Schedule changeup, final NEFC webinars

There is a slight schedule change in the last few Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium webinars. Register for any/all at:

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 – 12:00pm (new date)

Plum Curculio Research- Update and Management



Speaker(s) / Instructor(s): Dr. Jaime Piñero, Extension Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, UMass Extension Fruit Team and Mr. Jeremy Delisle, UNH Cooperative Extension, Merrimack County

Dr. Piñero and Mr. Delisle will present recent findings from regional plum curculio research and management practices for the coming growing season.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – 12:00pm (same date)

Northeast Cider Apple Project



Speaker(s) / Instructor(s): Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Assistant Professor, University of Vermont

Dr. Bradshaw and colleagues will provide updates on the Northeast Cider Apple Project.

-Precision crop load management (spur pruning) to prevent biennialism in Honeycrisp can be tedious and time consuming. Dr. Renae Moran will describe her method for counting buds, how to tell if they are fruit buds or leaf buds, and whether or not this pruning technique works.

-Dr. Terence Bradshaw will discuss the present market for cider apples and considerations for maintaining profitability while growing cider fruit.

-Elizabeth Garofalo and Dr. Jaime Piñero will share IPM insights from cider apple observations.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 – 12:00pm (new date)

Herbicides: Materials, Timing and Rates



Speaker(s) / Instructor(s): Dr. Thierry Besançon, Assistant Extension Specialist in Weed Science Department of Plant Biology School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Dr. Thierry Besançon will be discussing the various aspects of an Integrated Weed Management program for tree fruit production. The webinar will focus on scouting methodology for detecting weeds, the identification of the most common annual and perennial weeds, the influence of cultural practices on weed spread or suppression, and weed control management tactics based on non-chemical as well as chemical methods. Dr. Besançon will also discuss the herbicide and rate selection process with regard to weed identification and development, and provide information on herbicide symptomology as well as methods for protecting trees from herbicide injury

Northeast Regional Webinar on Proposed Agricultural Water Rule

Passing this on from the VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. This rule will affect nearly all produce growers once it is fully implemented.-TB

From: Sweet, Kristina (she/her)
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 2:57 PM
Subject: Northeast Regional Webinar on Proposed Agricultural Water Rule

Dear Vegetable & Berry Growers,

Those of you who attended last January’s VVBGA Annual Meeting may recall that Gina Clithero from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture shared information about the FSMA Proposed Rule on Agricultural Water, which, if finalized, would affect farms covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. You can also learn more about the proposed rule in our recent Agriview article.

The New York Department of Agriculture is hosting a webinar tomorrow, March 11, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM on the proposed rule. FDA officials will be available to answer questions on the webinar. Please find Zoom meeting information in the attached announcement or contact me directly at kristina.sweet for a link to join the webinar. Thank you!



Kristina M. Sweet (she/her)

Produce Program Manager

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

94 Harvest Lane | Williston, VT 05495

kristina.sweet | (802) 522-7811

Sign up for the Agriculture Development weekly newsletter for updates on projects, grants and events!
Find us on social media:

Please complete this brief survey to help us improve our customer service. Thank you for your feedback!

Zoom link to join the meeting –

Topic: Northeast Regional Webinar on Proposed Agricultural Water Rule Date/Time: March 11, 2022, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 9392 1762

Passcode: 996005

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,82993921762#,,,,*996005# US (New York)

+13017158592,,82993921762#,,,,*996005# US (Washington DC)

Dial by your location

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 720 707 2699 US (Denver)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 829 9392 1762

Passcode: 996005

Find your local number:

NE States – FDA Subpart E Meeting Announcement.pdf

Grant opportunity: USDA Value-Added Producer Grants

The call is open for producers, processors, cooperatives, associations, and similar firms to apply for USDA Value-Added Producer Grants. For more information, go to: Proposals are due at the end of April.

The VAPG program funds business and market expansion with the goal of increasing income, jobs, and economic activity through conversion of commodities into value-added products. Raw materials are broadly defined, and not limited to ‘commodities’ like corn and soy. In recent years, Vermont businesses have expanded wineries, cider processing, salami producers, cheesemaking, and numerous other projects. I have served on the review committee in the past and can vouch that this is a great program for businesses that want to take their production to a new level.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has published a guide on the program at:

Apple crop insurance proposed changes

Passing this on from Jake Jacobs at UVM Risk Management. -TB

As I mentioned [in the VTFGA meeting] today, there are proposed changes to RMA Apple Crop Insurance and USDA has extended the comment period to April 15, 2022. Would you mind sending the information below out to your apple growers’ email listserve or via your blog? Just want to be sure that anyone who wishes to comment knows about this.

My understanding is that any changes won’t be in effect until the 2023 growing season at the soonest; more likely not until 2024.

Funding for farmworker housing improvements

Passing this on from the VT Agency of Agriculture. -TB

Funding is available to make health and safety repairs/improvements to farmworker housing with 0% interest loans up to $30,000. The loans are forgivable over 10 years, as long as the improved housing continues to be maintained and used for farmworker housing. The Daniel.Baker) and Champlain Housing Trust.

Repairs/improvements can include, but are not limited to:

  • wastewater systems
  • air sealing and insulation
  • plumbing & electrical upgrades
  • noise mitigation measures
  • overcrowding relief
  • mold remediation
  • roof replacements
  • food prep and storage improvements

Application Deadline: April 15, 2022

If funds are available following April 15th, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Applications will open soon. If you have questions or would like to be put on the contact list for updates, contact Charlie Glassberg at Champlain Housing Trust at cglassberg or (802) 810-8217.

For more information, see the attached flyers or visit the program webpage.


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

Farmworker Housing Overview, Eligibility, & Repair Checklist.pdf

Farmworker Housing Loan & Repair Process Flowchart.pdf

Reminder: VT Tree Fruit Growers Association Meeting Tuesday

Here’s a reminder that the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association annual meeting will be this Tuesday, March 1. 12:00 – 1:30 PM, on Zoom.

The meeting is free and does not require registration.

VTFGA membership renewal can be done at:

See you Tuesday,



2022 Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association Annual Meeting, March 1


Sorry about the late announcement, this has gone out to the VTFGA list via (snail) mail already but this list is a bigger net to cast out to the grower community. The 2022 Vermont Tree Fruit Association annual meeting will be held on Zoom, 12:00 noon – 1:30 PM. I think we all hope this is the last one of these online meetings we’ll have, thanks for bearing with us.

This meeting will be a bit different from many in the past. Instructional content from regional fruit production experts has been provided this year via the Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium webinar series. These roughly weekly webinars will continue through March, and are where growers can get pesticide applicator education credits. We’ve had good attendance from Vermont growers so far, check the list of remaining meetings at:

The VTFGA meeting does not carry any pesticide credits, as it is more of an update of our work at UVM, of the organization, and on marketing and other plans for 2022. As such, it is not set up in a webinar format, but rather as a meeting, so attendees will have greater access to contribute. This also means that there is no registration for the meeting itself, which will be hosted at:

There is a registration for the VTFGA, which is your industry organization that supports many needs of fruit growers in the state. UVM Fruit Program and VTFGA are separate organizations, but we work together to provide broad support for the industry, with educational support from my side, and marketing and lobbying support from VTFGA. It’s a great partnership and worthy of growers’ support.

Please find the VTFGA registration at: (also attached to this message).

See you on March 1.

Agenda, VTFGA Annual Meeting
March 1, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM


12:00 Registration

12:05 News from UVM Fruit Team and expectations for 2022
Dr. Terence Bradshaw, UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Specialist

12:45 Vendor spotlight
Eric Boire, VTFGA Executive Director

12:50 VTFGA Business meeting
Eric Boire, VTFGA Executive Director

1:05 Vendor Spotlight
Jake Jacobs, UVM Risk Management Agency

1:10 2021 Apple Marketing Program

1:30 Adjourn



Comment period open un USDA phytosanitary policy regarding importation of Chilean fresh grapes

Passing this on from Vermont state entomologist Judy Rosowsky. My take, supported by Judy, is that this is a reasonable approach toward elimination of one of the remaining uses of a chemical that has good reason to be removed from use worldwide. We agree, as do the officials at USDA we’ve met with, that this approach presents little to no risk to the region’s grape and wine producers. -TB

This is a notification to the grape growers in Vermont of some upcoming regulatory changes in the procedures for importing grapes from Chile. Chile is host to the grape pest European Grapevine moth, aka EGVM, Lobesia botrana.

The USDA is proposing to phase out methyl bromide fumigation, which has been a primary means of treatment for grapes from Chile imported into the US. They would like to use a systems approach to phytosanitation in cooperation with Chilean grape producers or allow them to treat exported grapes using radiation.

These proposed changes were about to be posted on the Federal registry for public comment, but feedback from the US grape industry, especially form those in California, led them to amend their process. The proposed changes are posted at: Comments in writing are solicited and are due by March 29th.

This website will house the pest risk analysis for the EGVM and the commodity import document. USDA would like feedback from industry on the suggested changes in treatment options and anything else related to this process. USDA will host a webinar on Feb 23rd that will be targeted towards industry and will review the systems approach. Participants in the webinar will include the Chilean Plant Protection Association and USDA APHIS folks but will not include Chilean growers. There will be a Q&A session on March 2nd. If you are interested in attending either the webinar or the Q&A session, or if you know anyone who does, please let me know and I will send you the USDA contact.

If you have concerns about the import treatment option changes, please let me know, as I can help facilitate a response. If you know of anyone else I can alert about this, please send them my way. In my professional opinion the systems approach or radiation treatments are acceptable options to methyl bromide fumigation.

Thank you,

Judy Rosovsky

State Entomologist




Important survey on alternative grape production in New England / Northern New York

Please share widely where appropriate.

The University of Vermont Fruit Program is conducting a short survey on alternative viticultural practices in the region and growers’ satisfaction with them. This survey will help inform and develop a research agenda for the region supporting diverse management philosophies. It should take 5-15 minutes to complete. We are interested in receiving responses from all vineyard operations in the region, and especially from vineyards that use low-input management practices to manage pests, diseases, and vineyard health. The survey is intentionally designed to prevent backtracking after submitting an answer. Please keep that in mind when completing it.

Thank you,

Terence Bradshaw, UVM Fruit Program Director
Bethany Pelletier, Graduate Research Assistant