2014 Growing Season Welcome

April 1, 2014

Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist

As I write this at the beginning of the first week of April, it looks like Spring will finally be arriving, but in a form I remember as a kid- a long month of fluctuating temperatures, plenty of ice and slush, and trees showing signs of waking up from their slumber near the end of the month. I’ve always considered April 1 as the day that the growing season officially starts, and many years, that’s about when we get into the field with a tractor for the first time of the year cleaning up prunings. Not this year, but it will come soon enough.

As many growers know, I have assumed responsibility for the UVM Apple and Grape program from the retiring Lorraine Berkett who has served in this role for over 30 years. Lorraine has been an excellent resource for our grower community, with her dual background in entomology and plant pathology, and her work has certainly helped Vermont growers maintain sustainability while managing pests on the orchard. My background is more diverse: I am neither an entomologist nor plant pathologist, yet I have worked with Lorraine for nearly 20 years at UVM and that experience will inform my newsletters to you. In addition, I have been the default horticulturalist with the program for nearly 10 years, so my reports will contain more information from that area. As a jack-of-all-trades, I will rely on my observations from the UVM orchards and vineyard and any I visit, as well as information from regional experts to offer a well-rounded outreach program that supports our tree fruit industry.

In my new appointment at UVM, I do not have a formal Extension component, but I have received a USDA Extension-IPM grant to provide outreach services to apple and grape growers in the state. Feel free to contact me with your questions during the season, preferably by email (tbradsha). I will be issuing regular email and blog updates (see below) during the season, with less of a reliance on the traditional newsletter format where information is held until compiled together in a regularly scheduled issue. Let me know if this system is working out as the season goes on, I appreciate and need to feedback.

New UVM Fruit Website

My colleague Sarah Kingsley-Richards has been hard at work setting up a new website for our programs and migrating content over. Our old websites (http://orchard.uvm.edu, http://pss.uvm.edu/grape) were designed in the early 1990s and 2000s, respectively, and have served us well. However, web standards have moved on, and it was time to get our information together into a more usable format. In addition, the website for our Organic Apple Production project, http://www.uvm.edu/~organica, has existed in isolation since its launch in 2006. Each of those sites will remain for the time being as archive sites, but will no longer be updated.

The new site, http://www.uvm.edu/~fruit, will serve as a gateway for small fruit, tree fruit, and grape producer information. The small fruit tab will direct users to Vern Grubinger’s Vermont Vegetable and Berry page, while tree fruit and viticulture information will be housed within the site itself. We don’t have everything migrated over from the old sites yet, but this should be your first source for any new information coming from our program.

We also have developed a companion blog site, skingsle to get on the list. The latest blog posts will be featured on the homepage of the UVM Fruit website to help users keep abreast of any new information. Blog posts are sorted by categories that can be selected on the right side of the main blog page.

Both the UVM Fruit website and blog feature responsive web design. That means that the sites will adapt to fit various screen sizes, whether on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Work on this site redesign is funded with a grant obtained through the Vermont Specialty Crops Block Grants Program.

Finally, another site of importance for fruit growers is the Cornell Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) site, http://newa.cornell.edu. Vermont has been a partner with Cornell on this site since 2010. The site collects weather data from stations located at farms and airports to generate real-time pest management models that can help growers make decisions in the field. The Vermont NEWA network consists of eight weather stations located on farms (Calais, Dummerston, East Dorset, Putney, Saxtons River, Shoreham, South Burlington, and South Hero) and six airports (Bennington, Burlington, Montpelier, Morrisville, Rutland, and Springfield). On-farm stations feature temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and leaf wetness sensors, which allow users to run all models on the site. Airport stations lack leaf wetness sensors, so some models, such as apple scab, will not run. Users should select the site closest to their farm, with the caveat that local meso- and microclimates may affect the actual weather conditions on your farm. Remember, however, it is only a model, and will serve as one piece of information in your decision-making process. Site and station reliability are very good, but internet connectivity and station readiness can occasionally be fussy, so you should have a good knowledge of your pest management decisions on your farm rather than relying solely on NEWA to make you decisions for you.

