Silver tip, copper, oil, and cold temperatures

April 19, 2014
Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist

By the time I check the UVM orchards on Monday, I expect we’ll be seeing silver tip on many cultivars. By Friday 4/18, I called Empire and Macoun at silver tip, but most others were still looking tight, although buds were swelling on everything. I call silver tip when the bud scales at the tip of fruit buds first separate, but green tissue is not yet evident when looking at the bud from the side. Bud stage criteria can be viewed here: http://orchard.uvm.edu/uvmapple/hort/99budstage/BudStageCriteria.html

What does this mean for orchard management? The window between silver tip and green tip is perfect for applying copper to suppress fire blight and to act as your first scab spray of the season. Dave Rosenberger pulled together an excellent summary of the use of early season copper for scab and fire blight management in the March 25, 2013 issue of Scaffolds. But, while early season copper can be an excellent management tool, copper materials can be phytotoxic. That is why the early season spray is made before much green tissue is exposed. If applied when buds are closed, however, then cold temperatures immediately before or after spraying are not a huge concern. In fact, I have in many years had my airblast sprayer fan shroud ice up while applying copper- not an ideal situation, but it can happen at 5 AM when the temperature is 31 F and the velocity of air coming through the shroud contributes to rapid cooling, much like a snow gun on the ski slopes.

Oil, however, is a different story when it comes to applications before or after freezing weather. Delayed dormant, silver tip, and green tip are common times to apply an oil spray to help manage mites, aphids, scales, and other overwintering arthropods pests. When oil penetrates cells, it causes phtotoxicity that can affect frui development, especially when cluster leaves which supply most of the carbo0hydrates to developing fruit early in the season are damaged. Oil is often appluied at dilute rates, and the goal for a grower should be to fully saturate the tree as best possible. Application of oil just after or before freezing events (24 hours either way definitely, possibly 48 hours) can cause damage, so if you have seen or are expecting freezing temperatures, put the oil away for a couple of days.

Fortunately, oil can be applied right up to tight cluster-early pink bud stages, and in fact may be more effective then. We should be out of frost risk by then (otherwise we have bigger problems than oil on fruit cluster leaves), so maybe delaying your oil application would be prudent, so long as you can fit it around Captan sprays later in the season. Oil should not be applied within 7-1- days of a Captan or Sulfur spray. For more details on spring oil applications to manage mites and other pests, including rates and spray incompatibility issues, please refer to your 2014 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide.

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.
Always read the label before using any pesticide.
The label is the legal document for the product use.
Disregard any information in this newsletter if it is in conflict with the label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Update: Pruning winter-damaged vines

April 15, 2014
Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist

First, the good news- it looks like the long-range cold temperature prediction for this Thursday that I mentioned last week won’t be as bad as my weatherman thought, so feel free to prune your vines this week. The bad news- if your vineyard is anything like the UVM vineyard, you’re likely looking at significant winter bud damage out there.

We calculated our primary bud damage in two ways after last Saturday’s assessment: first using the basal five buds per cane, and again using just the bottom two. Our table grapes are looking rough, even considering just the two basal buds that would normally be retained on spurs. Winegrapes are looking a bit better, but I’m still concerned. I did not include nor yet calculate secondary bud damage, but a glance through the data shows that there are a number of buds with only tertiary or even no buds surviving. We have not yet cut into trunks or cordons, but I suspect that some vines are damaged there as well.

The take home message here for your pruning consideration, is to be cautious but thorough. Consider leaving extra retained buds on your vines this year, I would suggest more spurs rather than fewer but longer spurs. If cane pruning, consider leaving a few extra canes and be wary of bud survival as you move farther out from the basal nodes. It’s easier to thin shoots later than to add back the ones you cut off now. However, you’ll need to be thorough now and as the growing season progresses to remove ALL dead wood from the canopy, including stubs of old spurs, dead cane ends, and ends of cordons. This tissue is where disease inoculum, especially phomopsis, overwinters. Removal of that dead wood is your first line of defense against this disease that seems to be more prevalent than it used to be.

This may also be the year that you’ll need to use those replacement parts that we speak of- I mean renewing trunks and cordons. If there’s a good shoot emerging low on the trunk from last year’s retained renewal spur, keep it. You can cut it later if need be. Same for any healthy canes (i.e. those not dead after the 8-10th node) that emerge from the head renewal zone. Those may be laid down later to regrow cordons if necessary. Trunk and cordon damage may not show for some time, so don’t be too hasty to assume that everything is healthy, and that you won’t need those spare parts this year.

Please read my April 3 post which includes the latest Northern Grapes Project newsletter for more information on assessing bud injury and adjusting pruning.

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.
Always read the label before using any pesticide.
The label is the legal document for the product use.
Disregard any information in this newsletter if it is in conflict with the label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

Early season apple disease management

April 9, 2014

Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist
Spring looks to be here, as temperatures are gradually warming up, or at least staying out of the frigid zone. At the UVM Hort Farm, trees are still dormant, although I’ve seen a little swelling on Empire and Macoun. Still, green tip looks to be a week or two off (more likely two) in the Champlain Valley. There’s a great article in the April 7 Scaffolds Newsletter from Terence Robinson and Mario Miranda at Cornell University that walks us through the dormancy and bud development process to predict bud break: http://www.scaffolds.entomology.cornell.edu/2014/SCAFFOLDS%204-7-14.pdf.

