Saturday, July 28, 2007

Duck weather

Duck weather and brown rot go hand-in-hand. And we have duck weather. I am seeing a little more brown rot than I would like to see already, and as peaches, plums, and nectarines mature, expect more. There are many fungicide options on the fruit rot phase of brown rot, including the SI's -- Indar, Orbit, Elite, etc. -- and Captan, Topsin-M, sulfur, Pristine, etc. Resistance development to SI's is a real concern, so rotate classes of fungicides whenever possible. SI's rotated with Captan and/or Pristine would be a wise idea. If the weather stays like this, brown rot sprays applied to ripening peaches will have to be applied every 3-5 days in the one to two week window preceding harvest. Good luck.

Briefly, I noticed the latest issues -- including Spring 2007 -- of the New York Fruit Quarterly are on-line. A tremendous resource and every article should be of great interest to you.

And, check out this Zestar! tree -- would make a beautiful tall spindle.

And finally, Earliglo and Garnet Beauty peaches are being harvested in Belchertown at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard and in eastern Massachusetts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Report from Geneva

Today I attended the Cornell Fruit Field Day and Equipment Show at the NYSAES at Geneva, NY. 8 AM to 5 PM. Tree fruit, grapes, and berries. Four 2-hour tree fruit sessions with multiple speakers. AM I. Fire blight management with grad students Dewdney and Russo. Managing apple scab using phosphite fungicides with Cox. Koeller on apple scab resistance management including a new generation of SI fungicide(s). Plum varieties for NY -- Freer. AM II. Wild apple tree/germplasm collection with Forsline. Geneva rootstocks with USDA/Fazio. High density cherries and managing canker with Robinson and Carroll. Chemical peach thinning with Osborne. BBQ chicken lunch thanks to industry sponsors and welcome to Geneva -- including 125th Anniversary by Station Director Burr. Hot and sunny. PM III. Landers -- following the money, keeping control of your canopy sprays; apple chemical thinning (timing) by Robinson; Cheng, how much nitrogen needed to grow large Gala; tall spindle apples and return bloom of Honeycrisp by Hoying. PM IV. Promising new apple rootstocks by Robinson (and hi-density pears which I skipped); NEWA weather stations by Carroll; Brown and Maloney on apple and cherry breeding/selections; Agnello on mating disruption with new dispenser technology. Whew, did I miss anyone? Lots of information. I have made this trip to western New York for the past four years now and it has always been very worthwhile -- cutting edge growing technologies transferable to New England tree fruit growers. Video to come soon.

Oh, and previous afternoon tour of Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail. Including discovery of Vergennes White Wine, Arbor Hill. From the City of Vergennes, VT City Council Meeting, March 27, 2007 -- "A bottle of white wine has been presented to the City by Arbor Hill Grapery of Naples, NY, advised Manager Perry. The wine is called Vergennes White Wine. It was named after William E. Green because the grape was discovered in his garden in Vergennes in 1874. The label on the bottle states that in the early 1900’s Vergennes was best known as the table grape that shipped well and had the best keeping capability. Wine master John Brahm has offered to come to Vergennes on Vergennes Day or French Heritage Day to present a case of this wine to the City and the same to any surviving family member of William E. Green." Rumor has it John followed up with his promise on Bastille Day (that is July 14th, otherwise known as French Independence Day, pretty much an [un]official holiday in Vermont north of I-89!) including the planting of a vine on the City green. All new to moi, and quite a little vayniac find! Ciao.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Earlystar and bacterial spot

As promised, I picked Earlystar peach today. It is very good for a very early yellow peach -- I think superior to PF-1. You can see some data here. I also observed a fairly raging case of bacterial spot, which I knew was coming. Bac spot is evident on Shiro plum, Countrysweet peach, and Honeyckist nectarine. The latter two are Zaiger sub-acid peaches. Having been bred in California, they have not been selected for bac spot resistance. But they are real sweet stone fruit, and have done well for us otherwise. Control of bacterial spot needs to begin early -- see the fact sheet from West Virginia University. I can expect considerable early defoliation now, and some fruit defects, although the Countrysweet peaches still look pretty good. I have posted a gallery of pictures I took today from these three stone fruit cultivars. I am not 100% sure all the symptoms are bac spot, but am reasonably sure most are. Sometimes nitrogen deficiency can look like bac spot, but given the cultivars we are dealing with here, it's the latter. Someone PLEASE remind me next year I need to get on a bac spot control program!