Webinar tomorrow: NEWA 2.0: Project upgrades for 2021

Here’s a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday March 30, we will host the final New England Winter Fruit Seminar of the season: NEWA 2.0: Project upgrades for 2021. More information and registration at: https://ag.umass.edu/fruit/events/newa-20-project-upgrades-for-2021. Please plan to register at least 30 minutes prior to the webinar, which will run from 12:00 to 1:30 PM.

The webinar will feature Dan Olmstead. Dr. Olmstead is an Extension Associate with the New York State IPM Program at Cornell AgriTech. He is the program coordinator for NEWA, the Network for Environment and Weather Applications. NEWA is an online platform that provides decision support information for insect pests, plant diseases, and crop management in fruit, vegetable, and field crop commodities. These resources are accessible at http://newa.cornell.edu free of charge to all producers in any of NEWA’s 15 member states in the US.

UVM Fruit Program receives support for Northeast Tree Fruit IPM Working Group

The Northeast IPM Center has awarded support to Dr. Terence Bradshaw from the University of Vermont Fruit Program, in collaboration with colleagues from Universities of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Cornell University, for their project, “Next Generation Support for Northeast Tree Fruit IPM Working Group.” IPM is short for Integrated Pest Management, a crop management and protection system that integrates economic, biologic, physical, and chemical practices to minimize pesticide use by farmers. In this project, Dr. Bradshaw will work with Dr. Anna Wallingford, Dr. Jaime Piñero, and Janet van Zoeren to support early-career IPM specialists in Universities, government agencies, and private consulting firms to transfer the deep well of knowledge from veteran specialists as they retire from their long careers. Key outputs will include assuming management of NETFIPMWG from retiring chair Dr. Arthur Agnello (Cornell University); maintaining the regional IPM priorities and annual state/project reports from cooperating states and provinces; supporting Dr. Wallingford’s “Stupid Question Sessions” podcast, in which younger faculty interview veteran specialists on IPM topics; and continuing to host an annual gathering of IPM specialists in Vermont each year to facilitate knowledge exchange and network-building.

More information on the UVM Fruit Program can be found at: https://www.uvm.edu/extension/horticulture/tree-fruit and https://blog.uvm.edu/fruit/.

More information on Northeast IPM Center may be found at: https://www.northeastipm.org/

The 2021 apple growing season has started in Vermont!

My former boss and longtime mentor Dr. Lorraine Berkett, familiar to many on this list, used to always say to be ready for the growing season by April 1. Climate change may push that up- I remember starting our spray season in March in 2012, but that was an unusually warm spring. This spring weather looks like it will hold us into the pattern that Lorraine ingrained into me. But a growing season starting April 1 means preparing for it now.

A few items that I’d like to remind growers about include:

