Saturday, November 3, 2018

New York, New England, Canada Fruit Pest Management Conference

I'm on a roll. So, in mid-October 2018 I was up in Burlington, VT with a group of fellow-minded (mostly tree fruit) Extension, research, and consultant folks from the New England states (mostly), New York, and our friends up north, Canada (mostly Quebec). This is the our 82nd get-together, believe it or not. I've been probably close to 25 times beginning with my work at University of Vermont and continuing with my 18 years at UMass, during which I don't think I have missed a year? There were just over 30 of us, as evidenced by this group photo:

Northeastern IPM Center Tree Fruit Working Group, 24-October, 2018.
Photo byCornell's Art Agnello, our facilitator at far left.
We reported on special orchard problems during the past growing season, gave research and Extension reports/updates, and much enjoyed a regional beverage tasting, all at the Bishop Booth Conference Center on the shore of beautiful Lake Champlain. You can further investigate this Tree Fruit Working Group on the Northeastern IPM Center website, including reports and research presentations. (2018 to be posted soon I hope.)

But we had a special guest, Peter Triloff, a consultant from the Lake Constance region of southern Germany. Peter was being hosted by Vincent Philion up in Quebec, so they came to the meeting togeher, and Peter gave an update on canopy adjusted spraying. Wow, kind of blew away some conventional wisdom I had, such as going slower equals better spray coverage (not necessarily) and that air-induction (AI) nozzles are NOT the way to go, because drift reduction, although important, should not be priority when spraying. What is priority? Better coverage while still controlling drift. AI nozzles do not give you as good spray coverage compared to regular hollow cone nozzles with finer droplets. So how do they achieve higher spray coverage with smaller droplets while controlling drift? Peter says by modifying the air flow to match the canopy, which includes throttling down while speeding up.
One screen of Peter Triloff's presentation at Interpoma as mentioned below
Now, there are many fine points, but there is one major talking point: radial fans are a disaster if we are talking tall-spindle type trees. (And why would we talk anything else?) A tower (vertical air flow pattern) is the only way to go. I certainly get the impression spray technology over there is way ahead of us. And they have restrictions, such as wind speed limits (app. 8 mph?), sprayer inspections, and full sprayer clean-out between tank mixes. Peter's talk also honed in on the money and time saving that could be achieved by speeding up while still maintaing good coverage. Diesel fuel savings too which they seem to be into out there. AND, pesticide use reduction by about 2/3 because spray is not going on the ground or drifting! Target the canopy and save money, time, and reduce pesticide use. What's not to like? Here is a presentation on this subject from 2014 given by Peter Triloff at Interpoma in Italy. The presentation he gave in Vermont was updated and quite thought provoking. Mostly, we could do a lot better with our spray application technology here in Massachusetts, New England, and the Northeast? I present my case:

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