In the next few weeks, get your pruning wrapped up, brush pushed out, and sprayers calibrated and tuned up. Leaves can still be flail mowed or urea applied to leaf litter to aid in scab inoculum decomposition. Copper will be ready to be applied any time now that you can get into the orchard. Anyone with concern about fire blight in their plantings should be applying copper at label rates between silver tip and green tip to reduce overwintering inoculum. Copper also acts as your green tip scab spray, so this isn’t an extra trip through the orchard.

To help you plan your 2014 fungicide schedule, here’s nice overview article on Fungicide Considerations for Tree Fruit in 2014 from David Rosenberger and Kerik Cox, also from Cornell University. Go to page four of the March 24 Scaffolds newsletter: http://www.scaffolds.entomology.cornell.edu/2014/SCAFFOLDS%203-24-14.pdf. Remember that the article was written for a New York audience, and so does not reference some of the other fungicide options available to Vermont growers. The SDHI fungicides Luna Sensation and Merivon most come to mind.

Happy spring, now get beck to work!

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.
Always read the label before using any pesticide.
The label is the legal document for the product use.
Disregard any information in this newsletter if it is in conflict with the label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, a USDA NIFA E-IPM Grant, and USDA Risk Management Agency Funds.

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:

http://www.uvm.edu/~summer/course-detail/?crn=60793

__________________________________________________________________

Survey on Apple Scab Resistance

March 21, 2014- I’m passing this on from some colleagues who are pulling together a grant to develop a rapid fungicide resistance test for apple scab. Please consider spending five minutes to answer the survey. This is important work that is worthy of funding. -TB

Apple pathologists in New England and New York would like to know how apple growers rate the importance of fungicide resistance and whether they are trying to manage it. The following short survey will help us a great deal. If growers do report fungicide resistance as an important issue in their orchards, we will use the information as justification to apply for research and education grants to address the problem.

The survey should take less than 5 min. We greatly appreciate your willingness to give us this very useful information.

Dr. Dan Cooley, UMASS and Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MFFGZWR

Input Needed on Proposed EPA Worker Protection Standard Changes

March 18, 2014- On February 20, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed changes to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation’s 2 million agricultural workers and their families. This is an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day.

You can view the proposed changes and how to comment on them at this link: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety/workers/proposed/index.html. Wherever you stand on the issue, this is an important potential change in current policty that could have significant implications for your farm.

-Terry

proposed-wps-factsheet.pdf

2014 New England Tree Fruit Guide is Available Now

March 17, 2014

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: __________________________

CORRECTION re: 2014 Pesticide Certification Review and Exam

CORRECTION: for current VT Pesticide Applicators License holders, this review is good for TWO recertification credits, not six as I mentioned earlier. Sorry for the confusion.

-TB

2014 Initial Certification Meeting, a review of the Core Pesticide Manual followed by the Pesticide Applicators exam

Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, VT
April 8 ; 9am-4pm
Pre-register by March 28; $20 registration fee

For more information, please visit: http://pss.uvm.edu/pesp/cert.html or contact Sarah Kingsley-Richards, sarah.kingsley@uvm.edu, (802)656-0475.


This program will provide training and review of Vermont Pesticide regulations and the information covered in the Pesticide Applicator Training Manual that is necessary to understand and to pass the VT pesticide certification license exam.

The Core exam will be given after this training in the afternoon from 2-4pm. (No category exams will be given but can be scheduled with VAA for a later date.)


Audience: Nursery employees, landscapers, school custodial staff, farmers, garden center employees, pest control operators, government or municipal employees, university employees, or anyone wishing a Vermont Pesticide Applicator license.


Sponsored by Vermont Agency of Agriculture and UVM Extension with financial support from USDA Risk Management Agency

2014 Pesticide Certification Review and Exam

Spring really is coming -be ready when it finally gets here! All fruit growers, whether retail, wholesale, organic, or IPM, should hold a current Vermont Pesticide Applicator’s License to purchase and safely use pest management materials on your farms. This meeting provides initial training and an opportunity to take the initial certification exam all in one step.

For currently licensed applicators, this is a great refresher course, and offers six recertification credits.

Announcing:

2014 Initial Certification Meeting, a review of the Core Pesticide Manual followed by the Pesticide Applicators exam

Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, VT
April 8 ; 9am-4pm
Pre-register by March 28; $20 registration fee

For more information, please visit: http://pss.uvm.edu/pesp/cert.html or contact Sarah Kingsley-Richards, sarah.kingsley@uvm.edu, (802)656-0475.


This program will provide training and review of Vermont Pesticide regulations and the information covered in the Pesticide Applicator Training Manual that is necessary to understand and to pass the VT pesticide certification license exam.

The Core exam will be given after this training in the afternoon from 2-4pm. (No category exams will be given but can be scheduled with VAA for a later date.)


Audience: Nursery employees, landscapers, school custodial staff, farmers, garden center employees, pest control operators, government or municipal employees, university employees, or anyone wishing a Vermont Pesticide Applicator license.


Sponsored by Vermont Agency of Agriculture and UVM Extension with financial support from USDA Risk Management Agency