Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow, I am getting better on the posts. A few observations from my quick look-around:

Sunburn on apples is the worse I ever seen it. Undoubtedly from 2 weeks ago when several days approached 100 F. with full sun. (Is that like Washington weather?) I don't think this is going to go away by harvest. What to do? Well, if it is going to get hot and sunny again the only solution I know of is to apply Surround. I would do it only on my high-value apples like Honeycrisp and yellow varieties (maybe Gala?). Surround will also keep Japanese Beetles at bay. I am not sure if apples get more prone to sunburn as they ripen or not?

Dogwood borers in pheromone trap -- 19 in less than a week. Borers are mating and laying eggs on tree trunk/rootstocks with burr knots. Perpetual infestation by the borer larvae can eventually girdle and weaken or kill the tree. A trunk coarse spray of Lorsban targeting the above ground portion of the rootstock and lower trunk is indicated, particularly on rootstocks that have a tendency to form burr-knots (M.106, M.26, M.9).

Codling moth (CM) in dogwood borer pheromone trap. Hmm, what to think? I am concerned, although apple maggot sprays with an OP insecticide like Imidan should do the job in killing hatching eggs. I think, however, it is a matter of time before CM becomes more of a problem here in Massachusetts -- could this be the year? We may have to think about using newer chemistries such as Altacor, Delegate, and Turismo (among others) to control internal leps. I am confused -- are you? I would say there are no less than 15-20 chemical options, plus you could do mating disruption. (Too late for that this year.) Be sure to visit the NEWA website for real-time predictions on CM and other insect pests and diseases of apples.

Good luck. JC

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A week? LOL! More like months, let's see April 30, now July 18. Cherries have all been picked. See here for my harvest results. Now we are picking early peaches, and likewise, see here for harvest results. All I can say is daily temperatures are averaging 5-10 degrees above normal, so I would think that, combined with the early bloom, are adding up to a very early peach season. Right now, easily 10-14 days ahead of 'average.' Based on the forecast, I think this is going to keep up -- I foresee Redhaven harvest commencing about July 31, which is a good 10-14 days ahead. We'll see.

Also of note, good attendance, 75+ at the Annual Summer Meeting of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers' Association, last Thursday, July, 15. Orchard tour of the UMass Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, followed by BBQ lunch catered by Outlook Farm, and then presentations by Peter Jentsch (Cornell's Hudson Valley Lab), Dan Cooley, and Duane Greene.