Working Lands Grants & Public Meetings for Ag Community

Passing this on from the VT Agency of Agriculture,, Food, and Markets. I know the timing is tough for apple and grape growers, but it may be good to have a seat at the table.

Public Input Meetings for Agriculture

There are upcoming opportunities on 9/13 and 9/14 to make your voice heard on issues impacting the future of Vermont agriculture:

· Future of Agriculture Public Meeting

  • Monday 9/13, 6-8 pm on Zoom – Register Here
  • The Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture is seeking ideas and recommendations from stakeholders about how State-level actions can help support food access, a robust local food system, business viability, the next generation of famers, the Vermont brand, and inclusion, diversity, and accessibility of Vermont agriculture.

· VT Climate Council Stakeholder Meeting

  • Tuesday, 9/14, 6-8 pm on Zoom – Register Here
  • This meeting is for farmers to learn and provide feedback about the proposed climate mitigation pathways, strategies and actions for agriculture in the Vermont Climate Action Plan. The Agriculture & Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council is seeking input on the following questions:
    • Is the subcommittee on the right track with their approaches?
    • What key strategies or ideas are they missing?
    • What two or three strategies or ideas are of concern or worry to you?
    • How would you improve them to address you concerns?

Grants Opening Soon – Working Lands Enterprise Fund

Applications for Standard Business Grants will be accepted between September 21 and November 1. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 for projects such as:

  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Market development, marketing plans, and sales strategy development
  • Enhancing production and/or manufacturing efficiencies
  • Research and development

Produce farms have been funded in the past for projects related to cold storage, delivery vehicles, tunnels, wash/pack, solar installation, retail, irrigation, on-farm composting, and more.

Additional Working Lands funding opportunities include:

Wishing you the best for the fall harvest season,

Ollie Cultrara (they/them)

Produce Program Outreach & Education Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets | 94 Harvest Lane, Williston, VT 05495

Cell: (802) 461-5128 | ollie.cultrara

agriculture.vermont.gov/produceprogram

Late summer, and harvest date window for apples

In the time since I last reached out, some orchards have been deluged with rain, others haver received welcome and needed moisture. As we approach harvest (I picked my first, just under-ripe Williams Pride apple today), it’s important to get our ducks in a row.

Spraying should be wrapping up soon. I hope growers have been using red sticky traps for apple maggot fly management. I have seen myself and heard others’ reports that AMF are on the low side this year. Don’t take my word for it- pay attention in your own orchard, as damage will only get worse as fruit start to ripen. It’s also a bit on the late side but still in the window to treat for second generation codling moth where you have that problem (again, your traps will tell you). I plan to treat our orchard on Monday with Assail to manage both of those pests.

Summer diseases may be more of an issue this year, especially where maintaining fungicide coverage has been difficult with all the rain. One last treatment with a DMI or strobilurin product should get you to harvest, especially if mixed with a little captan. Fire blight is still around, too. We are still seeing it in the UVM orchard, which I attribute to cutting it out during rainy July. Advancement does seem to be slowing, but a cut thorough cut-out before harvest will help to reduce the inoculum load in the trees next year.

Keep applying calcium, especially on Honeycrisp, Cortland, Northern Spy, and other large-fruited varieties.

There have been some questions about early maturity this season. I ran the Cornell Harvest Maturity Model for McIntosh using HREC data from South Burlington, and came up with a recommended last harvest date for CA storage McIntosh of September 11. This is indeed about a week early. The model is largely driven by heat units in the 30 days after bloom, as well as the actual bloom date. This spring was generally (but not always) warm, and bloom a bit early. However, take this model with a grain of salt. The nature of the model- predicting date for CA storage of McIntosh- dates back to a time when we were predominantly a a) McIntosh industry and b) wholesale / packing house industry. This means no disparagement to those who still operate on a wholesale production and sales model, but those of you who do should use more accurate starch index testing (details in the same link) to time harvest. Starch iodine solution is available here. Another important caveat is that this model, published in 1992, is based on a climate and growing conditions that we can no longer count on e.g., cool nights in September; moderate summer high temperatures; and larger, somewhat shaded semidwarf trees. So take that all with a grain of salt, but I’ll agree- from my observations, we’re running about a week early. I expect this will moderate as we approach fall, though.

Finally, we all ought to be prepared for another round of COVID affecting or operations. Things are moving fast- UVM just instituted a mask mandate for indoor spaces yesterday, and new restrictions may be coming down the pike. This isn’t our first round with this, and arguably many orchard did better as customers flocked to outdoor activities last fall. Let’s all be wary of new developments and use a little extra caution and common sense. I’ll pass on any further guidance I get from the state as it comes.