  1. Get you sprayer ready. This probably means cleaning it up, checking the mechanics, and, once the threat of really cold weather is out (or when you can make room in the shop), going through the plumbing. If you haven’t replaced nozzle tips for a couple of years, do so now. While you’re in there, clean out all of the gunk in nozzle bodies and other nooks and crannies. This is your time to get the machine in tip-top shape heading into the season. Don’t forget to replace you tractor cab filter, too!
  2. Attend our Tree Row Volume and Crop Adapted Spraying webinar next Tuesday, March 23, noon-1:30. Register ahead of time to get the link and to apply for pesticide application credits. I will be presenting with Ontario spray expert Jason Deveau. Dr. Deveau will also be holding a two-day webinar that will go into fine detail how best to optimize your sprayer on March 29 and 30.
  3. Figure out which NEWA station you will use for your weather monitoring. We have 20 stations and airports that feed data around Vermont to the system. This web-based application helps growers to integrate field- and weather-based information into biological models to help determine the need for and time spray applications for key pests.
    1. If you don’t have a station near you and wish to have one, please contact me. Stations are about $2000 and last for about 5 years before they need replacement or upgrades. Trust me, for $400 per year, this tool pays for itself many times over.
    2. Please plan to attend our webinar on March 30 to learn about the new NEWA system, upgrades for 2021!!
  4. Get your monitoring supplies in gear and plan your orchard scouting. Your first stop should be to download our IPM Quick Summary for Monitoring Apple Arthropod Pests. Print off and put on your spray shed wall. This covers the primary insect pests to monitor, and their timing and thresholds, during the season. Next, order you traps, likely from Great Lakes IPM or Gemplers. As a start, for each monitored block (orchard management unit 10 acres or smaller in size) you’ll want:
    1. Six white visual traps for European apple sawfly and tarnished plant bug.
    2. Three ‘wing’ traps for monitoring moths. You can choose the red or white traps, I prefer red delta traps as they are easy to replace the trap cards and find in the orchard. For each trap, you will need three codling moth, oriental fruit moth, and obliquebanded leafroller pheromone lures. You’ll also need three or more trap liners per trap.
    3. You’ll need four apple maggot fly traps per block. Traps come in disposable (requires hanger) or reusable models. We’ve moved to the disposable because the reusable ones require some pretty gross cleaning regime. You’ll also need appropriate adhesive to coat the traps.
    4. I like to carry rolls of flagging and some kind of magnifying lens to mark trees and make field identification easier.
    5. A good field guide is essential. We recommend NRAES 169: Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America (pdf, hard copy).
  5. Set up whatever data sheet system works for you. Some prefer a clipboard and paper, others a spreadsheet on the phone. A sample, printable spreadsheet can be found here. Note there are some extra trapped insects (e.g., Lesser apple worm, etc., that we are less concerned with in most orchards) and some pests that we assess with visual leaf or fruit observations- we’ll get to those as we go through the season.
  6. A good, general Orchard IPM Guide is the Cornell Apple IPM for Beginners booklet, available here.
  7. As we get into the growing season, you may want to consider mating disruption of codling moth or dogwood borer, the latter especially on young or dwarf trees. Mating disruption pheromones dispensers are typically hung in the orchard around bloom, so be ready to order ahead of time.

That should do it for now. See you soon.

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference official announcement

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference Postponed to December 2022

We have made the difficult decision not to hold an in-person New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference this coming December, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we will hold an in-person meeting when we feel more confident that we can do so safely and cost-effectively, and have reserved dates for December 13-15th, 2022 to gather again in Manchester for a full Conference and Trade Show. While we would all prefer to be in person this year, we feel it is unwise to take on the financial risk of attempting an in-person meeting that may not be well-attended due to COVID-19 safety limitations and travel restrictions.

In the meantime, we will plan a simple online conference for this coming December 13-17th, 2021, in order to provide education, professional development, and pesticide credits to growers and service providers across New England and New York. We are hopeful that this coordinated regional effort will be a fun, effective, and safe way to keep up to date with the latest and greatest vegetable and fruit news! Stay tuned for details as we develop our plan for the December 2021 meeting by checking our conference website or by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sue Scheufele

General Chair, NEVFC 2021


Upcoming New England Winter Fruit Seminar Series

A reminder about the remainder of the upcoming New England Winter Fruit Seminar Series:

March 3 (Wednesday): Managing Apple Maggot Fly
March 10 (Wednesday): Managing Early Season Apple Insect pests
March 17 (Wednesday): Honeycrisp Bitter Pit and Soft Scald Management, & Ag-Radar; Weather Tools for Orchard Decisions
March 23 (Tuesday): Tree Row Volume – What it is, why it matters, and how to use it
March 30 (Tuesday): NEWA 2.0 – Project upgrades for 2021

All start at noon and run to 1:30 app.
1 pesticide recertification credit for each
Pre-registration for each Zoom meeting/seminar required.

Each attendee who wants to receive pesticide credits must register separately and view from a separate device.

Pre-register here: https://ag.umass.edu/fruit/news-events/new-england-winter-fruit-seminar-series