2014 New England Tree Fruit Guide is Available Now

The 2014 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide is available for order now. This guide represents the work of IPM professionals throughout New England, and is our primary resource for IPM and general production information available to growers. If you think your old guide will cut it, it won’t. There have been numerous changes in product registrations and recommendation in recent years, and an up-to-date guide is your best investment in helping to keep your management program up-to-date.

Guides are $40 each, delivered. We are not set up to accept credit cards, so interested growers can print this email out and send a check for $40 payable to “University of Vermont” (nothing else goes on the to: line) to:

Sarah Kingsley-Richards
UVM Plant & Soil Science Dept
63 Carrigan Dr
Burlington, VT 05405

Please give your:

Name: _________________________

Orchard Name: _________________________

Mailing Address: __________________________

Summer course at UVM on Orchard and Vineyard Management

Registration is open now for PSS 195: Sustainable Orchard and Vineyard Management, offered at the University of Vermont this summer. Classes will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 am- 3:00 pm from June 16-July 11. Students will learn principles and practices of commercial orchard and vineyard crop production, including: site selection and preparation; cold hardiness development; varietal selection; tree and vine training and trellising systems; cold hardiness development; nutrient, water and pest management; harvest and postharvest considerations. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental and economic sustainability of fruit production systems.

The course will cover both orchard and vineyard crops suitable for production in northern New England, and students will have opportunities to explore specific crops in greater depth if they so wish. At each course meeting, we will apply knowledge of integrated horticultural and pest management practices in a real farm setting.

Registration is open to both undergraduate and non-credit students. For more information, contact Instructor Terence Bradshaw (contact information is listed below) or go to:



April 8th Northern Grapes Webinar

March 21, 2014- The Northern Grapes Project Webinar Series

“Impact of crop load and training systems on viticultural and enological performances of Marquette and Frontenac grown in Michigan and New York”

April 8th, 2014

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

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

Tim Martinson of Cornell University and Paolo Sabbatini of Michigan State University will discuss results from vineyard trials conducted as part of the Northern Grapes Project. In New York, two years of training system trials on Marquette and Frontenac indicated that high training systems (Top Wire Cordon and Umbrella Kniffin) produced up to twice the yield with less labor inputs than Vertical Shoot Positioning. Fruit composition indices show modest reduction in soluble solids, but little impact on titratable acidity or juice pH. Individual sunlight-exposed Frontenac clusters had higher brix and lower titratable acidity than shaded clusters, across all training systems. In Michigan, training system (Top Wire Cordon, Geneva Double Curtain, and the experimental Moving Trellis) and crop load (cluster thinning) trials were conducted on Marquette. Spring frosts in 2012 impacted results and fruit chemistry was very good overall. In 2013, crop load studies indicated a large impact of cluster thinning on canopy growth and architecture. Despite the large difference in yield, minimal impact was observed on fruit chemistry.

Registration is NOT required if you received this email directly from Chrislyn Particka, 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.

If you have received this email from someone other than Chrislyn Particka, 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 8 am (Eastern) on Monday, April 7th.

Feel free to email Chrislyn Particka (cap297) 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.

Further Northern Grapes Project information is available on-line at


The Northern Grapes Project is 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.

Chrislyn A. Particka, PhD

Extension Support Specialist

Cornell University

Department of Horticultural Sciences

630 W. North Street

Geneva, NY 14456


315-787-2449 (desk)

315-787-2216 (fax)


Courses for instruction on Diversified Farm Management at UVM Summer 2014

March 18, 2014- This series includes my course on Sustainable Orchard and Vineyard Management. -TB

UVM Educational Farm Expands Learning Opportunities for Students
Catamount Farm to provide dynamic environment for wide range of students

By Erica Houskeeper

A new farming education endeavor at the University of Vermont will give students the opportunity to learn about sustainable farm practices, contribute to the local food system and help support research needs of the university.

Catamount Educational Farm in South Burlington will offer an extensive hands-on farm experience for post-traditional, undergraduate and high school students. Produce grown at the farm will be sold to select outlets within the UVM community, including University Dining Services, and be available at the UVM farm stand and through a CSA.

Catamount Educational Farm is located at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center (HREC) on land that has been owned by the university for more than 60 years. After three successful years of the UVM Farmer Training Program managing three acres of vegetables at the HREC, UVM Continuing and Distance Education and the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences created the Catamount Educational Farm by designating 13 acres for specialty crop production and academic programs.