Take care,

Terry

Survey: Grape Growers in New England and New York

Here’s a gentle nudge, we’re hoping to get the best response possible from the industry. I know things are busy, but stakeholder data from surveys like this is exactly what we need to help develop programs to support our grape and wine industry. Please consider spending a few minutes to add your data to the set. It will take less time than it does to drink a glass of wine. -Terry
If you are a commercial grape grower in New England or New York, please fill in the survey below so we know how to better help you.

Your response will be used to prioritize future Extension and research efforts.

It should take between 5-15 min. The deadline is Friday August 6, 2021.

Completing this survey will automatically enter you into a raffle to win a $150 gift certificate & a free subscription to the Grape Notes Newsletter.

https://umassamherst.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dhz2MMPQdvXYC9g

Best,

Elsa Petit, Sonia Schloemann, Jessica Ellis and Max Resnick on behalf of the UMass Extension Fruit Program

Survey: Grape Growers in New England and New York

I know things are busy, but stakeholder data from surveys like this is exactly what we need to help develop programs to support our grape and wine industry. Please consider spending a few minutes to add your data to the set. It will take less time than it does to drink a glass of wine. -Terry
If you are a commercial grape grower in New England or New York, please fill in the survey below so we know how to better help you.

Your response will be used to prioritize future Extension and research efforts.

It should take between 5-15 min. The deadline is Friday August 6, 2021.

Completing this survey will automatically enter you into a raffle to win a $150 gift certificate & a free subscription to the Grape Notes Newsletter.

https://umassamherst.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dhz2MMPQdvXYC9g

Best,

Elsa Petit, Sonia Schloemann, Jessica Ellis and Max Resnick on behalf of the UMass Extension Fruit Program

VT Apple IPM: Foliar nutrient analysis, apple maggot, summer diseases

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) Agro One: https://dairyone.com/services/forage-laboratory-services/plant-tissue-analysis/

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 two flies per unbaited trap, or five flies per trap if apple volatile baits are used. Codling moth are between flights in most orchards, so management is advised later this month if this pest is a problem for you. Insecticide options are listed in the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide. Dr. Arthur Agnello discussed 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. Given the rain we’ve just come out of, I’d suggest that most orchards, except those managed for cider or other processing, receive a treatment as soon as is reasonable.

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 message 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, UVM Extension, USDA NIFA E-IPM Program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

VT Grape IPM: Shoot positioning, disease management

Happy (official) summer. We’re still in peak diseas management mode on Vermont vieyards, but things are starting to shift a bit. Phomopsis management should be done, but black rot is still a concern as fruit won’t develop resistance to that disease for a couple more weeks. More importantly, ‘the mildews’ (downy and powdery) are a concern. For powedery mildew, which only requires high humidity to cause infection, sulfur, Regalia, and stylet oil are options for organic vineyards; those and the strobilurin (FRAC class 11), DMI (3), SDHI (7), and AP (9) are options for non-organic vineyards. Downy mildew is in another whole biological class of diseases, and organic options for management include the copper materials, Serenade Max, and various potassium bicarbonates; non-organic producers may use a strobilurin, phosphite product, captan, or Revus. The New England Small Fruit Management Guide summarizes these options in a pretty easily-digestible table.

I am deep in the midst of teaching two summer courses now, including my Cold Climate Viticulture course. Tuesday I gave the students a tour of the UVM vineyard, which I hadn’t walked in a good week or so, and was taken aback by the amount of Phomopsis and black rot I saw on some vines. Closer examination revealed that the diseases were restricted to the bottom 2-4 leaves on the shoots. This generally indicates that there was an issue with application when those leaves were sprayed, as I checked my spray records against the NEWA grape disease models and I was pretty well-covered. Last year we installed a new exclusion netting system that we left up on the wires, which my tractor with spray cab won’t fit under. So, we pretty quickly set up an old sprayer for use on one of our other tractors, and while spraying that first time, I was tweaking many aspects of the operation while making my spray– travel speed, fan speed, nozzle orientation, etc. I also noticed that one nozzle had some grit in it and likely wasn’t getting material on like I should have. Lesson learned: calibrate your sprayer and check coverage before you start the season.

We also noticed that my vines were a little yellow, and pretty much begging for some nitrogen. This is a good time to get a last, light dose of nitrogen on your vines before putting it away for the summer so vines can adequately shut down before winter. This is also a great time to apply potassium and magnesium as your soil and petiole tests call for them.

Any time now the bases of shoots will start to lignify and we can start shoot positioning in earnest. Vermont summers are short and relatively cool, and developing and ripening fruit clusters need as much sun as you can give them. That starts with getting the clusters exposed by combing shoots down on high-wire trained vines so fruit are exposed and leaves are more or less under the fruit zone. Low-wire or vertical shoot positioned vines need their shoots directed up and away from developing fruit, again to minimize shading. Make sure shoots aren’t breaking off as you work with them, and if they are, wait a bit to do this. We’ll post more information on this shortly.

