Webinar on Fungicide Resistance by Dr. Michelle Moyer, Extension Viticulturist, Washington State University, on June 24

June 22, 2020

Inviting everyone to this webinar on fungicide resistance management. While it’s tailored for grapes, this is just as important for apple growers. No VT pesticide recertification credits are available for this.

From: Wine Grape Newsletter On Behalf Of psuwineandgrapes@psu.edu
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2020 11:07 AM
Subject: [WINEGRAPE-L] Join us for a live webinar on Fungicide Resistance by Dr. Michelle Moyer, Extension Viticulturist, Washington State University, on June 24

Please join us for the Fungicide Resistance and the Acronyms live webinar.

To be covered: In this live webinar, Dr. Moyer will cover the acronyms FRAME, FRAC, and Rotating MOAs, how fungicides are categorized, how those categories function, and how to best use those fungicides based on how they work. Fungicides, of all forms, are important tools in the management of grape diseases. But like all tools, they need to be used as intended and properly maintained. She will discuss how these tools become broken and how to go about repairing them if, or when, they break.

Speaker: Dr. Michelle Moyer, Associate Professor and Extension Viticulturist, Washington State University.

When: June 24, 2020 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET)

To register: https://bit.ly/36Hk2ra

Credit Information: 2 category pesticide credits (PC, 02, 18) will be offered to PA licensed applicators upon completion of this webinar.

Foliar Nutrient Analysis, Pest Management, and COVID-Related Items

July 29, 2020

As the calendar flips to August, it’s time to wrap up field activities in preparation for harvest in Vermont orchards.

Foliar nutrient analysis – It is the time in the growing season to collect leaf samples for analysis. Samples are usually collected between July 15 – Aug. 15. The UVM Agriculture and Environmental Testing Lab can provide analysis, but at this time their output does not generate fertility recommendations. The following are potential options of labs for analysis. It is recommended that you contact the lab for instructions and costs before samples are sent. Plus, it is important to confirm that they will send recommendations along with the analysis.

(1) University of Maine Analytical Lab: http://anlab.umesci.maine.edu/
(2) University of Massachusetts Soil and Tissue Testing Lab: https://ag.umass.edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testing-laboratory
(3) Cornell Nutrient Analysis Lab: http://cnal.cals.cornell.edu/

Wrapping up spraying – Primary insects of concern are apple maggot and codling moth. Both should be managed in high-pressure orchards. AM can often be managed with a single insecticide application based on monitoring with red sticky traps. The threshold is one fly per unbaited trap, or five flies per trap if apple volatile baits are used. Codling moth are entering their second flight in many orchards, so management is advised if this pest is a problem for you. Insecticide options are listed in the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide. Dr. Arthur Agnello discusses these summer insect pests in more detail in the July 7, 2014 issue of Scaffolds .

Summer diseases – It is important to maintain fungicide coverage to protect against sooty blotch, fly speck, and summer fruit rots. Materials should be applied after every 200 accumulated hours of leaf wetness or 2 inches of rainfall, whichever occurs first. Except on later-harvested cultivars, a fungicide application made by mid-month should provide good control through harvest. For retail orchards, fungicide sprays are likely wrapped up by now.

Remember to watch pre-harvest intervals on all products at this time of year.

COVID concerns- I think that many orchards will benefit from others’ wisdom as we prepare to reopen our farms for the season. Every farm must comply with State of Vermont guidances for general business, plus farm markets and/or pick-your own operations. Guidance can be found at: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/covid-19-sector-guidance-news. I encourage farmers to visit other operations that are now open and see what’s working- parking, stand layout, customer education, etc. Consider this a way to make efficiency improvements in your retail farm operation, if anything.
Specific guidance for agricultural workers, which relates to both domestic, and H2A labor, as well as to workers that both live on and off the farm, must also be followed. Presently the CDC guidelines are the standard that Vermont farms are expected to follow: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html. Those guidelines include many of the steps that we are already getting quite used to (bullet points taken from CDC website):

