Sunday, August 2, 2009

IFTA I: Sunday evening meet and greet

Bienvenue from Wolfville, Nova Scotia (NS). Sunday evening IFTA 'meet and greet' after a day of touring around Bay of Fundy, including Cape Split and Hall's Harbor.

Bill Craig, Horticulturist: the Nova Scotia Tree Fruit Industry

1.) Extension cut, about 7-8 years ago. But, government funding for 'AgraPoint,' grower has to pay for scouting. Bill is a horticulturist for them, also involved now with NS wine industry.

2.) Annapolis Valley, Digby to Windsor, most of the apples in Kings County. Water (Bay of Fundy and Atlantic Ocean) is somewhat of a moderating factor. Extreme minimum temp. -24 F. Annual precipitation total 46 inches, of which over 100 inches is snow. Frost-free period 138 days. Soils are variable, clay, loam, sand.

3.) 2 to 2.5 million bushels of apples annually, app. 6,000 acres. Minor pears (Bosc) and stone fruit (Redhaven peach). McIntosh (19%, 33% in 1996), Cortland (11%), Spy (19%), Honeycrisp (8%, no-show in 1996.)

4.) 35 to 40% fresh fruit; 15% peeler; 40 to 45% juice (one plant only now)

5.) Typically, transition from standard to semi-dwarf to dwarf (M9, B9) rootstocks. 800 trees on high side of hi-density.

6.) 10 +/- fungicide applications for apple scab the norm. Seem to be having more mildew. Ugh, never had fire blight until late 90's. Now, every year one or two infections, including 2009. New cultivar selections likely a factor.

7.) Codling moth and apple maggot primary insect pests -- export, so has to be clean for AM. NO plum curculio! Winter moth, leafrollers, aphids (rosy), mites also of concern. IPM/IFP the norm. Monitoring, traps, mating disruption.

8.) Harvesting, local and Newfoundland. More Mexican and Jamaican recently. Picked into 18 bushel wooden bins mostly. Harvest runs from mid-September to late October. Modern packing houses number 3-4 including Scotian Gold. Few pick-your-own orchards.

9.) Organic production of minor interest.

Marina Myra, MSc: Variety Research at the Atlantic Food & Horticultural Research Center, Kentville

1.) Works with Charlie Embree, research scientist; new charge to collect apple varieties from around the world, formerly helped with breeding.

2.) Earlier Kentville releases include Novaspy, Novamac. More recent releases include Cotton Candy (Redfree X Oberle), scab-resistant, ideal for u-pick, backyard; Evangeline, mid-October, great flavor, but not scab-resistant; Masonova, scab-resistant with Empire a parent. They are also evaluating several (9 discussed with no name), mostly scab-resistant, advanced selections.

Tomorrow, first day of tours, hopefully a report.