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 message 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, UVM Extension, USDA NIFA E-IPM Program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

VT Apple IPM – Hang your apple maggot traps any time now

Happy summer:

Apple scab should be pretty much done by now, but be sure to look carefully to ensure that you haven’t had any slip through, as it was certainly windy during a couple of the infection periods this season. If you find no scab in a thorough evaluation of the orchard, that disease is done for this year. Sooty blotch and fly speck (SBFS)would be next on the management agenda, and typically require 270 hours of accumulated wetness starting at 10 days from petal fall. For reference, accumulated wetness in Shoreham (according to NEWA) is about 125, with similar values for other Vermont orchards. Keep an eye on this and apply an appropriate material ahead of any rains as we near the threshold. Honeycrisp growers in particular should also plan on applying a material with efficacy against black rot, which that cultivar is uniquely susceptible to. Common summer fungicides targeted against these diseases include captan in combination with Topsin, a strobilurin (Flint / Sovran), or a DMI (Pristine, Inspire, etc); organic growers may consider Regalia, sulfur, or Serenade, but I am not really sure of theis efficacy. I will say that in 12+ years of managing an organic orchard with a primarily sulfur-based program, I saw almost no SBFS, but plenty of black rot on Honeycrisp especially. Take that as you will.

We’re in a calm spot between insects, but it is time to hang you apple maggot fly (AMF) traps. 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.

VT Produce Program Seeks Your Input

Forwarding from Ollie Cultara at VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets- TB

Dear Vermont produce grower,

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets seeks your input on improving outreach from the Vermont Produce Program (Agency of Agriculture produce safety program). Please complete this survey to share your opinions about the program and how we can better communicate with growers and consumers.

We are launching a statewide marketing campaign in July promoting local produce. The campaign ads will celebrate Vermont-grown fruits and vegetables and highlight farm food safety practices. Your responses to the survey will help us promote local produce and Vermont growers’ commitment to quality and safe growing practices.

The anonymous survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Take the survey here by July 1.

Thank you for your time during this busy season! Please be in touch if you have any questions.

Best,

Ollie Cultrara (they/them)

Produce Program Outreach & Education Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets | 94 Harvest Lane, Williston, VT 05495

Cell: (802) 461-5128 | ollie.cultrara

agriculture.vermont.gov/produceprogram

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VT Apple IPM – More codling moth materials

A good question came up today regarding my recent recommendation on codling moth management: “Saw your note on Codling Moth and was wondering if Assail or Leverage or Belay would work as well as what you listed (Intrepid, Altacor, Belt, Rimon)?”

It’s helpful to have someone read your words back to you. The materials I mentioned are all pretty targeted, if not specific to, lepidopteran pests, and are all effective against codling moth. My unspoken statement was that if you are only targeting CM and want to use a ‘softer’ material, these fit the bill. But certainly, if you still have fresh curculio activity, or just have another material ready to go in the shed, a more broad-spectrum pesticide is fine to use. Assail, Delegate, Imidan, Voliam Flexi, and Danitol are other materials rated at high efficacy against CM in the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide. By all means, use them. Managing CM in high-pressure orchards is pretty critical now.

Take care. I’ll be out tomorrow morning with a tank of Intrepid and Calcium at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Were I in the commercial business, I might consider one last fungicide before calling it good for apple scab, but it’s important to get the fire blight I’ve seen out of the orchard and the 4-hour REI on Intrepid is pretty key to getting that done.

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 message 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, UVM Extension, USDA NIFA E-IPM Program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

VT Grape IPM – Peak disease management

I apologize for this overdue communication. Some grapes at the UVM Vineyard in South Burlington were starting bloom yesterday, and we are in peak disease management season. I’ll keep this brief:

  1. Pretty much every major disease is likely active now, including black rot, Phomopsis, powdery and downy mildew, and anthracnose. Vines should be protected with the best materials in your toolbox. For non-organic growers, that means mancozeb or captan plus a DMI (FRAC code 3, e.g., Rally, Vintage, Inspire super) or strobilurin (FRAC code 11, e.g., Flint, Sovran, etc) material. Rotate those FRAC codes and do not use materials with the same code more than twice in a row.
  2. For organic growers, this is the window to be using whatever copper material you choose.
  3. Keep fungicide coverage on at 7-14 day intervals, shorter as there is more rain.
  4. Keep an eye out for grape tumid gallmaker to be popping up. If these have been a problem in your vineyard, Movento or Assail are your best materials. I don’t know any organic option, so you’ll need to remove them by hand.
  5. Shoot thinning is still critical now, the sooner it’s done, the more resources you will leave for the remaining shoots. Shoots have not lignified enough to do any combing.
  6. If you suspect any nutrient deficiencies, this is a good time to collect petiole samples for analysis. I prefer the veraison timing, but bloom sampling allows for correction this season if somethings comes up particularly low. Details on petiole sampling can be found here.

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 message 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, UVM Extension, USDA NIFA E-IPM Program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.