  1. Management in the agriculture industry should conduct work site assessmentsexternal icon to identify coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risks and infection prevention strategies to protect workers.
  2. Work site guidance for COVID-19 prevention and control should be taken into consideration in employer-furnished shared worker housing, transportation vehicles and work settings.
  3. Prevention practices should follow the hierarchy of controls, which includes using source control and a combination of engineering controls, administrative controls (especially proper sanitation, cleaning, and disinfection), and personal protective equipment.
  4. Grouping workers together into cohorts may reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace by minimizing the number of different individuals who come into close contact with each other over the course of a week, and may also reduce the number of workers quarantined because of exposure to the virus.
  5. Owners/operators should maximize opportunities to place farmworkers residing together in the same vehicles for transportation and in the same cohorts to limit exposure.
  6. Basic information and training about infection prevention should be provided to all farmworkers in languages they can understand.
  7. Agriculture work sites developing plans for continuing operations where COVID-19 is spreading among workers or in the surrounding community should work directly with appropriate state and local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals.

Apple Maggot Fly Traps Should go up; End of Scab??

By Terence Bradshaw

June 25, 2020

Hopefully everyone had some fungicide coverage on for that last rain we got yesterday. It’s hard to tell without doing proper spore counts, but I feel pretty confident saying that primary scab season is done for this year. Scout your orchards for lesions and protect from secondary infections if you find any. But really, this has been a pretty easy scab season.

Keep looking for fire blight and remove as soon as you see it. If you have any big outbreaks, let me know. My Cornell colleagues Dr. Kerik Cox and Anna Wallis are collecting samples of fire blight-infected tissue to test for antibiotic resistance in the pathogen. If you can participate, I’ll be happy to help with collection and shipping if I can do it in a timely manner.

If codling moth is a serious pest in your orchard, you may be due for a second treatment with an effective material. Otherwise, you’re likely in between insect concerns until apple maggot and/or obliquebanded leafroller come around. Now is the time to get apple maggot fly (AMF) traps up. These are some of the easiest pests to manage using an IPM strategy, so there’s really no excuse. The idea is to assess the population in the orchard before applying prophylactic sprays. By using red sticky traps, you can time treatments for best effectiveness, and maybe even skip treatments if the populations are low enough. Traps are red plastic balls that you coat with Tanglefoot adhesive. Kits including traps and adhesive are available from Gemplers and Great Lakes IPM.

Traps should be hung at least four per 10-acre block, preferably at the orchard perimeter and especially near sources of the insect, like wild or unmanaged apples. Placement in the tree should be about head-height, and surrounding foliage should be trimmed away- this trap is largely visual, and you should be able to see it from 10-20 yards away. The traps may be baited with an apple essence lure that improves their attractiveness dramatically. For monitoring to time sprays, unbaited traps that catch one fly per block (as an average of all the traps in the block) would warrant treatment; the lure makes them much more attractive such that you can wait until an average of five flies per trap are caught before treating. For most growers, the main insecticide used against AMF is Assail, Imidan also works but it has a long reentry interval and tends to leave visible residue on fruit. For organic growers, Surround works well, but its use in midsummer may increase European red mites, and it can be hard to remove at harvest; spinosad (Entrust) works pretty well too. First AMF treatment is still a few weeks off, most likely.

Think about including calcium in all of your foliar sprays until harvest, and on Honeycrisp and other large-fruited varieties, you may want to make some specific trips just to get more Ca on.

Pick-your-own and Farmer’s Market Guidance for COVID-19 Safety

By Terence Bradshaw

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) has released guidance on Farmers Markets and Pick-Your-Own operations that must be followed until further notice. The Farmer’s Market guidance was posted earlier last month and is viewable on the VAAFM website: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/sites/agriculture/files/Farmers%20Market%20Guidance%2005.05.20.pdf. All farms that operate their own farm stands should plan on following these guidelines.

Pick-your-own guidance was just released today. Those rules are in the attached document, and copied below. VAAFM COVID_19 information can be found at: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information


Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets                                                                          Office of the Secretary

116 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05620-2901

(802) 828-5667

June 1, 2020


Pick-your-own agricultural producers, including berry farms and orchards, shall adhere to the Agency of Commerce & Community Development’s Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance for retail operations and follow the best practices identified in this Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan.

MANDATORY HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL BUSINESS, NON-PROFIT & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS: All businesses must follow Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines outlined in the Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance and all health and safety and training requirements enumerated in Addendum 12 to Executive Order 01-20.

BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE: Customers, and the public in general, are encouraged to wear face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their household.  Businesses may require customers to wear facial coverings over their nose and mouth.


Non-essential retail operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater. Operators must POST their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov. 

Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 

Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation. When possible, retailers should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.

Organized outdoor markets, such as flea markets, shall adhere to the farmers market guidance issued by the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

Pick-your-own agricultural producers, including berry farms and orchards, shall adhere to retail guidance, and follow the best practices identified in the Agency of Agriculture’s Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan.


  1. Customer Face Covering. In accordance with Executive Order guidance, customers are encouraged to and should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth any time they are interacting with others from outside their households. Individual farms may require their customers to wear face masks.
  1. Limited Outdoor In-Person Picking. PYO farms shall admit no more than one customer per 200 square feet of the crop space that is available for harvest/picking at the time of admission. All employees and customers in the harvest area must practice social distancing and follow all related safety requirements. If customer demand significantly exceeds available space, PYO farms should pre-schedule customer visits to limit the number of people on site.
  1. Social Distancing and Customer Flow. PYO farms must manage customer flow to ensure a distance of at least 6 feet between all employees and customers at all times, including ensuring that all customers either wait in their vehicles or remain at least 6 feet apart while awaiting entry to the harvest/picking area.
  1. Containers and Tools. Picking containers must either be clean containers provided by customers who maintain exclusive control over them, disposable containers provided by the PYO farms for customers to take home, or reusable containers that employees thoroughly clean and disinfect before each use.  All tools or other devices that customers may share must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by employees before each use.
  1. Retail Stations. All in-person sales should be conducted at an outdoor retail station whenever possible, and all retail stations must include a sneeze guard, be regularly cleaned and disinfected, and have a hand-washing station or hand-sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol on site.  Transactions should be conducted in advance whenever possible, and in-person sales should be conducted by electronic transaction without utilizing cash. 
  1. Additional Requirements. To limit in-person contact and the risk of contamination, the on-site consumption of food—including crops being picked—is not allowed. In addition, customers are not permitted to congregate on site before, during, or after picking. PYO customers are prohibited from areas of the farm not involved in the PYO farm operation.  
    1. All employees and customers will follow all safety practices and always maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between all employees and customers.
  • Online or telephone orders and transactions are encouraged because they are accomplished without in-person contact with customers. All employees engaged in this work shall practice social distancing.
  • Sales should be conducted outside whenever possible. Indoor retail operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.  Operators must POST their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov.  
  • All harvest areas are limited to a maximum of no more than one customer per 200 square feet of the crop space available for harvest at the time of picking. All employees and customers must practice social distancing and follow all related safety requirements. The designated health officer employee will ensure compliance.  The customer waiting, harvest, and retail area shall also be marked for one-way access wherever two-way access would require employees or customers to be closer than 6 feet apart, and whenever a crop row provides less than 10 feet of open space for foot traffic.
  • Outdoor space will be further monitored to ensure that all customers awaiting access to a harvest site remain in their vehicles or maintain sufficient separation while awaiting entry.  The designated health officer employee will ensure safety compliance for traffic flow and customer spacing while awaiting access to a harvest site.
  • Employees shall not have more than two persons in a vehicle and should have a single employee per vehicle whenever possible.
    1. Internal for Employees. All PYO farms shall distribute a concise internal document to all employees that explains all social distancing and related safety requirements. 
  • External for Customers/Visitors. All PYO farms shall employ a designated health officer employee to ensure ongoing and simultaneous compliance with all safety requirements in each sector (parking/waiting, harvesting, retail) of the PYO operation. 
  • Postings/Signs. PYO farms shall post visible signs that include the following information: a) pre-ordered sales transactions are prioritized and preferred; b) identifying the maximum number of customers permitted in indoor retail spaces and outdoor harvest sites; c) the protocol for maintaining separation while awaiting entry, d) that all customers should wear appropriate facial coverings, and e) customers with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed on the premises.  Instructions for minimizing contact shall also be posted adjacent to each retail station, which shall be conducted in an outside area whenever possible. 
  • All PYO farms shall adopt a written plan to ensure that all safety, health, and sanitation requirements are followed in each facet of their operations. 

Anson Tebbetts Secretary

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets