Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NEW apple maturity report, 09/14/09

NEW apple maturity report, 09/14/09: Snappy Mac, Rogers Red and Redmax McIntosh, Honeyrcrisp, Brookfield Gala. General comments on 09/14/09 apple maturity: all fruit tested picked at UMass Orchard, Belchertown. Fruit maturity is moving along rapidly, particularly McIntosh and Honeycrisp. There is less than a week left to pick McIntosh for CA storage. (September 19 to be exact in Belchertown.) Honeycrisp are at their optimum harvest maturity, but will soon start to go by and drop will become excessive unless fruit was treated with ReTain. Honeycrisp fruit should be kept at app. 60 degrees F. for 5-6 days after harvest before being put in cold storage at 38 degrees F. Gala has a bit to go but is adequate for first harvest. Background color change from green to yellow-cream is evident. Let's hope the sugars develop in Gala over the next week. Full report here http://bit.ly/10ILU5

Monday, September 14, 2009

Apple scab-resistance: Honeycrisp vs. McIntosh judged no contest

I have been collecting some yield data on an orchard planted in 2006* at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, MA this past week. I can't help but observe how much more apple 'scab-resistant' Honeycrisp is compared to McIntosh. Now, this orchard received a 'normal' fungicide schedule to control scab, but, it was a very wet summer, so scab became more apparent on McIntosh fruit (pictured) as the summer wore on. I estimate 5-10% fruit scab on McIntosh. I observed no scab on any of the Honeycrisp fruit or foliage. It's clear Honeycrisp orchards can get by on a reduced -- not necessarily none -- fungicide spray program compared to McIntosh.

*Honeycrisp, and 'Rogers Red' and 'Snappy Mac' McIntosh on M106, M26, and B9 rootstocks planted to three systems (NZ central leader-3m between trees, vertical axis-2m between, and tall spindle-1 m between) with three replications.