Here’s another joint apple-grape bulletin. The news of the week is that we finally have a good dose of much-needed rain. Our trees and vines will appreciate this very much after the dry May and early June we experienced. For most sites, this should replenish the moisture that the plants have been begging for, or that you have been working hard to provide via irrigation. It also means that weeds are going to grow especially well, so keep an eye on your groundcover management.
More important is disease management. Apples are basically done with scab, but 2-2.5 inches of rain by the time this is all done means there is no fungicide coverage against summer diseases, and that any scab that did sneak through can easily spread. Grape growers- we’re in peak disease management season. Organic, natural, or conventional- be sure to cover up with your fungicide of choice between the rains. See netreefruit or New England Small Fruit Management Guide for best options.
Insects remain quiet on grapes, aside from some grape tumid gallmaker that has popped up here and there. In apples, codling moth are at a prime time to manage right now in most orchards. Check NEWA for best timing in your orchard.
Finally, I have heard from some apple growers, and suspect that a few grape growers may have heard the same, that Farm Service Agency has reported that because those crops are eligible for federal crop insurance, that any uninsured producers facing crop damage from the May 18 freeze are cannot expect further assistance in un- or under-insured. This is a systemic issue across the region, and the Commissioners and Secretaries of Agriculture across the ten-state region from Maine to Delaware have recently petitioned USDA Secretary of Agriculture for increased support for growers in the region. This is a critical step to receiving support, and should any be passed down to farmers, it will likely come through Farm Service Agency office. That is why it is so important to register with your FSA office that you had damage, so that they may contact you should aid come from the federal level.
Take care and please let me know if you have any needs or questions,