Dr. Srdjan Acimovic who will cover disease, especially fire blight, management; and Trevor Hardy from Brookdale Fruit Farm who will discuss orchard irrigation systems (and the need for them). We’ll also have important updates on changes in the EPA Worker Protection Standard which were implemented on the first of this year, and a recap of the 2016 growing season by myself. Finally, I am especially excited to welcome Chair of the University of Florida Department of Horticulture Dr. Kevin Folta, who will discuss best strategies for science communication from farmers to consumers and the public.

Any registration questions should be sent to Ginny Brees at: dandgbrees; questions about the agenda should come to me.

I look forward to seeing everyone on February 16 and until then, happy pruning!


p.s.: I have added a few emails from orchards that may not be on my mailing list; if you received this and would like to join the UVM Apple Program mailing list, please contact me; if you believe you received this in error, please delete, I won’t be re-sending to these addresses again.

VTFGA 2017 Membership & Meeting Registration.pdf