“The establishment of Catamount Farm will allow UVM to provide a dedicated, hands-on learning environment for students seeking diverse farming and management skills on a well-managed, productive farm,” said HREC Director Terence Bradshaw. “Since its purchase in 1952, the mission and vision for the ‘Hort Farm’ has been to provide research, education and outreach. Catamount Farm fulfills that mission and effectively moves UVM’s local food system efforts to the next level.”

Catamount Educational Farm consists of five acres of diverse vegetables and eight acres of apples and grapes. The farm will continue to be home to the UVM Farmer Training Program for post-traditional students, as well as offer new courses such as the Catamount Farm Summer Experience for undergraduate students and the Introduction to Sustainable Vegetable Farming for high school students.

“Catamount Farm will provide a dynamic environment for immersive, experiential and relevant programs,” said Susie Walsh Daloz, who develops sustainable farm programming for UVM. “The expanded farm also allows us to reach a wide range of students, who now have the incredible opportunity to study sustainable farming while producing food for the UVM community.”

Students will be integral to carrying out all activities of the farm, providing them with real and diverse sustainable farm management skills.

“What’s unique and valuable at Catamount Farm is that production and education will go hand-in-hand,” said Laura Williams, manager of Catamount Farm. “Catamount Farm is so much more than a demonstration farm, and that’s what makes us remarkably different.”

For more information about Catamount Educational Farm, visit learn.uvm.edu/catamountfarm.

Under Trellis Management Grape Webinar April 4

March 18, 2014- This webinar may be of interest to some. -TB

Friday April 4, 2014 at 9am a discussion of Under Trellis Management with Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel from Cornell University and Dr. Tony Wolf from Virginia Tech.

Please see attached meeting announcement for more information.

This meeting will be hosted through WebEx. WebEx is an online meeting venue that allows us to host live meetings and share presentations. It is similar to the Adobe Connect meetings that we had last year. A few days before the webcast I will send out a link to connect to the meeting for people who registered. To register please contact me, lt68.

Information on WebEx:

WebEx will automatically set up Meeting Manager for Windows the first time you join a meeting. To save time, you can set up prior to the meeting by clicking this link:

***Please note that there may have been a WebEx upgrade since your last webinar, so even if you have participated in a WebEx webinar before, I recommend you click the above link. If Java is enabled on your browser, the updates will occur automatically, but if Java is not enabled, you may need to download and run an installer to update.

Special note to Firefox and Chrome users:

The latest versions of Google Chrome and Firefox, which were recently released, will require the WebEx plug-in to be manually enabled in order for WebEx to work. The WebEx meeting will not successfully launch (users will stay on the “Join Meeting” page) until the plug-in has been enabled.

Cisco is currently working on setting up a way to join meetings that won’t require plug-ins, but until an alternative becomes available, users will need to enable the plug-in.

For instructions on how to enable the plug-in, please see: https://support.webex.com/webex/meetings/en_US/chrome-firefox-join-faq.htm

For further assistance:
1. Go to https://cornelluniversity.webex.com/cornelluniversity/mc
2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”.

All webinars will be recorded and available for subsequent viewing on our website at http://ccesuffolk.org The recording should be available within a couple of days of the webinar.

Please note that you need to have a high speed internet connection such as LAN, DSL, satellite, or cable to access the webinar. Dial-up access through telephone modems will not work.

I will log in approximately 30 minutes before the start of the webinar. If you are having difficulties connecting, you can try contacting me (631.727.3595) up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. After that, I will likely not have time to assist you.

Thanks for signing up! We hope you enjoy the webinar.

Please email me, Libby Tarlton, lt8. with any concerns or suggestions.

Under trellis mgt webcast-April 4 2014.docx

NY-PA Grape Pest Management Guidelines now available

March 10, 2014 –

The 2014 New York and Pennsylvania Pest Management Guidelines for Grapes are now available at:


These will not be made available in an electronic format as has been done in previous years. The guidelines are
the best place to get IPM information for grapes in a single source, and every grape grower should have an
up-to-date copy. When I receive IPM-related calls, this will be my main resource, and I will reference it to
interested growers who should be looking at the same copy I have. Yes, there are quite a few differences when
applying the guide to cold climate (and generally less disease-susceptible) cultivars, but the material activity tables alone are worth the price.